Books I Read in 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018

Every year, GoodReads has a Reading Challenge, where you set how many books you want to read and record them as you go. This year, I got serious about it, and it was a wonderful motivational device. I set a goal of two books per month, and I just eked it out over the finish line, finishing my 24th book this morning.

Here are some of the best.

Rework and Remote

These are two modern classics by DHH and Jason Fried. These fit so well into my thoughts about what a workplace should be and the culture we should cultivate that they weren't mind blowing - rather, they were an incredible distillation of things I've wanted to say, in an incredibly clear manner. These two alone let me point to them and say: this is the kind of company I want to build.

Don't worry, the third in this series, It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy at Work, is one of my first books to read in 2019.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

This book has changed the way I cook. It teaches you the fundamentals - mentioned in the title - and how to understand and apply them to any dish you are cooking. I was a good cook before this, but now I'm a vastly more capable home chef.

For anyone looking to step up their cooking game, to really understand what they are doing and break their reliance on recipes, this is a fundamental you deserve to have on your shelf.

Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures

Have you ever wondered how subway tunnels are dug under rivers? How skyscrapers are built to withstand disasters? How structures stay standing for so many years? Well, this is the book for you. This is an incredible peek into what actually goes into creating and maintaining the structures we rely on every day to live in, drive through, and work from. Hands down one of my favorite books I've read all year.

The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest

Such an excellent series. It is shockingly well written, and the credit is due to both the author and the translator, who is himself an award-winning sci-fi author. This series is one of the best I've read in a while. It is both an interesting universe and a believable one, with good characters and interesting plot.

The Monk of Mokha

This is a fascinating true story behind a young man's attempts to bring Yemen's coffee to the American market. Whether or not you are interested in coffee, this is a fascinating story which shows you the human side of the production of this little brown bean.

And the rest...

The rest of the books were good, but you can only have so many favorites. These are presented in reverse chronological order of my reading:

2019 is going to be great, and I have a massive list of books I want to read (and a smaller list of ones I actually will read, as always).

If this post was enjoyable or useful for you, please share it! If you have comments, questions, or feedback, you can email my personal email. To get new posts, subscribe to the newsletter or use the RSS feed.

Want to become a better programmer? Join the Recurse Center!