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TechCrunch authors recommend their favorite readings from 2019 – TechCrunch

2019 offered, in addition to the excellent release schedules of recent years, a catalog of books in which you can browse bluish . If you think we are on Peak TV, you should look for a counterpoint in your local bookstore).

We've already questioned Extra Crunch readers and made a selection of their twelve favorites, but I've also asked our TechCrunch editors what they read this year and what they would recommend. Not surprisingly, they came back with a mix of books (and audiobooks!) About technology, startups, biographies, comics and real thrillers, like the right nerds we all have here.

The book had the criteria to be read around 201

9 but did not necessarily have to be published in this calendar year. This is partly because books that may not have been so interesting in the past suddenly came into the limelight, for whatever reason (headlines, recommendations from virus influencers to goop or whatever).

Eleven authors at TechCrunch and the thirteen books that had the most impact on them, each of which would be a great gift for your techno-geek friend.

Zack Whittaker

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar And The Hunt for the Most Powerful Hacker of the Kremlin by Andy Greenberg

Doubleday / 368 pages / November 2019


Zack has a long history of daily security breaches, cybersecurity hacks, and reports other data leaks plaguing our world today (just last month: Hacks at Macy's and Magic: the Gathering). No wonder his favorite book of the year is none other than Russian hackers:

Andy Greenberg's latest book about Sandworm, the group of Russian hackers blamed for the most disruptive cyberattack in history, is a real page turner. Greenberg's Sandworm is an exciting history of discovery and attack, from the shutdown of power grids in Eastern Europe to the spread of the NotPetya ransomware attack that freezed hospitals, railways and ATMs. Although written for laymen, it is detailed enough to satisfy any expert, and the use of the first person draws attention to the narrative of the story. This incredibly detailed detective book, which leaves no stone unturned, and the refreshing addition of footnotes, is a must for anyone interested in cybersecurity.

Andy Greenberg himself has long been concerned with security and hacking and is currently senior author at Wired. This is his second book after the publication of This Machine Kills Secrets in 2012 on Julian Assange.

Sarah Perez

The Worst Bitch in the Room of Sophia Chang

Audible Original by Hello Sunshine / 8 Hours / September 2019

Publisher Link

Sarah has a long one But she's still her favorite This year's audiobook comes from a backstage music industry musician who carefully places herself in the limelight:

You do not have to be a big hip Hop-fan to love Sophia Chang's new memoir, but she Audible Original contains some impressive names. A veteran of the music industry, Chang Rap and R & B stars such as RZA, GZA and ODB of the Wu Tang clan, as well as A Tribe Called Quest, Raphael Saadiq and D & # 39; Angelo.

But her story is more than a music industry review. Chang is also the most independent child of Korean immigrants who left Vancouver for New York, and a woman who fell in love with a Shaolin monk, learned Kung Fu, shaved her head to destroy clichés of Asian women, and became a mother. as she works her way up in her career.

In her self-proclaimed remembrance (which includes 24 guest appearances!) She moves into the limelight for a behind-the-scenes life, where she helps talented artists tell their stories. She's smart, funny and inspiring – and someone, as her story shows, who really deserves the title of "bad bitch".

Walter Thompson

Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography by Rebecca M. Jordan-Young and Katrina Karkazis

Harvard University Press / 288 Pages / October 2019

Publisher's Link [19659002]

In the other direction, our new senior editor at Extra Crunch Walter Thompson recommends a "biography" of a well-known but surprisingly misunderstood steroid that puts its own time in the limelight: [19659010] The book, written by a sociomedicine and cultural anthropologist, explodes many of the common myths surrounding the hormone falsely associated with male masculinity and masculinity. Jordan-Young and Karkazis deal with science and history to explain how testosterone is commonly misrepresented in popular culture and the medical industry by examining how T focuses on aggression, reproduction, power, parenting, sports, and risk taking effect.

Increasing attention to these topics, the book's favorable timing and deeply researched fundamentals are already having an important cultural impact today.

Josh Constine

SAGA: Compendium One by Brian K Vaughan and the artist Fiona Staples [19659007] Image Comics / 1,328 pages / August 2019

Publishing link

One by Josh's book recommendations for 2019 is a graphic novel whose volume (as one might hope) is very extensive. Paperback, which spans more than 1,000 pages):

This is possibly the biggest non-superhero action comic, a story by Lovers of various planets trying to raise their children in the midst of an intergalactic war. The imaginative inventions, the colorful artworks and the mixture of laser fights and exciting drama will take you away. The paperback is a great way to talk without staring at a screen (though it's also available in the Comixology app).

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order of Kai-fu Lee

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 272 pages / September 2018

Publishing link

Josh was a prolific reporter and critics of social networking and media companies like Facebook and Twitter. These days, however, there is a new social network that attracts a lot of attention: Tik Tok. Josh has been reporting on the company and its predecessor, Musical.ly, for years, writing about how Facebook should face this new competitive threat. No wonder then that Josh's first recommendation is a book that focuses on the rise of Chinese apps and the fight for the future of artificial intelligence:

If you want to understand how artificial intelligence affects employment and geopolitics This is a must read from the former head of Google China. It tells wild tales of the tech startup competition and the rise of the ecosystem in the country and explores why every country except the US and China faces difficult times.

AI Superpowers was also the most recommended book by Extra Crunch readers in our survey and also a book that I can personally support (thanks Josh for stealing my recommendation).

Danny Crichton (ie, truly yours)

Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age by Stephen R. Platt

Button / 592 pages / May 2018

Publishing link [19659002]

Speaking of China, the trade war between the US and the US continues unabated Middle Kingdom. While AI Superpowers focuses on present and future, Stephen Platt's Imperial Twilight takes us back to the time of the Opium War, when Western forces were led by a fascinating cast of characters Britain, the US, and other countries have used trade as a tool to open the borders of China, to popularize a highly addictive drug, and to channel capital from the country in a moment of sheer political power against an incredibly weakened Qing Dynasty float .

The book is one of the works that every publisher wants to have in its catalog, with an exceptionally well written narration, a deeply structured and nuanced look at a major historical event and a well-defined release date, one of the most recent news of the year. In short, it's a blast.

Catherine Shu

As a continuation of this China theme, Catherine has been reporting on technical developments in Asia from her place in Taiwan for years (even seven since yesterday). But she also has interests outside the newest startups, and that includes real crime novels.

I've been a fan of real crime since I was a teenager, but over the past year I've felt worried about my attachment to the genre. To be honest, many books and podcasts are fueled by voyeurism, and I do not feel comfortable turning the tragedy into entertainment. That's why I welcome new books that step back and examine famous cases in their cultural context.

The Five: The untold life of the women killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Doubleday / 432 pages / February 2019

Publishing link

Catherine recommends one of the first most famous serial killer of the story:

"The Five" by Hallie Rubenhold is probably the first book to comprehensively document the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper. Rubenhold's research uncovered myths about women, including that not all prostitutes were, a misunderstanding that began with recent police and press reports (and could have ultimately hampered the investigation), but continues to be sustained by the industry surrounding the Murder has grown.

Rubenhold has done a tremendous amount of research, but in the end, the book's effect results from the very simple but effective act of restoring the humanity of these five women – an admirable achievement, considering their violent killings for over one year Century considered mass-produced and romantic. [19659033] The trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

Simon & Schuster / 400 pages / March 2019

Publishing link

In the meantime, her second recommendation takes on a broader perspective A famous ax murder case, as is traditional in the genre of real crime:

"The Trial of Lizzie Borden" by Cara Robertson is one of the best books on the case I've read (and I've read a lot). Robertson, a lawyer, not only provides an exhaustive but highly compelling account of the trials that have been completed in the acquittal of Lizzie Borden, but also analyzes the case as an example of contemporary attitudes toward gender, class, and crime.

Newspaper reports show that the case almost immediately became a media sensation and that many of the viewers of the process were dismissed by a reporter as a "crowd of morbid women" are women.

Devin Coldewey

Digital Apollo: Man and Machine in Space Flight by David A. Mindell

MIT Press / 376 pages / April 2008

Publisher's Link

[19659002] Devin has long been interested in space travel, artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and other harsh science and technology topics. His recommendation this year is a classic of the genre of David Mindell, a longtime MIT professor of engineering history and founder of startup Humatics, who has collected serious venture capital for building location (remember) robots in factories) reality. On Digital Apollo Devin says:

The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 is a great opportunity to get to know one of the most intriguing aspects of the program: the computers it was run on. But Digital Apollo is far more than just an overview of early computer hardware. Mindell documents the fascinating people and processes behind the creation of this unprecedented system. Persistent astronauts, idealistic engineers, and skeptical officials compete against each other as the tough deadline looms, making this story an interesting and comprehensive story, as well as a well-informed story.

It's not just a great story, it's a recognizable one Any engineer who has ever had to ship a product while interacting with other people.

Kirsten Korosec

Traffic: Why We Do It (and what it says about us) by Tom Vanderbilt

Button / 416 pages / July 2008

Publishing link

[19659002] Kirsten has been reporting heavily on the transportation sector (you should sign up for her weekly transport newsletter The Station), including the rise of companies like Tesla and brand new categories of startups like self-driving cars and scooters. Despite futurism in the industry, she wanted to take a step back in her recommendation for a book, which first addresses some of the first principles that "drive" mobility:

This book is a decade old and yet it's more up-to-date ever as our cities are getting denser and we are looking for ways to get out of the congestion. If you want to understand opportunities and challenges for automakers, cities and even start-ups in terms of mobility, start here.

With Traffic Vanderbilt wants to show that people have cognitive boundaries and those borders a direct impact on our transport systems and the design of our mobility products. As we enter more and more into a world of human / AI hybrid cars and people with wobbly scooters race down Market Street, his book offers us a panoramic view of how difficult it is to make mobility safe and sound.

Matt Burns

Billy, Alfred and General Motors: The Story of Two Unique Men, a Legendary Company and a Remarkable Time in William Pelfrey's American History

AMACOM / 336 pages / March 2006 [19659002] Publisher's Link

Matt Burns, one of our longest-standing editors, has been writing on automotive topics here for more than a decade. He brings us a book on one of the most famous companies (positive and negative) in American history:

This is the story of General Motors and how a successful car maker bought the name Buick and turned it into the biggest car maker in history

And then how Billy Durant crashed the company and lost control.

So what did Billy Durant do? He founded another company, Chevrolet, the only car ever made in New York City, and used wild manipulations to regain control of General Motors. And then he lost control again and ran a bowling alley in Flint, MI, until he was almost broke.

Meanwhile, Alfred Sloan, methodical manager of an auto parts company that took over General Motors, has updated the annual model and finally wrote the book on corporate governance. It is the story of a wild entrepreneur whose vision and domination of the stock market has led to the creation of a mega-corporation but lacked the scalability management skills. The book describes his incredible rise and fall on the basis of illustrative stories and testimonials from Durant's unpublished autobiography.

Darrell Etherington

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

W. W. Norton & Company / 408 Pages / September 2019

Publishing link

Darrell has documented the tech industry for many years (picked up a topic here?) And chronicled a technology company which has since lost much of its luster:

This report is mainly about the founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, from his founding years before Uber to the power struggle of corporations, which led to his overthrow in 2017.

What I liked most was the depiction of Bill Gurley – an interesting counterpunching of this Silicon Valley legend with Kalanick's slide, which fits your understanding of the real story or not, depending on who you hear it from.

If you had to choose the "Startup Profile Book of the Year" award, Super Pumped would almost certainly take over the crown this year. The book was also strongly recommended by readers of Extra Crunch in our survey, although it was not completely cut.

Manish Singh

Big Billion Startup – The Untold Flipkart Story by Mihir Dalal

Pan Macmillan India / 320 pages / October 2019

Publishing link

Manish is Relatively recently, we came across to expand our technical coverage in India, where the start-up and corporate ecosystem has gone crazy fast the past decade plus. Perhaps no startup represents India's potential better than e-commerce giant Flipkart, which is at the center of Manish's recommendation:

"Big Billion Startup" by journalist Mihir Dalal is a mesmerizing look at the Emergence of India's largest e-commerce platform. Flipkart, which sold a whopping $ 16 billion majority stake to Walmart last year, was founded in 2007, six years before Amazon began its online shopping business in India.

The book published in October not only documents the struggle, pain and setbacks Two former Amazon employees built the business in a lousy apartment in Bangalore, but it also reminds us how different the Indian startup ecosystem was at that time Record of $ 11.3 billion this year. But in the early days, there were very few VCs who believed in India, and even a $ 50 million check for a start-up was unknown. Flipkart was the pioneer who paved the way for others to build great start-ups.

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