My Favorite Books

I absolutely love reading. At the time of writing this, I've read 25 books so far this year. Since reading is such a big part of my self-education, I thought it would be good to have a page listing some of my favorite books.

Oh also, please be my friend on GoodReads!

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Books about Programming

Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby - Sandi Metz

I learned so much from this book about how to structure code and the theories behind object oriented design, but, beyond that, Metz's love for programming jumps through the pages. It made me fall in love with programming all over again.

Fluent Python - Luciano Ramalho

I initially bought this book because it was the only resource I could find that went in-depth on meta-programming in Python. I found a Codewars problem I just could not figure out that required metaprogramming, and this book helped me over the hurtle! In addition, it's a great book for advanced Python programmers in general -- a more difficult demographic to find resources for.

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns - Addy Osmani

This book is awesome. It explains common design patterns in JavaScript -- it's one of the only resources I know of that does so. It has a ton of code and graphics to look at, which really helps me to understand concepts.

Cracking the Coding Interview - Gail Laakmann McDowell

I'm not going to lie, I have mixed feelings about this book. I don't think job interviews should focus on the things McDowell focuses on, I don't normally write Java day to day, and I've seen arguments that this book has actually made interviewing worse. That being said, I wouldn't at all be where I am without this book. It made data structures and algorithms click for me, and it coached me through some tough interviews. Part of me wishes it was just a book about data structures instead of an interview prep guide.

Books about Productivity

Atomic Habits - James Clear

If I can recommend one book to you to read now, it would be this one. It's changed my life and the way I think about productivity. Instead of making goals, build habits to get you to where you want to be. I've been following Clear's systems this year, and I've never felt more in-control and productive.

Make it Stick - Peter C. Brown

This book is all about the science of learning. It's a great read if you're looking to acquire a new skill or teach someone. I came out of this book with a long list of things I wanted to put into action at the end, which is the marker of a great book.

Becoming Super Woman - Nicole Lapin

I saw this book at the airport when travelling to yet another conference. It came at the perfect time. I so needed Nicole's story and advice for overcoming burnout and balancing productivity with time for self-care. It's actionable, persuasive, and the kick in the butt I needed to slow down a little.

Other Non-fiction Books

Resilient Management - Lara Hogan

As an aspiring engineering manager, this book is everything I could want. It has visual guides for everything, is super to the point, and has reflection questions at the end of each chapter. You can fly through it, but I took so many notes that it took me as long as a book three times as long!

Feminism is for Everybody - bell hooks

I have form responses I sometimes send to internet bullies in order to try and educate them. In one of those responses, I have this book. It's such an important read on intersectional feminism, plus it's short and easy to understand.

Non-Career Related Books

Bad Blood - John Carreyrou

This story takes so many twists and turns, and the level of manipulation and incompetence at Theranos is completely absurd. I listened to the audiobook, which was great.

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

I read this whole book on a flight, and publicly sobbed in my seat for quite a bit of it. It's heart breaking, beautifully written, and unfortunately constantly timely.

Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you do an audio book for one book, let it be this one. There's a full cast and crew, and I'm going to be honest I one hundred percent thought this was non-fiction until well into the book. I completely lost myself into the story, it felt like a super long movie more than a book. I can't recommend this one highly enough. I also love Reid's book "The Seven Husbands of Evely Hugo", and I would definitely pick it up.

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng

This book is so damn complicated, I had no idea what to think for large chunks of it. It hits on so many important issues, and the characters are so well-written. I love "Everything I never Told You", Ng's other book, too so if you've already gotten through this one, pick that one up too.

Looking for Alaska - John Green

I just re-read this book as an adult to make sure it was as good as it was when I was a teenager, and it may have been better now. The characters are awesome, the setting is fun to imagine, and my heart completely shattered in the middle of the book. It's such a portrayal of the emotions of teenage-hood, such a great read.

Modern Love - Daniel Jones

This is a collection of stories from the New York Times' "Modern Love" column. If you want a bunch of uplifting, funny, and heartbreaking stories that are all pretty quick, this is a great read. I laughed, I cried, and (at the time of reading) felt way too single.

American Predator - Maureen Callahan

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I love a true crime book. This is one of the best. Israel Keyes is terrifying, the story-telling comes from a fascinating angle, and the fact that many of his potential crimes are still undiscovered makes this book even more interesting.

American Royals - Katharine McGee

This book is peak light-hearted beach read. It follows the premise "What if America had a royal family?", following the teenage princesses and princes around in their lives. It's fun, somewhat trashy, and has so many romance tropes bundled into one book. I can't wait for the next books in the series.

Know My Name - Chanel Miller

This is easily the 2019 book of the year. Miller tells her story of being Emily Doe in the Brock Turner sexual assault case in a way that is honest, heartbreaking, but somehow also uplifiting. It may have gone on a few more pages than needed, but it tells such an important story of the judicial system and recovering from trauma.

Verity - Colleen Hoover

This book is terrifying, wild, and has twists and turns galore. If you want to sleep, this may not be the book to read, but I couldn't put it down. I came into this book thinking it was a normal love story, and boy was I wrong. It's a psychological thriller that has the wildest ending I've ever read.

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

This book got me into True Crime. The nuance in this book is incredible -- it shows two cold blooded murderers in a human light. It shows their good sides and their bad sides, something you don't often see. The meta-story behind it is also fascinating, if you watch the movie Capote. Definitely a must-read, classic piece of literature.