Hey! I was digging around and found the latest book thread was back in '16, so I took it upon myself to make a new one. I personally am an avid reader and I think sharing interesting reads is important for both motivation and learning.
To keep this organized:
Be sure to tag the books you recommend so we can all benefit from the replies, tags are as follows;
- (General) - for works that impart more generalized knowledge, or don’t fall into any one category.
- (Fiction) - for works depicting fictional stories about hacking, programming or related.
- (Real/Doc) - for books about real hacking, cybercrime cases and/or investigations into the hacking world.
- (Philosophy) - for books that delve into the philosophic side of hacking, like ethics and related.
- (Techspeak) - for technical works that are more guides to follow than leisure reading.
- (Paper) - for highly technical academic papers on topics related.
Ideally link your books to a place people can get them, even more ideal if you include identifiers in your description (like the ISBN). For papers, extra points if you include a DOI, but any link where we can read it will do (reminder that papers behind paywalls only benefit the publisher, not the author, and actively hurt scientific learning).
If there are tags missing or some categories are weirdly/badly defined, please suggest them to me through DM so I can edit the post and add/edit them.
For my recommendations I have a few;
- (Fiction) Attack/Surface by Cory Doctorow | ISBN-13 9781250757517
It is the third book of a series called “Little Brother”, but I didn’t read the first two and I still found it incredibly interesting, as well as realistic. The book follows Masha as she falls into this dichotomy of both working for the bad guys while helping the good guys evade them. As you could imagine, it is an unsustainable dilemma. One thing I like most is that Pavel Anni took the time to write the Mashapedia (n.a), a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the real world technologies depicted in the book, making it a great introduction to the tech we use and the jargon we speak for people looking to start in the world of hacking and IT.
- (Real/Doc) This is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth | ISBN-13 9781635576054
Truly fantastic investigative journalism into the cryptic world of cyberweapons and the 0-day market. It really puts into perspective how much power hackers wield in this highly connected world, and it proposes the problem of the “IoT wave” and how hackers, if said wave is completed, can weaponize it. The book was published before Russia’s aggressive invasion started, and it really helps put the conflict into perspective, as Perlroth dives into how cyber-aggression had escalated years prior. Very interesting book.
- (General) The Jargon File by Eric S. Raymond
This is a file more than it is a book, mainly because it has many versions throughout the years. For the uninitiated, the Jargon file is a glossary of slang and terms different programmer and hacking subcultures use. You could find it in book form, but do not be careless; those might be old versions. I do not think of this as necessary reading, more like for-fun reading. It clarifies terminology as well as give insight into what and how hackers have been interacting with each other throughout the years and as technology evolves.
- (Philosophy) Coding Democracy: How Hackers are Disrupting Power, Surveillance, and Authoritarianism by Maureen Webb | ISBN-13 9780262043557
I think the title describes it well enough that my words are a bit unnecessary, but a quick review doesn’t hurt anybody. This book is an in-depth analysis of how hacker culture has allowed democracy to move forward smoothly.
- (Techspeak / Philosophy) The Art of Unix Programming by Eric S. Raymond | ISBN-13 9780131429017
Maybe you’ll say “Ked, recommending Raymond again?” and I’d respond “Exactly”. The Art of Unix Programming is an great book, as it details the Unix philosophy and its evolution to where it is today, as well as Unix and Unix-based OS’s. It is a great read, very long and arduous, but there is much to gain from reading a book like this. Again, not necessary reading, but good to have under the belt.
Those are my recommendations (for now), Papers and other academic material am still reading so didn’t note them down. Am curious to read what you recommend!
Note: I know there is the awesome lists on github with books for hackers, but I believe there is much to be gained from asking people directly and seeing what they’re reading.