Monday, January 09, 2012

Best Book Bejtlich Read in 2011

It's time to name the winner of the Best Book Bejtlich Read award for 2011!

I've been reading and reviewing digital security books seriously since 2000. This is the 6th time I've formally announced a winner; see my bestbook label for previous winners.

Compared to 2010 (31 books), 2011 saw a decrease to 22 books. Remember all reading is neither equal nor fast. When I review a book, I am sure to read it and not just skim it. For 10 books last year, I chose not to read them but to instead post impressions. Posts called "impressions" provide my sense of the book but I do not publish them in my reviews.

My ratings for 2011 can be summarized as follows:

  • 5 stars: 10 books

  • 4 stars: 7 books

  • 3 stars: 4 books

  • 2 stars: 1 book

  • 1 stars: 0 books

Please remember that I try to avoid reading bad books. If I read a book and I give it a lower rating (generally 3 or less stars), it's because I had higher hopes.

Here's my overall ranking of the five star reviews; this means all of the following are excellent books. The links point to my reviews. And, the winner of the Best Book Bejtlich Read in 2011 award is...

  • Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Ed by Jon Erickson; No Starch. My review said in part:

    Jon Erickson's Hacking, 2nd Ed (H2E) is one of the most remarkable books in the group I just read. H2E is in some senses amazing because the author takes the reader on a journey through programming, exploitation, shellcode, and so forth, yet helps the reader climb each mountain. While the material is sufficiently technical to scare some readers away, those that remain will definitely learn more about the craft.

Looking at publishers, for the first year I can remember no publisher won more than one title. No Starch breaks the string of 3 straight previous BBBR victories held by Syngress.

Thank you to all publishers who sent me books in 2011. I have plenty more to read in 2012.

Congratulations to all the authors who wrote great books in 2011, and who are publishing titles in 2012!


Jason and Charles said...

Thanks for the book recommendations, as a new information assurance graduate I have purchased a lot of books you have reviewed or mentioned in attempt to bridge the gap between my college education and reality. So far it seems to be working. Keep an eye out for my future resume.

Anonymous said...

I guess it should read "My ratings for 2011" instead of "2010" :-) ?


Richard Bejtlich said...

Michael -- thanks, fixed!

Don Clifton said...


I totally agree with the choice and my close second was the Malware Analyst's Cookbook.