Be More Productive

Get the most from your processes now!


Moby Dick

I’ve learned more about building software by reading Moby Dick then I have from the best hard-hitting business tome that I can think of. Even so, the top-down order listed below is my two-cents about what is most relevant to understanding how things really work.

If you’re going to read just one book: The Checklist Manifesto — How to Get Things Right  by Atul Gawande

The title that most influenced my career continues to be Refactoring  by Martin Fowler

Systems Thinking

Scale — The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies  by Geoffry West
The Enigma of Reason  by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber
How Emotions Are Made — The Secret Life of the Brain  by Lisa Feldman Barrett
The Secret of Our Success — How Culture is Driving Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter  by Joseph Henrich
The WEIRDest People in the World — How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous  by Joseph Henrich
Surfing Uncertainty — Prediction, Action and the Embodied Mind  by Andy Clark
The Grammar of Graphics — Statistics and Computing  by Leland Wilkinson
Factory Physics — 3rd Edition  by Wallace J Hopp and Mark L. Spearman

The Sciences of the Artificial  by Herbert A. Simon
Antifragile — Things That Gain from Disorder  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Thinking, Fast and Slow  by Daniel Kahneman
Thinking in Systems  by Donella Meadows
Thinking in Services  by Majid Iqbal
Thinking in Bets  by Annie Duke
Kanban  by Taiichi Ohno
Beyond the Goal — Theory of Constraints  by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Principles: Life and Work  by Ray Dalio
A Pattern Language — Towns, Buildings, Construction  by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel
The Symphony of Profound Knowledge — W. Edwards Deming's Score for Leading, Performing and Living In Concert  by Edward Martin Baker
On Purposeful Systems — An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Individual and Social Behavior as a System of Purposeful Events  by Russell L. Ackoff and Fred E. Emery
Collapse  by Jered Diamond


Rethinking Agile — Why Agile Teams Have Nothing to Do With Business Agility  by Klaus Leopold
Team of Teams — New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World  by Stanley McCrystal
Team Topologies — Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow  by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais
Making Work Visible — Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow  by Dominica Degrandis
Project to Product — How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework  by Mik Kersten
Kanban Maturity Model — A Map to Organizational Agility, Reliance and Reinvention  by David Anderson and Theodora Bozheva
Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position  by W. Edwards Deming

Measuring Productivity

Economic Control of Quality  by W. A. Shewhart
The One Best Way — Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency  by Robert Kanigel
Principles of Scientific Management  by Frederick Winslow Taylor
Noise — A Flaw in Human Judgement  by Danial Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass Sunstein
Safe Haven — Investing for Financial Storms  by Mark Spitznagel
Black Swan — The Impact of the Highly Improbable  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Relevance Lost — The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting  by H. Thomas Johnson and Robert Kaplan
Relevance Regained — From Top-Down Control to Bottom-Up Empowerment  by H. Thomas Johnson
Haystack Syndrome — Sifting Information out of the Data Ocean  by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Throughput Accounting — TOC's Management Accounting System  by Thomas Corbett
Accelerate  by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim
Beyond Requirements — Analysis with an Agile Mindset  by Kent J. McDonald
Agile Estimation and Planning  by Mike Cohn
Florence Nightingale — A Life Inspired  by Lynn M Hamilton

Triangulating Productivity

Understanding Variation — The Key to Managing Chaos  by Donald J. Wheeler
Twenty Things You Need to Know  by Donald J. Wheeler
Understanding Statistical Process Control — Second Edition  by Donald J. Wheeler
Making Sense of Data — SPC for the Service Sector  by Donald J. Wheeler
Normality — and the Process Behavior Chart  by Donald J. Wheeler
Actionable Agile — Metrics for Productivity  by Daniel S. Vacanti
Measures of Success — React Less — Lead Better — Improve More  by Mark Graban
How to Decide — Simple Tools for Making Better Decisions  by Annie Duke
How Not to be Wrong — The Power of Mathematical Thinking  by Jordan Ellenberg
How to Measure Anything — Finding the Value of 'Intangibles' in Business  by Douglas W. Hubbard
Measure What Matters — Rock the World with OKRs  by John Doerr
The Tyranny of Metrics  by Jerry Z. Muller
Fooled by Randomness  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Statistical Method — from the Viewpoint-of Quality Control  by W. Edwards Deming
The Data Detective — Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics  by Tim Harford
Prediction Machines — The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence  by Ajay Agrawal
Superforecasting — The Art and Science of Prediction  by Phillip Tetlock and Dan Gardner
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars  by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan
The Gambler  by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fortune's Formula — The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street  by William Poundstone

Managing Productivity

Management  by Peter Drucker
The New Economics  by W. Edwards Deming
The Theory of Constraints  by Eliyahu Goldratt
Ackoff's Best — His Classic Writings on Management  by Russell Ackoff
The Checklist Manifesto — How to Get Things Right  by Atul Gawande
Fit for Purpose — How Modern Businesses Find, Satisfy, & Keep Customers  by David Anderson
The Art of Action — How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results  by Stephen Bungay
The Effective Executive — The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done  by Peter Drucker
Good Strategy Bad Strategy — The Difference and Why it Matters  by Richard Rumelt
Managing Oneself  by Peter Drucker
Out of the Crisis  by W. Edwards Deming
The Deming Dimension  by Henry Nave
Clausewitz's 'On War' — A Biography  by Hew Strachan

Narrative Format

The Goal — A Process of Ongoing Improvement  by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Critical Chain — Project Management and the Theory of Constraints  by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
It's Not Luck — Marketing, Production and the Theory of Constraints  by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
The Phoenix Project — A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win  by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford

A Theory of Knowledge

Skin in the Game  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Varieties of Religious Experience  by William James
An Introduction to Metaphysics  by Henri Bergson
Logic and Intuition  by Charles Sanders Peirce
How We Think  by John Dewey
John Dewey — and the High Tide of American Liberalism  by Alan Ryan
Lateral Thinking — Creativity Step by Step  by Edward De Bono
Ibn Khaldon  by Robert Irwin
Unity of Law  by Henry C. Carey
Past, Present and Future  by Henry C. Carey
G.W. Leibniz's Monadology  by Nicholas Rescher
Never Split the Difference — Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It  by Chris Voss
Mind in Motion — How Action Shapes Thought  by Barbara Tversky


Identity  by Francis Fukuyama
Trust  by Francis Fukuyama
Upheaval  by Jered Diamond
The Information — A History, a Theory, a Flood  by James Gleick
Sapians — A Brief History of Humankind  by Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus — A Brief History of Tomorrow  by Yuval Noah Harari
The World Until Yesterday  by Jered Diamond
Tragedy and Hope — A History of the World in Our Time  by Carrol Quigley
Origins of Political Order  by Francis Fukuyama
The Federalist Papers  by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
Political Order and Political Decay  by Francis Fukuyama
The End of History and the Last Man  by Francis Fukuyama
The Road to Serfdom  by Fredrick A. Hyack
Guns, Germs and Steel  by Jered Diamond
The Fifth Discipline  by Peter Senge
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook  by Peter Senge and Art Kleiner
Organizational Culture and Leadership  by Edgar H Schein
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups  by Daniel Coyle
Humble Inquiry — The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling  by Edgar H. Schein
Dance of Change — The Challenge to Sustain Momentum in Learning Organizations  by Peter Senge and Art Kleiner
Beyond Engineering — How Society Shapes Technology  by Robert Pool

Think Theme

Adapt — Why Success Always Starts with Failure  by Tim Harford
Peak — Secrets from the New Science of Expertise  by Ropert Pool
Kluge — The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind  by Gary Marcus
Flow — Living at the Peak of Your Abilities  by Mihai Czikszhenhalis
Range — Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World  by David Epstein
Blink — The Power of Thinking Without Thinking  by Malcolm Gladwell
Powerful — Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility  by Patty McCord
Outliers — The Story of Success  by Malcolm Gladwell
Unlearn — Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results  by Barry O'Reilly
Super Thinking — The Big Book of Mental Models  by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann
Atomic Habits — An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones  by James Clear
The Bed of Procrustes  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Professor Maxwell's Duplicitous Demon — The Life and Science of James Clerk Maxwell  by Brian Clegg
Faraday, Maxwell and the Electromagnetic Field — How Two Men Revolutionized Physics  by Nancy Forbes and Basil Mahon
The Life and Times of Nicola Tesla  by Marc J. Seifer
The Age of Edison — Electric Light and the Rise of Modern America  by Richard Freeman
Electric Universe — How Electricity Switched on the Modern World  by David Bodanis
I Invented the Modern World — The Rise of Henry Ford  by Richard Snow
The Story of Sakichi Toyoda
Billy, Alfred and General Motors  by William Pelfry
The Story of Sakichi Toyoda  by Suzuki Naoki and Nomura Hikaru
Toyota Production System — Beyond Large-Scale Production  by Taichii Ohno
Made In Japan  by Akio Morita
A Mind at Play — How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age  by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni
The Sceret of Life — Rosalind Franklin and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix  by Howard Markel
Elon Musk — Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future  by Ashlee Vance
The Invention That changed the World — How a Small Group of Radar Pioneers Won the Second World War and Launched a Techonological Revolution  by Robert Buderi
Zero to One  by Peter Thiel
Invent and Wander  by Jeff Bezos
Scoring a Whole in One  by Edward Martin Baker
Five Most Important Questions  by Peter F Drucker
Innovation and Entrepreneurship  by Peter F. Drucker
The Innovator's Dilemma  by Clay Christianson
The Innovator's Method  by Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer
The Innovator's Solution  by Clay Christianson
The Innovators — How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution  by Walter Isaacson
Beyond the Prototype — A Roadmap for Navigating the Fuzzy Area Between Ideas and Outcomes  by Douglas Ferguson
Obviously Awesome — How to Nail Product Positioning  by April Dunford
The Hard Thing About Hard Things  by Ben Horowitz
Why Startups Fail — A New Roadmap to Entrepreneurial Success  by Russell L. Ackoff and Fred E. Emery
In Their Own Words — The Space Race  by (The Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury Missions)
Washington Goes to the Moon — A Documentary About Apollo 11  by Richard Paul
Beyond Earth — Our Path to a New Home in the Planets  by Charles Wohlforth and Amanda Hendrix
A Piece of the Sun — The Quest for Fusion Energy  by Daniel Clery

Cold Hard Cash

The Lords of Strategy — The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World  by Walter Kiehel III
Lords of Finance — The Bankers Who Broke the World  by Liaquat Ahamed
The Partnership — The Making of Goldman Sachs  by Charles D. Ellis
The Last Tycoons — The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co.  by William D. Cohan
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr.  by Ron Chernow
All the Devils Are Here — The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis  by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera
The Dying of Money — Lessons of the Great German and American Inflations  by Jens O. Parsson
The Shock Doctrine — The Rise of Disaster Capitalism  by Naomi Klein
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man  by John Perkins
Atlas Shrugged  by Ayn Rand
Nemesis — The Last Days of the American Republic  by Chalmers Johnson

Mr. Peabody's Way Back Machine

The Iliad  by Chapman's Homer
The Odyssey  by Chapman's Homer
The Aeneid  by Virgil
The Persian Wars, Volume 1  by Herodotus
The Persian Wars, Volume 2  by Herodotus
The Peloponnesian War, Volume 1  by Thucydides
The Peloponnesian War, Volume 2  by Thucydides
The March of the Ten Thousand  by Xenophon
A History of Greece, Volume 1  by Cyril Robinson
A History of Greece, Volume 2  by Cyril Robinson
Alexander the Great  by Arrian
Alexander of Macedon  by Harold Lamb
Alexander the Great and His Time  by Agnes Savill
Tamerlane — Conqueror of the Earth  by Harold Lamb
Genghis Khan — Emperor of All Men  by Harold Lamb
Hannibal — One Man Against Rome  by Harold Lamb
Christendom — A short history of Christianity and its Impact on the Western World  by Roland H. Bainton
The Twelve Caesars  by Suetonius
The Jewish War  by Flavius Josephus
The Story of the Goths  by Henry Bradley
The Late Roman Empire  by Glanville Downey
Charlemagne  by Richard Winston
The Flame of Islam  by Harold Lamb
Iron Men and Saints  by Harold Lamb
The Crusades  by Richard A. Newha
The Middle Ages — 395-1500  by Dana Carleton Monroe and Raymond James Sontag
A History of the Middle Ages  by Crane Brinton
A History of the Arab Peoples  by Albert Hourani
The Great Age of Discovery — Columbus, Magellan, and the Early Explorations  by Paul Herrmann
The Great Age of Discovery — Captain Cook and the Scientific Explorations  by Paul Herrmann
How the Irish Saved Civilization  by Thomas Cahill
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea — Why the Greeks Matter  by Thomas Cahill

The Long Shadow

A Distant Mirror — The Calamitous Fourteenth Century  by Barbara Tuchman
The Fall of Constantinople  by Steven Runciman
The Hapsburgs: To Rule the World  by Martyn Rady
The Italian Renaissance  by J.H. Plumb
The Thirty Years War  by C. V. Wedgwood
The Enlightened Despots  by Geoffrey Bruun
The Sun King — Louis XIV at Versailles  by James Grant
The French Revolution — 1789 - 1799  by Leo Gershoy
Napoleon  by H.A.L. Fisher
Napoleon  by Paul Johnson
The Crown of Mexico — Maximilian and His Empress Carlota  by Joan Haslip

The Diplomatic Background of the War — 1870-1914  by Charles Seymour
European Diplomatic History — 1871-1932  by Raymond Sontag
The American Impact on Russia — Diplomatic and Ideological — 1784-1917  by Max M. Laserson
The Proud Tower — A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914  by Barbara Tuchman
The Guns of August  by Barbara Tuchman
The Storm of Steel  by Ernst Jünger
Fall of the Ottomans — The Great War in the Middle East  by Eugene Rogan
The Fall of the House of Hapsburg  by Edward Crankshaw
Paris 1919 — Six Months That Changed the World  by Margaret MacMillan
O Jerusalem  by Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre
Woodrow Wilson — and the Reimagining of Eastern Europe  by Larry Wolf

Partners in Tyranny — The Nazi—Soviet Non-Agression Pact August 23, 1939  by John Kolasky
The Most Dangerous Enemy — A History of the Battle of Britain  by Stephen Bungay
Alamein  by Stephen Bungay
Stalingrad  by Theodor Plievier
The Tigers are Burning — the battle of Kursk  by Martin Caiden
Operation Reunion — A Daring POW Rescue from Romania  by Robert Goebel
Blood and Banquets — A Berlin Social Diary  by Bella Fromm
The Last Days of Hitler  by Trevor Roper

The Iron Curtain 1944-1956  by Anne Applebaum
The Oak and the Calf  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
In Europe's Shadow  by Robert D. Kaplan
Europe Since 1989  by Philipp Ther
Balkan Ghosts — A Journey Through History  by Robert D. Kaplan
Romania — an Illustrated History  by Nicolae Klepper
A Concise History of Romania  by Keith Hitchens
Ghost of Freedom — History of the Caucasus  by Charles King

Fanshen — A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village  by William Hinton
Red Star of China — The Classic Account of the Birth of Chinese Communism  by Edgar Snow
The Return of Marco Polo's World  by Robert D. Kaplan
Silk Road  by Robert D. Kaplan
Monsoon — The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power  by Robert D. Kaplan
In the Dragon's Shadow — Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century  by Sabastian Strangio
Asia's Cauldron — The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific  by Robert D. Kaplan
The Third Revolution — Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State  by Elizabeth Economy


The Conquest of New Spain  by Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Empire of the Summer Moon — Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches  by S. C. Gwynne

1776  by David McCullough
The Spirit of Seventy Six — The Story of the American Revolution as Told by the Participants  by Edited by Commanger and Morris
Washington's Crossing  by David Hackett Fischer
The First Salute — A View of the American Revolution  by Barbara W. Tuchman
John Paul Jones — Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy  by Evan Thomas
Benjamin Franklin — An American Life  by Walter Isaacson
George Washington  by James MacGregor Burns, Susan Dunn
Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow
Outlines of American Political Economy  by Friedrich List
The Federalist Era — 1789-1801  by John C. Miller
John Adams — Volume 1  by David McCullough
John Adams — Volume 2  by David McCullough
James Madison  by Garry Wills
John Quincy Adams — The Foundations of American Foreign Policy  by Samuel Flagg Bemis
The Pirate Coast — Thomas Jefferson, The First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805  by Richard Zacks
Andrew Jackson  by Robert V. Remini
The Journals of Lewis and Clark  by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark
The Mexican Frontier 1821—1846 — The American Southwest Under Mexico  by David J. Weber

The Civil War — A Firsthand Look  by General Nelson A. Miles
The Killer Angels — The Classic Novel of the Civil War  by Michael Shaara
The Twentieth Maine  by John J. Pullen
Abraham Lincoln — A Concise Biography  by H.G. Pitt
Lincoln at Gettysburg — The Words that Remade America  by Garry Wills
The Coming Fury — The Centennial History of the Civil War, Volume 1  by Bruce Catton
Grant Takes Command  by Bruce Catton
Grant Moves South  by Bruce Catton
A Stillness at Appomattox — The Army of the Potomac, Volume 3  by Bruce Catton
The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant — Part 1: The Early Years, West Point, Mexico  by Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant  by Josiah Bunting III
US Grant  by Ron Chernow
Blood — Stories of Life and Death from the Civil War  by Edited by Peter Kadzis, Clint Willis
The True Story of Andersonville Prison: — A Defense of Major Henry Wirz  by James Madison Page
In the Care of Strangers — The Rise of America's Hospital System  by Charles E. Rosenberg

Nothing Like it in the World — The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869  by Stephen Ambrose
American Economic Development Since 1860  by Edited by William Greenleaf
Rutherford B. Hayes  by Hans L. Trefousse
Grover Cleveland  by Henry F. Graff
Murdering McKinley — The Making of Theodore Roosevelt's America  by Eric Rauchway
The Spanish American War — and President McKinley  by Lewis L. Gould
Wars of Latin America — 1899—1941  by René de la Pedraja
Triumphs and Tragedy — A History of the Mexican People  by Ramón Eduardo Ruiz
Empire and Revolution — The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War  by John Mason Hart
The Secret War in El Paso — Mexican Revolutionary Intrigue, 1906—1920  by Charles H. Harris and Louis R. Sadler
The Life and Times of Pancho Villa  by Friedrich Katz
The Landing at Veracruz: 1914 — A Strange Encouter in April 1914, When the US Navy Captured and Occupied the City of Veracruz, Mexico  by Jack Sweetman
El Sueco que se fue con Pancho Villa — Aventuras de un mercenario en la Revolutición mexicana  by Adolfo Arrioja Vizcaíno
Gringo Rebel  by I. Thord Grey

Woodrow Wilson  by H.W. Brands
Before the Trumpet — Young Franklin Roosevelt 1882-1905  by Geoffrey C. Ward
Looking Forward  by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Teapot Dome  by Burl Noggle
The Shadow of Blooming Grove — Warren G. Harding in His Times  by Francis Rusell
The Inside Story of the Harding Tragedy  by Harry M. Daugherty
The Strange Death of President Harding  by Gaston B. Means
The Publisher — Henry Luce and His American Century  by Alan Brinkley
Al Smith  by Oscar Handlin
Al Smith — Hero of the Cities  by Matthew & Hannah Josephson
Origins of the TVA — The Muscle Shoals Controversy 1920-1932  by Preston J. Hubbard
TVA — Democracy on the March  by David E. Lillienthal

FDR — The Beckoning of Destiny: 1882-1928  by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR — The New York Years: 1928-1933  by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR — The New Deal Years: 1933-1937  by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR — Into the Storm: 1937-1940  by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR — The War President: 1940-1943  by Kenneth S. Davis
Hard Times  by Studs Terkel
Franklink Roosevelt — and the New Deal: 1932-1940  by William E. Leuchtenburg
The FDR Years — On Roosevelt & His Legacy  by William E. Leuchtenburg
In the Shadow of FDR — From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan  by William E. Leuchtenburg
Adventures in Conversation with Franklin Roosevelt  by Irving Brant
Scorpions — The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices  by Noah Feldman
That Man — an Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt  by Robert H. Jackson
The Three Roosevelts  by James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn
Recollections of the New Deal — When the People Mattered  by Thomas H Eliot
FDR and His Enemies  by Albert Fried
White House Witness: 1942-1945  by Jonathan Daniels

No Ordinary Time — Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II  by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Juggler — Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman  by Warren F. Kimball
Secret Affairs — FDR, Cordell Hull and Sumner Wells  by Irwin F. Gellman
Room 3603 — The story of the British Intelligence Center in New York during World War II  by Montgomery Hyde
Roosevelt's Secret War — FDR and World War II Espionage  by Joseph E. Persico
Stilwell and the American Experience in China — 1911-45  by Barbara W. Tuchman
Carlson's Raid — The Daring Marine Assault on Makin  by George W. Smith
Roosevelt and Hopkins — An Intimate History  by Robert E. Sherwood
Roosevelt and Marshall — Partners in Politics and War  by Thomas Parrish
Kennedy and Roosevelt — The Uneasy Alliance  by Michael R. Beschloss
Roosevelt and Churchill — Men of Secrets  by David Stafford
As He Saw It — The Story of the World Conferences of F.D.R  by Elliot Roosevelt
Franklin and Winston  by Jon Meacham
Churchill's Grand Alliance — a provocative reassessment of the Special Relationship  by John Charmley
Charles de Gaulle — A Biography  by Don Cook
John Monnet — The First Statesman of Interdependence  by Francois Duchene
Huey Long — A Biography  by T. Harry Williams
Pepper: Eyewitness to a Century  by Claude Denson Pepper
George W. Norris — The Persistence of a Progressive 1913-1933  by Richard Lowitt
Liberal: Adolf A. Berle — and the Vision of an American Era  by Jordan A. Schwarz
Sidney Hillman — Statesman of American labor  by Matthew Josephson
All in a Lifetime  by Henry Morgenthau

The Centure of the Common Man

The Wallaces of Iowa  by Russell Lord
Irrigation Frontier — On the Trail of the Corn Belt Farmer, 1909  by Henry A. Wallace
The Price of Vision — 1942-1946  by Henry A. Wallace
Democracy Reborn — Edited by Russell Lord  by Henry A. Wallace
The Century of the Common Man  by Henry A. Wallace
Technology, Corporations and the General Welfare  by Henry A. Wallace
Whose Constitution — An Inquiry into the General Welfare  by Henry A. Wallace
New Frontiers  by Henry A. Wallace
Sixty Million Jobs  by Henry A. Wallace
Toward World Peace  by Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace — and American Foreign Policy  by J. Samuel Walker
Henry Wallace, Harry Truman — and the Cold War  by Richard J. Walton
Henry Wallace — The Man and the Myth  by Dwight Macdonald
Unlikely President — Henry A. Wallace  by Robert G. Morris

The Fifteen Weeks — An Inside Account of the Genesis of the Marshall Plan  by Joseph Marion Jones
The Marshall Plan — The Launching of the Pax Americana  by Charles L. Mee Jr.
Dwight D. Eisenhower  by Tom Wicker
The Battle of Dienbienphu — The fateful battle that led to the American involvement in Vietnam  by Jules Roy
Truman  by David McCullough
Colder than Hell — A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir  by Joseph R. Owen

The Souls of Black Folk  by W.E.B. Dubois
Up from Slavery  by Booker T. Washington
Parting the Waters — America in the King Years 1954-63  by Taylor Branch
Pillar of Fire — America in the King Years 1963-65  by Taylor Branch
Walking with the Wind — A memoir of the Movement  by John Lewis

Master of the Senate — The Years of Lyndon Johnson III  by Robert A. Caro
Nixon — The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972  by Stephen E. Ambrose
Reagan in His Own Voice — Ronald Reagan's Radio Addresses  by Ronald Reagan
Tour of Duty — John Kerry and the Vietnam War  by Douglas Brinkley
War in a Time of Peace — Bush, Clinton, and the Generals  by David Halberstam
My Life  by Bill Clinton

Never Forget

Andersonville Diary — A True Account  by John L. Ransom
The Rape of Nanking  by Iris Chang
The White Rose — Munich 1942—1943  by Inge Scholl
Defying Hitler — A Memoir  by Sebastian Haffner
Bloodlands — Europe Between Hitler and Stalin  by Timothy Snyder
Last Letters from Stalingrad  by Translated by Franz Schneider and Charles Gullans
The Bridge at No Gun Ri — A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean War  by Charles Hanley, Sang-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza
Nicolae Ceaușescu  by Charles River
All the Shah's Men — An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror  by Stephen Kinzer
Twilight of Democracy — The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism  by Anne Applebaum

Where Words Come From

In Search of the Indo-Europeans — Language, Archaeology and Myth  by J.P. Mallory
On Language — The Diversity of Human Language Structure and its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind  by Wilhelm von Humboldt
The Origin of Language — Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue  by Merritt Ruhlen
The Loom of Language — An Approach to the Mastery of Many Languages  by Frederick Bodmer
Aesthetics and Language  by William Elton
Semantics of the English Subjunctive  by Francis James
The Art of Plain Talk  by Rudolf Flesch
The Art of Readable Writing  by Rudolf Flesch
Garment of Praise — The Necessity for Poetry  by Eleanor Carroll Chilton and Herbert Agar
Bolts of Melody  by Emily Dickinson
Complete Work of Percy Bysshe Shelley

User Stories (long format)

Moby Dick  by Herman Melville
Ulysses  by James Joyce
Nostromo  by Joseph Conrad
Dubliners  by James Joyce
Devils  by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Cancer Ward  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The First Circle  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Lenin in Zurich  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
August 1914  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
November 1916  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Notes From Underground  by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Portrait of the Artist — as a Young Man  by James Joyce
Fyodor Dostoryevsky
Crime and Punishment  by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Brothers Karamazov  by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Idiot  by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Don Quixote — de la Mancha  by Miguel de Cervantes
The Jungle  by Upton Sinclair
The War Lover  by John Hersey
The Little Prince  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Victory  by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness  by Joseph Conrad
Paradise Lost  by John Milton
Paradise Regained  by John Milton
Ninety-Three  by Victor Hugo
Les Misérables — Translated by Julie Rose  by Victor Hugo
The Hunchback of Notre Dame  by Victor Hugo
A Handful of Rice  by Kamala Markandaya
Short Stories of Anton Chekhov — Volume 1  by Anton Chekhov
Russian Short Stories  by Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev and Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Chinese Short Stories — Volume 1  by Lin Yu Tang
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich  by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Foundation Trilogy  by Isaac Asimov
I Robot  by Isaac Asimov
Stranger in a Strange Land  by Robert Heinlein
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress  by Robert Heinlein
The Left Hand of Darkness  by Ursula K. Le Guin
Dune  by Frank Herbert
Foundation  by Issac Asimov
Foundation and Empire  by Issac Asimov
Second Foundation  by Issac Asimov
Cities in Flight  by James Blish
Dune  by Frank Herbert
Titus Groan  by Mervyn Peake
The Fountainhead  by Ayn Rand
Night of January 16  by Ayn Rand
Ideal  by Ayn Rand
Think Twice  by Ayn Rand
Anthem  by Ayn Rand
Long Ago and Far Away  by W.H. Hudson
The Purple Land  by W.H. Hudson

Back Stories

James Joyce  by Richard Ellman
Ayn Rand and the World She Made  by Anne C. Heller
The World of W Edwards Deming  by Cecilia S. Kilian
Deming Goldratt  by Domenico Lepore and Obed Choen
True Notebooks — A Writer's Year at Juvenile Hall  by Mark Salzman
Playing the Enemy — Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation  by John Carlin
Charlie Wilson's War  by George Crile
Against All Enemies — Inside America's War on Terror  by Richard A. Clarke
Chain of Command — The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib  by Seymour M. Hersh

First Principles

Why We Sleep  by Matthew Walker
E=mc2 — A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation  by David Bodanis
God's Equation — Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe  by Amir D. Aczel
The Mystery of the Aleph — Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity  by Amir D. Aczel
The Riddle of the Compass — The Invention that Changed the World  by Amir D. Aczel
The Seashell on the Mountaintop — Nicolaus Steno — The Unsung Genius Who Invented Geology, Turned Science and Religion Upside-Down and Forever Changed Human Understanding  by Alan Cutler
Tuning into Nature — Solar Energy, Infrared Radiation and the Insect Communication System  by Philip S. Callahan
Some Theory of Sampling  by W. Edwards Deming
DNA — The Secret of Life  by James Watson and Andrew Berry
Flu — The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918  by Gina Kolata
Debt — The First 5,000 Years  by David Graeber

Durable tech reads

Refactoring  by Martin Fowler
Continuous Delivery  by Jez Humble and David Farley
sed and awk  by Dale Dougherty and Arnold Robbins
Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

pattern language

Let's agree to define productivity in terms of throughput. We can debate the meaning of productivity in terms of additional measurements of the business value of delivered work, but as Eliyahu Goldratt pointed out in his critique of the Balanced Scorecard, there is a virtue in simplicity. Throughput doesn’t answer all our questions about business value, but it is a sufficient metric for the context of evaluating the relationship of practices with productivity.