Was challenged by my good friend and cousin Pedro Torres to the "10 books that have stayed with me" challenge (if it is such a thing). So, here are 10 somewhat randomly that come to mind, although as you get to the bottom of the list those are some the "best" books I've read. I'm sure I have missed a couple of important ones, but just to get 10 out there.
10. Killer Angels - This was my first real "book" of substance read when I was a teenager out touring around civil war sites with my challenger, one Mr. Torres. I think it mostly sticks with me because it was first but also because it does bring back great memories on several fronts including reading in front of the fire in my parents house (although the subject matter of the book was not so great).
9. Ignore Everybody - I love this little book of thoughts and sketches on the back of business cards. My buddy Scott McLeod gave me my first copy and, like him, I've made a habit of giving this book out to others whom I deem worthy. There are some others in this space, like the small books by Seth Godin.
8. The Third Teacher - This is not really a book you read as much as consume. It will change the way you think about books and learning and spaces and design. Groundbreaking in execution moreso than content.
7. Illustrated Brief History of Time - Like Pedro and so many others I'm sure, this book opened my eyes to a love of both physics and space. I've not randomly read a physics book lately, but I've read several others since this one and while I enjoy them, this is the one that sticks with me (plus, not really sold on the whole string theory concept yet). Interestingly, I listened to The Elegant Universe on the way home from Pedro's wedding in Minnesota.
6. The Kite Runner - In my adult life, I am not really big on novels but this one stands out. It was just a beautifully told story and I appreciate the talent.
5. The Bottom Billion - There was a phase when I was reading a lot about other parts of the world but this one stands out as memorable for me because it put concepts like poverty globally into the proper perspectives (which is probably different than you are imagining).
4. The Castle by Kafka - This book with haunt me forever. It was so truthfully artistic about our societal structures and my mind finds the winding streets of the village frequently as a struggle in my government job. K?
3. What Technology Wants - This book changed my relationship to the concept of "technology" and since I run a technology center ... that was sort of important. Since "technology" can sort of broadly be defined as anything that is not natural invented by humans ... it really covers a LOT of territory.
2. Code is Law (and V2). This book has done more to shape my philosophy of government than any other. Once I had a great handle on all the different ways that society regulates, it really let me put the law in its proper place within society, particularly our in our quite techy world. However, the conceptual structures in this book extend far beyond.