Today I would like to share the list of books I’ve read during the last year.

That is not the list of “my TOP 10 books” of the year. That’s the list of books I’ve read. That might be a tiny list for some people who read a lot, but that’s my list.

Most of the time I read books during my commute to work and back home. That takes around 1.5 hours per day.

Some people might consider that it’s wasted time, but I turned it into something useful for me. I decided to read books and listen to podcasts during that time.

Besides that, sometimes I sit and read at home before bedtime, or when I travel. The biggest chunk of my reading time is still my commute.

Let’s move to the list.

I like to think about myself as a man of discipline and habits. That doesn’t mean I’m extremely disciplined, on the contrary, I’m still far from that. But I think that works better than just inspiration and motivation. In my opinion, motivation doesn’t last long. It fades away with time. Discipline, on the other hand, lasts longer.

In order to build self-discipline, get new habits, or get rid of bad ones, it would make sense to understand how does that stuff work.

That leads to the first two books.

Making Habits, Breaking Habits

by Jeremy Dean

The book starts from breaking a myth, that making a new habit or break an old one takes some set amount of days. Many sources say it requires only 21 days (28 days, N days, etc.) to make a habit. In fact that highly depends on the type of habit, on the type of person, and other things.

If you want to start drinking more water because it’s healthy for your body, it may take 28 days to achieve that. On the other hand, I may take way more time quit smoking.

To summarize, I liked the book. It’s worth reading if you want to improve some aspects of your life (who doesn’t want?).

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

The second book is about building or breaking habits. In the beginning, the author describes how habits work. He describes “The Habit Loop” which consists of three steps: cue, routine, and reward. Here you can find an explanation of that.

The book is full of different examples and stories, they make it easier to understand.

Liked it. Worth reading.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

by Robert Kiyosaki

This book is about finances, and how can you change your financial life.

The author is telling the story of his life. He “had” two dads, who gave him different pieces of advice regarding money.

In conclusion, I think I would recommend reading the book. It contains a bunch of interesting tips. The book is small and shouldn’t take much of your time.

Hackers & Painters

by Paul Graham

The book (I think) is a collection of essays published on (or vice versa). It contains a set of the author’s thoughts. Some of them are interesting, with some of them, personally, I disagree, or they have some unclear moments.

The book was okayish. It didn’t turn my world upside down.

Talking with Tech Leads

by Patrick Kua

A collection of interviews with different people working as technical leadership roles. They tell about their responsibilities, the amount of time they can dedicate for coding, etc.

I think the book is worth reading. If you are aiming to work on that role that can be helpful. You can get a hint of what will you do on your job.

You can understand that you won’t have a lot of time for coding, because other, managing activities will eat a good chunk of your time. You won’t be able to work on bigger or urgent technical tasks, because you either won’t have so much time to work on them, or you won’t be able to finish them on time.

If you like to grow technically, that might not be a role you want pursuit.

The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide

by John Sonmez

The book contains a collection of tips from becoming a software developer to advancing your existing career. How to study, and how to land your first job.

The book is lengthy. If you are an experienced software developer you may be familiar with most of those tips. Even though, the book has all those tips structured for you.

If you are a beginner, that is a really cool guide. I wish I knew those things before I started my career.

I liked the book, I would recommend to read it.

Soft skills

by John Sonmez

There is another book by John Sonmez and another collection of useful tips this time aiming for soft skills.

How to improve communication between coworkers, how to ask for a raise, and how to choose developer jobs. All these things you can find inside.

The book was published prior to “The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide” and has some similar topics. In any case, I think it is worth reading. I liked it.

Clean Architecture

by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob)

Along with “Clean Code” and “The Clean Coder” books by Uncle Bob, “Clean Architecture” is the other great book.

It describes the ways to architect your software, who exactly is the software architect etc.

If you are a software developer, I think that book is highly recommended to read. Although, if you are at the beginning of your career, you may want to wait a little bit. Otherwise, I think, the bunch of concepts might be hard to understand.

I liked the book a lot and I’m going to read it again after some time.

Adopting Elixir

by Ben Marx, Jose Valim, Bruce Tate

Recently, I was playing with Elixir programming language. I was blogging about it, and I think it’s an amazing language.

All of that led me to the “Adopting Elixir” book. The book is a collection of steps you may take if you’d like to use Elixir in your company.

It shares some stories of companies which are already using Elixir and how they benefit from that.

Those are not just good to know tips, those are actually the steps which companies took to bring Elixir into their work. You will learn basic “why”s, how to hire developers, and ways to migrate your legacy systems to Elixir.

The book is useful not only for developers but for technical managers who are considering to move to some performant technologies.

I highly recommend that book even if you are not an Elixir developer.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

The recent book by CEO of Basecamp Jason Fried, and CTO of the same company DHH, who is also known as a creator of Ruby on Rails.

In that book, they describe ways how to run a company, and to do your work in a (as you can figure from the title) non-crazy way. As they say throughout the book, that you don’t need to work overtime, run recurring meetings, and hire thousands of employees to run a successful business.

I read the book as a book with fairy tales. Not because I don’t believe what they say, but mostly because Basecamp is kinda unique in that way, and nobody else (ok, maybe 99% of companies) doesn’t work in the described way.

The book is amazing, I would recommend to read it.


by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

It’s another book by the same authors. The book has some other tips on how to run a company, how to treat your customers and develop your products.

The book was published a while ago, but I read it only now because I’ve ordered all their books at the same time.

Yet another amazing book I would recommend to read. If you are a responsible employee (or employer) that’s the book for you.


by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

Yet another book by the same authors.

The way how they run Basecamp company with remote workers. The book describes why you may consider working remotely or hire remote workers, how can you or your business benefit from that.

There are a lot of talented people in the world, and there is no need to limit your search within a single city or a country. There is no need to have a fancy office either, etc.

It’s a cool book as well. Even if you’re not a remote worker, it’s nice to read.

Wrapping up

That’s pretty much it. For some people, it could be a long list and small for others. My list contains the books I’ve finished this year.

There are a bunch of books I’ve stopped reading. Some of them aren’t worth mentioning, some of them were too boring. Some books about self-improvement contain a lot of scientific text and nothing straight to the point.

Also, I don’t read every time I commute. During summer I commute by bike, so, that time I can only listen to podcasts or music.

That’s all I have today.