Recent Reading

This is a list of books I’ve read, have finished (x), or want to read (*). Please get in touch if you have any recommendations or comments. The order is approximately chronological, bottom to top. Entries may be repeated due to rereads. Bold = highly recommended.

  • Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson
  • The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
  • The Soul of a New Machine, Tracy Kidder
  • (x) Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • (x) Painting as a Pastime, Winston Churchill (2019-10-22) (notes)
  • (x) Super Pumped, Mike Isaac
  • (x) Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
  • (x) Conspiracy, Ryan Holiday
  • Alexander the Great, Philip Freeman
  • Greek Lives, Plutarch
  • (x) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams
  • The Paris Review Interviews Vol 1
  • (x) Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  • (x) Roman Lives, Plutarch
  • Churchill: walking with destiny, Andrew Roberts
  • Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  • (x) The Antidote, Oliver Burkeman
  • Letters from a Stoic, Seneca
  • (x)Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy
  • (x) Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu
  • Why Orwell Matters, Christopher Hitchens
  • The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt
  • The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant
  • (x) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • The Case for Space, Robert Zubrin
  • (x) What Mad Pursuit, Francis Crick
  • Reinforcement Learning, Sutton and Barto
  • Feynman Lectures on Computation, Richard Feynman
  • Use of Weapons, Iain Banks
  • (x) A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
  • (x) Elon Musk, Ashlee Vance
  • (x) Boyd, John Coram
  • From Eros to Gaia, Freeman Dyson
  • The Wizard of Menlo Park, Randall Stross
    • Poorly written
  • (x) The Player of Games, Iain Banks
  • Three Sisters, Anton Chekhov
  • (x) The Van, Paddy Doyle
  • Life 3.0, Max Tegmark
  • (x) Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  • The Dark Forest, Cixin Liu
  • The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu
  • How the Internet Happened, Brian McCullough
  • Pro Bash Programming, Chris Johnson
  • (x) Fatherland, Robert Harris (audiobook)
  • (x) The Forgotten Highlander, Alistair Urquhart
  • (x) Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
  • (x) Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
  • Regenesis, George Church
  • The Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch
  • (x) The Inimitable Jeeves, PG Wodehouse
  • A Life Decoded, J. Craig Venter
  • (x) The Double Helix, James Watson
  • (x) The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
  • (x) Bad Blood (audiobook), John Carreyrou
  • Stripe Atlas – Untitled email series. Not a book. See ‘get the course’ here
  • (x) Can’t Hurt Me (Audiobook), David Goggins, Adam Skolnick
  • (x) Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, Steve Martin
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, Mr. Feynman
  • Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
  • (x) Love yourself like your life depends on it, Kamal Ravikant
  • On Writing Well, William Zinsser
  • Dune, Frank Herbert
  • (x) Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
  • (x) The Little Prince, Antonie de Saint-Exupéry
  • (x) The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl
  • (x) King Lear, Shakespeare
  • Tribe, Sebastian Junger
  • (x) Letters to a Young Contrarian, Christopher Hitchens

    Picture all experts as if they were mammals.

  • The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley
  • (x) The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
  • Mao: the untold story, Chang, Halliday
  • (x) Consider Phlebas, Iain Banks
  • (x) The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare
  • Into Africa, Martin Dugard
  • (x) Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins
  • (x) The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
    • righteous
  • Why We Sleep Matthew Walker
  • The Road to Character David Brooks
  • Oranges John McPhee
  • (x) Why we get fat Gary Taubes
  • (x) The Everything Store Brad Stone
  • (x) Zero to One Peter Thiel
  • Citizens to Lords Ellen Meiksins Wood
  • (x) The Revolt of the Public Martin Gurri
  • (x) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Frederick Douglass
  • (x) Mere Christianity CS Lewis
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas Kuhn
  • Grant Ron Chernow
  • Titan Ron Chernow
  • (x) Ball Lightning Cixin Liu
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
  • (x) The Innocents Abroad
  • The English and their History
  • (x) Endurance
    • Read it!
  • (x) The Wright Brothers, David McCullough
  • Deep Learning, CGB
  • (x) The Road to Serfdom, Hayek
  • (x) Them, Ben Sasse
  • (x) The Vanishing American Adult, Ben Sasse.
  • Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow
  • Democracy in America, Tocqueville
  • (x) Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • (x) Othello, Shakespeare
  • (x) Deep Work, Cal Newport.
  • (x) Twelve Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson. Recommended.
  • (x) John Adams, David McCullough. Highly recommended – keep a poet in your pocket.
  • (x) The Great Stagnation, Tyler Cowen
  • (x) Stubborn Attachments, Tyler Cowen.
  • (x) Thinking, fast and slow. Daniel Kahneman. Highly recommended, read the bit on iterated bets with loss aversion.
  • (x) How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams. Highly recommended. h/t Alexey Guzey
  • (x) The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957. Frank Dikotter.
  • The Dream Machine
  • The Trial. Franz Kafka
  • Pragmatism and other writings (Penguin). William James.
  • (x) Master and Commander. Patrick O’Brien. Actually only heard the audiobook but I absolutely loved it. This is the sort of novel I find it hard not to read in one sitting. Planning to get a few more in the (long!) series.
  • The Elephant in the Brain. Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson.
  • (*) The Complacent Class. Tyler Cowen.
  • Les Miserables, Victor Hugo.
  • The Constitution of Liberty, Friederich Hayek
  • (x) The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky.
  • (x)The Three Body Trilogy, Liu Cixin.
    • Easily my favorite sci-fi series currently – though to be fair, most of the other sci-fi novels I’ve read were some years ago, my favorable reactions to those may have decayed somewhat since. The second book is probably the best.
  • Imperium; Conspirata; Dictator – Robert Harris’s Cicero trilogy. A favorite.

Other book lists

I recommend all of these (no particular order):

Other book list lists