by Jerome Carter on March 4, 2012

Updated February 14, 2017 (Page is updated monthly on the 12th)

As  promised,   the October post,  “My Professional Bookshelf,” has been turned into a bookshelf page.  Since this list will focus on technical/scientific topics, books that do not focus on these areas have been removed from the list that appeared in that post.   This booklist is arranged alphabetically by topic.  I am trying to keep things simple.  Therefore, each listing consists of the  title, usually a comment or two,  and a link to reviews of the book.    I am always interested in hearing about great books. If you have suggestions, please send them.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach
Hands-down, this the best introduction to AI available—clear, well organized, and comprehensive.

Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization and Machine Learning
Written by one of the pioneers in the field, this is a step-by-step guide to genetic algorithms featuring numerous code examples.   I wish more computer science books were this well written.

Biostatistics and Research Methods
Basic and Clinical Biostatistics
Great for a refresher, or self-directed learning, this text offers plenty of cases and solved problems. 

Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials
For a biostatistics book, it is far more interesting reading than one would expect.  This is not so much a book for learning biostatistics as it is for understanding the proper use of statistical tests. The C.R.A.P.  detectors are particularly useful. 

Evaluation Methods in Medical Informatics
This is a great introduction to informatics research methods.

Business & Innovation
Most books on innovation and creativity put me to sleep—not this one. It is full of useful exercises, and it is written in a way that is entertaining and engaging.

Starting a Tech Business: A Practical Guide for Anyone Creating or Designing Applications or Software
This is good book for anyone trying to decided if an idea could be a business.   It provides a very clear overview of the process of launching a web application.  Details are provided in just the amount needed to make it a quick, but useful read.

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
Decided that your big idea will make you rich? Read this book; you’re going to need it. Need more? There’s a MOOC!

Computer Science
Great Ideas in Computer Science: A Gentle Introduction
As the title implies, this is a non-threatening, project-oriented approach to the main areas of computer science.  No prior background in computer science is required to do the projects.

Introduction to Algorithms
I bought a copy of this book because I grew tired of not being able to understand  references to algorithms in journals.   It worked!

Database Design
Modern Database Management
This was the course text for a database development certificate program I completed in 2000. It is easy-to-read and takes the reader from basic concepts to advanced concerns. Now in its 11th edition, it remains a great practical introduction to database management.

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement
NoSQL databases are on the rise as web applications become more prevalent.  Don’t  be the last on your block to find out why they are such a big deal.

Data Quality  
Data Quality     
This is a technical book aimed at databases designers, researchers and others who require a detailed discussion of key data quality issues.  In other words, this is not light reading.   

Journey to Data Quality    
A very accessible book that provides a reasonable introduction to data quality issues. It is not healthcare-specific, but it is still quite useful.

Healthcare Systems
A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment
Needs assessment is a fundamental component of my consulting process. This book is the best I have been able to find on the topic.

Financial Management of Healthcare Organizations: An Introduction to Fundamental Tools, Concepts, and Applications
Unless you are a chief financial officer, everything you need to know about healthcare finance is in this book.

Healthcare Administration:  Managing Organized Delivery Systems
This is a good, comprehensive introduction to the way healthcare works.  I always keep my copy handy.

Human Factors 
Human Factors Methods: A Practical Guide for Engineering and Design
The best reference on human factors methods I have encountered!

Working Minds: A Practitioner’s Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis
Clinical care involves making decisions and analyzing data. Building systems that support clinical work necessitates understanding how to analyze clinical work from a cognitive perspective. Now that more articles concerning cognitive tasks are appearing in clinical journals, this is a good read for anyone interested in clinical workflow analysis.

Book of Proof, Second Editio
I have four books besides this one that teach proof techniques.  Velleman is my favorite of the group, but this book is a very close second. Oh, and it’s free.

Concepts of Modern Mathematics
For those with a basic math background, this is a great introduction to higher mathematics.   It effortlessly mixes  narrative, diagrams, equations, and problem examples resulting in a book that is both educational and readable.

Discrete Mathematics with Applications  
I bought this book because online reviews said it was well-written and easy to follow.  Having used it for awhile, I can heartily agree.

Software Development & Programming
Beginning IPhone Development with Swift: Exploring the IOS SDK
Wading into iPhone development is daunting.  This book makes iPhone development very approachable. 

Designing Interfaces, Second Edition 
Too many design books are long-winded and short on practical advice.  For those like me who want a good, practical introduction to the topic, this is the book to get.

Head First Design Patterns
A fun guide (yes, fun) to a challenging topic.  After being befuddled by explanations from numerous sources, this book made everything crystal clear.

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
HFOOA&D cuts through the jargon and explains concepts clearly with plenty of examples.   This is a great beginner’s book.

Modeling Business Processes: A Petri Net-Oriented Approach
More Petri net wisdom from Wil van der Aalst and Christian Stahl — a must-have for those interested in developing a working knowledge of Petri nets.

Pattern-oriented Software Architecture for Dummies 
Software architecture is important, and this book avoids overly abstract and philosophical discussions.   It is a good introduction to the field.

Software Architecture in Practice, Second Edition 
Recommended by the Software Engineering Institute, it is surprisingly easy to read considering the topic and that it is a textbook.  The first three chapters are particularly helpful for those new to the field.

Software Project Management Toolkit for Dummies
I used it almost daily for four years. It covers the day-to-day issues of managing a software project. I never used the software on the CD, but I used the techniques constantly.  Even though it is now 11 years old, it is still quite useful.

Software Requirement Patterns
This book makes requirement management more manageable, interesting, and logical.

Think Python 
When I began reading this book, it seemed to be almost too simple to be useful.  After a while, I realized the problem was simply that I had grown accustomed to poorly written programming books.   

Workflow Management: Models, Methods, and Systems
This book offers a great introduction to workflow management systems. It is written as a tutorial and offers well-designed exercises with detailed answers.  It is especially good as an introduction to Petri nets.

XML Visual QuickStart Guide, Second Edition
Here is something you don’t see everyday: a technical book that has enough detail to be useful, but is easy to understand.   As the title indicates, it offers a fast-paced introduction to XML and its many components that will help you to start working with XML projects in a few days.   It’s a great introductory book.

e-Discovery for Dummies
Offering an approachable introduction to an arcane subject, this book  is a great way to become acquainted with the basics of e-discovery.

Hack Proofing Your Wireless Network
The 1917 Clinic EHR was deployed using both desktops computers and Fujitsu tablets.  Paranoia over someone hacking the network led me to read this book so that I could understand all the recommendations made by my staff.  It is from 2002. Today,  Guide to Wireless Network Security might be a better choice.

IT Disaster Recovery Planning for Dummies
Since this book was published in 2007, I did not have it during my time at UAB. I wish I had.  It is a dummies book, but it is quite detailed and very useful when developing policies and procedures for data protection.