2016

All the books and literatures that I’ve read in 2016

The asterisk (*) means that I’ve read most, if not all, of the book. No asterisk means I’ve read only half of the book.

Poor Charlie’s Almanack

A book full of wisdom given from an old wise person. Charlie said that if you don’t find the book useful, give it to a smarter friend of your. I concur.

Spin Selling

It’s always nice to see a complex human-related topic such as sales reduced to a simple enough, practical enough model that I can work with.

Steve Jobs

Very interesting read. I use this book multiple times as “case studies” for my business course in college.

Javascript: The Good Parts

Short and to the point. Love it.

Go Rin no Sho

The book that made me accept that the ambiguous, eastern-style pattern of speech can carry practical meaning. I’m always skeptical of books or people who speak like one of those yogi or eastern spiritual teacher. This book show to me that such pattern of speech is able to carry practical meaning such as how to use a sword. Still, I prefer the concise pattern of speech that STEM-people use.

Army handbook (chinese history section)

This is a short outline of how things was from ancient China to the current People Republic of China.

The C Programming Language

I agree with Zedd’s review about this book. There are lots of examples that showcase an ancient ways to write extremely concise but unreadable code. Luckily, I read this book to understand the C part of the Code Complete 2.

Code Complete 2

This contains a lot of information within its hundreds of pages. Great book for programmer.

RSpec Book

I used this book to understand the terminology and how to do TDD. Oops, I mean BDD.

Refactoring

A book on cleaning up code and making sure that the code is flexible enough to dance and adapt in the face of changes.

Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland

If your body change drastically, are you still the same person? What defines “you”? Your body? Name? Status? Sense of self?

You are Your Own Gym

I always want to work out so that I can do weird stuff like planche push-ups. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the gym. Now that I have the path to do weird stuff without access to a gym, all I need to do is get down and get my hands dirty (literally).

2015

All the books and literatures that I’ve read up to 2015.

The asterisk (*) means that I’ve read most, if not all, of the book. No asterisk means I’ve read only half of the book.

The Dip by Seth Godin*

I’ve encountered the concept of plateau when I’m learning Martial Art Tricking in high school. And so, the concept of dip isn’t really new or insightful to me. In fact, this short book may be better presented as a blog post series. If you love learning new skills and are already familiar with the phases and challenges of skill learning, don’t hope to get much insight from this book.

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman*

After I decide that I’ll learn Business Administration in high school, I start reading books about business to prepare myself. Personal MBA is a good book if you’re looking for an introduction of business concepts. I’m already in college learning business in college now. Looking back, there are a lot of concepts that I learn in college that is not present in this book. Even though many theories taught in college is ancient, some is still relevant. However, the book teach much more than college on the psychology section. This is not really surprising since business school won’t teach any psychology.

Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt*

This book is full of anecdotal stories of unusual thinking techniques. It’s entertaining but, to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed since it doesn’t contain what I hope it contains: a complete, systematic guide of thinking like a freak.

Good to Great by James Collin*

This book is written with business organization as the main focus, yet it may be one of the best self-help book I’ve ever encountered. The insights are applicable both in business and personal life. The hedgehog principle and the flywheel model are very useful to me.

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi*

This is a good guide on how to network the right way. However, it’s not really suited to my personality. Unless I meet someone whom I suspect will be a best friend, I usually just sit back, show a bit of value, let people come to me, and then choose whom I think will be a good friend. Nevertheless, I’ll recommend this book to people who want to make networking skill their strongest suit.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki*

This book shows the possibility of financial freedom. It won’t give you specific advices on creating business or investing. If you are stuck in the middle class mindset of trading time for money, read this book. Otherwise, skip this book entirely.

Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley

Sometimes, people who look rich is actually in the brink of bankruptcy and people who live simple life is actually very wealthy. This book shows the possibility of being a millionaire by virtue of living below our means.

Anatomy of Female Power by Chinweizu

This little book introduce and explain the hidden power of female human. I always suspect that some girls have some sort of ‘The Talk’ with their mom when their mom’s exposed the power that society gives to women that, if used correctly, can balance out or even overwhelm the power of male human. A must read for boys who naively think that girls are powerless and for girls whose mother doesn’t understand the female power enough to give ‘The Talk’ to their daughters.

The Game by Neil Strauss

This book shows the possibility of cold approaching girls and introduce me to the PUA stuffs happening in the west. Other than that, this book offer nothing of value to me.

The Attraction Code by Vin DiCarlo*

This book is a good book on how to be a ‘natural.’ I don’t really remember any specific insight from this book. But, this book influence me a good deal on how to deal with girls.

Peopleware by Tom DeMarco*

The classic book of knowledge worker management. This book might be biased in favor of employee. But, it offers many insight on the ideal model of management.

Art of War by Sun Tzu*

The ancient, classic asymmetric warfare book still relevant today. I’ve read and reread the book multiple times. Most of the points are easy too understand and powerful when applied in real life conflict situations.

What If? by Randall Munroe*

An enjoyable nonfiction in the form of humorous and ridiculous question and answer format.

Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod*

A book full of obvious insights and advices on creativity. Nothing’s new.

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon*

A book full of obvious insights and advices on creativity. Nothing’s new.

Boyd’s Biography by Robert Coram*

The first biography I read front to back. Boyd is definitely one inspiring individual. He shows me that being a generalist specialist is totally possible. The biography itself is entertaining and, at times, is able to evoke strong emotions inside me. This biography set me up to dive into the more serious book by Osinga which delve into Boyd’s asymmetric warfare strategy discourse.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells*

An enjoyable fiction classic. To be honest, I don’t get any useful insight from this book.

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

I started reading this manga when I was still in junior high. At that time, what I think about this manga was “Wow! Ninja and action! Cool!” Only after I reread it again in college that I begin to realize the deep story and wisdom within it. This manga is even more awesome than many of the so called literature classics in my opinion. Very awesome indeed that someday I may even write a post about it.

Holy Texts

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Holy Bible, LDS Church Triple Combination

Malcolm Gladwell’s books

Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s books is a strange experience. First, you see the title and expect to get a specific insight from the book. Let’s call the specific insight: point X (as in X mark the spot). Then you start reading. The first few chapters seem to move toward X. But then, you realize that Malcolm takes you around the X spot and give interesting insights other than X. At the end of the journey, you feel satisfied, but, looking back, you realize that you never get to X!

Malcolm Gladwell’s books I’ve read: Outliers, Tipping Point, David and Goliath

Non-book literatures

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson*

A classic example of the danger of group think and solidarity. As a boy that always has one foot outside of social circles, this short story make visible to myself the reason I’m a bit cautious when people throw around the (usually positive) word of solidarity.

This is Water by David Foster Wallace

A great and humorous speech by David Foster. This speech actually make me a better, nicer person once I tried to implement the wisdom within it. It’s hard to be aware, but the peacefulness I get from being aware is worth the effort.

The Gervais Principle by Venkatesh Rao*

Some sort of unscientific organization theory literature. I’ve read this blog series twice and, while it explain many things clearly, there’s still some part I don’t understand. Maybe later in life, after I get enough organizational experiences, I’ll understand it better.

The Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart*

This essay explains the true, current, sad state of mathematics in educational institution using clear analogy.

Programming Books

Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper

A good technical book covering the basics of Ruby programming. I read this because it’s part of theOdinProject curriculum.

Learn to Program by Chris Pine (ruby theodin)*

A good technical book covering the basics of Ruby programming. I read this because it’s part of theOdinProject curriculum.

Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed Shaw*

A very boring, yet straightforward book for beginner programmer. I actually skimmed a lot of sections while thinking “Yeah, I know what print/class/loop/etc. is, damn it..”