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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The coder's bookshelf

I've spent a decent amount of time and money assembling a book collection that's relevant to the coders in the Hacker House. I thought I'd publish what we have so far. Apologies in advance for the made up genres. Some of these books were contributed by John Devor & Dan Grover but most were purchased used off of Amazon. In total I spent about $400.

The collection was partly based off of these recommendations:
- The Top 9½ In a Hacker’s Bookshelf
- Book Reviews by Joel Spolsky
- What is the single most influential book...
- What would you put on a hacker's bookshelf?

Feel free to suggest any other books in the comments below!

Oreilly reference books (programming):
- Learning Python
- Python in a Nutshell (indispensable)
- Programming Collective Inteligence
- Version Control with Subversion
- Python pocket reference
- CVS pocket reference
- Facebook Cookbook
- FBML Essentials

Other reference books (programming):
- How to Design Programs
- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (I'm currently working through this book... it will take me a while)
- The Little LISPer
- The Little Schemer
- The C Programming Language
- Core MAC OS X And UNIX Programming
- Programming Ruby
- Agile Web Development with Rails
- The Definitive Guide to Django
- Practical Django Projects
- Pro Django
- Simply Javascript (sitepoint)
- PHP Developer's cookbook
- Object-oriented PHP
- Beginning OpenGL

Obviously there are many other reference books worth owning. We chose the above books because they cover the languages relevant to us.

Anecdotal "Nonfiction" / historical startup-related stories:
- DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC
- Burn Rate
- The Perfect Store
- Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good
- Microsoft REBOOTED
- Founders At Work
- Revolution In The Valley (My favorite book in this section.)
- Hackers by Steven Levy
- Crypto by Steven Levy
- The Fall of Advertising & The Rise of PR
- The Search by John Batelle (Needs more research/interviews from Google founders & employees.)
- Blog Blazers

Programming/startup-related stories & essays:
- The Pragmatic Programmer
- Joel on Software (A great first read for any CS student entering the workforce.)
- Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
- The Mythical Man-Month
- Design Patters
- Hackers & Painters
- The Monk and the Riddle

Other hacker books:
- The Best of 2600 (A Hacker Odyssey)
- 2600 Magazines
- Computer Networks (A Systems Approach) by Peterson & Davie
- Computer Networking by Kurose & Ross
- Mathematical Structures for Computer Science
- Applied Cryptography by Bruce Schneier

Motivational / Organizational:
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (A quick & inspirational read. Life-changing stuff. Read the wikipedia article first.)
- Getting things DONE
- How to Win Friends & Influence People (A classic, but can easily be paraphrased.)
- The Art of the Start
- The Creative Habit
- Bit Literacy (A gift. A good book for the computer (semi/il)literate.)
- Influence by Robert Cialdini
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Talent is Overrated

Writing / Literature:
- Best Software Writing by Joel Spolsky
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser
- Writing Down The Bones
- A Glossary of Literary Terms

Finance & Economics:
- Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell (If you want to learn Econ, read this book.)
- Freakonomics
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
- Buffett by Roger Lowenstein
- The Intelligent Investor
- How to Invest $50-$50,000

- Several books by Bob Woodward (The War within, Bush at War, etc)
- The Quotable Atheist
- The Squandering of America
- The End of Faith
- The Selfish Gene
- Atlas Shrugged
- The world is Flat (There's a debate as to whether these books belong in the economics section. My vote is no.)
- Hot, Flat & Crowded (same as above)

Science & History:
- 100 Scientists who Changed The World
- A short History of Nearly Everything
- Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
- On Speed: the Many Lives of Amphetamine
- Guns, Germs, and Steel
- Sex, Time, and Power
- Outliers
- The Double Helix

- Around the world in 80 days
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- Walden
- Civil Disobedience
- A Brave New World
- The Power of One
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
- Profiles In Courage
- Geek Silicon Valley (If you're a geek in the valley you need this book.)

Recent purchases (haven't yet arrived):
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1
- Code Complete


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