Never finished book review

The book is more enjoyable than the first book by David. However, I find its message weaker than the first book.

The first book will make you move, but this book is mostly about David being an overachiever in every possible direction.

It's still a great book, but that's close to TedX talk rather than the dirty empowering movement that the author brought with his first book.

My score 3/5

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Can't hurt me book review

I had to force myself to start reading this book due to the amount of explicit language used by the author. That's probably the first book I've read in more than 20 years that contains curse words. However, I don't think that the kids will be reading it. As an adult I'm fine with that.

Author's story of starting from the bottom has really touched my soul. In today's world where people are often avoiding the difficulties by all means this book is really pushing the idea of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" to the limits of what a human can do by making the reader to embrace the failures. Every failure should make you calloused so next time you fail it won't hurt you.

What's also really interesting is how the author was able to completely avoid bringing any right or left ideology to his book. Given his background as a Navy recruiter and the fact that the author ruminates on the subject of how his despises weak people I really love that the book is clear of politics.

My score 5/5

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

The Psychology of Money book review

This book will suit if you're a history buff like me. Especially, if you're interested in how economics and history can correllate and influence each other. Well, maybe not so much if you live outside of US as it's solely focused on the US economy. However, as big as it is now the massiveness of the US economy became a thing only after economies of all former hegemons failed which is relatively recent.

This book starts from the good and bad things that happened during the Great Depression and doesn't cover the premises of why the 19th century was so fundamental for building the world's biggest economy.

However, if you're not interested in the historical part of the book it can be condensed to a very few principles:

  1. Former history won't give you answers to the questions of the future.
  2. Use common sense for decision-making, others make mistakes.
  3. Live beyond your means, no one cares what car do you drive.
  4. Those who have good money habits and perseverance will prevail no matter what failures they may face in the process.

My score is 5/5.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Atomic Habits by James Clear book review

Personally, it took me more than 6 months to finish this book from the moment when I saw it at the bookshelf at Malta airport until the moment when I was done with all its additions and appendexes. That's definitely my fault, not the book's as it's very pleasant to read unless you want to practice every single concepts that it's aiming to teach you.

That's not the first book on personal productivity I've read throughout the years, but surprisingly, many approaches that this book is teaching you were fresh and new to me.

In my opinion, it's beneficial to follow the "practice what you preach" idea with this book as most concepts given in it are easy to follow and if I hadn't then I'd have forgotten all of them after turning the last page of the book. Even though I'm early on my journey of applying in practice what I've read here, I'm already seeing the benefits of it and starting to feel like a better person.

My score is 5/5.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Elon Musk Biography by Walter Isaacson

I've binged-read this book cover to cover in less than a week. I don't remember much about what was happening over the last 7 days besides taking a first look at illustrations in Barnes&Noble to turning the last page.

This book feels like a not-so-short digest of most exciting things that've happened over the last two decades: from dotcom boom of early 2000's to the AI boom and Twitter meltdown. It's fascinating to be told that you've witnessed a whole epoch all lead by a bunch of folks squeezed between San Jose and San Francisco. A true power house built by engineers and techno visioneers that radiates its ideas to the rest of the world.

Personally, I find this book an ode to the American Dream. How thanks to hard work and dedication someone can really change the mankind's history by being the right person at the right time. Trully, an epitome to the American Dream.

My score is 5/5.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

The monk who sold his Ferrari book review

Not sure what happened with this book. Either I'm reading it late in my life of the book is completely outdated and everything it teaches you can be read in other much better books.

A few blog posts about contemporary pop psychology; time management and whatever the "Secret" is supposed to teach you is wrapped into a novel sprinkled with some heavy hallucinogens here.

In my opinition it's not worth anyone's time

My score is 5/5.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

The subtle art of not giving a f*ck book review

I resented reading this book due to its notoriety and agressive marketing across both online and offline. This wasn't worth it.

It's very surprising that's not one of Tim Ferriss' books, looks like the author has a background similar to Tim's and was inspired by him as well. However, this book gives answers and most Tim's books left me with more questions than before I started to read them. I wish I read this book in my early 20s, but having learned most of its content the hard way makes me appreciate this book even more as it resonates a lot with my life experience.

If I condense the whole book in a bullet list, that'd be

  1. Life is futile, give up trying to be exceptional
  2. If you need to get the shit done, instead of trying to motivate yourself JFDI!
  3. Suffering is inevitable, embrace it
  4. Have realistic goals and values
  5. You can be wrong, keep questioning yourself
  6. Embrace rejection: it's OK to say no and receive the same is return

My score is 5/5.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

The art of leadership book review

I'll split this book into 2 main parts: the importance of 1:1s & how to conduct them and depiction of really impressive author's experience after working in multiple high-tech companies where he had to deal with a lot of stress and challenges that're the main attributes of every growing company.

The book is very well-written, if I were in the business of allusions to dishes this particular book would be a molecular caviar. Standing on shoulders of giants of the past, with a pinch of bleeding edge terminology and references to the companies that are hot.

If I condense the whole book in a bullet list, that'd be

  1. Conduct 1:1s, no matter what
  2. Embrace the change, it's inevitable
  3. Trust to delegate or you'd crumble under load
  4. Find time to innovate
  5. Be enthusiastic about what you do and either lead or leave
  6. Be kind to people

My score is 5/5.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

The inevitable book review

This book was recommended on one of Motley Fool's shows as a visionary book that perfectly describes what the future holds for us in terms of technological progress.

Well, after reading it I'm pretty sure that the person that recommended it is not an engineer. That's not a book from any well-known futurist, rather from a tech reporter that keeps his hand on pulse of latest and greatest tech. He doesn't peek in the distant future, instead he's trying to find what trends will prevail in the following decades. AR/AI/VR, yada yada yada. Pretty boring if you ask me. I liked one point though: the word "protopia" that's a shorter way to say that the only constant is change.

My score is 2/5. Better read a bunch of twitter posts by Elon Musk

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

97 Things Every Java Programmer Should Know book review

I don't remember the exact thing that made me start reading this book, but most probably this was due to its marketing campaign or I saw a paid blog post sponsored by the publisher. Why do I think so? Mostly because how heavy this book's authors wanted it to be hip and trendy. It badly wants to be a better version of Effective Java, however completely missing the main point of Josh Bloch's book.

I won't say that it wasn't worth it, as to be honest I actually learned a few new tricks of the trade. But I can't think of all that time spent on reading obvious thrusts that should be a no-brainer to anyone who still writes code in Java in 2022. Catched exceptions are bad? C'mon, every IDE will scream and shout at you if you're creating a new class with catched exceptions. Not mentioning every Java for Dummies book. When Josh Bloch wrote his book the internet was not as widespread as it's today and sources of good knowledge were scarce back then. However, that's not the case anymore. The writing is on the wall.

My score is 2/5. Better spend that money to pay for your home internet.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Kubernetes up & running book review

This is a review for the second edition of K8S U&R, even though early access for the third edition is already available on some of the platforms.

Reading this book feels like walking in a park. Almost no code snippets to follow, no excruciating technical details. Read yamls and a very few imperative CLI commands. If all books for system administrators are like that, I'm curious, why the OPS guys are paid on the same level with developers.

Speaking of the book itself, I can't say that I've learned much from it. It definitely covers all the basics and gives a few tips.

Definitely better than the manual, better skip it if you already know the basics.

My score is 3/5

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Crucial conversations book review

I wish I read this book a long before I actually did it.

I don't know any person who shouldn't at least glance through this book. We all had such conversation when you have to confront your opponent and in the end you both end up angry at each other without any real progress done as you both feel right and no one wants to listen other person's arguments and no one want to back up.

This book promotes the power of dialogue and its main idea is that in any circumstances you can transform a heated discussion to a pleasant conversation that ends up as a win-win situation. How does it want to do that? That's actually the most interesting part. As it's based on lots of analysis it applies scientific method to human interactions. Honestly, that's the first time when I read a non-technical book that's written in a way that only a pure techie would do. Lots of data, lots of examples and analysis, tables, diagrams you name it and it has it.

One of the best non-technical books I've read so far. Added +5 to my conversation skills.

My score is 5/5

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Refactoring book review

This year was supposed to be full of reading and learning new things, but the reality has shown that it had different plans for my time. That's why it took me much longer that usual to finish this book and therefore I may forget some of the things that I found interesting in it.

I must admit that as a writer Martin Fowler has his unique style that you start to grasp after finishing just a few pages of any of his books. He's one of the father figures of the "make code for humans not for the machines" movement that some may also call "clean code & architecture". It's always interesting when in his books his starts to mention his buddies who'd contributed a lot to make developer's life easier. In this book for example I found out that "smelly code" saying was invented because Kent Beck had to fight two things simultaneously: someone's bad code as well as smelly diapers. A quick glance to other people's lives is something that you can't often find in technical books.

Speaking of the book itself I don't think that there was much to be surprised about since the first edition. More controversial refactoring methods have been added, it always frightens me when one example contradicts with the one that you read a few pages ago. But that's the art of writing elegant code that can pass code reviews. You never know what type of refactoring will be useful until you try all of them. And some of them can be opposite to one another, but that what makes good developers artists not just craftsmen.

I enjoyed the choice of switching to Javascript to illustrate the refactorings. It made the book much more concise and at the same time if JS is not your primary language it makes you think how this or that example would work in your language. That's the right way to go in my opinion.

My score is 4/5

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Working effectively with legacy code book review

The world of software moves with such a pace that this book written in 2004 looks like a relict from the distant past. However, it's still capable enough to teach the old dog new tricks.

These days most of the software is written with a great help from IDEs that have become much more than just text editors. Every IDE gives you hints on how to optimize your code, most have static analysis tools built-in and most code can be verified even before it gets compiled/interpreted.

Although, most IDE have capabilities to help you refactor your code, they usually run away in tears when they see hundreds of lines of smelly code in one class not covered by any tests.

And that's the situation where this book actually shines. It still can teach you a few trick how to keep yourself sane when you're thrown to the snake pit of filthy legacy code. And no matter how dated this book is, I'd still recommend it to anyone who finds himself in a situation where he has do maintain what he doesn't even want to touch.

My score is 3+/5 Every developer should read this book, but it desperately needs an update

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books

Building a career in software book review

Frankly, I'd never stumble upon this book if it wasn't recommended to me by my boss and he's learned about it as its author is his former colleague.

I really like the simplicity of this book as it aims to teach new engineers the very basics of what it takes to become successful. Though I need to argue that some of the approaches that the author talks about are controversial. Nevertheless, as the author is an accomplished individual I don't mind that he forces the reader to look at the software world from his perspective.

I wish I had this book when I was a fresh grad, it'd have made my career advance much faster and with much less bumps. Although I don't mind learning from own experience. However, I won't mind to be taught on someone else's mistakes.

This was supposed to be a soft-skills book, but surprisingly I learned a few technical tricks from it as well.

My score is 5/5 Every developer should read this book.

Author's profile picture Michael Koltsov on books