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2014 Reading List

This year I tried again to keep up the flow of reading books. I’m an awfully slow reader when it comes to books in general (not so much for blog posts interestingly) but I managed to read a handful of books and I wanted to share my thoughts about it. Mostly because I got inspired by reading Mathias' reading list but also because I wanted to have a track record of what I read and hopefully inspire myself to read even more next year.

So without further ado, here is my list:

Germaine Greer - The Female Eunuch

I started the year off with finally finishing Germaine Greer’s feminist classic from 1970 about the role of women in modern society. I had known about the book for a couple of years and after having read Bell Hooks' The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love last year I decided to finally read it. I definitely enjoyed it. Especially as a man it opens your eyes to a lot of things you never encounter in your daily life. It’s very graphic at times and there are some long-winded parts in the middle but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s interested in feminism. I also started reading her newest book “The Whole Woman” this year which is the sequel she never wanted to write. And so far I like it and it’s alarming how few things have changed since “The Female Eunuch”.

Erik Hollnagel - The ETTO Principle: Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off

It’s no secret that I’m interested in human factors and system safety and how to apply lessons learned to our field of creating and managing complex computer systems. So it also shouldn’t be a surprise that this book really hit home for me. It’s well written and touches on a myriad of different aspects about how we trade off thoroughness for efficiency and how production pressure changes our way of making decisions. It’s a pretty fast read and I really enjoyed it. It also has a huge references and related literature section following each chapter which makes it great to start diving deeper into the topic.

The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

I originally started reading it in 2013 when it came out and I enjoyed it back then. But I somehow still dropped the ball and stopped reading it. I finally went back and finished it this summer. It’s a good and interesting read and having worked in traditional plant production companies I liked a lot of the parallels in there. It gets a little weird at the end and the last quarter feels like the authors really had to wrap up the book. And no matter how you look at it, it’s definitely business romanticism. But if you don’t mind that, it’s definitely entertaining.

Susan Cain - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

This is another one I started in 2013 and then dropped for no real reason. I finished it this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I knew before I started reading that I fall on the introvert side of the scale but the book really helped recognizing some more patterns and making me feel better about it. This is also the only book I finished as a Kindle audiobook and while I likely won’t do it again, it was an interesting experience. It’s a great read and definitely recommended for anyone who works with other humans in their daily life.

Kourosh Dini - Create Flow with OmniFocus 2

This one was kind of a surprise read for me. I’ve written before about how much I have OmniFocus is integrated in my life. And when this book popped up in one of my RSS feeds I decided to give it a read. It’s definitely not a cheap book and I jumped over the first half as it’s basically an introduction into OmniFocus which I already know how to use. The book isn’t a total game changer, but the latter half gives some good food for thought on how to make the most of OmniFocus' Perspectives and some unusual use cases for it.

Bonus: Jon Cowie - Customizing Chef

I added this as a bonus round, because while I definitely read it, I had the privilege to do so as a reviewer. I’m really happy that Jon asked me to review his book and while I had done a lot of Chef before, I learned tons about its internals from this book. If you work with Chef and want to get more out of it or even just understand some of the internals a little better, definitely read this book.

I really enjoyed reading all those books this year. And one of my New Year’s resolutions is definitely to read more next year. I’ve planned to set some time aside every day to read and hope to have a longer list of things I read next year. If not, it sure isn’t because of a small Kindle backlog.