This is a list of my favorite books. I am a voracious reader, so this list may change in the future. The books in this list are the type you read from cover-to-cover. None are reference books — although there are plenty fabulous references available, I have not included these in my list.
How to Break Software Security — A must read for anyone who does software quality assurance. Also, valuable for developers who create the software we all use daily. Much of the contents are common sense, and you’ll find yourself saying “why haven’t I thought of that before?”
Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made — A great story about how technology is born. The best part, is that this is the true story of the birth of the Macintosh.
Silence on the Wire: A Field Guide to Passive Reconnaissance and Indirect Attacks — Well written discussion of gathering information from various electronic footprints. A great read for anyone involved in the computer security field.
The Social Impact of Technology
The Science of Battlestar Galactica — BattleStar Galactica needed a lot of science because the audience included a lot of technical folks which could call the production team “on the carpet” if the errors were egregious. This was an awesome book that discussed how the writers learned about science and incorporated it into the storyline.
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader — Because this book focuses on the latter part of Steve Job’s career, the book has a different angle than the multitude of other biographies. Its told by a reporter who had personal experience with Jobs, but did not interface with him daily. This close distance allowed the reporter to maintain his perspective and not become too influenced by the “reality distortion field” that Jobs was infamous for maintaining around his person.
How to Lie with Statistics — This is a very thin book, and you might wonder about its value when you first receive it. However, once you get to reading it, you will realize it is worth its weight in gold. Seriously, this contains great examples of statistics gone awry; and it explains why the assumptions or sample sizes invalidated the results. A great book to have read to add a little cynicism when listening to “election statistics”.
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences — Another thin book, that’s well worth the read. This one discusses the results of having a population of mathematically challenged adults. After reading this, you can understand why stores put ridiculous prices on articles and then have “50% discount sales”.
Management and Finance Books
The Wealthy Barber, Updated 3rd Edition: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent — This is a great step-by-step guide to increasing your personal wealth by making incremental changes to your money management skills. Reads like a story, but have some great content.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich — This contains great advice for recent graduates, and well as great advice for anyone looking to increase their personal wealth. Concepts include budgeting, looking closely at the value of expenditures, and prioritizing. Written as a self-help manual with very readily examples.