The following books are ones I have used in writing articles or otherwise recommend reading.

Data journalism: see separate list.


Jill Bolte Taylor, My stroke of insight: a neuroanatomist has a massive stoke and lives to tell the tale – with lessons on how doctors and nurses should care for those in a similar situation, and for everyone on how better to manage your brain: full review.

John Lister, The NHS after 60: for patients or profits?: a detailed history of the NHS from a left-wing viewpoint.

Information security

Danny Bradbury, Scammed (published by MATTER, $0.99): a 5,700 word account of ethical hacker Mike Davis’ attempt to track down people who prey on those applying for payday loans.

Government IT

Anthony King and Ivor Crewe, The blunders of our governments. How the state wasted tens of billions on the NHS National Programme for IT, ID cards, other IT projects, part-privatising London Underground and other ill-judged moves: more here.

Richard Aldrich, GCHQ: the uncensored story of Britain’s most secret intelligence agency. A readable history of the one of most interesting users of government IT.

If you’re interested in the history of ID cards in Britain, information on my book on the subject is here, the notes are here and the reading list on Amazon is here.


Mike Wilson, The difference between God and Larry Ellison: God doesn’t think he’s Larry Ellison. I interviewed Mr Wilson for this profile of Larry Ellison.

Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander, Fumbling the future: how Xerox invented, then ignored, the first personal computer: on Parc Xerox, which I visited and wrote about in 2000.


Robert Levene, Free ride: how the internet is destroying the culture business. Discussed in this post on the future of journalism.

Chris Horrie and Adam Nathan, Live TV!: telly brats and topless darts. Hilarious account of how not to run a media business (which also explains some things about UK internet connections).

Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie, Stick it up your punter!: the uncut story of the Sun newspaper. Similar to above, but covering the Sun’s most successful years.


Mark Say, Perversities of faith. The former Government Computing editor (and my former boss) turns out to be a great short story writer – we had no idea. In this collection he even-handedly has a go at every religion he can think of, as well as atheism: extracts here.

The links in this reading list are to Amazon pages unless otherwise stated, but why not order them from your local library?