My 2015 reading list


  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
    • If you only read one book ever this should be it. Randy is one of the most inspirational teachers America had. This book changed the way I think about life and how I live it. It made me want to teach even more, to learn all I could and that life just sometimes isn’t fair.
  • This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett
    • Carol Burnett is one of the funniest people around. This book is not really a biography, but more just sharing some of her funniest and most memorable moments in life. If you just need to laugh this is one that will help.
  • I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High by Tony Danza
    • This book profoundly changed the way I looked at education in America. This is a pretty short book also, but goes into some pretty interesting details about teaching in an inner city high school.
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
    • This book is told from an outside perspective of the life of Steve Jobs. It is a great story of one of the men that changed the world into what we know today. It is a long book but definitely worth the time spent.
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick
    • This is an awesome book. Just for the shear entertainment factor. If you have any interest at all in security you will want to read this book.
  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Lifeby Alice Schroeder
    • An interesting look into the richest man in the world and how he got there.
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaccson
    • A little more technical than I usually like, but good non the less.

Programming and Software Books

  • Adobe ColdFusion 9 Web Application Construction Kit, Volume 1: Getting Started
    • When I took on a new position that required me to know at least some ColdFusion. These three books have been invaluable to learning and just as a plain reference. Just about everything I needed to be able to do was in these books. I will confess that I didn’t read these cover to cover, but use them more as a reference. If you need to know anything about ColdFusion these are the books I would start with.

Financial and Investment Books

  • The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblat
    • This is a very short book. If you want to get a grasp on the concept of the stock market this is one that can give some pretty good examples. It talks about a “magic formula” which I am not sure is the end all of stock investments, but the basic idea is pretty sound.
  • The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness By Dave Ramsey
    • After reading this I can see how debt can control your life. But I think there are ways to enjoy life without living way outside of your means. Build wealth and retire rich and happy. I don’t prescribe to 100% of what Dave says in his books, because everyone’s situation and life is different. But if you need help this is a good place to start.

Self Help and Inspiration Books

  • Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris
    • Waking Up is a look at being spiritual without the religion. Some of the content is kind of extraneous and really not relevant. The main thought in the book is to be mindful of your thoughts and actions. Though the book doesn’t really teach you how to do this, it is still a pretty good read.
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Dehigg
    • This was one of the more interesting books I have read. It told me a ton about how we think, how businesses use habits to create profiles and how you can use a habit to better your life. There are several concepts that can be used right away to better your daily life.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie
    • If you are a developer like me or even just an introvert that needs help putting yourself out there this is a pretty good book. There are a lot of interesting people out there and some of the things Dale Carnegie introduced long before the digital age are still relevant today.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell
    • This is a pretty interesting book. It explains that you can do anything if you just put in the time. I have often thought about this process and how do we get really good at some things. Why do certain people excel in business and others continually fail?
  • You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney
    • This has some really interesting explanations as to why we as humans do what we do. What is the motivation behind our personalities and how do we react in certain situations. definitely something that should be read more that once to get the full effect of it all.