I will no longer update this list. If you still want to see what I'm reading you may check out my GoodReads profile, which may or may not be more up to date ;)
An incomplete collection of books I've read and found interesting. Books are categorized into:
Machine of Death
And yet again another book I started to read at least 2 years ago. Luckily, for this book it doesn't really matter that I took long breaks while reading, because it's a collection of short-stories about the "Machine of Death".
I won't go into details how this book was created, but it's a fun story, read up on it here.
I really enjoyed reading many stories around basically the same topic. It is refreshing to see how each author approaches the topic differently. I found it also quite unique, maybe even a bit challenging at times to have the topic death and dying span a whole book. You are constantly exposed to certain thoughts while reading this, which isn't very common in modern media in my opinion.
Again another book I bought some years ago. Full disclosure, I didn't actually finish reading it but switched to the audiobook version instead a few days ago :)
The same impression I had from reading half of the book continued with the audiobook: the narrative style of jumping back and forth between the main characters in almost every chapter makes it quite hard to follow if you try to consume it in little pieces. On the other hand the story is quite complex and actually has quite some depth.
When you get into it you will be really amazed on how the story draws connection between ancient religious events and modern technology, it's a wild ride.
The Design of Everyday Things
I bought this book a long time ago and never got past the first few chapters for years. Now I finally managed to finish it and am glad that I did. Although some of the thoughts towards the end talk about things that now are ubiquituos (like the internet, embedded computers etc.), Donald Norman nontheless manages to give a very insightful outlook on what he thought of these things about 20 years ago. Some of his doubts and fears about the complexity of operating modern computer equipment have definitely become true and plague users now more than ever.
I found it particularly interesting how many of his advices about designing physical equipment also translate into the digital world. Several chapters particularly address issues with virtual user interfaces and many of the challenges that are described there seem to be as relevant today as they were years ago.
Although that puts the software industry in quite a bad light, it is also motivating towards fixing these issues at least in our own projects.
The One Minute Manager
Refreshingly short and narrative book about very simple (and if they hold up, very effective) management techniques. What definitely sets this book apart from other books of this genre (although I'm just guessing here since this kind of book definitely isn't something I'm normally being exposed to) is that all knowledge that the authors wanted to transfer is packed into one ongoing story which puts you into the role of someone who wants to learn from a successful manager. While the narrative isn't really first person, you nontheless feel a strong relationship with the main protagonist.
If you want (or have to) read anything about managemet and are afraid of any dry analysis / numbers / lectures or lessons from self-proclaimed "experts", then give this book a try. It will be a pleasant surprise.
Software Architecture for Developers
This book offers a lean perspective on software architecture. Simon Brown criticizes the complexity of UML and the inapplicability of it in real-world teams. Instead he proposes a simple 4-layered model to intuitively represent and communicate architectures within the dev team and other stakeholders.
User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product
A fresh perspective on user stories and project management. Gave me a new perspective on the "project management" aspect of software development. Also provides some insights in the world of product development at Atlassian and other companies.
Release It! Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software
Unique insights into the daily business in large enterprise projects. Definitely a good read, even when you're not plagued by enterprise integration or similiar pains. Provides valuable (if sometimes a little dated) tips on stability, extensibility, scalability etc.
Ready Player One
One of the most captivating books I've ever read. If you like any of the following things, I can definitely recommend this book: Matrix, Retro Games, MMOs, Nerd culture, ... Very keen on the movie adaption, although I fear it definitely has potential to become a movie targeted to a young-ish audience.
Raspberry Pi Hacks
If you think you have a good idea about what you can do with RaspberryPis, think again :)
Pro Spring 3
After using spring for quite some time now (although mostly 'wrapped' behind Grails) this book helped clear a lot of things up for me.
Australia - comic - oppressive and thrilling. That's all I have to say.
Machine of Death
As a collection of short stories written by all kinds of different people, this is an excellent example of what amazing ideas can come from one simple idea.
Just a Geek
Wasn't that much into StarTrek, but now I feel like I missed a lot not being a Trekkie. Well maybe not really, but it sure sounds like fun.
Kopf schlägt Kapital
Before this book I was 100% sure that I would never even try to start my own company because I always saw it as an all-in, high-risk activity. This book showed me that that doesn't have to be true and that there are other ways. While I'm not planning on becoming self employed any time soon, at least it doesn't seem impossible anymore.
Business advice from business hackers :) Never seen such an entertainig yet still valuable business-strategy (in the broadest sense) book.
An Illustrated Life
Really, really relaxing to read. A row of artists (and others) explain and why they keep illustrated journals and show some of their contents. Amazing pictures, very inspiring. There is no reason not to like this!
I wasn't really into comics that much before, but I instantly fell in love with the style and storytelling of this one. It may be a little bit too action packed for some people, but it's quite a ride.
A twisted, disconcerting novel about a space mission to a strange planet, but quite unlike other space fiction novels (not that i have read any others). I would in no way describe myself as a real fan of science fiction, however, I was somehow fascinated by this book. Therefore, another recommendation.
Der futurologische Kongreß
A classic and - at least since the recent movie-incarnation - widely known piece by Stanislaw Lem.
Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
Interviews with some of the best programmers and software engineers. Interesting insights and quite fun to read (at least for people with any background in programming).
Joel on Software
Interesting anecdotes from various programming fields and projects. Entertaining to read.