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Books of 2013

Posted January 9, 2014

After accidentally reading 42 books in 2012, I had quietly set myself the goal of reaching 52 books in 2013. With a last minute book off of Lean Pub I pulled it off with 1 minute 12 seconds to spare.

The List

Number Book Author Finished Date
1 Foundation Isaac Asimov January 1st
2 Foundation and Empire Isaac Asimov January 5th
3 Second Foundation Isaac Asimov January 10th
4 Accessibility Handbook Katie Cunningham January 11th
5 The Circle Maker Mark Batterson January 22nd
6 Magic Hours Tom Bissell January 31st
7 Farm Anatomy Julia Rothman February 7th
8 Einstein. His Life and Universe Walter Isaacson March 20th
9 Gamestorming Gray, Brown, Macanufo March 28th
10 The No-Cry Sleep Solution Elizabeth Pantley April 2nd
11 Love Wins Rob Bell April 6th
12 Outliers Malcolm Gladwell April 13th
13 Peopleware Tim and Tom April 26th
14 Winning the Story Wars Jonah Sachs May 2nd
15 SVG Essentials J. Eisenberg May 5th
16 Writing Stories Ben Rinzler May 8th
17 You Have More Than You Think David and Tom Gardner May 15th
18 Ender’s Shadow Orson Scott Card May 21st
19 Shadow of the Hegemon Orson Scott Card May 25th
20 Shadow Puppets Orson Scott Card June 2nd
21 Shadow of the Giant Orson Scott Card June 8th
22 Total Money Makeover Dave Ramsey June 17th
23 Tmux Brian Hogan June 30th
24 Supercharged JavaScript Graphics Raffaele Cecco July 7th
24 Lean Startup Eric Ries July 7th
25 The Mythical Man-Month Fredrick Brooks, Jr. July 15th
26 Effective JavaScript David Herman July 26th
27 Practical Vim Drew Neil August 6th
28 JavaScript Design Patterns Addy Osmani August 18th
29 Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman September 18th
30 Fatherhood Bill Cosby September 20th
31 Dune Frank Herbert September 27th
32 Muad'Dib Frank Herbert September 28th
33 The Prophet Frank Herbert September 29th
34 "JS.next: A Manager’s Guide" Aaron Frost October 1st
35 I Didn’t Ask To Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) Bill Cosby October 2nd
36 Mystic Moosetales Robin McMillan October 9th
37 EntreLeader Dave Ramsey October 21st
38 Learn You A Haskell For Great Good Miran Lipovača October 28th
39 JavaScript Allongé Reg Braithwaite November 2nd
40 Smacss Jonathan Snook November 5th
41 Woman Natalie Anger December 4th
42 Lean Analytics Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz December 6th
43 The Senior Software Engineer David Bryant Copeland December 10th
44 The Leprechauns of Software Engineering Laurent Bossavit December 12th
45 Personal Kanban in a Nutshell Erik Talboom and Jurgen De Smet December 17th
46 Earth Unaware Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston December 18th
47 High-Performance Browser Networking Illya Grigorik December 25th
48 The Disappearing Spoon Masha Gessen December 31st
49 Perfect Rigor Masha Gessen December 31st
50 Building Node Applications with MongoDB and Backbone Mike Wilson December 31st
51 The Leadership Game Yves Hanoulle and Ignace Hanoulle December 31st

Highlights

There are a few stand out books from this list. First and foremost, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is a great book. I am fascinated by how the human mind works and this was my grand introduction to psychology. He discusses how our mind works as two different systems in an engaging way that allows for understanding to come as you read through. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Having read the Ender’s Game quartet last year, I picked up the Bean Quartet by Orson Scott Card this year. The first book is the exact same story as Ender’s Game, but through Bean’s eyes. The following three books are a much faster paced adventure through an earth in a not-to-distant future.

Love Wins by Rob Bell is a book that received much attention when it came out—and not positive attention… I must say that as a Christian it greatly challenged my view of God and His love. If nothing else, it shows God’s love in such a greater light than what I had ever imagined.

I can’t remember a single technical book I’ve read before this year that I would strongly recommend. These year there were four.

David Herman and Reg Braithwaite have written the two best books on JavaScript. Effective JavaScript and JavaScript Allongé. If you spend any time at all in JavaScript at a professional level you should read these books.

Effective JavaScript is a very thorough, dispassionate explanation of the JavaScript language. It does not dwell on browser idiosyncracies, yet equips you to understand and handle them should you encounter them.

JavaScript Allongé is a work of art. Read the reviews on https://leanpub.com/javascript-allonge. Every single one of them: true.

Ilya Grigorik delves into HTTP, TCP, UDP, WebRTC, WebSockets, and more in his High-Performance Browser Networking. Being a front end engineer for the past 3 years you may expect one to have a fairly solid grasp on these protocols and their history. I knew nothing about networking before this book.

The Senior Software Engineer by David Bryant Copeland took many of my thoughts about this craft and said them eloquently. It helped solidify a few ideas and expand others. Every software engineer should read this, junior or not.

2014?

No. No book reading goal. I am still reading, just for pleasure at whatever pace it happens to be. Currently, I’m embarking on a adventure through the seven kingdoms in Game of Thrones.

I have other goals to focus on now that I have some time back. I have a handful of public goals on github


These words brought to you by Dustan Kasten. A friendly, bearded, husband, father, and user interface engineer living in Charlotte, NC. Considers himself quite partial to React.js these days. Find @iamdustan on Twitter