Personal Bookshelf
Personal Bookshelf is a motivation and challenge to read and learn more about technology and culture and strive to understand how things work. I always find it interesting to see other peoples lists and browse through their bookshelves, so I wanted to build a digital one that I can share. If you have books you want to share, feel free to send me a message.
Never Split the Difference

Communication is such a critical skill and so is negotiation. This book centers around Tactical Empathy which is to understand someone's emotions and mindset and the reasons behind them, to influence another person and gain access to their mind. Voss explains several techinques that can be used such as mirroring (isopraxism) and general tips that he learned as a FBI hostage negotiator. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

The Art of Invisibility

After Ghost in The Wires the second book from Kevin Mitnick that I read and recommend. I knew a lot of the discussed methods and software to turn invisible on the internet, but it was still a great read with roadmaps how to achieve certain steps. I found the part about travelling and security interesting, what actions can be taken to secure devices and how to handle the data we travel with.

Ego is the Enemy

Let me quote a small part from this book: "It was a reminder: You're not as good as you think. You don't have it all figured out. Stay focused. Do better." - Ryan Holiday. This is a book that I will read again from time to time, as a reminder. I learned so much that it will take a while to use it, because we need to fight the ego within us, every single day.

Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear

This book inspires creative thinking - It doesn't dive too deep into the creative space but it boosts the courage to start. I liked the concept of ideas and how we interact with them, that we all have fears and that we can overcome them and that we don't need permission to start living the life we want.

Jimi Hendrix - Behind The Mirrors (German Version)

As someone who makes music with a guitar I was curious how Hendrix turned into a legend, what his music shaped and how he lived. Cross wrote an incredible book about him, with a stunning amount of details. I was surprised to read how Jimi started his career, what he had to overcome in order to achieve his dreams and how it ended.

The Age of Cryptocurrency

The book starts with an introduction to what money actually is and how the system works and advances to bitcoin, the technology and the currency. It walks through the rise and fall of bitcoin and how it changed the world, the obstacles it has to overcome and what it could change in the future. I definitely recommend this book, the part how bitcoin works was super interesting and made me curious to read more about cryptography.

Deep Work

Cal Newport writes about the state of distraction free concentration and how it can improve the work we do. We know that we didn't sleep well if we get interrupted, so how can we expect to deliver our best work if we constantly have to shift our focus and attention because we get interrupted. This book did help to develop a method and habit to focus deep.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Although the title sounds absurd, the book is a must-read. Carnagie summarizes different principles in the book, all about human relations. I've liked the sections where he explains how to receive and give feedback, how an effective and good leader communicates and how to manage an argument.

Essentialism - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Priorization can be hard. We don't have the time to focus on all chances that we stumble upon and finding the ones we should focus on can be difficult. It becomes harder and harder to see what is important and where we should spend our time. Greg McKeown explains how we can apply essentialism to achieve more by doing less.

The Power of Habit

This book has the power to transform your life and is on my must-read list. Humans are driven by habits and patterns in whatever we do, sometimes without thinking. This book explores how habits work and affect us and what we have to do in order to change them and make use of them.

Zero to One - How to Build the Future

One of the most interesting books that I read - I never highlighted so much before. I love to build and create and Peter Thiel points out that building something that someone else already did, takes the world from 1 to n, and that only if we build something new we bring it from 0 to 1. There is still so much to build, secrets to discover and to learn.

Confession of a Public Speaker

Scott Berkun presents practical techniques that can be used to improve presentations and speeches, it was fun to read with a lot of advice from actual situations and insights from his experience. I learned a lot and recommend it to all who have to hold a presentation. The disaster stories, when things go horrible wrong and how to master them, were a great addition.

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

I found this book in Bill Gates recommendations and expected it to cover and explain a wide range of interesting topics. When I started reading it I was surprised that it doesn't cover in depth explanations but rather scratches the surface and makes you curious to read more about a theme. It still was a great read and gave me some new ideas on what could come next.

Scalable And Modular Architecture for CSS

After responsive architecture I looked for more books on this topic and found SMACSS. I used it a lot for reference and still read it from time to time as it builds a bridge between flexible websites build with pre-processors and a simplified workflow and offers simple rules that can be applied to make development more consistent.

Responsive Webdesign

A modern website has to be responsive and accessible from various devices such as smartphones, tablets and computer screens with different resolutions, so it can be difficult to display a consistent design. In this book I learned a lot about responsive architecture and how to approach it and to think about different scenarios.

Syntactically Awesome Style Sheet For Web Designers

When someone showed me SASS I didn't understand what was so great about this pre-processor - until I started to use it. It makes working with CSS much simpler and in a way natural. I used this book as a start to learn how to set it up, to understand how it works and what is possible.

Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Appleā€™s Success

While this book focuses more on marketing it shows some interesting insights at Apple and the processes it takes to achieve a goal. Processes are often complex and hard to manage, so the ultimate goal is simplicity. It takes a lot to get there and I found some good descriptions and tips in this book.

Hatching Twitter

As someone who uses twitter for several years now and knows the impact of the platform I was interested in how it started. Hatching Twitter was a great read, it shows the ups and downs of a startup and how emotional it went at that time.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

I've always been curious what it takes to run a business and how decisions are made when things don't go well. We always read about success but not always about the hard things and trials that it takes. This book gave advise on actual situations that showed how it is to run into problems and how to solve them.

The Art of Deception

After reading Ghost in the Wires I wanted to know more about Social Engineering and how to use it, and the other way around, how to protect myself or a company. It was a great experience with case scenarios and great tips how to detect flaws and exploit the human factor.

Ghost in the Wires

At some point I stumbled about a name: Kevin Mitnick. This book is a biography about him, where he describes how he got access to companys, what drove him to find vulnerabilities and how he used them. I was compelled to this book, about the person Kevin Mitnick and couldn't stop reading.

Steve Jobs - Exclusive Biography

Whenever I read a biography I wonder if it is even possible to cover a human being into a single book. I accepted the fact that most of the time it's not, but that this kind of books can give a hint how someones life might have been. I found it interesting to read, to see how Steve was tied to Apple, how people that worked with him described him and how he ended up as the man that changed so much in this world.

Jony Ive - Genius Behind Apple Products

One of the reasons I got my first iPhone was because of the design, and years later I still love how Apple products are build which was enough to make me read this book. It showed some insight how Ive started, got in contact with Jobs and eventually overturned the entire industry. After the Jobs biography it was great to read about Ive and understand a bit more about how it works at Apple.