2020 Reading Challenge: I have read 26 of 50 books (updated weekly, well hopefully weekly!).
View all my reviews on Goodreads

Snow Crash Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I LOL'd twice in the first five pages but overall it wasn't a great sci-fi for me. Maybe because I have read Ready Player One and The Gamer before!


Indistractable Indistractable by Nir Eyal
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked the part on raising indistractable children.
Rest was skippable - I’ve already learnt these over the years; would’ve been super helpful 5 years ago!

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Clean Code Clean Code by Robert C. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book you should read when you're starting out as a developer.
Pro Tip: Read the first 10 chapters; skip the rest!


Dark Matter Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The best sci-fi I've read so far!
Tackles some real questions along the lines of are you happy with your life / what if / the road not taken.
You wouldn't be able to put it down; just read the first chapter!!


The Obstacle is the Way The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Could've been a blog post.

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Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loved Alice's curiosity in this short and sweet adventure! And life lessons are thrown around here so casually.


Shoe Dog Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved the candid account of everyday struggles. It’s motivating to see someone’s behind-the-scenes (while the system tends to focus only on the highlight-reel!) and I wish more people share their stories.

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The Pragmatic Programmer The Pragmatic Programmer by David Thomas and Andrew Hunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can make this book your mentor! Some great advice here, viz. Your Knowledge Portfolio, Estimating, and many more.


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all: Don't Panic! It's a quick read and will make you wonder about the ultimate question. Why? 42. So long, and thanks for all the fish.


Who Owns the Future? Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With more and more jobs getting automated, this book posits an economy of micropayments that compensates people for original material they post to the web.

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The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's a coming-of-age story where we get a good look inside a teenager's mind. The writing is in the form of a narrative and it might take some time before you get accustomed to Holden's thoughts.


Remote Remote by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pick this up if you need to convince your manager (or even yourself) on the benefits of remote work, which includes access to the best talent, freedom from soul-crushing commutes, and increased productivity outside the traditional office. It also debunks various myths, for example, innovation only happens face-to-face, people can’t be trusted to be productive at home, company culture would wither away, etc.

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Don't Make Me Think Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's a nice introduction to UX and you'll be tempted to read more! The language is easy and you can read quite a bit in one stretch. It'll motivate you to do usability testing and also keep accessibility in mind. It also provides great insights into how we use the web today.


To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lee takes time to set up the background for the story well; quite well now that I think about it. I was well-invested into the characters, especially the way how Atticus raises his children. Written from an innocent child's point of view, the book deals with themes of race, morality, class, gender, etc.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I avoided this book for the longest time, because the title seemed clickbaity! However, it contains some really great guiding principles for life including the importance of keeping promises, empathy, etc.

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The Elements of Style The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The content is presented as a handy reference of dos and don'ts. Terms like split infinitive and gerund made me feel nostalgic for the grammar classes back in my school days.


How to Win Friends & Influence People How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I could relate to many situations where I mishandled them in the past. The ideas presented in this book are simple yet effective. I've seen them work for many people, including myself. Don't just treat them as life hacks! If you're praising, do it sincerely. I'm pretty sure I need to revise it.

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Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a world where the best minds of our generation are thinking about how to make people click ads, Musk is on a quest to start a colony on Mars! Love him or hate him, he certainly deserves respect for pushing clean-tech and humanity forward.


On Writing Well On Writing Well by William Zinsser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing is everywhere. You might as well learn how to write well. Topics like science and sports are also within your reach if you enjoy learning. William teaches us, among other things, how to structure a piece and write about people and places, with numerous examples. An element of surprise refreshes and delights readers. Be confident. Resist using an exclamation point! Add humor subtly.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It was a very heavy read. Maybe because it's a weird mix of fiction and non-fiction. Or maybe because I'm simply not ready for philosophy yet.

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Hyperbole and a Half Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed Allie's voice and her illustrations, especially the ones involving dogs. It's pure gold. Oh, and did I say I laughed a lot? My only regret is that I finished reading it too soon. Please don't do that. Savor it.


Antifragile Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked the concept of antifragility. Having read The Black Swan, I knew Taleb's style. I find him hard to read but the content is presented in myriad applications. So I skimmed it, making lots of notes along the way. These include the need for redundancy, stocking up for emergencies, the barbell strategy, having skin in the game, etc.

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Head First Design Patterns Head First Design Patterns by Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always wanted to formally study design patterns. Like algorithms, you just need to know of their existence. If you understand their usage, there's no need to memorize them. I loved this book's style of delivering content; so conversational and full of visual examples. All technical books should be like this! Just read "How to Use This Book: Intro" and you'll know what I'm talking about.


Adulthood Is a Myth Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Adulting sucks, and this is a nice reminder that you are not alone. As an introvert, this hit the spot at so many levels: the evergreen question of why are you so quiet, making excuses for not picking up the phone, people trying to help without you asking, and many more!


Losing My Virginity Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the first half; the second half not so much. The diversity of Branson's businesses and his willingness to try everything once are commendable. Oh screw it, let's do it!

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Understanding Comics Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's a comic book about comics.