My Summer Reading List

June 22, 2015

Summer is officially here. Weather permitting, my ideal summer evening is some time after sunset on the back deck reading. Between the rain and the mosquitos, I haven’t had too many nights on the deck.

This list is made up of some things I’ve read and others that are on my reading list for this summer. If there is any essential readings missing, let me know so I can update the list.

The Web

A majority of my daily reading is blogs, online magazines and newspapers. Here are a few places you may not be checking out:

The Intercept — The Snowden articles were originally raw data that Snowden provided to Glenn Greenwald then at the Guardian. Greenwald now runs his own site focused on similar topics and they are breaking new ground weekly.

Re/code — The technology team at the Wall Street Journal left to create their own online journal more than a year ago. While they just got bought out by Vox Media, the quality of their tech reporting is second to none.

Harvard Business Review — Back in the day, this was a ridiculously expensive monthly magazine. Now it’s a collection of blogs from HBR teachers (some that eventually get printed). They have everything from process management consulting to how to negotiate vacation time. You won’t read them all, but what you do will be well researched.


We still read books, right? I have about a dozen book backlog on my Kindle. While I’m good at catching up on the internet, it’s harder to sit down to a long form book. I’ve set it a goal to read one book a quarter this year and I’m ahead… not by much.

My goal in books is not to read hardcore security books but to find interesting topics that I think will help me outside of security. You’ll notice that with this list.

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd. There is an assumption that today’s teens give up their privacy on social media. This book proves the opposite. If you have kids, it’s a must read. If you don’t, it’s important to understand how the next generation of workers use social media.

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. My post on future proofing your job is based on some of the ideas in this book. How we work today will look very different from our work tomorrow. If you’re seriously serious about future proofing your career, read it. How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff and Irving Geis. First look at the cover. Would you ever buy this book? No. But you should. It shows you how visuals can be used to exaggerate trends and give distorted comparisons. Now, I’m not suggesting that you pretty up your security metrics with a bunch of distorted comparisons. But, it will help you when you can’t figure out why the help desk statistics look so good, yet they never seem to be able to help you. (Security Guru Gunnar Peterson just reviewed this book as well. Apparently it is on everyone’s summer reading list.)

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent. Recent, I took a tour of a local distillery. I was fascinated by how complicated their business is today due to rules and regulations from the 1920s and 30s. This is on my reading list for this summer. Partly because I’d like to understand why I can’t distill in my house and partly because of it’s influence on how we drink today.

Next Steps

You don’t have to read anything I’m reading this summer. But you should read. (It’s the first on my 9 Ways to Grow Your Career list.) Pick something educational. It doesn’t have to be a security book. Anything you’re interested in will likely benefit your career in the long term. While I don’t have any high hopes that knowing the history of prohibition will help my career, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.