Book Recommendations

Here is a simple list of books that I have found to be useful throughout my career, and life.  Not all of the recommendations here are technical but I have at least found all of them to be useful in one way or another.

Please let me know if there are books I missed that need to be on the list.  I’d like to keep this list up to date so if there is something that I am always happy to add it.


The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

This book has become legendary in DevOps circles and is the first DevOps book I read.  The book has become something of a bible for teaching organizations how to embrace change and how to effectively steer efforts and energy in a positive direction.  Very highly recommended.

The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations

This is more a less the sequel to “The Phoenix Project”, minus the fictional character and story. There is a ton of good DevOps information crammed into this book, including techniques for improving processes in IT by focusing on the ideas of “the three ways”.

Definitely check this one out if you enjoyed The Phoenix Project or are interested in improving business processes.

Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart

I still use techniques that found in this book today, the information gleaned from it is very practical and easily to apply.  There is so much great content in this book worth exploring, including some really effective ways to deal with filtering out the noise in typical day to day system admin life.

Some of the more interesting topics include things like how to manage and keep an effective calendar, dealing with interruptions, developing routines, prioritizing tasks and many others.  Take a look at this one for making your time more efficient.

The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition

This one is a classic in the field system administration.  Although it is getting a bit dated (almost 10 years old now) the good news is that the book tends to cover ideas within system administration, rather than any kind of specific technology.  For example, the book covers things like monitoring and backups, but tries to guide readers into using their own judgement and creating best practices in individual environments rather than prescribe a certain technology to accomplish this.

The Practice of Cloud System Administration: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services, Volume 2

The follow up book to “The Practice of System and Network Administration”.  This book teaches readers about more of the “cloud” concepts that have been gaining traction in the industry for the past 5-10 years.  For example the book teaches administrators how to design and build cloud based infrastructures using DevOps techniques.  This is a great book for anybody interesting in cloud computing and DevOps.

Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches

This has essentially become the PowerShell bible.  This book is definitely worth a read if you use PowerShell or are interested in learning more about how it works and getting started.  One great thing about this book is even if you are an experienced PowerShell user you can still find interesting bit of knowledge throughout the book.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

Another programming book that has become famous.  This book has been around forever and is still at the top of most lists.  The Pragmatic Programmer offers up pearls of wisdom that are great for new and old programmers alike.  I have re-read this book a few different times and each time I learn something new in my journey through programming life.

Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems

There are some really interesting ideas worth reading about sprinkled throughout the book.  If you don’t want a physical copy of the book you can read it for free online.  Definitely worth browsing some of the topics at least and then deciding if you want to buy.  There are some interesting topics for handling a lot of large scale issues that Google has encountered through the years.

CCNA Routing and Switching Study Guide: Exams 100-101, 200-101, and 200-120

One of the best resources for preparing for the CCNA exam.  Lamle does an excellent job of presenting the subject content in a way that is easy to understand and easy to follow.  I would Recommend this book for anybody that is interested in networking in general as the material gives you the foundation for almost all networking topics, not just for Cisco products.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

This is a fun book that explores the different ways that people think and work.  I have always found it interesting what makes people tick, especially those that are productive and successful.  This one is worth checking out if you are interested in discovering how productive people operate in their daily lives.