2023 Scrummer Reading List
Welcome to the 2023 edition of the Scrummer Reading List! As another exciting year unfolds, we continue our tradition of sharing the books and podcasts that have captured the hearts and minds of the Scrum Inc. team. If you're seeking fresh perspectives, inspiration for personal growth, a deeper understanding of human dynamics, honing your Agile expertise, or simply indulging in some captivating escapism, we’ve got a handpicked selection for you.
So, whether you're an Agile enthusiast, a curious learner, or a seasoned professional looking to stay at the cutting edge, dive into the 2023 Scrummer Reading List and embark on a journey of knowledge, imagination, and growth!
What Our Scrummers Are Reading This Summer...
A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky
"One book I've been recommending to anyone who will listen who has never lived in New York City but wants to understand its inhabitants is Daniel Polansky’s “A City Dreaming.” New York, like Texas, inhabits a separate mythology of its own and this book is the best exploration of our greatest metropolis that I’ve ever read. Polansky’s chapter-long description of taking the subway into the unknown lands of the outer boroughs is nothing short of brilliant."
Outlive by Peter Attia
“This book beautifully links science and storytelling to share compelling health information. I've already utilized some strategies from the book, and as someone who loves a good health book, this one far exceeded my expectations.”
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman F Dixon
“This book examines the systemic dysfunction within military organizations and why militaries are successful despite this. The parallels to the corporate world are plentiful, and the differences are thought-provoking. And best yet, unlike many of the business books in this genre, the writing is engaging, irreverent, and hard-hitting. A surprising page-turner.”
The Maid by Nita Prose
“A fresh take on the classic murder mystery. Some surprise plot twists and hidden clues. Based in a glamorous hotel, our protagonist maid stumbles upon a body becoming the prime suspect of murder. A page turner with a slow reveal. Of note is that the author does not reveal the city the hotel is in allowing the imagination to paint a lively landscape.
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
“Kim Scott offers a refreshing perspective on delivering direct feedback with candidness and compassion. With engaging examples and practical tools, this impactful book equips readers to cultivate stronger relationships and communication skills for better results.”
Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith, Ellen Van Oosten
“This book emphasizes the power of positivity, hope, and empathy in facilitating lasting change. Authors Boyatzis, Smith, and Van Oosten challenge traditional personal development approaches and argue for an inspiring future-focused method. The combination of research and practical advice makes it a great resource for those interested in human development.”
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
“I read this book once a year. It is a timeless classic of things that are often taken for granted in our behavior at work, and in our lives. Its simplicity is its greatest strength.”
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
“I read this book as a part of a book club this summer. When I found out the book was about video games I was skeptical as I am not particularly interested in video games. However, this was a fantastic read and character development story. It showed the human side of creating a product and how our experiences and current circumstances affect the way we work with others/interact with our own products. The book included romance, action, and conflict in a compelling/quick read. I couldn't put the book down!”
How Minds Change by David McRaney
“It may seem like today's world is defined by people who refuse to change their minds. Through fabulous writing and real-world examples, author David McRaney shows this is not the case. And he explains the science and techniques that can help get people on board with new ideas.”
“Focus Toolkit: Tools to Improve Your Focus & Concentration” - Huberman Lab Podcast
“It’s hard for me to choose one episode of the Huberman Lab podcast to recommend, but if you’re new to Andrew Huberman and need an introduction, the “Focus Toolkit: Tools to Improve Your Focus & Concentration” episode is a great place to start. Andrew Huberman is an accomplished neuroscientist turned podcaster, and (in my opinion) one of the best lecturers of our time. He makes scientific insight accessible, actionable, and inspirational for all. In this episode, he combines his knowledge with peer reviewed studies to provide no-cost tools, processes, and practices to naturally increase focus."
Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson
“Brandon Sanderson has an amazing approach to world building. He brings his worlds to life with the way his characters interact with them. The cultures, languages, tones, and idiosyncrasies of his worlds, nations, cities, class structures, all the way down to individual characters, all fit so snug into place that it feels real. His high-fantasy worlds and stories are emotional and compelling and everyone should see for themselves.”
Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
“I liked the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry because I like to challenge myself to think counter-culturally. What do I do without thinking that still impacts me--and once I know about it, what do I want to do about it?”
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
“I picked up this book not realizing that the film 'Oppenheimer' is actually based on "American Prometheus" by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, but I'm glad I got it anyway. Rhodes walks through the lives of the scientists who would eventually come to the "Manhattan Project," and the history of the scientific breakthroughs that led to the realization that the atom bomb was possible. Rhodes isn't a scientist, so it's a great example of how to write about an incredibly complex subject in a way that can still connect with laypeople. Rhodes takes his time to set the stage. By the time he begins to outline the history of the project itself, I understood the biases, hope, and terror that motivated the scientists involved. Rhodes doesn't flinch when describing the consequences of their decisions. At one point, Rhodes describes a picture of two scientists staring at "A speck of matter God had not welcomed into creation." There's something about nuclear science that turns people into poets.”
Exploring the Physics of the Unknown Universe: An Adventurer's Guide by Milo Wolff
“An exhilarating journey into the depths of scientific mysteries. Through a series of thought-provoking questions, Milo fearlessly confronts the enigmas of physics, unraveling the unknown with captivating clarity. This book caters not only to seasoned physicists but also to curious non-experts, offering an adventure that will undoubtedly expand your mind. Prepare to be intellectually stimulated and enlightened as you delve into the captivating world of the unknown universe.”