Very good books I read in 2018

December 19, 2018

Top books I’ve read this year:

Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

by Brian Tracy

What’s remarable about this book …is that it’s telling you nothing you wouldn’t know already but it actually helps yout to turn this knowledge into action. Even the book is written the way that keeps you focused on the topic (only 144 pages, no long chapters). Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker and that fact worried me before I ordered this book but luckily he didn’t include any coaching bullshit there (I consider coaching as making money on people who have low self-confidence).

The Stress-Proof Brain

by Greenberg Melanie

I’ve read many books about brain as I believe that knowledge is the key to understand our (human) behaviour and how to improve the quality of our life. This books is really important to me as since I remember I had issues with answering questions under stress (exams, interviews), despite I could easily solve the same task on my own. I’m still learing how to control that situation and that books definitely helps to understand that process.

DarkMarket: CyberThieves, CyberCops and You

by Misha Glenny

Everyone (..in IT) loves movies about hackers but books about hackers (or actually crackers in this case) can be also super exciting. This is based on true stories about cyber mafia, their techniques and why it always ends up badly.

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation

by Blake J. Harris

I’m a child of the 80s and I will always have sentiment to retro games from late 80s/early 90s. It’s not only an interesting books about gaming industry but also how ideas behind the best titles were shaped and what it takes to survive in such competive market.

UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design

by Laura Klein

A classic position for Lean enthusiasts. Although this book is not criticizing Agile, it’s one of the titles that started chaning my mind about Agile as a methodology that is wasting too much time on planning, instead of building to measure and learn. I’ve seen too many projects that plan too much ahead and gather too little information about users.

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

by Sam Kean

This books tells some known stories through the prism of human brain. It’s amazing how damaging human brain can result in spectacular behaviour. These stories are not only breathtaking but makes you start asking questions about personal resposibility for our behaviour.

by Gustave Le Bon

A classic title from 1895 but still remains current. After reading that book, you’ll understand why so many people behave differently in a crowd and why so many followed toxic leaders so often in our history. Well, I’ve never liked crowds and book gives me another reason to stay away from large groups.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

by Nir Eyal

Our brain likes habits ..it saves its energy but ones a habit is developed it’s hard to change it. How often did you catch yourself on turning lights in a room with a broken bulb. Same applies to user interface - we don’t like when our website has a new layout and we cannot find our favourite links. Learn how to manage that process.

Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design

by Scott Rogers

Absolutely brilliant and funny books about designing games. I’ve spent many years in e-gaming industry but still I learnt a lot from this book. After reading this book, you just want to sit and start coding your game!

Igrzyska talentów w Dolinie Krzemowej. Rozmowy z mistrzami start-upów

Marta Zucker (with Magdalena Bryzek)

This books is written in Polish and haven’t found English translations but it deserves to mention here. The books describes Polish start-ups that successed in Silicon Valley. Very inspiring, a lot of pictures brings you closer to the place where every start-up founder dreams about an office there.