My Bookshelf

Paul Mackenzie Ross - My bookshelf

I would have loved to have gone to university and earned a degree in design or computing but that’s not the way life panned out. Instead, I learned from the school of hard knocks, the university of life and taught myself much that brought me to where I am today, hence why I am sharing my bookshelf.

I owe much to books because, whenever I needed to learn a particular skill I would buy a book and dip into it as an eternal source of handy reference. In particular, SAMS Teach yourself HTML in 24 Hours was the one book that really opened up my path as a web professional and I still have that book today, some 17 years after I first brought it. No I don’t, give it back, Mark S 🙂

So, here I share my bookshelf with the world…

What I’m reading RIGHT NOW! (Yes, I have a few on the go at once)

  • Agencynomics
    Spencer Gallagher and Peter Hoole’s book on “how to run an agency” which I have to admit has been half-inched by my boss as his holiday read…
  • Lost and Founder
    A guide to startup business from Rand Fishkin, the guy who started Moz (SEO Moz) and whose keynote I saw at Brighton SEO in September 2018.
  • Running Linux
    I’ve always been a *nix/LAMP fan for my hosting and run an Ubuntu laptop so you can never have too much information on these systems
  • Transforming your Risk Management Approach
    A gift from a client, the author himself, nonetheless. Thank you, David Tinney (Technology Risk, Cyber, HR and Business Continuity Consultant)
  • Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing
    I think I saw this mentioned when I was on my CIM certification course so I picked up a copy to formalise my approach and see if I could learn some new tricks.
  • Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords
    With my renewed PPC campaign management duties over the last year and a half I thought I’d brush up on AdWords again.
  • Google AdWords
    It’s an O’Reilly 2012 second edition and, because AdWords moves really quickly, it’s good to have a refresher after not using the platform for a few years (2014)
  • SCRUM – The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
    Jeff Sutherland is the co-creator of Scrum and this is a fantastic introduction to the framework – well worth reading for anyone in dev.
  • Google Analytics
    Written by Justin Cutroni, a Google employee and Google Analytics guru, I’d read his blog Analytics Talk before picking up his book so this is an authoritative tome on the subject. GA has changed a lot over the past few years so this 2010 edition is a little out of date but still worthwhile for a deep understanding of how “classic” Analytics works. It’s due for an update/rewrite and release in mid-2016.
  • Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban
    I’ve always tried to put Agile into practice since embarking on a Joomla! CMS project back in 2006 and 2009. Today I’m formalising my focus and intend to get my Certified Scrum Master soon.
  • Learn Python the Hard Way: A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code
    I used to programme in BASIC on the ZX-81 and BBC Model B many moons ago, so this is me getting back to my roots with a little Python programming.

Stashed away on the bookshelf of life:

  • Ghost in the Wires
    The autobiography of Kevin Mitnick, once the world’s most wanted hacker!
  • SAMS Teach Yourself HTML 4 in 24 Hours
    When I first wanted to learn Hyper Text Markup Language THIS was the book that got me started; I think I brought it from PC World, Guildford, in 1997/1998.
  • Drupal 6 Themes: Create new themes for your Drupal 6 site with clean layout and powerful CSS styling
    I know Drupal 6 is reaching reached its end of life on 24 February 2016 but I managed a portfolio of D6 websites from 2015 until early 2017. I dipped into this book to gain some insights into Drupal 6 theming so I thought that if anyone else out there was still in the same boat as me then this is a good reference point. I should really be pointing people to the book Drupal 7 Themes. In fact that should be Drupal 8 Themes.
  • The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7
    This really is a hefty tome, so you get your money’s worth for standard post & packing charges. It’s also pricey at nearly £40 new so I ordered a well-loved second-hand edition. It really is pretty comprehensive.