Reading Summary – 2019

It’s that time of year again.

I’ll confess to two things for this year’s list. One – It’s a bit shorter due to not keeping complete track of everything as well as this year having more than one reread from previous years. Two – I haven’t written each summary immediately after finishing the book, which is something I’m correcting going into 2020.

Anyways, on with the list..

Worth Dying For: A Navy SEAL’s Call to a Nation – A candid message about the costs of freedom and a challenge to all to public service. 

Kitchen Confidential – The book that put Anthony Bourdain on the pop culture map.  Great stories although his chapter about the Department of Human Resources reads quite a bit differently now given the circumstances of his death

Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower – Taking a Twitter history and expounding on it to produce a book of daily affirmations is an interesting approach.  Better read in small batches to give the ideas time to breathe

Tiamat’s Wrath – Book 8 of The Expanse – Been waiting for this one for a while. This entry capitalizes on the previous time jumped novel and its aftermath to develop new characters and old favorites. This series continues to tell interesting stories about how humanity and its patterns might settle out after a sudden technological revolution and space faring land grab.

Mistborn (The Final Empire) – Oh wow. What have I gotten myself into? A friend at work ‘recommended’ (i.e. – Shamelessly Pimped the same way I do with The Expanse) this series to me and I was not disappointed. An excellent and engrossing introduction to a world steeped in tyranny and strange magics which serves as one of many gateways to an expansive universe spanning several series of novels.

The Whole Beast – Took a look at this one based on a recommendation from Kitchen Confidential. It’s essentially a cook book that focuses on the often forgotten and discarded parts of the animal. Shanks and organs and other extremeties that were staples of our grandparent’s diet due to sheer necessity but would be considered foreign and exotic by us and our descendents.

The Martian – I’ll admit that I saw the movie first, but the novel was definitely entertaining. An adventure novel steeped in science and humor, I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a page turner on a long flight.

The Passionate Programmer – One of my rereads from the Pragmatic Bookshelf. This one has more of a focus on the artistic aspects of software development by comparing it to musicianship and other artistic pursuits. Don’t forget to find mentors and ‘Make The Hang’

The Developer’s Code – Another Pragmatic Bookshelf entry. A how to on beginning or enhance a career in software development. Does a great job of explaining abstractions of the practices and processes of delivering value, warts and all.

The Dip – Every pursuit feels great when you’re just starting out. Everything is fresh and novel and exiting. Whether or not the journey still has value as you proceed, you’ll inevitably reach a point where things seem too difficult or no longer worthwhile. Knowing the difference between ‘when to quit and when to stick’ is an important skill to develop.

Ego Is The Enemy – As time goes on, Ryan Holiday will probably have his own section of my bookshelf due to the sheer frequency with which I reread his stuff. This one was new to me this year, but I’ve already given it a second run through this year.

Iā€™d love to hear any feedback on this list and invite you to share your own reviews or recommendations.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them here or address them to