In 2020 I read 36 books. I enjoyed most of them with a few standing out.

  • Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. This is the book that I have recommended the most from my 2020 reads. It is applicable to everyone from individual contributors to managers and parents to children. Some takeaways:
    • giving feedback is hard, so be grateful when you receive it
    • accept feedback without pushing back – just say, “thanks for the feedback” – later, seek to understand the feedback more deeply
    • act on good feedback and disregard bad feedback
  • The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier. One of my favorite management books. The author describes roles from senior developer up through C-levels, so this work has value for every level of technical leader.
  • Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows. Everything is a system, and that includes companies. The people and processes in place make up a system, and people will learn to game that system. To make meaningful change, we have to understand and change those systems. We cannot simply apply the best ideas from a competitor and expect it to work because their system is different than ours.
  • Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy series, Stormlight Archive continued with Rhythm of War, which was great. Who doesn’t love a 1,200-page book?! ☺