19 books like Return to the Little Kingdom

By Michael Moritz,

Here are 19 books that Return to the Little Kingdom fans have personally recommended if you like Return to the Little Kingdom. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Steve Jobs

Neil Archer Author Of The Social Network: Youth Film 2.0

From my list on Silicon Valley’s impact on everyday life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a fixation with films about or using digital technology: my work in this area is about trying to grasp the impacts of technological change on the world in which we live. In writing about The Social Network, I was gripped by the idea that a group of college kids could create something so contagious and monstrous as Facebook. More recently, I’ve been exploring the impacts of data on our understanding and management of sport. I’m also working on a long-term project about Pixar, a long-term fascination. I just love the idea that the films we and our children watch started out with a bunch of computer scientists, playing around with polygons.

Neil's book list on Silicon Valley’s impact on everyday life

Neil Archer Why did Neil love this book?

As suggested by my recommendation of Levy’s Facebook, I’m a sucker for a big book about tech entrepreneurs, especially when the subject is as prickly and culturally relevant as Steve Jobs (the book also inspired Aaron Sorkin’s post-Social Network screenplay for 2015’s Steve Jobs, another great Silicon Valley film).

While I’m not an Apple fanboy, I am a fan of Pixar, the other company for which Jobs was CEO. Isaacson’s biography in turn offers a fast-paced history of the way computers and computing, via Apple’s designs and Pixar’s films, stopped being objects only for offices and science fiction, and became part of our everyday landscape.

Like him or not, we’re all partly living in Steve Jobs’ world.

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Steve Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life.

Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.


Book cover of Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

This biography was almost written as a “response” to the Isaacson book. It better covers the NeXT and Pixar years. In fact, it makes the case that those years in Steve Jobs's life were critical for his later success after returning to Apple. This book should probably be read after the Isaacson book because it’s not as comprehensive as the Isaacson book and provides a different perspective.

By Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Steve Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - with a new foreword by Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreessen.

'For my money, a better book about Jobs than Walter Isaacson's biography' New Yorker

'A fascinating reinterpretation of the Steve Jobs story' Sunday Times

We all think we know who Steve Jobs was, what made him tick, and what made him succeed.

Yet the single most important question about him has never been answered.

The young, impulsive, egotistical genius was ousted in the mid-80s from the company he founded, exiled from his own kingdom and cast into the wilderness. Yet he returned…


Book cover of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

This was one of the first Apple history books that I read when I was a teenager. It primarily covers vignettes from the early years and the non-Jobs era of Apple (1985–1997). I read the first edition, which came out in 1999. It’s valuable because most Apple books tend to concentrate on the Jobs era. I have not read the newer, 2004 edition.

By Owen W. Linzmayer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apple Confidential 2.0 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Apple Confidential examines the tumultuous history of America's best-known Silicon Valley start-up from its legendary founding almost 30 years ago, through a series of disastrous executive decisions, to its return to profitability, and including Apple's recent move into the music business. Linzmayer digs into forgotten archives and interviews the key players to give readers the real story of Apple Computer, Inc. This updated and expanded edition includes tons of new photos, timelines, and charts, as well as coverage of new lawsuit battles, updates on former Apple executives, and new chapters on Steve Wozniak and Pixar.


Book cover of iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

I feel like it would be crazy to not read a book by a cofounder when you want to learn about the history of a company. Steve Wozniak’s autobiography chiefly focuses on his early life and his years at Apple. The writing style is very basic—with a quite simple sentence structure throughout. Perhaps that’s because this book was positioned to be attractive to both children and adults. But this is the only book written by one of Apple’s cofounders and iWoz has a very positive, inspirational message.

By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked iWoz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange vending machines, with cryptic switches and pages of encoded output. But in 1977 Steve Wozniak revolutionized the computer industry with his invention of the first personal computer. As the sole inventor of the Apple I and II computers, Wozniak has enjoyed wealth, fame, and the most coveted awards an engineer can receive, and he tells his story here for the first time.


Book cover of Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

Marty Cagan Author Of Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

From my list on building a strong technology organization.

Why am I passionate about this?

Marty Cagan has been working on and with technology-powered empowered product teams for his entire career. Before founding the Silicon Valley Product Group to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising, and coaching, Marty Cagan served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay. As part of his work with SVPG, Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe. Marty is the author of INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products.

Marty's book list on building a strong technology organization

Marty Cagan Why did Marty love this book?

Apple is the most secretive commercial company I know.  Most books that have been written about them are about their colorful co-founder Steve Jobs, and much less about the inner workings.  My favorite book on how the actual work of product is done at Apple is Creative Selection by former engineering lead Ken Kocienda. Ken worked on some of the company’s most important products and technologies, during what I’d consider the peak innovation period for the company (so far).  Because Ken is an engineer, this book provides the engineering perspective, but the book is loaded with useful observations, learnings and insights.

By Ken Kocienda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creative Selection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; a few thousand work on Apple's campus in California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board. Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few behind the scenes, a highly-respected software engineer who worked in the final years the Steve Jobs era.

Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apple's creative process. For fifteen years, he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist, responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing software for products including the iPhone, the iPad, and the…


Book cover of Recoding Gender: Women's Changing Participation in Computing

G. Pascal Zachary Author Of Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft

From my list on the human dimension of writing computer code.

Why am I passionate about this?

The author was the chief Silicon Valley writer for The Wall Street Journal during the first of the 1990s. He went on to become an acclaimed scholar in the history of science, engineering, and innovation. At the peak of his journalism career, the Boston Globe described Zachary as the most talented reporter on the Journal's staff. Zachary went on to write technology and innovation columns for The New York Times, Technology Review, and Spectrum magazineZachary has also taught courses on science and technology studies at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Arizona State University, where he was a professor from 2010-2020. He lives in northern California. 

G.'s book list on the human dimension of writing computer code

G. Pascal Zachary Why did G. love this book?

The first software programmers, or coders for computers, were women. Abbate, a professor at Virginia Tech and author of Inventing the Internet, recaptures the vital role of women programmers at the dawn of digital computing, when in the 1940s and 1950s women often handled what was then viewed as an anonymous task of creating the coding for computers to carry out operations.

“Employed as technical experts from the very beginnings of digital computing,” Abbate writes in her penetrating study, “women were inventing careers and professional identities at the same time that the field took shape.” By the 1960s, when computing spread, men began supplanting women as frontline programmers, a trend that resulted in the software becoming male-dominated by the end of the 20th century. Because women now flock to code writing, and are becoming once more central players in the creation of software, Abbate’s history illuminates a neglected…

By Janet Abbate,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Recoding Gender as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The untold history of women and computing: how pioneering women succeeded in a field shaped by gender biases.

Today, women earn a relatively low percentage of computer science degrees and hold proportionately few technical computing jobs. Meanwhile, the stereotype of the male “computer geek” seems to be everywhere in popular culture. Few people know that women were a significant presence in the early decades of computing in both the United States and Britain. Indeed, programming in postwar years was considered woman's work (perhaps in contrast to the more manly task of building the computers themselves). In Recoding Gender, Janet Abbate…


Book cover of What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry

Alex Wright Author Of Informatica: Mastering Information through the Ages

From my list on forgotten pioneers of the Internet.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a researcher, writer, and designer who has spent most of the past twenty-five years working in the technology industry, following an earlier career as a journalist and academic librarian. I've developed an abiding interest in the history of knowledge networks. I've written two books on the history of the information age, as well as a number of newspaper and magazine articles on new and emerging technologies. While the technology industry often seems to have little use for its own history, I have found the history of networked systems to be a rich source of inspiration, full of sources of inspiration that can help us start to envision a wide range of possible futures.

Alex's book list on forgotten pioneers of the Internet

Alex Wright Why did Alex love this book?

Longtime technology journalist John Markoff explores the origins of the Silicon Valley mythos in this engaging and insightful history of the early personal computer industry.

The book explores how the modern personal computer took shape amid the counterculture of the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and 1970s, where an eccentric cast of technology visionaries, hackers, and misfits began pushing the boundaries of human consciousness: embracing utopian ideals, experimenting with mind-expanding drugs, and exploring the still-uncharted possibilities of personal computing.

Markoff does a masterful job of connecting the dots between the Sixties counterculture and the revolutionary ethos that undergirded the early personal computing industry, making a convincing case that our present-day technology culture is deeply rooted in this transformative period in American culture. An entertaining and inspiring read.

By John Markoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Dormouse Said as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This makes entertaining reading. Many accounts of the birth of personal computing have been written, but this is the first close look at the drug habits of the earliest pioneers." -New York Times

Most histories of the personal computer industry focus on technology or business. John Markoff's landmark book is about the culture and consciousness behind the first PCs-the culture being counter- and the consciousness expanded, sometimes chemically. It's a brilliant evocation of Stanford, California, in the 1960s and '70s, where a group of visionaries set out to turn computers into a means for freeing minds and information. In these…


Book cover of Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure

G. Pascal Zachary Author Of Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft

From my list on the human dimension of writing computer code.

Why am I passionate about this?

The author was the chief Silicon Valley writer for The Wall Street Journal during the first of the 1990s. He went on to become an acclaimed scholar in the history of science, engineering, and innovation. At the peak of his journalism career, the Boston Globe described Zachary as the most talented reporter on the Journal's staff. Zachary went on to write technology and innovation columns for The New York Times, Technology Review, and Spectrum magazineZachary has also taught courses on science and technology studies at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Arizona State University, where he was a professor from 2010-2020. He lives in northern California. 

G.'s book list on the human dimension of writing computer code

G. Pascal Zachary Why did G. love this book?

A singular account by the project leader of an ambitious effort to create a pathbreaking software program, Startup is Kaplan’s splendid chronicle of his company’s visionary pursuit of merging the pen with the computer. With a doctorate in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and a slew of connections in Silicon Valley, Kaplan seemed well-placed for success. But while saddening to him and his team, the failure of Go, his software company, made for a valuable story about the perils and possibilities of dreaming big in computer code.

The book is filled with valuable anecdotes and lessons from code-writers and includes a memorable line that embodies the highs and lows of Kaplan’s experience. Flush with confidence, he had named his company Go, and on the day the assets of his code-child were sold at auction, he wrote: “I had to accept that impossible, final truth: Go was gone. Six…

By Jerry Kaplan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Startup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kaplan, a well-known figure in the computer industry, founded GO Corporation in 1987, and for several years it was one of the hottest new ventures in the Valley. Startup tells the story of Kaplan's wild ride: how he assembled a brilliant but fractious team of engineers, software designers, and investors; pioneered the emerging market for hand-held computers operated with a pen instead of a keyboard; and careened from crisis to crisis without ever losing his passion for a revolutionary idea. Along the way, Kaplan vividly recreates his encounters with eccentric employees, risk-addicted venture capitalists, and industry giants such as Bill…


Book cover of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

Rick Umali Author Of Learn GIT in a Month of Lunches

From my list on working in the computer industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

My curiosity and enthusiasm for computers and what they can do has not faded since I first encountered them in grade school (with the Commodore VIC-20). At this stage in my life, I’m thrilled that I can still get paid to play with them and make them do things. The computer industry is both my daily grind and my playground. You can come at this field casually, or intensely, but as long as you can interact with the computer, the computer will welcome you. The five books in this list paint the possibilities of work in this challenging but rewarding industry: failure, success, immortality, and everything in between. Enjoy!

Rick's book list on working in the computer industry

Rick Umali Why did Rick love this book?

Most of my work experiences have been with startups, but that statement is a bit misleading. To be more accurate, I worked at early-stage companies, since the smallest company I worked for was already 35 people. Chaos Monkeys conveys both the excitement and drudgery of founding a real start-up (Antonio starts with two other co-founders).

Antonio’s book takes us from his cushy job on Wall Street to making the leap to running his own venture. Antonio’s flavorful style is the perfect voice as he takes you into those meetings at which money is exchanged, contracts are signed, and options are handed out. His company’s exit and his summation of what was gained and lost are the bread and butter conversations of anyone who’s ever worked in a high-tech startup. This is an illuminating and insightful book.

By Antonio Garcia Martinez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chaos Monkeys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An adrenaline-fuelled expose of life inside the tech bubble, Chaos Monkeys lays bare the secrets, power plays and lifestyle excesses of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists and money cowboys who are revolutionising our world. Written by startup CEO and industry provocateur Antonio Garcia Martinez, this is Liar's Poker meets The Social Network.

Computer engineers use 'chaos monkey' software to wreak havoc and test system robustness. Similarly, tech entrepreneurs like Antonio Garcia Martinez are society's chaos monkeys - their innovations disrupt every aspect of our lives, from transportation (Uber) and holidays (Airbnb) to television (Netflix) and dating…


Book cover of Unix for the Beginning Mage

Jeremy Kepner Author Of Mathematics of Big Data: Spreadsheets, Databases, Matrices, and Graphs

From my list on the foundations of computing technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Jeremy Kepner is head and founder of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center (LLSC), and also a Founder of the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator. Lincoln Laboratory is a 4000-person National Laboratory whose mission is to create defensive technologies to protect our Nation and the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. Dr. Kepner is one of five Lincoln Laboratory Fellows, a position that "recognizes the Laboratory's strongest technical talent for outstanding contributions to Laboratory programs over many years." Dr. Kepner is recognized as one of nine MIT Fellows of the Society of Industrial Applied Mathematics (SIAM), for "contributions to interactive parallel computing, matrix-based graph algorithms, green supercomputing, and big data." 

Jeremy's book list on the foundations of computing technology

Jeremy Kepner Why did Jeremy love this book?

Unix/Linux has emerged as the most common operating system in the world. Found on almost every server, smartphone, and network-enabled device, Unix plays a critical role in all aspects of computing. Unix for the Beginning Mage is a fun introduction to Unix for the novice who may be intimidated by other texts.

By Joe Topjian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unix for the Beginning Mage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Steve Jobs, Apple Inc., and Apple computer history?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Steve Jobs, Apple Inc., and Apple computer history.

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