Here at Sprout Social, reading really is fundamental. Good books teach us about our craft, inspire us to be better leaders and even allow us to fall into escapist fantasies during our cold winter commutes.

As 2016 draws to a close we asked members of Team Sprout to share the best things they’ve read this year. Here are some of their top picks in engineering as well as a few fiction and nonfiction options to mix things up. If you’re looking for a good travel read this holiday season, these are all fantastic choices.

Our Engineering Picks

1. “The C Programming Language” by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie

“The C Programming Language” is one of the few programming books that not only offers valuable and practical information but is enjoyable to read. While it focuses on the C language, it outlines useful concepts and design patterns for any programmer looking to build well-architected, efficient programs. This book does assume some familiarity with basic programming concepts but even novice programmers should be able to pick up and follow along.

About the Authors: Brian Kernighan is a computer science Professor at Princeton University. He has contributed to the development of Unix and coauthored the AWK and AMPL programming languages. Dennis M. Ritchie was the computer scientist responsible for creating the C programming language and was also a key contributor to Unix. Guess you could say he wrote the book on C.

Recommended by Colin, Senior Software Engineer

2. “Eloquent Javascript” (2nd Edition) by Marijn Haverbeke

Javascript is the backbone of modern web development and it’s increasingly important to do it well. “Eloquent Javascript” is a thin volume that distills Javascript’s beauty and efficiency and serves as a great introduction to the language that can really make core programming concepts click. “Eloquent Javascript” provides a grok-able and inspiring entry point for new developers.

About the Author: Marijn Haverbeke is a software developer and blogger based out of Berlin.

Recommended by Chris, Senior Software Engineer

3. “The Idea Factory” by Jon Gertner

“The Idea Factory” isn’t, strictly speaking, a programming book, but it’s a fascinating read about the history of innovation through the 20th century. “The Idea Factory” explores how engineering and technical innovation revolutionized communication and ushered in the Information Age. Countless aspects of modern life have been invisibly influenced by the innovations at Bell Labs, and this fascinating history sheds some light on how much the world has changed as a result.

About the Author: Jon Gertner is an editor and technology writer at Fast Company magazine. Previously, he worked as a science, business, and economics writer at New York Times Magazine. “The Idea Factory” is his first book.

Recommended by Dan, Software Engineer

4. “Extreme Programming Explained” by Kent Beck

“Extreme Programming Explained” is a thorough but quick introduction to the XP management philosophy and walkthrough of how to involve the whole team to get buy in on said philosophy. Testing, agile business practices and TDD are buzzwords that get thrown around a lot in development circles, but “EPE” breathes new life into those concepts and reminds us why we need to be intentional about our processes and team dynamics. The examples are direct, simple, and easy to apply to day-to-day work. Even if you don’t subscribe to all of the tenets of XP, reading “EPE” is a worthwhile exercise in checking your processes as a team.

About the Author: Kent Beck is a software engineer, the creator of the extreme programming methodology, and one of the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto.

Recommended by Shane, Software Engineer

5. “Professor Frisby’s Mostly Adequate Guide to Functional Programming” by Brian Lonsdorf

Earlier this year Sprout’s Javascript Guild read and discussed this book as a group. It helped the team start understanding and implementing functional programming concepts in their day-to-day work. It’s an engaging and practical read that’s immediately applicable for Javascript development that is also a great first pick for a team book club or professional development side session.

About the Author: Brian Lonsdorf writes about Javascript and functional programming online. You can find his book on gitbooks and other writings on his profile at Medium.

Recommended by the Sprout Social Javascript Guild

Our Fiction Picks

1. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

“Station Eleven” is the most inspiring and heartbreaking story about the aftermath of the apocalypse you’ll read this year. It won the Arthur C. Clark Award for Best Novel in 2015 and was the champion of the 2015 Tournament of Books.

After a mysterious plague brings society to its knees, people find a way to soldier on. A group of traveling actors and musicians called the Traveling Symphony tours the scattered enclaves of North America, bringing entertainment and news of other settlements to these isolated communities. This book reminds us that we create art and meaning, even after the apocalypse, “because survival is insufficient.”

Recommended by Chris, Senior Software Engineer, and Jess, Software Engineer

2. “The Hollows” series by Kim Harrison

“The Hollows” follows Rachel Morgan, a heroine with an absurd knack for finding herself in trouble. It’s an Urban Fantasy series with tons of detective work, romantic entanglements, character development and soul-searching. And vampires. Because who doesn’t love a good vampire series?

Recommended by Matt, Software Engineer on Bambu by Sprout Social

3. “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Americanah” is a stunning piece of contemporary literary fiction. It spans three continents as it examines the most complex themes of life in today’s globalized world, from love and relationships to race and identity. And it’s not just us who were moved by this powerful exploration of life and love: Americanah won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. It was also nominated or shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction and the Goodreads Choice Award.

Recommended by Alicia, Brand Marketing Specialist, and Shane, Software Engineer

Our Nonfiction Picks

1. “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink

A copy of “Extreme Ownership” has been steadily making its way around the engineering and product teams here at Sprout. Contrary to what the title might imply, this is not a book about the military—it’s a leadership handbook grounded in the lived experiences of Navy SEALs. “Extreme Ownership” has a lot of inspiration to offer about mission, team collaboration, and communication. Willink takes these lessons from the military and makes them applicable in everyday professional and personal settings.

Recommended by Anjali, Product Manager

2. “The Signal and the Noise” by Nate Silver

Nate Silver has been a strong voice in predictions and betting markets for political races and sports for nearly a decade. “The Signal and the Noise” pulls back the veil and lets us see into the process that Silver uses to distinguish truths in a sea of noise. These insights are fascinating and essential reading for anyone interested in the processes involved in Data Science.

Recommended by Greg, Data Science Lead

Bonus Recommendations: Podcasts

1. ‘99% Invisible’ from Radiotopia

‘99% Invisible’ is a show about the unseen thoughts, decisions and labor that shape the way we live our lives. Each episode takes a deep dive into a topic that invisibly influences the world. They’ve done collaborations with other audio productions like Planet Money and DecodeDC, and are one of the most popular podcasts available on iTunes.

Recommended by Alicia, Brand Marketing Specialist, and Shane, Software Engineer

2. ‘Reply All’ from Gimlet Media

It’s a show that’s all about…the internet! PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman take deep dives into everything from memes and internet arcana, to why Google Adwords support techs hate dealing with locksmiths. If you spend time online and don’t quite understand why the Internet is so weird, ‘Reply All’ will help you figure it out.

Recommended by Laura, Lead Visual Designer, and Jess and Shane, Software Engineers