My recent reading list

Ian Beck’s post the other day inspired me to jot down some notes here about what I recently read. Sim­i­lar to Ian, I am a binge reader of sorts. There are months that go by where I hardly crack open a book. Other months I will fin­ish a half-dozen.

Before I moved this site to I had a cus­tom post type that listed out which books I recently com­pleted in a spe­cial page tem­plate. Since that is no longer, here is what has kept me inter­ested recently.

Shop Class as Soulcraft

A rel­a­tively easy read but superbly inter­est­ing. Matthew Craw­ford writes about his expe­ri­ences in life as a mechanic and at a think tank. The guid­ing phi­los­o­phy behind the book is one I agree with.


I just fin­ished this the other day and loved it. I had heard good things from oth­ers and the book did not disappoint.

The Dark Tower

This has the ben­e­fit of being a 7-part series. I have been a Stephen King fan since 5th grade but I really think this is his finest work. I started the series a cou­ple times before but this time I finally have con­sis­tent time to fin­ish it. Since August I read vol­umes 3–5 and am about halfway through vol­ume 6 now.

The Dark Tower is a won­der­ful mix of futur­ism and west­ern fic­tion with a few dark twists thrown in. Hand­ily the first vol­ume is short and easy to read. I would encour­age any­one to give that a read. If it hooks you the series just gets bet­ter from there.

Steve Jobs

Fairly inter­est­ing. Extremely fast read. This was decent but not great. I would rec­om­mend read­ing it and then lis­ten­ing to John Sir­a­cusa tear it apart in “The wrong guy” (pt. II).

Cloud Atlas

Michael Pick rec­om­mended this to me at our Budapest meetup. It was fas­ci­nat­ing. If you don’t mind non-linear fic­tion with a bit of imag­i­nary world con­struc­tion I can­not rec­om­mend it highly enough. Pos­si­bly the best piece of fic­tion I read this year.

The Effec­tive Executive

If you are inter­ested in ideas around man­ag­ing teams this is a good one. Yes it is from the 1960s, but the advice is solid. Unlike some other busi­ness books it focuses on the con­crete with digestible advice that actu­ally gives you some­thing to take back to your work.

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