28th June 2020

Need a summer read? Look no further – here are my book recommendations summer 2020

Need a summer read? Look no further – here are my book recommendations summer 2020

I was recently asked for some book recommendations, good for a summer read. A short list turned into a long list, and given what they and I do for a living there was bound to a technology focus.  I’ve broken these down into hopefully logical areas.


vSphere may have moved on to version 7, but the content within these books is as valid now as it was when it was published.


The world is moving toward cloud native and infrastructure must adapt to keep pace with what is possible within the hyper-scaler cloud native stacks.  If you work in the infrastructure space and you are not exploring kubernetes, then you should be.


Architecture and Strategy

My work spans a huge number of areas so having an understanding of strategy, design and mapping techniques is critical.  The books below are more than just a read they are points of reference.

Nothing really to do with IT (or maybe they are…)

  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly ImprobableWhat have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con-artists? What can Catherine the Greats lovers tell us about probability? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper? This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives…
  • Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the FutureThe next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them…

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindFire gave us power. Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose. Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history – from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.

  • Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High PerformanceBlack Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us.

Star Wars

It is of probably no surprise whatsoever that I’m a fan of Star Wars.  If you’ve only seen the movies give the following books a go.

  • Star Wars: Darth PlagueisDarth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master – but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power…over life and death…  This is the story that should have been made instead of the Phantom Menace!

  • The Thrawn trilogy books are brilliant, but alas no longer part of the official Star Wars universe…  However Thrawn is still part of the universe in a different set of books starting with – Star Wars: Thrawn, Thrawn: Alliances and Thrawn: Treason. Later on this year we’re also promised Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy