Books Read June 2014

Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I’m a little embarrassed that I took this long to read this book. It’s an iconic book in the startup world that I had skipped because I watched a few Lean Startup talks and read various blogs about it. A lot of the advice is very common sense; I’d boil it down to “build something people want.”

The Developers Guide to Debugging by Thorsten Gr√∂tker, Ulrich Holtmann, Holger Keding, and Markus Wloka. I was discussing what makes a good software developer with a friend and he was adamant than the best developers are the best debuggers. I read this book in hopes of filling in the knowledge that I might have learned from a debugging course in school—if one existed. The book was readable, but it was a bit too C-centric for me to fully appreciate.

Tipping Sacred Cows: Kicking the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues by Jake Breeden. The book was what you’d expect from a business book with a provocative title. There were some interesting insights; essentially, question your assumptions with respect to balance, collaboration, creativity, excellence, fairness, passion, and preparation.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons. This was a Hugo Award winner in 1990, but I wasn’t a huge fan. The writing is solid and the story is unique. But, you only meet the cast of characters in this book. I kept waiting for something to happen and it never did—the cliffhanger just wasn’t enough for me.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I read this based on a recommendation, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Locke Lamora is an orphan thief that we meet as a child and follow through young adulthood. I could see the book being made into a great heist movie.

Hard Magic by Larry Correa. I really liked this book. It’s set in a parallel universe circa 1940 where magic is real and several well known figures owe their success to their own inate magic. The characters were interesting and the story moved along nicely.