Atomic Habits – by James Clear

Atomic Habits – by James Clear

Atomic Habits is a spiritual sequel to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. While the later reads like a report of life-long scientific research, this book is a reference life-manual with additional information on top of your existing knowledge (or not, you don't need to read The Power of Habit.) This book is short, reads fast and is full of directly actionable items. Atomic Habits joins my must-read list for productivity fundamentals alongside Deep Work, and So Good They Can't Ignore You.

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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World – by Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World – by Cal Newport

I'm a fan of Cal's previous books Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You and will always recommend those two to anyone. Digital Minimalism, however, is a much smaller, and less important, and not even about minimalism. This book covers social media and bad habits around using them. If you have a good handle on your social media habits (read: don't check it compulsively) skip this book. If you are spending more time on social media than you wish—read it. It's perfect for that. Short and easy to understand too.

I guess my only gripe with a book is its title. I'd call it "How to Break-up with Social Media" or something like that.

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Composition in Photography – by Thorsten Overgaard

Composition in Photography – by Thorsten Overgaard

The complete title of the book is Composition in Photography: The Photographer as Storyteller. I'm in a phase of my photography when you want me to buy a book of your's, just put “storyteller” in the title and wait a couple of minutes until I send money towards you.

Unlike other books I’ve read on the subject of composition, it is not a reference manual (or imitation of such.) Thorsten is quite frank from the very first pages that the purpose of the book is to inspire and share his experiences and techniques, rather than analyze the work of photographers as a gallery curator or an art critic would. I find that most approachable and practical way to teach someone something. Think about it like working with a vastly experienced co-worker and mentor, rather than sitting in a class. I love how hands-on and laid back Thorsten's witting style is.

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Eat and Run – by Scott Jurek

Eat and Run – by Scott Jurek

I liked reading Scott's journey to becoming one of the most well-known people in ultra and endurance sports in general. On Goodreads, many criticize him for not being a good writer, which I find odd. The book is a memoir written by an athlete; a collection of stories and experiences with a dozen vegan recipes and tips on efficient running technique—what more could it be? While not a literary masterpiece I'd recommend this book to anyone who is into endurance sports and has trouble maintaining training schedule, grinding through longs workout sessions and generally struggles with the mental stress that comes with endurance training. According to Scott Jurek, it's all in your head, and what you put into your body—the diet. As someone who has experience of losing almost 30kgs (65 pounds) and starting running from less than 1K, I'm inclined to agree.

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The Secrets to Creating Amazing Photos: 83 Composition Tools from the Masters – by Marc Silver

The Secrets to Creating Amazing Photos: 83 Composition Tools from the Masters – by Marc Silver

This book is a reference, not a textbook. Which makes it quite dull read on compositions but does provide a wide variety of examples — impressive 83 of them. That amount of samples covers quite a range of photographs, but I was not impressed with example photos. Some of the composition diagrams felt like analysis rather than construction techniques. I found it strange as the book is supposed to teach you quick thinking of constructing an image while the environment is changing and you are holding a camera.

What I liked about the book is lots of references to other exciting materials—especially cinematography textbooks. Overall, given how short and easy to read this book is, I'd say read it, but make sure to ignore western cultural stereotypes from the late 20th century.

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It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War – by Lynsey Addario

It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War – by Lynsey Addario

It is not easy reading. It is disturbing in many ways. Nor it is a photo essay or guide on how to be a journalist or war photographer. This book is an autobiography of a person who's is obsessed with her work and sense of justice — someone who'll chase news and truth even when her life is at stake. I mentioned this is not a photojournalists handbook, but I'd recommend anyone interested in photography to read this book, because no matter what kind of photography you do if you are seriously thinking about this career, you should know that taking photos is only part of the equation.

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The Nature of Code – by Daniel Shiffman

The Nature of Code – by Daniel Shiffman

The Nature of Code is a fantastic book about the world around us, programming, simulation, and beauty of math. I am in love. You will learn how to simulate natural systems of all kind. You will learn how intertwined math and nature are. I read this book to improve my user interface programming skills, but I learned much more than that. I'd argue that any software engineer should once at least skim through this book. Game developers, biologists, and physicists owe themselves to at least be aware of this book.

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Pro Swift – by Paul Hudson

Pro Swift – by Paul Hudson

Loved it! The book is full of little nuggets and practical advice on how to be a better Swift developer. It shouldn't be your first Swift book, but it could be a great second one. There are two traits of software engineer I value the most—being pragmatic (over being "clever" or tribalistic) and have a craftsman mindset. Paul seems to have both, and he shares his knowledge and experience through those two lenses. This book is my favorite Swift book so far, and I've read quite a lot of them.

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Modern Auto Layout – by Keith Harrison

Modern Auto Layout – by Keith Harrison

The most comprehensive book about Auto Layout on iOS I’ve read so far. Full of neat tips and tricks as well as best practices otherwise not well documented in Apple’s documentation. The last chapter about trait collections is must read for any iOS developer no matter the experience. Excellent, well written, independently published book. Very recommended.

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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy – by William B. Irvine

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy – by William B. Irvine

This book resonated with me more than any I've read. It felt like a formalization and validation of my finding of life for the past ten to twelve years. At the same time, I'm sure, 18-year-old me wouldn’t go past seemingly cheesy title. I can't tell you more, or even recommend reading it. If I have to, this would be my pitch: If you value calmness and tranquility, read it.

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The War of Art – by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art – by Steven Pressfield

Every procrastinator like me should read this book, but before you run and pick one up, be warned—it is written in a very unusual way. First two books (let's call them chapters) are motivating and full of identifying what Resistance is and how to overcome it. Those two were most valuable to me. The third chapter is almost religious, which didn't much resonate with me, but I can see Steven's point of which I do agree. Somewhere on page 20, I started to treat the book as a provocative thinking stimulus; I think this is the right way to tap into a value of the book. If you skim through the book fast, the general gist of it is "just do your work and angels will guide you," which is not very helpful.

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Goodbye, Things — by Fumio Sasaki

Goodbye, Things — by Fumio Sasaki

I have mixed feelings about this book. There are many little nuggets of trivial wisdom, regarding impulsive buying, self-worth and so on. But, disconnect I have with the Fumio's central philosophy is that in my view having less is a result of a calm and clear mind, not another way around. I can see who'd benefit from reading this book—it's just not me. If you are a pathological hoarder—read this book.

Book reads like a self-help book. I didn't expect that; granted this is not a problem with the book itself.

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Xcode Treasures – by Chris Adamson

Xcode Treasures – by Chris Adamson

Xcode Treasures should be on the must-read list of any developer who’s starting with Apple platforms. Not to say it is not useful for experienced ones. Curious how manual code signing actually works? Do you look down on Storyboards? Whant to know little time savers that are all over Xcode? Finally, do you want an excellent guide to an xcodebuild tool you're fighting on CI machine every week? Read this book. I wish Chris wrote this book at least five years ago.

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App Architecture – by Chris Eidhof, Matt Gallagher, Florian Kugler

App Architecture – by Chris Eidhof,  Matt Gallagher, Florian Kugler

The complete title of the book is App Architecture: iOS Application Design Patterns in Swift. Leading three chapters of the book is pure gold for beginners (and not only). I think this is the best overview of Apple's interpretation of MVC I've ever seen. It is better than official documentation, seriously. As for last two chapters—those are interesting and nice jigsaw puzzle pieces that should fit in your experimental patterns. At least that's how I saw them. Finally, this is not a systems design book, nor it has much to say about advanced UI manipulation patters. Very recommended.

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Deep Work – by Cal Newport

Deep Work – by Cal Newport

Thoughts, anecdotes, and facts supporting distraction-free productive concentrated deep work are really well delivered. Many resonate with most, I'd believe. Personally, I found a couple of bits that reaffirmed and formalized my theories toward productive work. Either way, I'd recommend this book to anyone—it's extremely easy and fast read too.

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Millionaire Teacher – by Andrew Hallam

Millionaire Teacher – by Andrew Hallam

Nice, short and tight introduction to investing—something I started to think about since becoming 30. Andrew discusses what are conservative as well as high-risk strategies, as well as what he considers to be a smart way of doing investing are. If you are a newbie in investing like me, give it a read.

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