This is what I read.

My 2020 in books

For 2020 I am planning to read a lot more. By reading 50 pages per day during the workweek and 30 per day on the weekends that averages at around 40pp/day. This means that I should be able to read around 280pp/week. Estimating to have around 250/book (very conservative but looking at my shelf this is what I have right now) I should be able to read more than 50 books in this year. In my new year’s resolution I set the threshold at 40 but, since I’d like to stay conservative about it, let’s say 35. Let’s see how this goes.

Currently on the go

  1. The Art of Deception by Kevin D. Mitnick. A book on social engineering from the one and only.

  2. The Art of Community by Jono Bacon.

  3. Open Government by Lathrop & Ruma. How can we open up governments?

  4. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
    A new perspective on the history of the ‘‘Sapiens’’.

  5. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. A must.

  6. Il processo by Franz Kafka. Another must.

  7. Storia dell’Italia Moderna. Capitolo XI by Giorgio Candeloro.


  • Clean Code by Robert Martin. The book to read.

  • Memorie dal sottosuolo by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

  • Two Scoops of Django by Greenfield. The book to read if you want to improve your Django skills. Very nice layout, very nice read.

  • Front-end Web Development: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide A comprehensive read on the front-end development world.

  • Next Generation Video Coding and Streaming by Bing.
    Technical read on HEVC and adaptive streaming techniques.

  • High Performance Browser Networking by Ilya Grigorik.
    A book on how to understand and tweak performances for the web.

  • High Performance Web Sites by Steve Souders.
    14 Steps to Faster-Loading Web Sites

  • Business Model Generation by Alex Osterwalder.

  • Crossing the chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore.
    Another must, still on the shelf…

  • Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez. Looks like fun and deep at the same time. How does the ads world work?

  • Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design by Robert C. Martin. Another must, still on the bookshelf.

Completed (12)

  1. Non tacerò by Luigi Ciotti.

  2. L’arte della guerra by Sun Tzu.

  3. Atlante delle Crisi Mondiali by Sergio Romano.

  4. The Game by Alessandro Baricco.

  5. Factfullness by Hans Rosling.

  6. Scansatevi dalla luce by James Williams.

  7. La guerra dei mondi by H.G. Wells.

  8. Ai lavoratori by Adriano Olivetti.

  9. Le fabbriche di bene by Adriano Olivetti.

  10. The Open Organization by Jim Whitehurst.

  11. L’Ingenuo by Voltaire.

  12. Il banchiere anarchico by Pessoa.

2019 - Reads (19)

  • Novecento by Alessandro Baricco. Just a must.

  • Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. One of the best books about geo-politics. Easy to read, highly suggested.

  • Estate Fredda by Gianrico Carofiglio. A great novel in Bari.

  • Vita di Adriano Olivetti

  • The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Mason.

  • Con i piedi nel fango by Gianrico Carofiglio. Pleasant read, on politics and ethics.

  • Ingredienti per una vita di formidabili passioni by Luis Sepulveda. What a great book!

  • The hard thing about hard things by Ben Horowitz. This books offers a new perspective on “how to handle hard things”. Very very fluent to read, it feels easy to empathize with the author and the reader can mostly feel the pain he suffered going through the events that made him one of the most influential person in the whole Valley.

  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. Interesting overview on the usability of web and mobile apps.

  • The power of habit by Charles Duhigg. Easy to read book showing the power of habits.

  • Pragmatic Programmer by A. Hunt and D. Thomas. A nice read, I could extrapolate some insightful techniques that made me think.

  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a fantastic future by Ashlee Vance. Very interesting book on the one and only Elon Musk. Very pleasant to read.

  • Le Tre del mattino by Gianrico Carofiglio. A few hours read. A great fiction, a pleasure to read.

  • Bar Sport by Stefano Benni. An Italian comedy.

  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel, one of the most interesting figures of the Valley and his book. What to say. Peter stresses his vision that creating a monopoly is the only way to truly succeed and be able to pay back all the stakeholders who invested in the venture. I believe it’s an interesting book which exposes many lessons learned during his early PayPal adventure and the later ones like, e.g., Facebook and Palantir. I would highly recommend this book to all the wannabe-founders. Easy to read, quick and full of real world examples of both success cases and failures.

    One last remarkable point: take off your tie if you pitch to Peter, he might not even listen to you!

  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven. Little stories from the personal life of the Admiral during his SEAL career can be applied also in our everyday normal life. If you want to change the world, always start by making your bed!

  • Blockchain by Jeff Reed. Having a general background on the subject I decided to take a look at this book since I am more and more interested in the ‘‘smart contracts’’ matter. This book, after introducing the concept of the Blockchain and the Ledger, dives deeper in the analysis of one of such systems, called ‘‘Ethereum’’ which is leveraging the Blockchain but, differently from ‘‘Bitcoins’’, makes it also possible to write and use ‘‘smart contracts’’. The last part of the book is dedicated to investment strategies in the Ethereum sphere.

    First of all, the book itself is divided into different books, so it should better be called a ‘‘collection’’ of volumes and this, in my humble opinion, does not facilitate the reading experience.

    However, my problem was that I really did not enjoy reading it! It was easy to read, it took me around half a day to finish but when I closed it I had the feeling that I could have invested my time in a better way, which is never a good feeling. It is not clear to me which is the exact audience the author is trying to target. For non-technical readers it is too deep whilst, for the technical savvy ones, the information presented are way too scarce. From a software developer point of view, I was particularly interested in understanding how to exploit the potential of ‘‘smart contracts’’ but the author makes a very quick overview of the subject without giving any sort of deep insight.

  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
    It has been presented to me as ‘‘a must for every wannabe startupper’’ so I decided to give it a try. Eric describes the journey that he embarked on, as a co-founder of IMVU, in order to ‘‘migrate’’ his ideas in a fully-functioning lean startup. The book is easy to read (took me around a week), it contains several useful insights and light case studies that help in the understanding of how an agile business can be structured. Furthermore, in the book there are several interesting hints that may help also scale-ups or already organized industries to embrace the lean movement. The only little drawback that I found is that sometimes there are technical terms like ‘‘continuous integration’’ or ‘‘continuous deployment’’ which could be hard to fully understand for non-technical readers. Overall, it is a pleasant read, particularly indicated not only to first time startuppers but also for managers who want to innovate their project management techniques inside big corporations.

  • Il vecchio e il mare by Ernest Hemingway.
    If you have a couple of hours of spare time I invite you to immerse yourself in this amazing book. So easy to read, engaging and deep at the same time. I guarantee that the genius of Hemingway will capture you and throw you in the populated waters around Cuba. As usual, the descriptions of everything related to the phishing world are so accurate that it actually feels like sailing that boat and, at some point, the struggles of the main character feel real. I love how Hemingway can describe everything in such a realistic way and I can appreciate this in every book.

Must re-read

A lot of books, still populating the list…