By John Sonmez December 25, 2017

All The Books I Read In 2017

If you are one of those programmers who loves books, this post is for you! That said, it's time for my annual post of all the books I've read in 2017.

This past year I read a total of 61 books, not as many as 2016. Although I wanted to make that number bigger, there were a few things (like the Pimsleur courses) that made me read fewer books than last year.

But 61 books is still pretty impressive, right?

So, stick with me and I'll show you all the books I've read in 2017.

And don't worry! If you're not the reading type of guy, I've also recorded a video, which you can check below:

How did I do it, you may ask?

Well, I listened to them — at least many of them.

I utilized my Audible.com account to listen to the audio versions of the books, mostly at 3x speed. (3x speed may seem unintelligible to you, but you can work your way up to it if you slowly increase the speed and you give absolute focus)

If you haven’t already signed up for an Audible.com subscription, do it now–seriously, it will be one of the best decisions you make in your life.

I also listen to books whenever I am walking somewhere or driving in the car.

And, of course, I read books on my Kindle just about every night.

Ok, without further adieu, here are the books:

Principles by Ray

I just finished this book, and it was tough.

I agree with most of the principles that Ray talks about but I didn't like it simply because it was too structural and too rigid.

The Graveyard Book by Nail Gaiman

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

Although it is a highly recommended book, I must admit that it is not my story of choice. I did not like it and I did not enjoy it, but if you are a fan of science fiction do not close yourself off to the idea of giving it a try.

Win Bigly by Scott Adams

This book deals in its entirety with the election of Donald Trump. Basically, it is a book in which Scott predicts that the current president wins the primaries and general election. I liked it, as I personally was making videos on the channel predicting that Trump would win from the primaries to the presidency.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

This is a pretty good book, I highly recommend it. Try this idea of observing yourself and who you are. Basically, it's a guide to help you get a view of how you look from the outside.

Backbone by David H Wagner

This is a book of manhood. It clearly speaks of the importance of men having friends who are the same sex, as a strong bond of trust and brotherhood can form between them.

For a New liberty by Murray N Rothbard

This book made me make the decision to go full Libertarian. I know many of you do not like this, but Libertarian is not something like Republicans and Democrats. It is more like a philosophy. Read the book and let me know.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker

If you are being limited by thinking that having the money or being rich is bad, this book will help you. This book explains that the way you think about money is what will influence your surroundings.

Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards

This book is about how to influence and be a sociable person. At the beginning, I didn't really understand the idea of the book, I thought it was more about appearance, but it ended up being something else. This book basically deals with the science of how people work and how to deal with them and influence them.

Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

This book is about how everything we are building in our life, in any field (our physical condition, making money, building a house or any other scenario), is simply a transport that takes us to the other side. Once we arrive at that desired place, or we obtain the expected result, we do not have to need that boat, but we simply continue forward in order to continue achieving goals.

The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

One of Eli Goldratt’s convictions was that the goal of an individual or an organization should not be defined in absolute terms. A good definition of a goal is one that sets us on a path of ongoing improvement.

This book is highly recommended for people who are on a project or have an idea in development.

The Story of Philosophy Kindle Edition by Will Durant

A brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Croce, Russell, Santayana, James, and Dewey

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying up to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.

I really think that this is a very good book, it is quite interesting. If you are minimalist, this is your book.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Joe Dispenza

You are not doomed by your genes or hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. A new science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose.

This is a really good book, I highly recommend it. It's about mindset, it's about what you believe influences your reality. This book teaches you at a level of quantum physics and neuroscience. It's really interesting.

I Can See Clearly Now by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

This is a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, I heard it on a podcast and I thought he was a very nice person. I have read many books about this character and he has a very interesting way of thinking. This one, in particular, is about his life story.

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday

If you are going to do a creative project or even write a book, you should follow the advice that my good friend Ryan Holiday has shared in this book. We have known each other for a while and I have several of his books.

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger M.D.

He has many tips that will be of great help to you. Personally, I have a somewhat distant opinion about this book, as well as having many tips on how to eat healthily, much of the information is biased.
Although I've definitely been eating more greens, the only thing that keeps me from being vegan is that I eat meat.

Pimsleur Courses Italian

It is a course that helps you to learn Italian consisting of 5 units. It took me 6 months to finish it, dedicating 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. This caused me to stop reading more books, but I took advantage as much as I could.

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

A few common principles drive performance, regardless of the field or the task at hand. Whether someone is trying to qualify for the Olympics, break ground in mathematical theory or craft an artistic masterpiece, many of the practices that lead to great success are the same. In Peak Performance, Brad Stulberg, a former McKinsey and Company consultant and writer who covers health and the science of human performance, and Steve Magness, a performance scientist and coach of Olympic athletes, team up to demystify these practices and demonstrate how everyone can achieve their best.

How to Get and Stay Motivated by Grant Cardone

I really liked this book, but it seems very repetitive and more of the same that any other one of his works offer. If it is the first time you read a book by this author, do not let this book define your opinion of him.

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Dr. Jason Fung

I think it's a good book. I've change my mind about fasting, which is something I've done over the years. This book talks about the process and function of insulin. I am now clear that many of the things I have tried or experienced have not been helpful to me, but this book has given me good ideas about future changes in my diet.

The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche by H. L. Mencken

This is the first book on Nietzsche ever to appear in English, this examination by legendary journalist H. L. Mencken is still one of the most enlightening.

Nietzsche's much-misunderstood concept of the superman, his concept of eternal recurrence, his rejection of Christianity, and his basic rationalism and materialism are all analyzed in this book.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

This book established Nietzsche as a bold and original thinker; a reputation that would only be enhanced by later works such as Beyond Good and Evil.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra has several recurring themes, placing the main character – the creator of one of the first monotheistic faiths – in a story which deals with ideas such as the “eternal recurrence of the same”, the parable on the “death of God”, and the “prophecy” of the Übermensch. This combination proved potent in philosophic circles, with the text passionately discussed in academic circles to this day.

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL

This was a really good book about being Hardcore! Do You like the bulldog mindset? You must check out Resilience.

Eric’s letters—drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers—are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Greitens shows how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more.

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field by Nathaniel Branden

This was a foundational book on self-esteem. How you view yourself is going to determine how you act.

The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships.

Primal Endurance: Escape chronic cardio and carbohydrate dependency and become a fat burning beast! by Mark Sisson

This was a book that was recommended to me about running, it's basically about running with low carbs.

I'm not completely convinced by the training routine that is shown in the book, maybe it just doesn’t work for me, but if you don’t have a low carb routine, perhaps it can work for you.

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian

Man, I love this book, it has such an interesting theme. It's about AI and how you can use algorithms in real life.

All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such issues for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us.

The Magic 2.0 Series by Scott Meyers

This is a series of fiction books. The first three volumes were fascinating, but the fourth I did not like at all, his story was quite dull and boring. I feel that this fourth installment destroyed all the work of the first three.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

It's one of my favorite books, it's the second time I read it. It has a very powerful content because it can change your way of thinking. Talks about how important it is to live in the present.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

This book is the full story of Amazon and its founder. He talks about how hard it is to work for this company and how ruthless Jeff Bezos can be.

The Everything Store will be the revealing, definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson

Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses three decades of original research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill.

The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

This was a really interesting book. If you want to read something that is going to shake you up a little bit and get to your heart and make you think about life, then this is the book.

Models: Attract Women With Honesty by Mark Manson

Models is the first men's dating book ever written on seduction as a purely emotional process rather than a logical one, a process of connecting with women rather than impressing them, a process of self-expression rather than manipulation. It's the most mature and honest guide on how a man can attract women without faking behavior, without lying and without emulating others. A game-changer.

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger

In his signature larger-than-life style, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall is a revealing self-portrait of his illustrious, controversial, and truly unique life.

The greatest immigrant success story of our time.

His story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in these pages.

Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success is a complete exploration of Hill’s success philosophy and his seventeen essential principles of personal achievement. I didn’t find it quite as useful as his other books, maybe because I'm used to the mindset, but you should definitely check it out.

Enlightenment, Marriage, and the Dark Side by David Deida

What’s really required for a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship? In this talk, David Deida suggests that it’s critical to learn how to reinvigorate the entire spectrum of sexual energy—including both the light and dark aspects—in order to maintain the “polarity” that makes great sex possible.

What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by Scott Carney

Man, how could I not pick up a book called what doesn’t kill us? This is a journalist who went through cold endurance training trying to figure out if this is bullshit or not… it's obviously not.

Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology? Helping him in his search for the answers is Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose ability to control his body temperature in the extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study.

Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life That Matter by Evan Carmichael

In this bold and empowering guide, entrepreneur and social media sensation Evan Carmichael shares the secret to turbo-charging your path to success on your own terms. With thought-provoking questions and inspiring, instructive examples, Your One Word will help you nail down your personal mottos – the word that captures your purpose and passion. With this operating philosophy in hand, you will then learn how to leverage this powerful tool to create the business and future of your dreams.

In the beginning, I didn't believe that you could actually surround your whole life in one word… But now, my word is BULLDOG.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

This is a book about writing. Think you've got a book inside of you? Anne Lamott isn't afraid to help you let it out. She'll help you find your passion and your voice, beginning from the first really crummy draft to the peculiar letdown of publication.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Start With Why shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean and Getting Strong by Michael Matthews

If you want to build as much muscle as naturally possible…be able to bench press, squat, and deadlift gargantuan amounts of weight…and maintain a ripped, beach-ready physique year round…then you want to read this book.

The Star Principle by Richard Koch

This is a vital book for any growing entrepreneur or investor (of grand or modest means). It is also invaluable for any ambitious employee who realizes the benefits of working for a Star venture – real responsibility, fast personal development, better pay, great bonuses and valuable share options.

Whoever you are, identifying and investing in Stars will make your life much sweeter and richer in every way.

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss

This is a bunch of questions asked to famous people, some of them are nuggets of wisdom, but most of them are crap.

That's just something to keep in mind, there's definitely a lot of good advice, but you gotta find the right fit.

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday

It’s a daily meditation book based on Stoic philosophy, I've been doing this through the whole year, and I'll be done by the end of the year because it's one a day.

366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus.

Manliness by Harvey C. Mansfield

This book is deep, and it was hard to get through. It invites―no, demands―a response from its readers. It is impossible not to be drawn into the provocative (often contentious) discussion that Harvey Mansfield sets before us. This is the first comprehensive study of manliness, a quality both bad and good, mostly male, often intolerant, irrational, and ambitious. Our “gender-neutral society” does not like it but cannot get rid of it.

The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield is one of my favorite authors, he wrote one of my favorite books of all time “The War of Art”

It’s a great non-fiction book and an inspirational one. If you like everything about the Spartans you should definitely check this one out.

Danger & Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity by Mike Cernovich

This book is a compilation of many blog posts. Its author Mike Cernovich is a badass, I like the way he is and his way of thinking, but the book wasn’t what I was expecting.

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks

This is an excellent book. It talks about mass movements based on following a person with very influential ideas about politics, religion and more.

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life by Wayne W. Dyer

This is Wayne Dyer's first book. It talks about how to identify your erroneous zones, not your erogenous zones. Specifically, the places in your life that you messed up.

Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition by John Ivy

Its an old book about weightlifting and maximizing protein efficiency.

Using cutting-edge research studies from leading sports science laboratories, Nutrient Timing shatters myths and misconceptions about how to provide optimum nutrition to working muscles. It shows that when the right combination of nutrients is delivered at the right time, one can activate his/her body's muscle machinery to increase muscle strength, improve endurance and increase lean muscle mass.

Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks by Dave Asprey

Man, I have to say that I do not agree with Dave Asprey, I'm all about not using crutches in life and building your strength, mental fortitude, and a strong mindset, and this guy talks about using hacks without building the foundation to get to the goals you want to be realized.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Bringing to life science research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this bestselling book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.

Published: The Proven Path From Blank Page to Published by Chandler Bolt

It's about creating a book and making it self-publishable, I used it a lot when I wrote my book “The Complete Software Developer Career Guide”. It's an excellent book, I highly recommend it!

Book Launch: How to Write, Market & Publish Your First Bestseller in Three Months or Less AND Use it to Start and Grow a Six Figure Business by Chandler Bolt

No matter your writing level or ability, whether you feel like you have nothing to write about or you don’t have a following or influence — know that by following the information in Book Launch, you can successfully write a bestseller.

Most importantly, you can use your bestseller to grow your business, make more money and help more people.

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins

After interviewing fifty of the world’s greatest financial minds and penning the #1 New York Times bestseller Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins returns with a step-by-step playbook, taking you on a journey to transform your financial life and accelerate your path to financial freedom. No matter your salary, your stage of life, or when you started, this book will provide the tools to help you achieve your financial goals more rapidly than you ever thought possible.

The Art of Worldly Wisdom: A Pocket Oracle by Baltasar Gracian

The remarkable best-seller — a long-lost, 300-year-old book of wisdom on how to live successfully yet responsibly in a society governed by self-interest — as acute as Machiavelli, yet as humanistic and scrupulously moral as Marcus Aurelius.

King by Elliot Hulse

Elliot Hulse is someone who inspired me to create my YouTube channel. King is a good book and it has a lot of stuff about fitness and athletic advice. Also, spirituality, mindset, masculinity, and femininity.

Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship by MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco's long-awaited follow-up to the international best-seller, The Millionaire Fastlane, UNSCRIPTED is the definitive blueprint for escaping the cultural conditioning of the mundane and mediocre. Learn how to create an awe-inspiring life using the power of entrepreneurship. UNSCRIPTED is not something you TRY, it is something you LIVE.

Christian Gnosis by C W Leadbeater

This is a book that I happened to stumble upon, it's an academical theology so I think it's not going to be for many people.

I found it very interesting. If you're willing to dedicate the time you can check out this book.

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

Throughout your life, you've had parents, coaches, teachers, friends and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment.” Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self.

The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide by John Sonmez

books I read

Now it is time for my book! I've read this book like 5 fucking times this year because of all the editing it went through!

Add that to all the times I had to listen to the Audible version, and I highly recommend this!

10 Steps To Learn Anything Quickly By John Sonmez

To every programmer who’s ever scanned Hacker News and /r/programming and thought…

“How will I ever keep up?” Here’s how to turn “information overwhelm” into an efficiency edge that can quickly boost your income, earn you “MVP” status with your team, and make you the in-demand developer companies are dying to recruit.

And with that, we’re done! Happy Reading!

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."