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These books have been vital for shaping my mental models in ways that have helped me to build systems such as sled.

In addition to significantly increasing your credibility among peers, using the following links will help to support the project, as they are Amazon Associates links that send a kickback to the project. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Correct Systems

Practical TLA+

Engineering a Safer World

Handbook of Model Checking

Why Programs Fail



Systems Performance

The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis

Database Architecture

Transactional Information Systems

Database Internals

Designing Data-Intensive Applications

Making Databases Work


Prometheus Rising

This book is pretty extreme, and you’re likely to disagree with some of the specifics of human developmental psychology that it goes into. But there are a ton of random interesting thoughts scattered throughout the book. In particular, this book introduced me to e-prime, which has helped me to significantly remove ambiguity from technical discussions and notes that I take for myself. Generally, by being precise (especially by avoiding the verb to-be) and providing accurate context, we can improve the quality of our understanding and communication. It’s the strangest book on this list.

Map and Territory

This is the first book from Rationality: From AI to Zombies, an incredibly comprehensive text that discusses how to make better decisions despite our own significant biases and the information we have access to. It covers “the nature of rationality, belief, and explanation”.

How to Actually Change Your Mind

This is the second book from Rationality: From AI to Zombies. It “covers the ultra-high-level penultimate technique of rationality: triumphing over confirmation bias and motivated cognition.”

Human Interaction:

Nonviolent Communication

This book covers the most important skill for engineering: communicating with other humans. This book discusses a particularly powerful technique for saying things in ways that reduce the cost for the other side to hear them. Along with e-prime from Prometheus Rising, this book has radically changed how I interact with humans while having discussions that have the chance to become heated.