Just realised I never posted my list of books read in 2012. So here it is!
- Ikiagi (7/1/2012)
- I was blind but now I see (15/1/2012)
- Working with Unix Processes (25/3/2012)
- Objects on Rails (10/4/2012)
- Tmux (20/4/2012)
- Do the Work (7/5/2012)
- The War of Art (16/5/2012)
- Wool (18/7/2012)
- Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS (20/9/12)
- Practical Object Orientated Design in Ruby (15/10/12)
- Greyskull LP (15/11/12)
Not really a good year for “number of books read”. Stand out books were definitely “Wool”, “Ikagi”, “I was blind but now I see” and “Do the work”.
A shot in the dark is definitely better than walking away from the chance altogether. Trying can create a percentage chance above zero, whereas walking away guarantees that it is zero.
I always enjoy reading Sebastian Marshall’s blog. Primarily because I feel like I can relate to a lot of the things he talks about and his general attitude towards life and business. His book is a great culmination of those things. I thoroughly recommended checking out his book and blog.
Another year another list of books that I read in 2011. I never read as much as I want/should.
- Why We Get Fat (11/1/2011)
- Start Small, Stay Small – Audiobook (30/1/2011)
- Never Let Go (2/2/2011)
- Ignore Everybody (10/2/2011)
- The Hero Handbook (21/2/2011)
- Mindfulness in Plain English (3/3/2011)
- Programming Amazon EC2 (18/3/2011)
- How to Make Money (7/3/2011)
- Eloquent Ruby (6/5/2011)
- Snow Crash (18/5/2011)
- Get out of Jail Free Card (19/5/2011)
- Hyperion (6/6/2011)
- Anything You Want (1/7/2011)
- The Fall of Hyperion (29/7/2011)
- Motorcycle Roadcraft (6/9/2011)
- Sport Riding Techniques (20/9/2011)
- Recipes with Backbone (19/12/2011)
- The Secrets of the Rainmakers (20/12/2011)
- The Lean Startup (25/12/2011)
The only book that really stands out for me this year is “Hyperion”. I don’t usually read fiction, but on this occasion I’m extremely glad I did. Never before has a book gripped me as much as this one did. And excellent story which had me desperate to keep going to find out what happened. “Why we get fat” is a very good book on the basics of the modern science behind the obesity epidemic spreading across the world. I found it very hard to read Gary Taubes previous book “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, but this was extremely easy to take in.
I certainly want to be able to read more in 2012. But that’s something I say every year.
I finally finished reading The Lean Startup. The main gist is that we need to be creating fast feedback looks for products/changes we make, so that we can quickly see what is and isn’t working. It’s a good extension of what to do once you have you minimum-viable product up and running, as it’s easy to fall into the trap of just adding features, without actually adding any value. I especially liked the parts on doing a cohort study of your users. Instead of measuring figures like engagement as a total for a specific time, you would track engagement for people who signed up in January only, then sign ups in February, then March, etc. This gives you a better picture of whether you’re actually improving your service or only appearing to improve because of growing figures.
Overall the book wasn’t too bad. I felt that perhaps the first half was a lot more “actionable” and my interest fell off once past the half way point, so I ended up just steaming through after that. Definitely worth reading if you’re in the startup arena though.
I’ll be getting another copy soon anyways as I’ll be seeing Eric talk when he comes to London in January.
I really didn’t read as much as I had hoped in 2010, but still averaged just over a book a month. The books I read were:
- Pragmatic Programmer
- Refactoring Ruby Edition
- How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life
- Socialism – A very short introduction
- Rocket Surgery Made Easy
- Jiu-Jitsu University
- Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu: The Closed Guard
- Infinite Intensity
- The 4-Hour Workweek – Expanded and Updated
- 10-Minute Toughness
- Street Smarts
- SQL Antipatterns
- The Paleo Solution
- Making Ideas Happen
- The Rspec Book
- Web Analytics 2.0
“How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life”, “The Paleo Soution”, “Switch” and “Web Analytics 2.0″ were the main highlights. “Web Analytics 2.0″ especially being what I consider the most important book that any entrepreneur should read in this day and age. Gathering information about your customers and making decisions based on analysis are key to driving your business forward. With so many tools available to us, there’s no need to blindly make guesses about what to improve or what to do next.