Current Reading

You're the same today as you'll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read. 
 - Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. 
 - Harry S. Truman

Reading at the moment


   Jesus Journey, Trent Sheppard

Before reading: My Mom and Dad handed this to me, I know naada about it

After Reading:  

2023 Completed Reading



2022 Completed Reading








   The Great Narrative, Klaus Schwab Therry Malleret

Before reading: I wanted to read a book or two from the WEF to see what they were about from their own mouth.   My thought was to read Mein Kamf to see what evil ideas my enemy might have. 

After Reading:  It reads like a Ted Talk conference.   50% of it I would agree with it.  Lots of ideas about the future and were we might go.  But I think in some cases they have too much pessimism and think that they need too much control to make their goals happen.  They do want centralized control.  

On 21 November 2021  , the lack of global cooperation and the incessant bickering about burden sharing meant that only 54.7% of the world population was vaccinated.  At the time of writing, the emergence and identification of the Omicron variant ight prove to be a stark consequence of this failing.

... That did nto age well :/ 







2021 Completed Reading


   The Harbinger, Jonathan Chan

Before reading: My Mom and Dad handed this to me, I know naada about it

After Reading:  I know ancient Israel had a covenant with God.
It has been said that the U.S.A. has no such covenant.
But I know our founding fathers attempted to make 
a covenant with God, I know God's providence guided
our country for hundreds of years.   This book
shows strong evidence that the covenant we attempted
to make was honored and now we are facing the warnings
to repent and return to God as a Country.

The attempt of a nation to defy the course of the judgment,
apart from repentence, will instead, set in motion a chain
of events to bring about the very calamity it sought to avert.


   The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis

Before reading: Anything by C.C. Lewis has to be good :)

After Reading:  Always deep and insightful

   Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Before reading: I have heard about this book a lot but have never read it. If What I have heard is true its amazing it was written so long ago

After Reading:  Scary to read the possible seduction of this lifestyle


   Animal Farm, George Orwell

Before reading: Time to re-read some Orwell in these Orwell times.

After Reading:  It is  far more interesting reading this as an older person who has learned a bit of history.  It can be scary knowing that this is really about the russian revolution and to think about all the real people who died.

   Till we have Faces, C. S. Lewis

Before reading: I heard C.S. Lewis' son mention that Lewis himself was most proud of this book he had written, a favorite.  So I had to read it :)

After Reading:  It is a retelling of a greek myth.  Interesting but overall not my cup of tea.  I am sure if you are an english major you would find it more interesting.



2020 Completed Reading

   The Volunteer, Jack Fairweather

Before reading: a Friend at work recommended this book.

After Reading:  A great true story of a polish man who volunteered to go to Auschwitz. Well worth the read.  The sad end is very sad how the communist treated him in the end.

   The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Before reading:  I knew it was a classic book from lewis but not much more

After Reading:  A profound story talking about heaven and Hell.  I am very much in aggreement with the story this tries to show about heaven.

   The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins

Before reading:  This book is somewhat known to me, a challenge to faith.   Well my faith as a Christian.

After Reading:  He is surprisingly religious in his thoughts.  There are many times I agree with him and many more that I do not agree.   He was unable to convince me to give up my faith for his faith.

   Born A Crime, Trevor Noah

Before reading:  This book was recommended to me by a friend. I was a little suprised I knew Trevor Noah hosted the Daily Show, but not much more. If fact I thought he was from England, when in 
Fact he is from South Africa.

After Reading:  The main thing I can say about this book is its honest. He is honestly going over his life.   Oh and one thingI did not like about the book was a bit of swearing.For me I find swearing in books unwelcome and odd (but that is me)It goes over his growing up as a mixed race in south Africa during apartheid then growing up after its fall.His mother is a very religious Christian woman.  The book ends in a miracle for his mother (not what I was expecting)

Hustling is to work what surfing the internet is to reading. If you add up how much you read in one year on the internet -- tweets, facebook, posts, lists -- you've read the equivalent of a #$% ton of books, but in fact you've read no books in a year. When I look back on it, that's what hustling was. It's maximal effort put into minimal gain. It's a hamster wheel. If I'd put all that energy into studying I'd have earned an MBA. 
 - Trevor Noah - Born a Crime"

Churchill Walking with Destiny, Andrew Roberts

Before reading:  I am a big fan of any WW2 history.  I am also a big fan of Winston Churchill. 

After Reading:  What an amazon man with such capacity.  I never knew how many books Churchill wrote.  I knew he was a great speaker I did not know he was also a great writer


Catch-22, Joseph Heller

Before reading:  The only two things I know about this book is that it is a classic and that the phrase catch-22 originated with this book.  

After Reading:  This book makes me thing about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" It is very full of wit but it's also full of horror and brothels.   A very adult book.  I am glad I have read it.  I am on the fence if I would recommend it to someone else or not.

Song of Songs



2019 Completed Reading

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams

Before reading:  I  have never read this, now I am reading it to my kids

After Reading:  Funny book, very "smart" in its observations.  I liked it a lot.  I do think its a bit too mocking in the end.  But overall I am glad I read it..

Debt Free Degree, Anthony Oneal

Before reading: I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey and his crew, also I have a son going to college in a few years so now is the time to start learning what I need to do to prepare.

After Reading:  Very informative.  I am going to re-read it out loud with my son and wife and get a game plan together for college and how to pay for it over the next 3 months.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Deckins 

Before reading:  Like most folks I know the story of and I have seen many movie and cartoon adaptations. 

After Reading:  I liked it a lot.  But it is must shorter than I expected.

Keep Chopping Wood, Mike Hardwick 

Before reading:  I had not intention of reading this book.  I was given to it by Churchill mortgage after getting a loan set up through them

After Reading:  It was a good book.  A good overall view into how he runs his business and how he got there.   His early childhood and the hard work he was made to do make me think about my own children and how I should refocus on making them hard workers to be better prepared for this life.





2 Chronicles 

1 Chronicles 

1984, George Orwell

Before reading:  I am aware of the "Big Brother" theme of this book and that the apple 1984 commercial used it as a theme to rebel against.  But that is about it.

After Reading:  A book everyone should read, especially given these days.  Reminds me a lot of Stalin's Russia, but far worse.   People don't realize that freedom is the most important thing we should be fighting for.  If other things take priority we may all share in a great future self made misery.  The state having absolute dominion over our very souls.   Parts of it remind me of philosophical speeches by screwtape on the goal of absorbing.

2 Kings 

1 Kings 

2 Samuel

Tales of Horror, H. P. Lovecraft

Before reading:  I am slightly aware of some of his writings knowing the pop -culture images of Cthulhu and such.  I am curious what this book of his short stories turns out.  I am not much into horror fiction, but thought I would give it a go.

After Reading:  OK that was a big book.   But for the geeky sci-fi folks like me a really good one to read.  I can see where a lot of the sci-fi fantasy of the last 40 years has drawn ideas from Lovecrafts' writings.   And if you want a quick overview of his worlds just watch Hellboy, the first one that seems like Lovecraft to a T.

1 Samuel

2018 Completed Reading

Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, Stan Lee  / George Mair

Before reading: I received this as a Christmas Gift this year. I am pretty excited to read it... being an old comic book fan.

After Reading:  Awesome book to read as an old comic book fan :) .    As a husband I found an interesting statement of his on page 69.  "Until I met Joan I had done a lot of dating.  There was this one girl I liked a lot.  In fact, I was thinking of proposing to her.  But one night, when we were having dinner in a restaurant, a great looking female walked by.  I remember thinking, Gee, if only I were here alone, I'll bet I could meet her.  At the moment I opted not to propose.  I decided to wait to find a girl whom I wouldn't want to trade for anyone."    - Stan Lee .
I like that and as for my wife, not once have I thought of trading her in for anyone.   I think this is a good test for a young couple to think on.

The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

Before reading:  Someone mentioned this as a good tech fiction read during a dev ops conference so I snagged it :)

After Reading:  Great book I highly recommend it.  The fictional story is a great guide to how to fix a software project.   This should be required reading for anyone in software management at any and every level.




Learning Regular Expressions, Ben Forta

Before reading:  Just want to brush up on what I know about regexp and see if I can learn a few more tricks.  I find myself using it more and more these days

After Reading:  This is the best "Beginner" book on regular expressions I have found to date.  And I don't think Beginner is a good word for it, its pretty thorough.   I have been trying to get better at my RegExp the past few years and this book did point out a few things I did not fully understand and introduced a few new concepts I am sure to use.   Very good book for a programmer, as I feel all programmers can benefit from it.


The Anatomy of Peace, The Arbinger Institute

Re-reading this one.  I sent a not to myself in the future to re-read this one... So I am taking my own past advice and re-reading it :)




Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Before reading:  I have heard good things about this book on the Dave Ramsey show.  I am excited to start reading it.

After Reading:  Wow this book is amazing I cannot recommend it enough.  Well written by a Rabbit who has really learned his stuff.  Amazing!

In Reality, charitable giving contributes to wealth creation. It is far more likely that the United States evolved into history's greatest wealth-creating machine because of its deeply ingrained cultural habit of giving. 
 -  Rabbi Daniel Lapin - Thou Shall Prosper"

Profit is a way to measure how useful a business is. That doesn't ever change. 
 -  Rabbi Daniel Lapin - Thou Shall Prosper"


Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Before reading:  Only thing that comes to mind is the kid asking for more gruel in a movie clip I recall

After Reading:  I liked it overall.  A bit longer and twisted than it needed to be, but back in the day it was probably a new way of writing.   A bit big for say a 12 year old but 16 or so should be good.



3 John

2 John

1 John

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek  

Before reading:  I have heard his name and this video a friend sent to me inspired me to buy this book and see what it is all about 

After Reading:  I would put this in my top 20 if not 10 books to read on business.   OK top 10.  Start with your why for you business!   All companies know what they do and many how they do it, few know why they do what they do.   When you start with why your mission your goal who you work with etc, becomes clear.

If you follow your why, then others will follow you 
 -  Simon Sinek - Start with Why"

... When we are selective about doing business only with those who believe in our WHY, trust emerges 
 -  Simon Sinek - Start with Why"

... The vision and charisma of the leader are enough to attract the innovators and early adopters. Trusting their gut and intuition, these people will make the greatest sacrifices to help see the vision become a reality. WIth each success, with every tangible demonstration that the vision can in fact become reality, the more practical-minded majority starts to take interest 
 -  Simon Sinek - Start with Why"

2 Peter

1 Peter





2 Timothy

1 Timothy

2 Thessalonians

Cash Flow Quadrant, Robert Kiyosaki

Before reading:  This book was recommended to me by a good friend, so I am reading it.  I also have read his book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"  which I highly recommend.  As for this one we will see what we see.  I tend to avoid his other books as he advocates Debt, which I am very much against in any form.

After Reading:  Overall I give this an 8/10.  There is a lot of good ideas, stories and themes in this book.  But I think he comes from a very different base then my favorite money guy Dave Ramsey.  It's schemy in a way.  95% of his advice is good and correct but his why is off for me.    I would not recommend this book to someone who does not have a good base and some discernment.

1 Thessalonians





2 Corinthians

1 Corinthians


Permission Marketing, Seth Godin 

Before reading:  I have had this book recommended a few times.  And pretty much anything from Seth Godin is worth reading

After Reading:  If you are in marketing and haven't read this... you must.   Very essential book to business.   

... marketers who have earned permission often take it for granted. They cease to consider the selfish needs of the consumer and begin to use the permission in their own interest, not in the consumer's interest. This leads to a dramatic drop in the effectiveness of the campaign and to the eventual dissolution of the permission altogether.  
 -  Seth Godin - Permisson Marketing"


Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

Before reading:  I have no idea what this book is about.  I just know its a classic

After Reading:  Very very long book and dry a bit in the middle.  But the last 100 pages kept me very captivated.   Overall a good classic with a message of redemption in the end.   But not a first classic book I would recommend for its great length.



Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Before reading:  I've seen all the movies ... even Young Frankenstein.  But never read the book.    I think it should be an interesting read.

After Reading:  Not exactly what I expected.  No slow moving mumbling monster.  No grave robbing and sewing of parts together.  The monster was very well spoken, after he learned speech.  I am glad I read this book it was interesting.

Lord of the flies, William Golding

Before reading:  .. I know its a classic that gets references and reuse a lot in popular culture.  Boys get lost on island... boys go feral...

After Reading:  Now I get all the references to this book...   To me, although the theme and story of the book are epic, the writing does not seem epic to me.  I am glad I read it though.


2017 Completed Reading














Apache Kafka Documentation, ???
Before reading:  I really want to get Kafka in my head so I am reading the entire Kafka Documentation for 0.10.  It's amazing what you can learn from configuration settings :)

After Reading:  I love Kafka.  Its a very well thought out and tested tool.   I had lots of fun learning it.  Unfortunately my duties right now seem to have me leaving it behind for a while.  But I hope to pick it back up again at some point.





Drive, Daniel H. Pink 

Before reading:  A manager mentioned something in this book as we were discussing a few things.  I can't for the life remember exactly what was said but I know I bought the book right after and put it on my to-read pile.  So I am to-reading it now :)

After Reading:  I like this book.  Its a good management read and maybe a life read for some.   Its making the point that we are not merely motivated by pain and pleasure, at work raises and firings.  When you think about the nature of God's universe it makes sense.   If you cut the pay of doctors in half most of them would not quit being a doctor.   There are things I can do to make more money but I refrain from doing.   So its rather silly to think we can motivate people in this simple way.   This book goes into that in great detail and cites several studies on the subject.  Not only that, but many times financial incentives actually have negative impacts.

... an incentive designed to clarify thinking and sharpen creativity ended up clouding thinking and dulling creativity. Why? Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That's helpful when there's a clear path to a solution =. They help us stare ahead and race faster. But ... . 
 -  Daniel Pink - Drive"


The Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, Douglas Adams 
Before reading:  As a geek I really should have read this book by now.  Odd that I never did.  But I recently turned 42 and I figured that is an appropriate age to begin reading it :) 

After Reading:  Pretty funny satire.   I think I am going to get my son to read it too.  I think he would enjoy it.

Make Your Bed, William H. McRaven

Before reading: A book my wife saw on TV and said I should read it so I am.  Mostly for fear that if I don't she won't recommend any other good books to me in the future.

After Reading:  Not a bad book.   Lots of good inspiring real life stories that serve as good examples in life.   The book is short though, which may prove a good thing for some.  I think I will make my son read it :)

Song of Songs

The Tipping PointMalcolm Gladwell

Before reading:  I have heard of the author but never read one of his books.  For me this is another thrift store find $1.50!

After Reading:  Great book lots of insightful ideas that can be used to running a business or some business marketing.  A few take aways for me are trying to keep a group of more than 150 it not a good idea keep business smaller than that.    Also the idea of Mavens, folks who dig deep into a subject or product and know it inside and out and share their knowledge to help others is a neat thing to know.  Its really neat to support and help mavens of your product as they help so many more do not think of them as a customer think of them as 1,000 customers because they spread the word.



Zero to One, Notes on startups, or how to build the future, Peter Thiel 

Before reading:  A good friend recommended this book to me.  It looks like it will be an interesting read. 

After Reading:  Top 10 book if you are doing a technology start up.... Read it.  Top 20 book for me just in general I really liked it.

In the marketplace . Amid all the human drama, people lose sight of what matters and focus on their rivals instead. 
 -  Peter Thiel - Zero to One"

... a whole generation learned from childhood to overrate the power of chance and underrate the importance of planning. 
 -  Peter Thiel - Zero to One"

Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montogomery 

Before reading:  I don't recall reading this book in my youth, but I think I did.  My son is reading it now so I decided to pick it up and read it too.

After Reading:  Actually cried at the end of this.  Matthew in the book reminds me a lot of my father-in-law who passed away last year.  A very good book I am glad to have read it.





2 Chronicles

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell 

Before reading:  Read something that referred to one of the laws in this book so I decided to buy it.

After Reading:  Very good book.  An especially good one for folks who are leading companies or bigger organizations.  A book I will hopefully read again in 10 years ;)  (I am still a little fish)     Below are some take away quotes.

... remember that leadership is influence -- nothing more nothing less. 
 -  L.John C. Maxwell - 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership"

It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from their followers. 
 -  L.John C. Maxwell - 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership"

If you develop yourself you can experience personal success.
If you develop a team, your organization can experience growth.
If you develop leaders, your organization can achieve explosive growth. 
 -  L.John C. Maxwell - 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership"

1 Chronicles

PacificA: Replication in Log-Based Distributed Storage SystemsWei Lin, Mao Yang  Lintao Zhang, Lidong Zhou 
Before reading:  Reading through Kafka Docs they mentioned "the most similar academic publication we are aware of to Kafka's actual implementation is PacificA from Microsoft."  So I downloaded it from
               and I intend to read through it all

After Reading:  Good read gave me lots of clues to look for in Kafka to better understand there replication strategy.  Worthwhile read and not to esoteric. 

2 Kings

1 Kings

Thus Spoke Zarathustra,Python Crash Course, by Friedrich Nietzsche 

Before reading:  This year I wanted to read some Nietzsche and see first hand what he was all about.  Here is what I know, or rather what I think I know about him before reading him.   He was an evolutionist,  He invented the idea of superman (ubermensch) .... not the comic book character but the idea that someday we would see something beyond human and that being would be birthed or created by humans and would be more powerful and therefore righteous (I do not of course agree that might makes right).    He hated Christianity because it was
    merciful and kind and propped up the weak and infirmed.   Helping the weak and infirmed would
    derail the eventual evolution of man into the superman?  I guess that must have been his thinking. 
    Also I know he inspired the hitler and his views.

    (Now I admit some of these ideas on Nietzsche may be wrong but they are my perception before reading him)

After Reading:  This book was obviously written by a smart man, but I do not think it was written in a smart way.  At first It  seemed like he was going for a pilgrims progress kind of feel with poetry and imagery to get his philosophy across, but it quickly left that path.  You can see his disdain for Christians, his hope for a super man, and his general frustration with people for being too dumb to understand him.  I need to get another one of his philosophy books to see what his beliefs are in a more clearly spelled out manner.

Swiss Family Robinson, Johann Wyss

Before reading:  I am trying to read the 'classic' books that I missed reading in my youth.  This is one of them.  Also its one my Son just finished as his homeschool book. 

After Reading:  This was a great adventure book for boys 50 or 100 years ago.  OK it still is, but with google nowadays it makes the book seem overboard on far fetched.    The types of animals they keep finding are a little overboard for a single pacific island (Apes, Kangaroo, Tiger, Eagle, Condor, Flamingo, hyena, .... etc all on the same island).   But all in all a good classic book that     
    makes me want to go colonize my own island and build it up :)

2 Samuel

2016 Completed Reading






Turn the ship around!, L. David Marquet

Before reading:  I had never heard of this book, It was given to me by my new boss.

After Reading:  Great Leadership book!  Now in my top 10 leadership books and I would say #2 for showing real life examples.   He talks about a leader-leader approach to running a nuclear submarine.  He had his men really own and run their jobs which had some bumps along the way.  For example rather than someone wait for orders or ask to do such and such... they would say to the captain "I intend to ..."  to the captain and he would say very well (or ask question or stop them if need be).   

One problem he found with this...  They would take control and do the job but not communicate with live updates.  As a result, in one circumstance, the sailor steering them into harbor knew exactly what he was doing, but he was going to turn later than the captain would have.  This of course made the captain react, step in, and question the sailor (A thing he did not want to do as it took back control to himself).   As a result of this the crew started "thinking out load" saying what the were intending to do out load so the communication lines were always being updated.

 -  L. David Marquest - Turn the Ship Around!"

 -  L. David Marquest - Turn the Ship Around!"

Inside the Third Reich, Jenkins, Albert Speer 
Before reading:  This book was mentioned in another book I was recently reading.  I am a history buff, especially a world war two history buff.  For those of you who may not know albert speer was the only head nazi figure I can think of that did not die during the war or get executed after during the nuremberg trials.  He was called Hitler's Architect he designed and built monuments and also kept the war industry going.

After Reading:  If you are a WWII history buff this is a must read book.  Very insightful view of Hitler's regime through the eyes of an insider and at the same time an outsider.   He was one of the few nazis that took responsibility for his actions at the nuremberg war trials.  It's a long book, but well worth the read.


Once upon a time in Computerland, Johnathan Littman 

Before reading:  Another thrift store buy!   A story about computers and business, how could I not buy this! 

After Reading:  A lot can be learned from this book, mostly how to not run a business.  The owner of computerland continues to lose focus on his business, also he cheats his customers, clients, and       investors.   Had he been honest and had high integrity he would not have wasted so much time in       court.  

   Some specifics.  Pg 107 his company had bad goals for its shipping department which led them to      ship out defective orders to meet quota (short term gain... long term pain).
   Pg 212 had an unrelated story about a lawyer on the case who had run businesses before.  He           
  mentions that when he couldn't afford a publicity budget for the royal Tahitian he devised a cleaver     plan.  Give free tickets to every gas station attendant in the vicinity.   Now next time a tourist  
  stopped for gas and asked for a good show they attendants were likely to tell them the Tahitian...    
  Pg. 261 Barbara, the daughter of the owner and the CEO at the end had to bite the bullet and step 
  down in order to save the company.  Now I think a company run right, with integrity from the 
  beginning would not have to do this.  But I will give her points for being willing to give it all up for 
  the greater good.  All owners/CEOs need to at some point pass it on to the next generation of 
  leaders, hopefully you do not have to do it in desperation because you have created such ill will 
  among customers. 

Software Project Management for Small to Medium Sized Projects, John J, Rakos

Before reading:  This is a thrift store book I picked up, it's a bit old predating the Agile era we are currently in.  Hopefully there are still some bits of wisdom we can drag out of this.

After Reading:  First off its interesting reading an older computer book references some old project management tools with screen shots.  Shows how far we have come with processing power and tools.   Overall in this day and age I would try to pick up an agile book vs this book but there are some tidbits of information in here so worth the $1 I paid for it.  There are some good notes on how to word contracts for example...  Rather than "All responses from server X will take less than 1 second"  Do "We will design toward all responses being under 1 second"   The first one can get you in a real contractual bind.  For warranty do not say "we will fix the problem within X days or hours"  rather say "Someone will address the problem within X days or hours"

Other interesting tidbit estimating Psychology... Rather than estimate a specific time give it a range this lets the other person know it is an estimate.  Ex.   do not say "It will take 2 months"  do Say "It will take 30-45 days"  The range lets them know it is an estimate.


Secret of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar

Before reading:  Another book from my father-in-laws shelf.   I have wanted to read a Zig Ziglar book.  I am not much of a salesman, but I want to be a better one... we are all selling something even us enginerds.

After Reading:  The next time I am in charge of a big team I am going to put this on the 10 book reading list.  This is almost a must read book for an engineer.  Before I read this book I would have said Salesman are a necessary evil, I appreciate what they accomplish but it's just so bad with all    the high pressure and dishonesty.    But as a Christian I do not believe that there is such a thing as a necessary evil.  This book gave me insight into selling with honesty and integrity.   Gave me a whole new appreciation for salesman.

We decided it would be easier to explain price one time than it would be to apologize for quality forever  
 -  Zig Ziglar Secrets of Closing the Sale"

Selling is a transfer of feeling. ... Believers are closers.  
 -  Zig Ziglar Secrets of Closing the Sale"

You don't build a business -- you build people -- and then people build the business Dr. Emol Fails of Raleigh, NC 
 -  Zig Ziglar Secrets of Closing the Sale"

Incidentally, losers think in terms of "replacing" customers winners think in terms of maintaining customers and adding new ones in order to build the business bigger and better.  
 -  Zig Ziglar Secrets of Closing the Sale"

8 Important Money Making Decisions for Every Couple, Russ Crosson

Before reading:  Heard Mr. Crosson on the radio with his wife talking about a few money things and promoting this book so I thought I would give it a read.

After Reading:  Overall a good book, but probably not one for me.  If you and your spouse are having a difficult time communicating with each other about finances this may be a good book to pick up and read, it's written from a Biblical perspective.   It would be very insightful to many who do not understand how a husband sees his work and money and how a wife sees her home and money.


The Capitalist Manifesto, Turning the information age into profit, James Dale Davidson

Before reading:  Another book I snagged from my father-in-laws shelf that looked interesting.

After Reading:  Interesting book written in 1996 the reason for the book is to promote this guys investment letter but it does have some interesting quotes in it.

It now only takes one generation for a country to go from utter poverty to the highest state of development.. 
 -  James Dale Davidson The Capitalist Manifesto, Turning the information age into profit"

If Offshore investors who are not Americans control most of the world's wealth, they will control the emerging opportunities in the next century.  
 -  James Dale Davidson The Capitalist Manifesto, Turning the information age into profit"

The United State has a considerable lead -- We've inherited enormous wealth . But we are spending it like nitwits.

 -  James Dale Davidson The Capitalist Manifesto, Turning the information age into profit"

Docker In Action, Jeff Nickoloff 

Before reading:  I have seen a lot of really neat ideas for deploying infrastructure with docker.  I really want to nail this tech down so my team can really up the game on our next infrastructure redesign.  I think Docker is a huge game changer and I need to know it inside and out.  I hope this book gets me started.

After Reading:  Really good overall docker book to start with.  Covers a lot of information.  This book has been a big help getting me up to speed on docker.  Now that I have read through the entire thing I am starting to use it as a reference.


The Anatomy of Peace, The Arbinger Institute

Before reading:  This is a book I have been meaning to read for a long time.  Mainly because Richard Sheridan author of Joy Inc highly recommends it.   One day I found a brand new hardback copy at my local thrift store so I grabbed it :)

After Reading:  This book is awesome.   I would say buy it and read it.  Very insightful into how we treat others and how we should be treating others.  This is a book I should probably re-read in 2 years

The Peter Principle, Dr. Laurence J. Peters, Raymond Hull

Before reading:  Another book I found on my father-in-laws shelf with an interesting enough title to grab my attention :)

After Reading:  This is the book that presented the idea that people rise in an organization to their level of incompetence.  If everything in the book is taken literally as absolute truth what a sad world we live in, but if it's take as sometimes true and insightful there is a lot to learn.   Great book everyone should read this one employee, employer, and manager.

It's only Money, Louis D. Burkhalter & Catherine L Faltery

Before reading:  Another book I found on my father-in-laws shelf with an interesting enough title to grab my attention :)

After Reading:  Fantastic book!  Real life story about what can go wrong when several "wise" folks get together pool their money and try to be venture capitalist.  In the end the end their hubris destroyed several lives, caused many people to go bankrupt, and even caused enough stress to kill at least two people before their time.

When the goal is made easy -- when money is available before the measure of thrift and industry are determined -- the casualties are many. 
 -  L Burkhalter C Faltery  It's Only Money"

The Go-Getter, Peter B. Kyne

Before reading: This is a book I found on my father-in-laws shelf and looked short enough with an interesting enough title to read it.

After Reading:  I guess this book is still around and pretty popular.  I would recommend it it's a good read.  It remind me of some of the story telling I read in the E-Myth book.   A good quote I found in the book

Why hasn't he been tested? Why are we maintaining untested material in this shop, anywhoe? Eh? 
 -  Peter B. Kyne  The Go-Getter"

Which made me think why aren't we testing our people more in our jobs to allow themselves to prove themselves.

You told me what to do, but you did not insult my intelligence by telling me how to do it. 
 -  Peter B. Kyne  The Go-Getter"

Remote Pairing, Joe Kutner

Before reading:  I have a real need to start doing some of this in the near future for work and for some side open source projects.  I hope there is some good insite into some tools I can use to make it more productive.

After Reading:  Worth the price.   Give a few practical setups for pair programming using tmux (a favorite tool of mine).   For me the most worthwhile idea out of the book was to use the hashtag #pairwithme on twitter.  I have not done it yet but I will, and I do like the idea.

Sewing BasicsCholy Knight
I bought this book for two reason.  One, I want to become better at sewing.  Two, Choly Knight is a sewing ninja... you know when you see someone so talented at their work you just have to buy something they made.  Well check her stuff out... 

                     I am especially liking her hoodies My wife wants a Cake from adventure time hoodie

This was a good book I learned a few things I did not know just in the reading... Now to complete all the projects and get some real practice in.

Extreme Programming Explored, William C. Wake

Before reading:  Another bargain book found at the thrift store!  I have read a few books in this series of Extreme Programming.  This topic usually covers some examples of Paired/Mob Programming which I am keenly interested in learning and doing more of.

After Reading:  This is a very hands on what to do to be doing XP.  Very good book I can see why it is still very popular.   One good take away from the book for me in chapter 3 "The shuffling of pairs helps make all code visible to the whole team".   I really believe in full time Pair programming, which is a part of XP, I really hope to someday work in a place I can make that happen.  

Unlocking the Clubhouse Women in Computing,  Jane Margolis and Allan Fischer

Before reading:  Another bargain book found at the thrift store!  And a very interesting topic for me.... Women in computing.   I hope it has some insights as I hope to encourage my own daughter into this arena.  I have a lot of opinions on the subject but I will wait to add them until I have read the book.

After Reading:  Worthwhile read for me.  I think if you are a professor in C.S this is a book you need to read.  Lots of good data and studies and itself is a study on why are women not coming into CS and how do we convince them to come in.   I think it is going to help me teach my daughter the sciences and CS, which I love, but to have a better approach more suited for her rather than suited for me.

Some of my own thoughts.... Women and  Men are different and they often take different approaches to solving problems and living life.  We need each other.  We need more women in the CS work field actually doing code and not coding like a man (we have that) but coding like a woman and adding their perspectives to the workplace.  I have a lot more thoughts on the subject but that would probably take up several blog posts ;)

Mastering Regular Expressions,  Jeffrey E. F. Friedl

Before reading:  This is a first edition I found.  Regular Expressions is one of those things we all want to get better at... when we have the time.  Recently I have been forcing myself to use it more in the vi editor, to get it in my brain.  Also I have had some fun using it in Scala with regular expression and pattern matching... that alone makes me want to get better at RegExp.

After Reading:  Really good book opened my eyes to the power of RegExp.  Learned what 
'"[^"\\]*(\\.[^"\\]*)*"' does to handle internal quotes and speed things up. I would recommend the book highly. Also I should really read a good regexp book every year! Good skill to get better at all the time


sbt in ActionJosh Suereth, Matthew Farwell

Before reading:  I used to be an ANT build ninja... now it's time to work on becoming an sbt ninja.

After Reading:  A great book, really hands on.  I have had a lot going on in my life the past few months so I could not give it the hands on time it needs.  I will be re-reading it at some point and following the examples.

A Tale of Two Cities,  Charles Dickens

Before reading:  One of three classic/historical books I put on my list to read this year.  There is a reason it is a classic and I guess I will find out :)

After Reading:  I can now see why this is a classical book.  It really got me hooked about halfway through and after that time seem to pass very quickly on my bus ride to work.   after reading this book I want to go study more about the French Revolution, a very different revolution than my America Revolution, and sparked by very different circumstances.


3 John 

2 John 

1 John 

2 Peter 

1 Peter 

Hello World(s) 

-- From Code to Culture: A 10 Year Celebration of Java Technology,  Sun MicroSystems

Before reading:  Found this at my local thrift store for a buck, so I had to get it.  Really just a coffee table book going over the history of the Java Language.

After Reading:  A good short coffee table book.  Worth the read worth the $1 I paid for it.  Especially interesting to see how it grew at first just limping along hoping to survive... but then a moment occurs and it takes off.





2 Timothy

1 Timothy

2 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians





2 Corinthians

Pragmatic ScalaVenkat Subramanaim

This is a good scala book to start out with.   Well written and worth the read

1 Corinthians

Mein KampfAdolf Hitler

Had other statesman at the time read this book and took Hitler at his word they would have known his clear intentions.


Interesting how paul, in obedience to God, took a long journey to Caesar via Jerusalem

The Diary of Anne FrankAnne Frank

A book everyone should read.   It left me with a heavy heart at the end knowing that her and her family were murdered by the Nazi's

2015 Completed Reading

tmux: Productive Mouse-Free DevelopmentBrian P. Hogan

I love GNU screen and have used it for years.  But, I have been told I need to start using tmux (it's GNU screen's newer better cousin).  I recently had an excuse to explore it more at work.  I needed to ssh into 8 boxes and tail a log file one each.  I would like to, with one command line command, open a screen that is split into 8 split screens each ssh'n into its given box and tailing a file.  I think tmux can do this, If GNU screen can do it in one command I don't know what that command would be?

Web Development with Node & ExpressEthan Brown

I have done zero work with Node, but I am working with Parse Cloud Code, which supports Express.  As a result I need to get up to speed with it ASAP.



Straight Talk on ParentingVicki Hoefle

A Worthwhile book for my Wife and I.  She starts from a very different World view then I do, however her conclusions in this book are closely in-line with mine.  Vicki Hoefle I am sure would word this differently but here is my take away....

People, even kids have free will.   As Parent's we need to recognize this and prepare them to, hopefully, exercise their free will properly (Prepare them for life... cut the apron strings and all).   This is easier said than done, my wife and I have had problems with this one as our kids get older.  As Parents we are expected to override their free will, at times, more so when they are younger... to keep them safe... to keep them on the right track...   But in the long run... I do not want to dominate my kids... to overwrite their free will.  

At any rate... It has been a good timely book for us, as our oldest child starts middle school and creeps up on the teenage years.



The Impact of an Agile Methodology on the Well Being of Developement TeamsFrancisco Macias, Mike Holcombe, Marian Gheorghe

Here is the link to this article

There is only so much you can take away from this as it was an experiment conducted on college student projects with real customers.  But even so their findings are interesting.  The XP teams spent more time on planning, testing, and coding than the other teams (which I believe would pay dividends on longer term projects... years vs months).  

There basic finding is that yes XP teams have a better well being than the other teams and that well being went up the more XP practices that were put in place

A Formal Experiment Comparing Extreme Programming with Traditional Software ConstructionFrancisco Macias, Mike Holcombe, Marian Gheorghe

Here is the link to this article

A university conducted a large experiment comparing traditional code development with extreme programming with "senior projects" that were real projects with real customers.   Their conclusion... "Extreme programming teams produced as good a result as the traditional approach"

That may seem like a hum-drum conclusion but they also found that Extreme programming teams spent 20% of their time testing/writing tests where traditional teams only spent 7%.     Had these projects gone longer, years vs months,  that 20% vs 7% I believe would have change the outcome to favor extreme programming.



Raving FansKen Blanchard

A very worthwhile book for business.  How do you set yourself on a path to turn your customer base into raving fans?   It's going to be a lot of work, but I think this book gives some insightful ideas.

Purple CowSeth Godin

As always from Seth Godin a great book that screams at you to think.     The market today is flooded with good product. Everyone has what the "need" and most of what they "want".    So your product or service must be remarkable to get people's attention.

... You must develop products, services, and techniques that the market will actually seek out. 
 -  Seth Godin,  Purple Cow"
Smart businesses target markets where there is already otaku [passionate fans/hobbyist].  
 -  Seth Godin,  Purple Cow"

The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.  
 -  Seth Godin,  Purple Cow"


Unix for Programmers and UsersGraham Glass

Another Thrift store book I picked up for $1.50.   From 1993.... I figure it will be a good read as the 3rd edition printed in 2003 is going for $133 new on amazon.   And I really need some more unix intense training..... In Linux I am good.... but I want to be great.

Update:  I learned so much from this book.  If you are in the linux world buy this book!   Unless your name is Linus Torvold you will learn something from it.  He goes over a ton of command line tools.  I would say read this book before you pick up any linux hacks type of book.





Jonah Most people raised in the church were taught the story of Jonah and the whale.  But, few of us were taught the story of Jonah, the vine, and the caterpillar. 

Intel Edison Module Guide

Every so often you need to curl up snuggly in bed and read a technical document on hardware interfaces to embedded devices.

 I thought it was a worthwhile read between this and a few other things I think I can figure out how to one day make my own board for the edison.



Joel I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.  The Sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 


Daniel There is a lot in Daniel.  This time around I focused on Living righteously and being wise and shrewd.   Shrewd, because of their religious beliefs they could not eat the food presented to them.  They shrewdly suggested a test and their diet proved the better so much so the attendant put all the scholars under his charge on the same diet. Righteous,  Daniel's competitors plot against him and convince Darius (the King) to pass a law that Daniel's religious beliefs will not allow him to obey.  By law Daniel is thrown into the lions Den,  which upsets the king greatly (He likes Daniel, and hates that he has been tricked into being part of his demise).  God honors Daniels Righteousness and the lions do him no harm.  The kings relief the next morning quickly turns to anger for the evil men who plotted against Daniel and tricked him with flattery and lies to pass this law.   They plotters themselves are quickly thrown into the den of lions where they are eaten.

Ezekial 38:12  The Righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.      Doing good is not points we add to an account that we can then later use to sin with, to pay for our endulgements.   We all know this.  Who amongst us says it was perfectly fine for that man to cheat on his wife and beat his kids because of all the good he had done before after all he built an orphanage... etc...

Extreme Programming PerspectivesMichele Marchesi, Giancarlo Succi, Don Wells, Laurie Williams

Worth the read, this book had more meat in in then the last Extreme programming book I read (which was also still good).  Not every paper in it is going to be worth it in your circumstances, but there is really a lot of good ones.
    Some highlights

  • Chapter 4 Pair programming: Why Have Two do the work of One?:  A very good overview of the benefits and why to do it.
  • Chapter 16 Gold Card System: Basically like googles 20% time but using index cards to make sure it happens
  • Chapter 28 Mob Programming:  This was such a good idea I did a write up 
  • Chapter 30  Extreme Adoption Experiences of a B2B Start-Up:  Actual data comparing XP to their prior method on separate projects (DATA!!)
  • Pg 366 stand up timer idea:   Having standups go to long?  Bring an old school wind up timer and pass it to whoever is talking.  Holding it and feeling it tick away can help change that behavior.
  • Chp 43 Keep your Options Open:  This article may be good for management number types it shows some deep analysis compaitng XP to commodities trading.  It may help sell XP to a financial business guy (just guessing on that one)

Lamentations  Israel is being disciplined for the sins it has committed and the people lament.

Jeremiah It has always been rough for prophets.  Even when people realize they really speak the truth and even when folks seek them out to learn it, they reject it.  Often they put the poor guy in prison, or torture him, and even sometimes kill him.  Jesus' parable of the landowner and the tenants rings very true.  I know I am no better how often I do not listen and act when told the truth.

Learning viLinda Lamb & Arnold Robbins

If you use vi just buy this book!   I read it cover to cover and I learned a lot of things that are making me more productive.  I can see me re-reading this once a year to get more productive in vi.   And really every programmer should have this...  Unless you live in a world where you never touch vi ... which seems odd to me :)   Also Vi will be around the next 50 years so time spent learning it will not be thrown away 3 years from now.

At any rate... Great book go buy it!

Isaiah a prophetic book, and a good one to read for us in such a time as this.

Creativity, Inc.  Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

This book is a great book.   You might argue that Joy Inc. is for software engineers and this is for running "creative" media types.   But I think they are very very complementary.  If you want to know how Pixar runs their show, from a management perspective this is the book.   Great book, great quotes.  If you are in management it's a must read!

There is the problem you know you are trying to solve--think of that as an oak tree--and then there are all the other problems---think of theses as saplins--that sprouted from the acorns that fell around it. And these problems remain after you cut the oak tree down. 
 -  Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.  President of Pixar and Disney Animation"

, great quotes.  If you are in management it's a must read!

Ideas come from people. Therefore, people are more important than ideas. 
 -  Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.  President of Pixar and Disney Animation"

Find, develop, and support good people, and they in turn will find, develop, and own good ideas. 
 -  Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.  President of Pixar and Disney Animation"

If we think data alone provides the answers, then we have misapplied the tool. 
 -  Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.  President of Pixar and Disney Animation"

Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great them, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. 
 -  Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.  President of Pixar and Disney Animation"

The desire for everything to run smoothly is a false goal--it leads to measuring people by the mistakes thye make rather than by their ability to solve problems. 
 -  Ed Catmull,  Creativity Inc.  President of Pixar and Disney Animation"

The New Why Teams Don't Work (what goes wrong and how to make it right)Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley

Not a great book for me.   It seemed a bit too dated and pessimistic on companies and teams.  Maybe a worthwhile read if you find yourself a new manager with an old team you are trying to move and motivate.  I will keep it on the shelf just in case I find myself in that position someday.

Extreme Programming ExaminedGiancarlo Succi, Michele Marchesi

This is a collection of papers.  Some are fantastic, some are good, and some miss the point (or at least the point I am looking for).   Overall worth the read... though to read them all is a long haul.

Here is a list of papers I found most valuable.  (I was able to find direct links to two of the papers)

The Cost and Benefits of Pair Programming,  Alistair Cockburn and Laurie Williams
Retrofitting Unit Test with Junit, Kevin Rutherford
The VCAPS Project:  An example of Transitioning to XP, Don Wells and Trish Buckley
Legacy to the Extreme, Arie Van Deursen, Tobias Kuipers, and Leon Moonen

Song of Songs Like a Lily among thorns is my daughter among the maidens Song 2:2

Ecclesiastes The wisdom of Solomon, thinking hard about what is good for man to do while here on the earth.  Chasing after the wind.  I don't want my efforts here to be merely chasing after the wind.  I want them to count for eternity, which for me starts now.

Psalms  A book in the Bible where people get very real and honest. Lamenting their thoughts to God, Praising him, asking him why.   A friend pointed out last night, even when they are in despair and yelling or questioning God, they are facing him, they have not turned away.  

Docker: Up and RunningKarl Mattiah & Sean Kane

This is the preview version (first chapter).   It was not enough to draw me in.  A ton of philosophy and a tiny bit of actually getting started.  Maybe the rest of the book is better, I sure hope so :)

Understanding JSON Schema, Michael Droettboom

This was a quick read.  If you are a developer and have not fiddled with JSON schema's download and read this book and then go use to fiddle with it a bit.

Straight Talk with Your Kids about SexJosh & Dottie McDowell

A very good read, I recommend this book to anyone with kids.   One of my big take aways from this was that the "Talk" should not be the one big and only talk to your kids about Sex.   The talks need to happen more often, more naturally as opportunities come up.

Joy, Inc.Richard Sheridan

This book is awesome, I am a new disciple.  It's more than "Here is how we do pair programming".  It's how menlo manages their software development.  It's a playbook with a lot of stories about why they do it this way or that, and you may think it odd, but doesn't this way solve X Y and Z that you have been struggling with.   If you are managing Software engineers this is your #1 book, no doubt.

I am a big Dave Ramsey fan.  Ramsey lists 7 babysteps  that if followed will get you out of debt, build wealth, and be a generous giver.    It is not the only plan to get out of debt and wealthy,  But line his plan up against 10 others then stress test them all with real life.  The market goes in half, you lose your job, etc etc etc...   And which plan is left standing?

Similarly the business practices shown in this book on how to run a software team will get you a strong joyful team capable to the task at hand.  Some of the ideas at first glance seem too difficult or too simple.  Make a list of problems your team is having (burn out/silos of knowledge/attrition), then ask yourself how does the menlo system solve this problem.

This book is now going to be permanently located next to my desk.  I am going to try to move my small team more to this method of management, and the next time I am in charge of a small or large group I am going to move to this methodology as best I can.

... Colaborative, on-the-fly learning is the basis of our competitive advantage. Through pairing, we give our team permission to learn. 
 - Richard Sheridan,  Joy, Inc."

Long days are uncommon. Usually our office is dark and locked by six p.m. 
 - Richard Sheridan,  Joy, Inc."

At Menlo, we have defeated Brooks's Law so many times that its premise is but a faint reminder of a quaint time in our industry's history. 
 - Richard Sheridan,  Joy, Inc."

Job One of my favorite books of the Bible.  For those who thinks God is a magic genie who grants prayers when he sees fit, you should probably read this and begin to understand God's Sovereign nature.

Good To GreatJim Collins

Another must read book for a business owner or any manager.  But even for non-managing folks like myself, there is a lot to take out of this book.  Concepts like getting the right people on the bus, the wrong off, and everyone in the right seat, THEN choose a destination.  The flywheel principle, disciplined pushing of the flywheel in one focused direction.  Bit by bit it gains momentum.  Spend little energy trying to motivate or align people, the momentum of the flywheel is infectious.   I could go on and on about this book, but if you or your company want to go from good to great, this is a great guide book.

The moment a leader allows himself to become the primary reality people worry about, rather than the reality being the primary reality, you have a recipe for mediocricity, or worse. 
 - Jim Collins,  Good to Great"

Esther It's interesting to think that the story of Esther takes place after the battle of the 300.  King Xerxes, the same man who tried to conquer Sparta, and all of Greece, makes a Jewish girl his queen.  God then uses this Jewish girl as his method for delivering the Jews from the hands of Hamon, second only to king Xerxes himself.

Nehemiah The wallbuilder and reformer.  He lead Israel in Jerusalem in rebuilding the walls.  The work took 52 days.  The people repented and reformed, but after he left they walked away from their oaths, a year later he returned again and cleaned house again.  How quickly things can go bad, but never fear God is always preparing Nehemiah's in key positions to act when the time is right.  Pray for that, and listen when they come.

Ezra The returning of a remnant from Babylon to rebuild the temple.  A once great nation, is now only a handful of people.  But, even so, God moves.

Who Moved My CheeseSpencer Johnson

Everyone needs to read this book.  And everyone needs to keep it on their shelf and re-read it when times in business are changing.  I'd like to think I am used to change, I've had 9 different professional jobs since graduating college, but even so I need to be looking ahead more often.  We have booms and busts,  Computer Science jobs will have a bust some day... Though I hope its a long way off.

The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists. 
 - Haw,  Who moved my cheese"

2 Chronicles This book chronicles the time from Solomon to the exile to Babylon.  Kings rise and fall.  I know God has no grand-children, but even so its hard to see how quickly a society can go from being humble before God then almost immediately the next generation is doing unspeakable things.

test-driven development, a Practical GuideDavid Astels

I thought this was a really good book and well worth the read.  I now realize I have never really done Test Driven Development, its always been writing test after the fact, even if after the fact was just a few hours.   If you need some practice with TDD, and I do, from chapter 10 on is pretty much a hand walking example showing how to properly do TDD.   I am going to take some time over the next few months to do just that and practice TDD.   This book is a few years old and therefore you can get a cheap used copy on Amazon for $5 delivered.   The long TDD example is all in Java and JUnit.

Bringing out the Best in PeopleAlan Loy McGinnis

My father recently handed me this book.  Its from 1985, but still in print.  It was good timing.  After listening to a recent Entreleadership podcast featuring Richard Sheridan, author of Joy Inc., I became even more interested in building people up in the workplace during paired programming.  I can report back that this is a must read book for leadership and for the ideas and values Richard Sheridan was speaking on during the podcast.  There are a ton of good quotes out of this book, here are a few

If it is only the prima donnas in the company who get the strokes, your organization will respond by producing more prima donnas. If it is the team players who are rewarded, your organization will produce lots of collaborators. 
 - Alan Loy McGinnis,  Bringing Out the Best in People"

... Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be. 
 - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe" 

... there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being, to help someone succeed 
 - Alan Loy McGinnis,  Bringing Out the Best in People"

1 Chronicles  There is a lot of recorded history in this book.  Several Genealogies and accounts of the life of David and his reign.  It also goes over some of the details of David's preparation for the building of the temple, to come in his son's life. 

2014 Completed Reading

Programming in Scala: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide2nd Edition: Martin Ordesky Lex Spoon, Bill Venners

If you want to learn scala take the Ordersky Coursera Course at And get this book.  This is not a tech manual book but a great guide to Scala and functional programming.  

The Well Rounded Rubyist2014: David A Black

A really good comprehensive book on Ruby.  It seems to even go down to a very beginner level and parts and almost all the way to advanced ruby concepts in others.  Being new to Ruby I can not say this is "The" Ruby book, but I would be suprised if its not.

2 Kings  This book contains the stories of Elisha, Elijah's servant and inheritor of his mantel.  It also contains all the stories of the remaining Kings of Judah before the exile to Babylon.  The good and the bad.  How can one generation be so righteous and the next so evil?

1 Kings  This book contains the story of Naboth's Vineyard in Chapter 21.  Its a tragic story.  King Ahab attempts to buy a vineyard from Naboth.  Naboth rightly refuses which leaves the King upset.  His wife Jezebel cooks up a plot to have Naboth falsely accused and killed so her husband the King can claim the field.   Sometimes I hear woman use the name Jezebel as a kind of feminist ideal of power and strength.  What a horrible thing to do!  This woman used her position and power to kill and steal a field from a common citizen.  She represents evil and the abuse of power to attain your own personal gains at the costs and misery of others.

2nd Samuel  What can I say about the reign of King David.  He was a man after God's own heart devout, pure, and loving.  And even he screwed up, also being a man after God's own heart does not mean woah and sorrow won't come to your house.  The story of David and Bathsheba is contained in this book.

1st Samuel The rise and fall of King Saul is recorded in this book.  Also in this book is the story of Nabal and Abigail a very interesting story.  Nabal is a wealthy man whom David and his men have been encamped near for a while.  His fighting men have been respectful and really served as a shield for the land from raiding parties.   David sends men to ask Nabal for a consideration, he rudely sends them away empty handed.   David is angered and armors up his guys and is ready to go to war and wipe out this man and his whole household.  But, Abigail Nabal's wife hears about it all and quickly loads up a caravan of food to bring to David and to apologize for her idiot husband.   This saves his life, at least for another week,  upon hearing the story he has a stroke and 7 days later dies.    (As a husband myself I am glad I have a wise wife who would probably do this exact thing was  I an dumb enough to do it... and on any give day I can be)

Ruth The book of ruth contains one of the men I most identify with and want to be like Boaz.  He was a good guy with a good reputation who worked hard and cared for the needs of others.  I long and strive to be a man like that.

Judges Story after story about Israel being refined.  They leave God and go their own way, disaster comes they repent and seek God's face.   The Story of Samson is in this book.  How quickly I can turn from God to follow my own way, inviting disaster, and how quick God is to forgive a repentant heart.

The AdvantagePatrick Lencioni

This is a top 10 business book.  If you are on an executive team or a leader I think you need to read this book.  I'm currently not in leadership, so about 1/3 of the book is not for me (at the moment).  Its a great guide book on how to run a healthy company.  Here are some good quotes from the book.

An organization that is healthy will inevitably get smarter over time. ... In contrast, smart organizations don't seem to have any greater chance of getting healthier by virtue of their intelligence. 
 - Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage"

The section on mastering conflict was good for me,  I am one who sees a lot of infighting as a problem, I want to keep the peace,  But there is such a thing as good conflict.

Contrary to popular wisdom and behavior, conflict is not a bad thin for a team. In fact, the fear of conflict is almost always a sign of problems. 
 - Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage"

I like to explain to clients that when leaders fail to tell employees that they're doing a great job, they might as well be taking money out of their pockets and throwing it in a fire, because they are wasting opportunities to give people the recognition they crave more than anything else. 
 - Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage"

Joshua I thought the story of Achan, Chapter 7, has a lot of things to teach us.   He disobeys and takes Gold from the plunder of the fall of Jericho.  Before the battle all the gold, bronze and iron had been declared sacred and destined for the Lord's treasury.  But he took them anyway.  He saw an easy chance to get rich quick, but at the cost of disobeying God.  Riches may or may not come to you in life, and many opportunities may come to make some wealth, none of them should be taken if it means disobeying God or even being unwise.

Deuteronomy I thought this passage was worth mentioning 9:4  Its interesting to see Gods will concerning nations.

After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, "The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness."  No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 
 - Deuteronomy 9:4

Cascading Style Sheets 2.02001: DEric A. Meyer

Another book I picked up at the thrift store for $0.50.  Its an old book, but I still learned a few things I found interesting (mostly because I am not a CSS super expert).  Two simple things I found and liked where list-style-image and list-style-type.   Here are the w3c schools link for both

Numbers I noticed something in Numbers this time around.  Numbers contains the story of Balaam the prophet who was hired by the Midianite king to curse Israel so that he might defeat them in battle...  God tells him not to go, he is eventually swayed by the money he will make.  God nearly kills him for it... finally God tells him to go and only say what he tells him.  Balaam ends up blessing Israel every time.  If this was the end of the story it would look like a man of God stumbled, but learned his lesson... But its not the end.

Later in the battle with the Midianites it lists Balaam  as a casualty of the battle.  Now Balaam did not live in Midian, so why was he there?  We get a clue in 31:16 "They were the one who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord..."   It seems this "Man of God", who truly (at one point) talked and walked with God, knew he could not curse Israel, but he also  knew if he could get them to sin they would break fellowship with God and suffer for it.   So he advised the Midianite King who sent the young women of his country out to seduce any Israelite man they could to sleep with them, and by getting them to do so break fellowship with God. What a terrible man, not to mention unwise one.

Bound to Lose Destined to Win:  Earthquake Kelley

This was a very interesting book my Aunt Cindy gave me to read, when she came out to visit recently.  Its the story of Earthquake Kelly a man who was born into a family with a Christian mother and a Voodoo father.   Its a very interesting book about Kelley's life and encounters with demons and his encounters with the redemptive work of God.  One interesting quotes from the book (during an encounter with Jesus).  (Jesus speaking)  People are seeking my hand and not my face.

Java Enterprise in a nutshell1st Edition 1999: David Flanagan, Jim Farley, William Crawford & Kris Mangusson

I picked up several old computer books at my local thrift store.  I know this is an old one (1999) but its one I should have been reading in 1999 and was not smart enough to be.   I posted about a few things I learned from this book at 

Leviticus Civil Laws, Ceremonial laws, Holy Laws.  God wanted to show his people how  holy he is.  Even to the point of killing two of Aaron's sons who disobey God, in how to approach him.  Lots to think about in this book.  I wish I was wiser to understand more.

Why Functional Programming Matters:  John Hughes  The University, Glasgow

This technical paper can be downloaded at  . I am reading it based on a recommendation from a blog post.  I believe Functional programming is going to take off soon and become a major player in development languages right up there with Java and C++.

This is a good, but technical read.  You have been warned :)

Functional Programmers argue that there are great material benefits -- that a functional programmer cis an order of magnitude more productive that his or her conventional counterpart, because functional programmers are an order of magnitude shorter 
 - Joun Hughes, Why Functional Programming matters

Smart Money Smart Kids:  Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze

I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey, so just about anything he writes or recommends I want to put on my shelf.  We even did a debt free scream on Dave's show :)  I posted about it here

and here is a debt free scream!

This is a great book, I could post a dozen quotes from it.  I will try to keep it to just a few.

They will spend like you, save like you, give like you, budget like your, and fight with their future spouse about money ... like you.  ....  What are you  modeling? 
 - Dave, Smart Money Smart Kids  pg 150

I firmly believe that a lot of people make huge, expensive mistakes as adults simply because they were nevert allowed to make small inexpensive mistakes when they were kids. 
 - Rachel, Smart Money Smart Kids  pg 51

Exodus  This time around I noticed that Joshua was on the mountain waiting for Moses and not with the people as they worshipped a golden calf they had made.  Also Joshua was in the tent of meeting.  Joshua had a loyalty and love for Moses and God.

Pragmatic Guide to Git:  Travis Swicegood 

If you are a comfortable new user to git, this if the book for you.  For myself I was fine with cloning, adding remotes, push, pull, and even git init --bare.  This book is the next level and well written.   I think this book can take you from comfortable newb to advanced amature/ low profesional.   I underlined a lot in this book.  And I am not technically done with the book.  I have read it all now I need to go back and run every command to cement it in my head.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better: Clive Thompson 

I read this book after Vince Marco, A fellow worker, recommended it.  Now I highly recommend this book.  If you read more than 3 non-fiction books a year, read this book.  If you are a blogger, twitterer, or facebooker; read this book.  It's a very well researched book and well written.  For me, it brought a new perspective on how we use tools like twitter to communicate.  Here are a few quotes from the book I marked.

If, as Sun Microsytems cofounder Bill Joy reportedly liked to say, the smartest people are outside the room, collective problem solving requires being as public as possible 
 - Clive Thompson, Smarter Than You Think  pg 170
(this quote is about tools like twitter, an ambient signal)
Follow someone's ambient signals for a day and it seems like trivia.  In a week it seems like a short story, in six months, a novel. 
 - Clive Thompson, Smarter Than You Think pg 212
(this quote is about the story of Luis Suarez an IBMer who used twitter and IBM's internal social network to cut his email by 85%... This story as told me by Vince Marco is the reason I bought this book)
"The more you open up," he says to me, "the more you reduce the need for people to send you messages." 
 - Clive Thompson, Smarter Than You Think pg 219

Genesis 50:19,  I am beginning to understand this verse I can safely say, that a few years, ago, had I been Joseph, I would have boasted of my suffering.  But Joseph does not, he merely acknowledges God's work and his place.  Would I respond as such now?  I am still a work in progress, but I hope so.

Tribes: Seth Godin

I am glad I re-read this book.  Its a very quick read and very insiteful.  Here is a quote from the book that stood out to me.

If you need the alternative to be better than the status quo from the very start you will never begin.  Soon enough the new thing will be better than the old thing.  But if you wait until then, its going to be too late. 
 - Seth Godin,  Tribes

This one was thought stirring.
I think most people have it upside down.  Being charismatic doesn't make you a leader. Being a leader makes you charismatic 
 - Seth Godin,  Tribes

Paradise Lost : John Milton

I decided to pick this book up after C. S. Lewis mentioned it in Mere Christianity and I am really enjoying it. This book is another reminder that great books can often come from centuries past.

The Pragmatic Programmer: Andrew Hunt, David Thomas  
I read this book far too late in my career.  This book should be handed out to every CS student at the beginning of their senior year. Next time I hire a under 25 programmer this is going on their required reading list.

Path Of Life: Finding The Joy You've Always Longed ForRichard Howe  

This book was written by a friend of mine and my small group leader Rick Howe.  Its a very good informative read for anyone who wants an in depth study of joy as it pertains the Biblical Theology.  You can also tell from the book that Rick is a big fan of writers and thinkers like C.S. Lewis.

Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide: Dave Klein,  Ben KleinI really need to re-read this.  My new job has bombarded me with several "new to me" systems and tech that I rushed through this book real quick.  I learned a lot but I need to go back and re-read it again.  I would recommend it for a newbie to grails like myself

Programming Groovy 2: Dynamic Productivity for the Java Developer: Venkat Subramaniam

Again another book I really need to re-read.  As a new Groovy programmer I would recommend it.

Rich Habits: Thomas C Corey

I have mixed feelings about this book.  I love teaching through story, which it does in part and does a good job.  Its a worthwhile read if you have already read Start, The millionaire mind, the total money makeover, and Entreleadership.

Play for Scala : Peter Hilton, Erik Bakker, and Francisco Canedo

Another Book I need to re-read.  I read it too early in my Scala education I should have gotten the Scala Coursera course done and finished Ordesky's scala book before cracking this open.  Give me 1/2 a year I am betting I will crack it open again and start over with fresh eyes.

Quitter: Jon Acuff

This is a great book and I highly recommend it for anyone in need of motivation in their work.

Start: Jon Acuff

After reading quitter I had to read Start when it came out.  This book is the reason I get up at 5 AM most mornings to work on my dreams.

2013 Completed Reading

Lord Foulgrin's Letters:  Randy Alcorn

A fiction book that was inspired by C. S. Lewis's book The Screwtape Letters.   This may not be a book for everybody.  But for me it changed my course or rather course corrected me.  God used this book to speak into my life past my pride.  It will always be one of my favorites.

The E-Myth Revisited:  Michael E Gerber

If you have a small business or want to start one this should be the first book you read.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Unleashed (2nd Edition): Mike Snell, Lars Powers

I bought this book when I found myself doing lots of development in Visual Studio and .Net.  It gave me more than enough pointers and walkthroughs to make it more than worthwhile for the cost and reading time.  If you are using Visual Studio 2012 as your IDE buy this and read it cover to cover.

Scala for the Impatient: Cay S Horstann

A good book, but I would still recommend programming in scala with the coursera course as a better starting point than this book.  But if you are in a rush this will probably get you further in scala faster.

EntreLeadership: Dave Ramsey

Great book, if you run a company of any size or are in leadership this needs to be on your shelf

Tribes: Seth Godin

You know I need to re-read this its going back on the to read pile

Linchpin:  Seth Godin

A great book to inspire you in your work.  (Can you tell its getting late as I write this, I am getting pretty terse in my descriptions, my last one may just say book good)

Not a fan: Kyle Idleman

Book Good