My book recommendations and why you should read them.

I’ve decided to put together a list of books I’ve read so I can direct folks to this post when asked for something to read. Most of the programming books have free online editions, so get to it!
I’m also a huge fan of sci-fi, so I’ve thrown a couple of my favorites in at the end.

If you’re more visual, I’ve also made this list of talks I recommend.

Programming Books

Eloquent Javascript

This is an excellent book that will take you on a journey through all of the different ways you can construct applications in Javascript and beyond. As of this post, the third edition was released in 2018 and it’s likely to be fresh enough to remain relevant for some time. Highly recommended.

You Don’t Know JS

Javascript is tricky. The freedom it gives you out of the box costs you a bit of weird behavior. This book series aims to alleviate that problem. The end goal is to help readers understand the why behind the various quirks of JS. Still approachable for beginners, but this is best used to hone some existing JS knowledge.

Game Programming Patterns

Video games are an interesting problem space. From the game loop to asset management, there’s a lot to keep track of in even a simple game. Each pattern is presented with a couple of tangible examples making this a great reference for general programming.

Clojure for the Brave and True

This is a fun book with which you can learn the basics of Clojure, a very cool functional language. Finally understand all of those parenthesis! You might not be building anything big at work in Clojure, but the concepts of functional programming can help you write more resilient systems no matter what you’re working in.

Site Reliability Engineering

Google has literally written the book on reliable systems. A lot of the framework that allows an organization to build and maintain a reliable system has far less to do with actual software than you might think. This is a great resource to dig into if you’re interested in what the heck dev-ops is all about.

Fiction Books

The Commonwealth Saga - Peter F Hamilton

This is my favorite sci-fi series that I’ve read so far. It takes place nearly 400 years in the future where humanity has solved aging and harnessed wormhole technology to expand into the galaxy. With almost unhindered advancement for hundreds of years, humanity as a whole is starting to rest on its laurels a bit. The books start with a strange discovery just outside of the wormhole network that slowly wakes a sleeping humanity to meet it. Great world-building coupled with nice character development make this a really great space opera.

The Culture Series - Ian M Banks

As of writing this post, I’m on book three of this ten book series. The setting is similar to the Commonwealth Saga in that it is set post-scarcity , but each book is a totally self contained story playing with ideas within a shared setting. It’s largely exploring how alien societies might react to a society that, as far as it is concerned, has pretty much solved every imaginable problem - or how such a society would view those that have not. I really loved book two and this is definitely worth picking up.

Humanity’s Fire Series - Michael Cobley

While there isn’t anything groundbreaking going on in this series, it’s a very nice world that puts together all of the right pieces to make a decent space opera. Go into it with those expectations and it’s a nice adventure.