Books I read in 2018

June 10 · 20 mins read

(This should have been posted last December 31, 2018. But I have not been well adjusted yet to the new environment I was in in the past several months, and so I did not have time to update this list, and so it was delayed.)

Following what John Sonmez had been doing, I started listing the books I read the entire year.

Here is my list for 2018 (some of them I only read partly):

(Please note that having read these books listed below does not make me a master of them all. I am not a fast learner, so I have to re-read them to master them. I plan to re-read some of them in the coming months or years :smile:)

up to chapter 7 of Test-Driven Development with Python by Harry Percival

(Dec 25, 2017 - May 23, 2018,
(1st reading was June 19, 2017 - Aug 15, 2017)

“Doing the Impossible” by Neil E. Jackson, Jr.

(Dec 31, 2017, - Feb 24, 2018(?), physical book bought from

“True love is the highest degree of motivation.”

“The secret to success is involvement.”

“Apprenticeship Patterns” (from chapter 3 to end; read the first 2 chapters last 2017)

(Jan 4 - Feb 21, Safari Books Online)

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (this time, chapters 1 to 9 only)

(Jan 12 - Mar 10, physical book bought from

This is the third time, I think, that I read this book.

The first and second[1] time is through an old pocket book (printed in January 1948!), which my father bought from a book sale. He gave it to me last 2006 I think. The first few pages hooked me. I must have thought, “This will be one of those great guides in life!

Also, during the first missions conference at BFBS last 2007, I heard one of the preachers recommending it for Christians to read! That means that it’s okay for Christians to read books like this!

And during my programmer years, I read John Sonmez recommending this book for programmers! I even found a programming job posting before where this book is a required reading if one is hired!

This is one of those books that are called “Self-Help” books. And I understand that these kinds of books are being criticised by some. Books like this might have some negative effects on people’s way of thinking… but if you read this book, just try to get the good parts and apply it in your life. The bad parts… just ignore them. :smile:

(The next question would be “How will one know which ones are bad and which ones are good?Which ones are truthful and which ones are not?”. I would like to suggest for you to get to know someone who claimed to be the truth: Jesus. I would like to recommend for you to read the Gospel of John in the Bible, and the book “Christianity: Opium or Truth”“)

“The ManCode” by Dr. Dennis Swanberg and Ron Smith

(Jan 28 - Feb 4, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

This is one of the first books I bought at BookSale[2]. The title caught my attention… I was thinking that it might help me become a man.

Here’s a quote from the book:

You can’t stand to be alone with yourself because you weren’t created to be alone.

… [But] you’re not only wired to need a relationship with God, you’re also hardwired to want things your own way.

… To crack the ManCode, you’ve got to decide who’s in charge: you or God.

“Working Effectively with Legacy Code” by Michael Feathers

(Feb 5 - May 8, physical book bought from

I already read the first eight chapters last 2017, but I decided to start reading this book from the beginning this 2018, because I wanted to remember and better understand the idea of “seams”, introduced in chapter 4, which is foundational in understanding the remaining parts of the book.

I created a page for some interesting quotes from the book here.

“True Riches” by Todd A. Sinelli

(Feb 10 abt12:15am-abt11:30pm, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

This is a short book — about 70 pages long — but it contains timeless treasures.

Here is one of those treasures:

Whatever you apply money to can grow and flourish.

Sherman Smith, a pastor and business scholar, writes, “From my experiences in dealing with people and their finances, I have learned one important lesson: The way money is used determines whether it becomes a curse of a blessing.”

When we take our money, time, talent, or treasures and share them with a person in need, with the church, or when we perform any act of selfless giving, we are pouring energy into these things and saying “grow and flourish”.

The opposite holds true. If we take our money and use it to buy drugs, filth, or unholy things, we are in essence giving energy to these items and saying “grow and flourish”.

“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

(Feb 10 - Feb 21, physical book bought at FullyBooked at Abreeza Mall in Davao City))

This is the first book on business that I read (I think). I bought it because I thought it was a book related to programming, because it was recommended in here as a help to becoming a proactive person.

I do not yet understand everything in this book. — Some things which stuck in my head: … there was this Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop, and “The Five Whys”. Stuffs in programming was also mentioned, such as XP and continuous deployment… of course, because the writer was a programmer. — But it gave me an idea on how business people think. I will just read this book again later when I think I already need everything this book contains.

Here are some interesting quotes from the book:

“You cannot trade quality for time.”

“At the root of every seemingly technical problem is a human problem.”

“… it’s the boring stuff that matters the most.”

“Most of the time customers don’t know what they want in advance.”

“A Tale of Three Kings: A study in brokeness” by Gene Edwards

(Feb 25 abt10:58pm-onwards, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)
(2nd reading: Jun 24 - Jun 25) - Part 1 only - chapters 1-18

One of the best books ever written. :smile: It changed the way I see life.

… God used the outer Saul to remove the inner Saul…

“Fatherless Generation” by John A. Sowers

(Feb 27 - Aug 12, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

first 3 chapters of “How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge” by Clay Scroggins

(Mar 6 - Mar 9, physical book bought from

Recommended by Barnabas Piper on Facebook.

If “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is not a leadership book, then this, I think, is the first book I read about leadership.

“Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki

(Mar 12 - Mar 18, physical book bought from

Intro, Chapters 1 & 2 of “Talk Like TED” by Robert T. Kiyosaki

(Mar 19, physical book bought from

I was priviledged to talk at a dev conference about Clean Architecture last October 2017 It was a disaster.

That experience made me find this book. :smile:

first 2 chapters of “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” by Atul Gawande

(Mar 21 & Mar 23, physical book bought from

(this book is quoted in “Apprenticeship Patterns”)

first 8 chapters of “SPRINT: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz

(Mar 23 - Apr 18, physical book bought from

Recommended in “Overcoming Programmer Career Obstacles With A Stoic Mindset” as a help to becoming a proactive person.

“Refactoring” by Martin Fowler

(Apr 3 - Aug 4, physical book bought from

chapters 1, 2, 3, 6 & 13 of “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin

(Apr 5 - Apr 16, physical book bought from

I already read the first 8 chapters of Clean Code last 2013

“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber

(Apr 21 - May 8, physical book bought from

Recommended by John Sonmez here

first 5 chapters of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

(Apr 25 - Nov 25, physical book bought at G-Mall of Davao City)

“What’s Your Worldview: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions” by James N. Anderson

(May 5 - Aug 4, physical book bought from

Intro & first 7 chapters of “Alive to Wonder” by John Piper

(May 26 - May 27, free ebook downloaded from here)

first 8 chapters of “Dwelling in the Land” by Jeanette Howard

(May 17 - Sept 20, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

chapters I, VI-VIII, 1-11, & 15 (not including the Solutions section) of “Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

(Jun 15, - Aug 22, physical book bought from

I bought this book not because I am planning to apply for a job at Google or Microsoft :laughing: but because I was hoping that it contains very simple explanation of Big-O and some of the basic algorithms, and threads too. It does, but I have to reread this book later before the explanations can reside in my long-term memory.

“ReChurch: Healing Your Way Back to the People of God” by Stephen Mansfield

(Jul 6 - July 26, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

One of the best books ever written. :smile: It changed the way I see Christianity… and life.

“Tactics : A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions” by Gregory Koukl

(Aug 12 - Aug 19, physical book bought from

(recommended by Kyle Barrington)

“Christianity: Opium or Truth” by David Gooding and John Lennox

(Sept 1 - Sept 4, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

(Free ebook version can be downloaded at

“The Definition of Christianity” by David Gooding and John Lennox

(Sept 7 - Sept 11, ebook freely available online)

(Free ebook version can be downloaded at

“When the Empire Strikes: Are We Repeating the Pattern of Past Civilizations?” by William R. Goetz

(Oct 10 - Oct 16, physical book bought in a book sale during the PRISM Conference of BJMBC last October 2018)

first 3 chapters of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan (modern edition, faithfully retold by Cheryl V. Ford)

(Oct 17, Nov 24, Dec 8, physical book bought at BookSale in SM City Davao)

“Power Through Prayer” by Edward M. Bounds

(Dec 17, 2018 - Jan 21, 2019, freely downloadable online)

A required reading in the “Life & Ministry of Prayer” course I took at BJMBC last Nov2018-Mar2019.

(not book) “Should We Exclusively Use The King James Bible?” - debate between Jack Moorman and James White, moderated by Doug Harris

(June 2)


There is this drive on the part of any religious group to have a single religious text and have no questions about it; and I understand that; I understand why to have it black and white, no questions.

But there’s a problem. That’s not how God gave us the Bible.


(I John 5:7 in KJV is not in the 1st and 2nd editions of Erasmus.)

The early church never used that text as proof text for the doctrine of the trinity. There are people who summarized the belief by words similar to that. But the doctrine of the trinity is in no way, shape or form, dependent upon that.

The Majority Text does not contain it either. It is in much later edition. It is found only in Latin manuscripts. And only in late 14th century and beyond Greek manuscripts.

If we include it, what we’re saying is that text in the New Testament can be thoroughly corrupted.

(Conclusion) The real issue here this evening is “what did the inspired apostles originally write?”

etc. (I will list them here when I remember which they are)


[1] I did not finish it on my second reading, I think. (back ^)

[2] … BookSale of SM City Davao… that was in late November 2017 — starting that time, I regularly visit BookSale at SM City Davao hoping to find books like this — books where I can learn things about life. (back ^)