Track books I've read and any thoughts I've had. Also uses Wiki to track knowledge.
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Reading List

The existence of this project came from two patterns introduced by Dave Hoover: Reading List and Record What You Learn. A book, in this instance, is anything through which I'm gaining knowledge (be it a podcast, book, blog, or screencast).

My goals:

  1. Track what I'm reading to find gaps in my knowledge
  2. Document my thoughts on books
  3. Learn. And help others learn.

If you have any suggestions or want to discuss any of the books, hit me up on twitter @corymonty.


Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests by Steve Freeman


The Joy of Clojure by Michael Fogus


Design Patterns Ruby Edition by Russ Olsen


Domain Driven Design by Eric Evans


Hackers & Painters by Paul Graham


Refactoring Ruby by Jay Fields, Shane Harvie, Martin Fowler, Kent Beck

In depth examples/explanations of many common refactorings (based on the original). When coding, I find myself mentally associating what I'm doing with the examples from this book. I want to loop back and compare this with the original Refactoring book. 2012

Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte

Quick overview of making and implementing a responsive grid layout. Includes examples for responsive background and inline images. Also, covers media-queries for targeting devices. This style of design is the way of the future to ensure users get relevant information quickly. 2011

Pragmatic Programmer by Andy Hunt and David Thomas

Solid narrative on how you should approach being a programmer and what idioms you should follow. Apprenticeship Patterns copied the same format of the book (approach, examples, exercises). Code samples are in Java and C, but book still holds up many years later because of the fundamentals that are presented. 2011

Programming Ruby 1.9 by Dave Thomas

Great in-depth look at the functionality and syntax of the Ruby language. Learned many tidbits and foundations alike. The back half of the book can be used as a quick reference, in addition to the Ruby docs. 2011

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware by Andy Hunt

Excellent book if you're ramping up your didication to learning. Andy goes over some awesome techniques (like the Mind Map) and explains how to get the most out a learning experience. Opened my eyes to the Dreyfus Model and where I'm at on my journey and what I need to do to get there. Key point to remember: R-mode to L-mode flow. 2011

Apprenticeship Patterns by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye

A truly good foundation to build your career. I'm in the process of applying each pattern (once a day with a mug of tea). If you want to get serious about your knowledge and the craft of software, this is the place to start. 2011

Learn Objective-C on the Mac by Mark Dalrymple and Scott Knaster

Another book I'd like to revisit soon with my iOS development goal in mind. The book provides clear examples and how the code relates to C code. I'd like to create a simple Breakable Toy since I didn't interact much with the code examples from the book. 2010

Rails for PHP Developers by Derek DeVries

I liked the fact Derek started the book comparing PHP to Ruby. It set up the rest of the book and showed some fundamental Ruby practices to apply when using the Rails framework. Otherwise, it was just a typical overview of Rails. I probably should have combined it with Agile Web Development with Rails. 2010

Agile Web Development with Rails by Sam Ruby

Frustrated that I wasn't developing in Rails after starting this book, I used this book as a reference for while creating a Breakable Toy (not the one in the book). I think I skimmed over most of the latter parts of the book, so I should pick re-read some parts. 2010

Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst

While I wasn't totally lost in the world of bits, I did think I needed to better manage my inbox, tasks, files, etc. I've put most of Mark's theory into practice, like emmigrating information in my inbox to its more appropraite place. Looking at file naming conventions and organization was an added bonus, because I feel I need to be more strict. Also, went over concepts from this book with co-workers at Fireman Creative. 2010

Book of Ruby by Huw Collingbourne

Skimmed through chapters of this book to dive into aspects of Ruby I feel I needed to gain knowledge. Otherwise, the book is good to use as a reference and could be used in conjunction with the Ruby Koans by Edge Case. 2011

CSS3 for Web Designers by Dan Cederholm

More tutorials and examples than I would have liked, but I think they aimed to show-off what Dan was discussing at the moment. A great, quick overview of the future of CSS. Out of the hardcore discipline of programming, but I still work in the web industry and need to stay up-to-date with new standards. Plus, CSS isn't that bad. 2010

Designing with Web Standards by Jeffery Zeldman and Ethan Marcotte

Obviously a must-read for any designer or developer. Crafting the best HTML is the most essential part of any web application. Making sure the content is accessible and consistent will prevent support headaches throughout your application's lifecyle. Not to mention, Jeffery Zeldman is a true inspiration and one of the reasons I was naturally curious about software craftsmanship. 2010

The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

An application's content shouldn't be low priority. Erin looks at how to discuss the importance of content to a client or someone resistant. Content Strategy is not something I study at length, but it still relates to the web industry and this book is a quick read. 2011

HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith

Ah, the inaugural book from A Book Apart. Jeremy takes us inside the HTML5 spec without all the verbose wording. He sets up how to use new semantic page outlines and also the importance of plugin free multimedia. Another quick read and awesome resource. I'll glad to have it on my bookshelf, as I truly believe in the new and powerful web. 2010

Being Geek by Michael Lopp

Yet to finish, but a fascinating look at how to survive in the software/web industry. Michael deals more with life inside a bigger corporation, but some insights prove true at small, startup-style atmospheres. As with Apprenticeship Patterns, he preaches to take control of your own career. Don't wait for HR or some other person to help you. 2011

Beer School by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter

Love, love, love Brooklyn Beer. Steve and Tom are great storytellers and vividly recount all their mistakes and successes. Not only did they create a new brand from scratch, but both switch careers to something that was only a hobby, but one they loved and took pride in. They surrounded themselves with super smart brewmasters as mentors and now they have an exceptional product. 2010

Getting Good with Git by Andrew Burgess

Quick and resourceful. Taught me some small tips when we were just switching from SVN to Git. Biggest thing to read and re-read is the concept of the staging area and branches. 2010

Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Luke Wroblewski

Read this book while planning a survey application. I wanted to make sure we were designing forms in a way that made sense for the user and that they were also accessible. I think the most important concept I got from this book was error messaging. Forms that don't make it clear what, where, and why an error occured can be frustrating. 2010

Learn C on the Mac by Dave Mark

Great introduction to compiled languages and C in general. I need to revisit with new learning approaches. Great pre-cursor to Learn Objective-C on the Mac. 2010

Other Books

Coffee Life in Japan by Merry White


Born to Run by Christopher McDougall


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


The Art and Craft of Coffee by Kevin Sinnott



Out of the Tarpit by Ben Moseley


On the Criteria To Be Used in Decomposing Systems into Modules by D.L. Parnas


Spanner: Google's Globally Distributed Database by Google


Current Podcasts

Ruby Rogues

Panel of Rubyists discussing any topic which is relevant to the programming community. I don't agree with all solutions/examples, but it's interesting to here other opinions and thoughts.

Talk Show by John Gruber

John Gruber provides brillant analysis on today's tech stories. They also do this sweet James Bond review at the end of the show.

Back to Work by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin

Chaotic show, but dives into topics to assist focus and growth as you work. A lot of fun.

jimseven by James Hoffman

Coffee podcast that is currently inactive. I've been enjoying the archived episodes and learned a great deal about how coffee industry professionals select, roast, and experiment with coffee.

America's Test Kitchen Radio

Tips from professional chefs regarding home cooking. Test Kitchen (the same people behind Cook's Illustrated, etc, do many experiments with a recipe to bring out the best flavor in a dish.

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo

Film reviews from across the pond. Very in-depth, meaningful insight into movies currently in theaters.

Past Podcasts

Let's Make Mistakes by Mike Monteiro and Katie Gillum

Have only listened to two episodes so far, but Mike and Katie are pretty down-to-earth designers giving a different viewpoint on the web.

Ruby5 by Envy Labs

Ruby news in 5 minutes. Awesome.

VimCasts by Drew Neil

Hypercritical by John Siracusa and Dan Benjamin

Retired Super-critical, nothing is perfect views on the tech and web industry. Can get a bit overbearing to hear someone complain for an hour straight, but gives you some different angles to think about.

The Pipeline by Dan Benjamin

Solo interview show with a wide-range of topics. Good resource to step out of the web and software industry sometimes.

The Ruby Show by Peter Cooper and Jason Seifer

Combined with Ruby5, these two podcasts are a great way to keep up with Ruby, Rails, and the surrounding communities.

The Big Web Show by Jeffery Zeldman and Dan Benjamin

Mostly an interview show where Jeffery converses with someone doing something totally innovative on the web using standards. Awesome to keep current on the ever-changing technologies on the web.

Build and Analyze by Marco Arment and Dan Benjamin

Retired Got into this podcast because I love Instapaper and Marco provides some great insight on PHP and iPhone development. Not just about writing code, but about dealing with Apple, customers, and coffee. Staple in my playlist.

Salt & Fat

Retired Podcast regarding cooking and eating. Some great discussions and tips for cooking at home. Follow the blog for more.


WWDC 2010 Session Videos by Apple

Got into these videos because I can't go to WWDC :-( (maybe someday!). They are awesome and I particularly paid attention to any ones dealing with new HTML technologies (video playback, offline storage, etc). Highly recommend you get yourself an Apple Developer account and download some of these videos. And new ones will be coming out soon! 2010

iPhone Application Development by Stanford University

Excellent, excellent resource from Stanford University. I'm in the beginning of the lectures, but I can already tell learning from these guys in gonna be a blast. 2011

RSpec Basics by PeepCode

Wanted to get a quick overview of how RSpec and Test::Unit differed, so I watched the short video by PeepCode. Nice overview and I can't wait to integrate RSpec into my workflow. 2011

RSpec Mocks and Models by PeepCode

RSpec Basics peaked my curiousity for more RSpec goodness. I'm liking what you can do with RSpec and I think my next steps are to finish out the series and then on to Cucumber. 2011


  • ClojureConj Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  • Strangeloop 2012 St. Louis, Missouri
  • OSCO 2012 Portland, Oregon
  • Strangeloop 2011 St. Louis, Missouri

Up Next

  • Ruby Best Practices by Gregory Brown
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert Martin
  • Object-Oriented Software Construction by Bertrand Meyer
  • Code Complete by Microsoft
  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
  • Test Driven Development by Example by Kent Beck
  • The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers by Robert Martin
  • The Algorithm Design Manual by Steven S. Skiena