Monday, December 31, 2007

Best Book Bejtlich Read in 2007

Last year I posted my first year-end ranking of books I had read and reviewed in 2006, titled Favorite Books I Read and Reviewed in 2006. I decided to continue the tradition this year by posting my 2007 rankings, and awarding Best Book Bejtlich Read in 2007 (B3R07).

2007 was not my most productive year in terms of reading and reviewing books. I read 17 in 2000, 42 in 2001, 24 in 2002, 33 in 2003, 33 in 2004, 26 in 2005, and 52 in 2006. This year I read and reviewed 25 books, several during the last week. My ratings can be summarized as follows:

  • 5 stars: 9 books

  • 4 stars: 11 books

  • 3 stars: 4 books

  • 2 stars: 1 book

  • 1 star: 0 books


The competition for the B3R07 award was intense. Keep in mind these are all five star books.

And, the winner of the Best Book Bejtlich Read in 2007 award is... 1. Ajax Security by Billy Hoffman and Bryan Sullivan (Addison-Wesley). Ajax Security was the last book I read and reviewed in 2007. However, it was the best book I read all year. The book is absolutely compelling and every security professional and Web developer should read it. It's really as simple as that.

If you'd like to read a very thorough and technically perceptive review of the book, I recommend this post by Dre: Ajax Security opens up a whole new can of worms.

Let me conclude by saying the competition for the top slot was very tight. I really loved all top five books, and the bottom four were excellent too. There are even some good four star books, but a book must rate five stars in order to be considered here.

Congratulations to No Starch for placing 4 books in my five star list. Addison-Wesley was the runner-up with 2 books, but the publisher also produced the B3R07 award winner.

Happy reading in 2008!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see on your reading list you are planning to study Python in August.

I recommend you put Core Python, 2nd Edition in place of Programming Python, 3rd Edition.

My experience is with the previous editions of both. I found Core Python to be a better way to learn the language; it was more readable and succinct. Programming Python tried to be all things to all people and was just too big and long. I see the 3rd Edition is even longer than the 2nd.

Peteris Krumins said...

Dear Richard,

I have been reading your blog now and then since 2004 and it never stops amazing me how many books you read per year.

I know that you have a family, a job and, yet, you still manage to read that many books. Seems like you are defeating time :)

What is your secret to reading that many books? Do you read them cover-to-cover or just scan through the most interesting topics? Do set everything else aside and just focus on reading books? Or do you read books each evening? Do you read many books in parallel, or focus on just one book at a time?


Sincerely,
Peteris Krumins

Richard Bejtlich said...

Hi Peteris,

I wrote a little about this last year:

http://taosecurity.blogspot.com/2007/01/reading-tips.html

I have a few more words to say in an upcoming question-and-answer with Chris Byrd. I'll post a link to the blog when published. Thank you.