My readings list 2019

What are your favorite books? Which ones do you like to recommend to your friends? I like to read, but have never shared my readings lists. I gifted some books here and there, never organised. Last week we were chatting with a friend and he was interested in reading some new titles. I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a book recommendations lists, with commentaries. What have I read, whyi liked those books, and organise them in categories. (Quick comment: r. means read, w. is hardly wish to read). Here it is:

Nassim Taleb – he is a treasure and he merits a category of his own. He started as a trader, but then he evolved in one of the best academics (on uncertainty) and thinkers of our time. He is polemic, rejects bullshit and speaks in a simple, down to earth language. I think he is trying to remind people how the world is unpredictable and we should trust no one who will convince us the other way. He is also a polymath and likes history.

  1. r. Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, 2018
  2. w. The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms, 2016
  3. w. Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, 2012
  4. w. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, 2010
  5. w. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, 2005

David Graeber – the second special person in the list. one of the founders of the occupy movement, but he started as an antropologist deep in the mountains of Madagascar. I like how he dissects the modern society and gives a new perspective on concepts we take for granted.

  1. r. Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, 2019 – why so many well off people cannot answer why they do for a living? He sees The modern business hierarchy as a return to feudalism, where the people on top tiers have to invent their titles to “look busy”, to be able to collect their rents.
  2. r. Utopia of rules, 2016 – his rant on middle management and how it is often not necessarily needed. How we try to unecesarilly measure things which we do not need to measure and how is this making us miserable.
  3. r. Debt. first 5.000 years, 2014 – debt is older than money and it is more a relationship between the debtor and the indebted. An eye opening book about the history of finance.


  1. w. Massimo Vignelli: The Vignelli Canon, 2015. The late Italian/American graphic designer talks about his principles and works.
  2. w. Markus Rathgeb: Otl Aicher, 2015. A biography about my favorite graphic designer.
  3. r. Ed Catmull: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, 2014. The history of Pixar and how they turned to be the best storytellers of our generation. Also about technology.
  4. r. Matthias Hollwich: New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever, 2016 – I like it more for the design and the warm feeling.
  5. r. Shao Lan: Chineasy Workbook, 2016 – after seeing her first works I feel in love with the Chinese language and am actively learning it.
  6. Joshua Prager, Milton Glaser: 100 Years: Wisdom From Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life – I bought it more for the design value.
  7. Sarah Andersen: Adulthood Is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection – who doesn’t know her beautiful and funny comics?


  1. r. Jared M. Diamond: The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, 2006 – Jared Diamond is the third on my special humans list. A biologist takes a new and unprecedented look on the Ally human society.
  2. r. Jared M. Diamond: Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change – the book mostly about how civilizations collapse.
  3. r. Jared M. Diamond: Guns, Germs and Steel, 2017 – some inventions accelerated history more than we think.
  4. r. Jared M. Diamond: Collapse, 2011
  5. r. Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
  6. r. Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens – a new view on how are stories, especially common stories, the glue that keeps societies together.
  7. Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers – this is a sad book, which explores how crushing and unforgiving is the wheel of Time. If you are born in the wrong time, you have very limited chances to succeed. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are both born in 1955, late enough that transistors were cheap, but early enough that no one knew what to do with them.
  8. r. Ray Dalio: Big Debt Crises, 2018 – a history of all financial crises, the origins and solutions.

Personal Development – Work:

  1. r. Keith Ferrazzi: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, 2014 – how to network and meet new people (without bullshitting)
  2. r. Ryan Holiday: Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent, 2017 – you are your own worst enemy and need to tame your ego.
  3. r. Cal Newport: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, 2016
  4. r. Robert Ciealdini: Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, 2016
  5. w. Scott Adams: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
  6. r. Scott Adams: The Dilbert Principle (A Dilbert Book)
  7. r. David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried: ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever
  8. Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
  9. Alex Banayan: The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers
  10. r. Ray Dalio: Principles: Life and Work, 2017 – my fourth hero. Incredibly clear thinking about how to structure your work life.

Personal development, Philosophy

  1. r. Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust, 1946 – short book about how to find meaning in life, from the worst place possible.
  2. r. Gregg Braden: The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief, 2008
  3. r. Michel de Montaigne: Essays (Illustrated), 16 century. – a philosopher, who didn’t take life too seriously. I liked his relationship with la Boetie, his best friend, who died young. Montaigne missed him his whole life.
  4. r. Greg McKeown: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, 2019 – how to find what is really important.
  5. w. Chip Conley: Emotional Equations: Simple formulas to help your life work better
  6. r. Dubner,Levitt: freakonomics – some incredible results from the behavioral economics. How the humans are more creatures of incentives and not laws.
  7. r. Bakewell: how to live or a life of Montaigne. – a man who lived in probably the worst time in history and how he found what is really important in life.
  8. w. Tschäppeler, Krogerus: Der Moral-o-mat
    r. Tschäppeler, Krogerus: The Communication Book: 44 Ideas for Better Conversations Every Day, 2018
    w. Tschäppeler, Krogerus: The Decision Book, 2011


  1. r. Derek Sivers: Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, 2015 – it is either a hell yeah or no.
  2. Peter Thiel: Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future, 2016 – the best guide to understand entrepreneurship. The biggest step is going from 0 to 1, then from 1 to 1.000.
  3. Eric Ries: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses, 2016
  4. Shane Snow: Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success, 2014


  1. r. J.L. Collins: The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life, 2016 – the only relevant guide to wealth creation. He explains everything from stocks to bonds in a plain and simple language.


  1. Arianna Huffington The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time – why sleep is important.
  2. Tim Ferriss: The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman – a vast book how to treat your body.
  3. Dan Harris: 10% Happier – mediation impro es your life for 10-20%. It is not a magic panacea, but it makes your life dramatically better.

Here is a list of books I still want to read. It covers a variety of topics, from history to philosophy and personal finance. Take a look, some of them are marvels to be discovered.

  1. Robert Greene: The Laws Of Human Nature – I liked his first book, 48 rules of power.
  2. Coyne, Pressfield: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
  3. Stephen Fry: Heroes: The myths of the Ancient Greek heroes retold
  4. Michael Steinhardt: No Bull: My Life In and Out of Markets: My Life In and Out of Markets
  5. Neil Howe, William Strauss: Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 20
  6. Richard P. Feynman, Ralph Leighton: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman
  7. Phil Cousineau, Joseph Campbell: The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work
  8. Neil Howe, William Strauss: The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny – they are the inventors of the term millennial. They group people into generations, which change on cycles. I have a feeling they are pushing their thesis to reality too much, but am not sure.
  9. W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant – find your niche and protect your mini Monopoly.
  10. Edith Hamilton, Jim Tierney Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
  11. Patrick Modiano, John Cullen Villa Triste: A Novel
  12. Marguerite Yourcenar, Paul Bailey: Memoirs of Hadrian: And Reflections on the Composition of Memoirs of Hadrian (Penguin Modern Classics)
  13. Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (FF Classics)
  14. Amanda Palmer, Brené Brown The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
  15. James Clear Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
  16. Alain Bertaud: Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities
  17. Joseph Campbell: The Hero with a Thousand Faces
  18. Christopher Booker: The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories (English Edition)
  19. Graham Robb The Discovery of France (Picador Classic)
  20. James Davidson Courtesans and Fishcakes: Consuming Passions of Classical Athens
  21. Fernand Braudel The Mediterranean: And the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II
  22. Arthur Goldhammer A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium
  23. Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg How Google Works
  24. Alan Moore: Jerusalem
  25. Renee Mauborgne, W. Chan Kim: Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth
  26. Charles T. Munger: Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition
  27. Steven Pinker: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
  28. Matt Ridley: Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
  29. George Lois: Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!)
  30. Jonah Berger: Contagious
  31. Raymond Kurzweil: The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life: How to Reduce Fat in Your Diet and Eliminate Virtually All Risk of Heart Disease by Raymond Kurzweil (1994-12-27)
  32. Dave Ramsey: The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
  33. Paul Kennedy: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000
  34. Nicholas Shaxson: Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World
  35. Dale Carnegie: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  36. Peter F. Drucker: The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
  37. Raimondo Pictet, Wladston Ferreira Filho: Computer Science Distilled: Learn the Art of Solving Computational Problems
  38. Allan Pease, Barbara Pease: Body Language in the Workplace
  39. Dan Lyons: Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
  40. Julian Baggini: The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher
  41. Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
  42. Tim Dunlop: Why the future is workless
  43. Tara Brach: Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
  44. Scott Adams: Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook
  45. Scott Adams: Positive Attitude: A Dilbert Collection (Dilbert Book)
  46. David Allen, James Fallows: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
  47. Alain de Botton: How Proust Can Change Your Life
  48. Wladimir Bartol: Alamut. Ein Roman aus dem alten Orient
  49. Jenny Blake: Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
  50. Steve Blank, Bob Dorf: The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
  51. R Buckminster Fuller: Grunch of Giants
  52. Steve Case: The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future
  53. Clayton M. Christensen: The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
  54. Robert B Cialdini: influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  55. Will Durant, Ariel Durant: The Lessons of History
  56. Nir Eyal: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
  57. Robert H. Frank: Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy
  58. Thomas L. Friedman: Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution–And How It Can Renew America
  59. Thomas L. Friedman The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century
  60. Robert J. Gordon: Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War. The Princeton Economic History of the Western World
  61. Chris Guillebeau: The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More
  62. Chip Heath, Dan Heath: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
  63. Arianna Huffington, Francoise Gilot The Gods of Greece
  64. Arianna Huffington Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America (English Edition)
  65. Arianna Huffington: Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life
  66. Walter Isaacson Kissinger: A Biography
  67. Walter Isaacson The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made
  68. Walter Isaacson Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
  69. Walter Isaacson Einstein: His Life and Universe
  70. Walter Isaacson The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  71. Walter Isaacson Leonardo da Vinci
  72. Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky: Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
  73. Cixin Liu, Ken Liu: The Three-Body Problem (English Edition)
  74. Michael Lewis: The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
  75. Brett McKay, Ted Slampyak The Illustrated Art of Manliness
  76. Susan Neiman: Why Grow Up?: Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age
  77. Daniel H Pink, Rob Ten Pas: Die Abenteuer von Johnny Bunko: Der einzige Karriere-Guide, den Du wirklich brauchst
  78. Michael Roberts: The Long Depression: Marxism and the Global Crisis of Capitalism
  79. Ramit Sethi: I Will Teach You to Be Rich
  80. Scott Sonenshein: Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined
  81. Christopher Steiner: Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World
  82. Roger Fisher, William Ury Getting to Yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in
  83. William Ury: Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations: Negotiating in Diffcult Situations
  84. Richard H Thaler, Cass R Sunstein: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness
  85. Ashlee Vance: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
  86. Geoffrey West: Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies
  87. Klaus Wiegandt, Ortwin Renn: Das Risikoparadox: Warum wir uns vor dem Falschen fürchten
  88. Horowitz: the hard thing about hard things
  89. Jackson Brown: Life’s little instructions book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close