Bookshelf

Several group houses I’ve lived in have had massive libraries. These have included contributions from past and current house members. While this results in a pretty impressive display, I often find myself at a loss when someone brings up the inevitable “Which books do you recommend?“. Alas, I often find myself struggling to put together an immediate response. With that in mind, I’ve assembled a list of books that I’ve read. It’s worth noting that just because a book appears on my list, does not necessarily mean I endorse its content. Where possible, I’ve tried to include a few sentences on my thoughts on the books. Hopefully I will someday have enough time to write mini-reviews for a more-than-negligible fraction of these books.

Since the books I’ve read lack any overarching order to them, so does this list (I apologize in advance). To make up for that, I am designating the various books with symbols to indicate my review:

At some point I will add links to my notes where said notes on the books exist:

Tier 1 🧭: “Life-Changing (Top 25)”

These are the paradigm-shifting books that have had major influences on shaping me as a person.

  1. 🧭Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl - This proved incredibly valuable during a particularly dark time in my life. The titles in this section are in no particular order, except for this one, which definitely deserves the #1 spot.
  2. 🧭The Metamorphosis of the Prime Intellect by Roger Williams - A fantastic hard sci-fi book.
  3. 🧭Blindsight by Peter Watts - The story is mostly secondary to the author’s musings on the nature of consciousness, transhumanism, the Fermi paradox, and the role of sentience from the perspective of natural selection. Still, as a first contact story written by a former marine biologist, this is probably one of the best sci-fi horror stories since Ridley Scott’s Alien. You can read many of the author’s short stories on his website (and if you read this, I highly recommend checking out this fan traler for Blindsight that was made with input from the author).
  4. 🧭Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber - Gave me a new perspective on the nature of money, and made me question some common-held assumptions about economics.
  5. 🧭Lost Connections by Johann Hari
  6. 🧭Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters - I’ve had much more lived experience with startups since I read this, and I increasinly disagree with a few points in the book, but this definitely opened my eyes at a crucial stage in my life.
  7. 🧭The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga - Great introduction to Adlerian psychology.
  8. 🧭The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
  9. 🧭Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  10. 🧭Walden: Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
  11. 🧭Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study by George E. Vaillant
  12. 🧭10% Happier by Dan Harris
  13. 🧭Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg PhD
  14. 🧭Superforecasting by Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner
  15. 🧭Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  16. 🧭Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
  17. 🧭Meditations of Marcus Aurelius by Marcus Aurelius
  18. 🧭Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
  19. 🧭The Unthinkable: When Disaster Strikes by Amanda Ripley - Inspired a lot of my current disaster-prep hobby, which turned out to be oddly prescient when COVID-19 hit.
  20. 🧭Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders by Jack D. Schwager - This helped me realize that most successful traders have two things in common: 1) They started trading an asset early before regulation kicked in or information was more publicly known, and 2) they have the same rules for avoiding losing money before all else.
  21. 🧭So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport - Informed a lot of the study habits that got me through school AND helped me make a rapid and successul career change to a new and cognitively-demanding field.
  22. 🧭I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (it’s like the author’s previous book Gödel, Escher, Bach except more informative, more self-aware, and less cringe in general)
  23. 🧭The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (book was fantastic, but it’s even better if you listen to the original BBC Radio play version)
  24. 🧭Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  25. 🧭Neuromancer by William Gibson

You should definitely add these to your reading list or audiobook queue as soon as you read this list.

  1. 💡The Revolt of the Public by Martin Gurri
  2. 💡Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
  3. 💡The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
  4. 💡Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris , Jeffrey Warren, et al.
  5. 💡The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  6. 💡Soonish by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith
  7. 💡Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Ph.D. and Nightingale-Conant
  8. 💡The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  9. 💡How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
  10. 💡10% Happier by Dan Harris
  11. 💡She Comes First by Ian Kerner
  12. 💡High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil
  13. 💡Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
  14. 💡Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel C. Dennett
  15. 💡Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans , et al.
  16. 💡Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
  17. 💡Kissinger: A Biography by Walter Isaacson
  18. 💡On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  19. 💡Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
  20. 💡Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe by Roger Penrose
  21. 💡Pyongyang by Guy Delisle
  22. 💡From Third World to First: The Singapore Story - 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew
  23. 💡The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman
  24. 💡The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
  25. 💡Permutation City by Greg Egan

Tier 3 🌟: “5-stars”

While not in the “life-changing” tier, these are still great books. “5-star” reviews may be more common than you would expect if book quality really does follow a Normal distribution, but that’s because I intentionally seek out books that I think I’d like.

  1. 🌟Death’s End by Cixin Liu
  2. 🌟The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
  3. 🌟The Three-body Problem by Cixin Liu
  4. 🌟Mastery by Robert Greene
  5. 🌟Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  6. 🌟Ubik by Philip K. Dick
  7. 🌟21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
  8. 🌟A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and Walker Percy
  9. 🌟Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  10. 🌟High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
  11. 🌟Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  12. 🌟The Efficiency Paradox by Edward Tenner
  13. 🌟How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
  14. 🌟Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  15. 🌟The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
  16. 🌟Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
  17. 🌟Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
  18. 🌟Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
  19. 🌟Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  20. 🌟Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
  21. 🌟Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse
  22. 🌟The Information by James Gleick
  23. 🌟The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  24. 🌟The Everything Store by Brad Stone
  25. 🌟Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
  26. 🌟Go the F—k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes, and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
  27. 🌟At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft
  28. 🌟Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  29. 🌟Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright
  30. 🌟Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
  31. 🌟Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
  32. 🌟The War of the Worlds (Dramatized) by Orson Welles and ABN
  33. 🌟Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  34. 🌟Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
  35. 🌟The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon and Hugh Trevor-Roper
  36. 🌟Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  37. 🌟The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
  38. 🌟Deep Work by Cal Newport
  39. 🌟Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott
  40. 🌟George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones
  41. 🌟Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  42. 🌟The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce and Alastair Smith
  43. 🌟Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright
  44. 🌟The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu
  45. 🌟Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly
  46. 🌟The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
  47. 🌟Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda
  48. 🌟Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner
  49. 🌟How the Internet Happened by Brian McCullough
  50. 🌟Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl
  51. 🌟Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  52. 🌟China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle by Dinny McMahon
  53. 🌟Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car - and How It Will Reshape Our World by Lawrence D Burns and Christopher Shulgan
  54. 🌟Odd John by Olaf Stapledon
  55. 🌟Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon
  56. 🌟Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
  57. 🌟Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett
  58. 🌟The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
  59. 🌟WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding
  60. 🌟The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington
  61. 🌟33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene
  62. 🌟How to Get a Meeting with Anyone: The Untapped Selling Power of Contact Marketing by Stu Heinecke and Jay Conrad Levinson
  63. 🌟Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back by Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel
  64. 🌟The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan
  65. 🌟When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
  66. 🌟Diaspora by Greg Egan
  67. 🌟Blade Runner: Originally published as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny
  68. 🌟The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
  69. 🌟The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad and Amal Clooney
  70. 🌟Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  71. 🌟21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
  72. 🌟Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky by Noam Chomsky , John Schoeffel, et al.
  73. 🌟Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
  74. 🌟Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military by deGrasse Tyson, Neil and Avis Lang
  75. 🌟Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson
  76. 🌟The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for The Thoughtful Investor by Howard Marks
  77. 🌟On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
  78. 🌟A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel by Haruki Murakami and Alfred Birnbaum
  79. 🌟Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center by Ray Monk
  80. 🌟How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher
  81. 🌟How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie , Richard Branson, et al.
  82. 🌟To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell
  83. 🌟Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
  84. 🌟The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan
  85. 🌟Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli , Simon Carnell, et al.
  86. 🌟Micromegas: A philosophical short story by Voltaire
  87. 🌟Candide by Voltaire
  88. 🌟The Pleasure Shock: The Rise of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Forgotten Inventor by Lone Frank
  89. 🌟Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  90. 🌟Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov
  91. 🌟Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  92. 🌟Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
  93. 🌟This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress by John Brockman
  94. 🌟Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden
  95. 🌟Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman
  96. 🌟Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
  97. 🌟12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  98. 🌟When the Wolves Bite by Scott Wapner
  99. 🌟Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke
  100. 🌟The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler
  101. 🌟Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises by James Rickards
  102. 🌟Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo
  103. 🌟Who Gets What - And Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth
  104. 🌟How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen , James Allworth , et al.
  105. 🌟Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  106. 🌟Valis by Philip K. Dick
  107. 🌟The Dispossessed: A Novel by Le Guin, Ursula K.
  108. 🌟The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu
  109. 🌟Don Juan by Lord George Gordon Byron
  110. 🌟Bash Bash Revolution: A Novel by Douglas Lain
  111. 🌟How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents by Jimmy O. Yang and Mike Judge
  112. 🌟How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh
  113. 🌟Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  114. 🌟Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh
  115. 🌟The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn
  116. 🌟The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West
  117. 🌟Use of Weapons by Ian M. Banks
  118. 🌟The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks
  119. 🌟Consider Phlebas by Ian M. Banks
  120. 🌟The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation by Matt Ridley
  121. 🌟Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  122. 🌟The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley
  123. 🌟The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
  124. 🌟The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner
  125. 🌟World Order by Henry Kissinger
  126. 🌟The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch
  127. 🌟A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine
  128. 🌟A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  129. 🌟A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  130. 🌟The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  131. 🌟As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
  132. 🌟Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre
  133. 🌟Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison, 2nd Edition by Joe Calloway
  134. 🌟Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  135. 🌟Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  136. 🌟California: A History by Kevin Starr
  137. 🌟Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  138. 🌟The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher
  139. 🌟Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  140. 🌟Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues
  141. 🌟Dune by Frank Herbert
  142. 🌟The Truth by Terry Pratchett
  143. 🌟Controlling Your Dreams by Stephen LaBerge
  144. 🌟Permutation City by Greg Egan
  145. 🌟Induce Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge
  146. 🌟Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman
  147. 🌟Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks
  148. 🌟Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman
  149. 🌟God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
  150. 🌟Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes
  151. 🌟Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  152. 🌟Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemmingway
  153. 🌟The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
  154. 🌟Hitch-22: A Memoir by Christopher Hitchens
  155. 🌟How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain De Botton
  156. 🌟How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood by William J. Mann
  157. 🌟Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker
  158. 🌟Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz
  159. 🌟Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  160. 🌟Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War by Fred Kaplan
  161. 🌟Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography by Richard Branson
  162. 🌟Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  163. 🌟The Man Who Sold the Moon by Robert A. Heinlein
  164. 🌟Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice, Fifth Edition by Alan Weiss
  165. 🌟Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  166. 🌟Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Howard Hughes
  167. 🌟Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris
  168. 🌟MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins
  169. 🌟Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
  170. 🌟The Tombs of Atuan by Le Guin, Ursula K.
  171. 🌟The Complete Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi and Kenji Tokitsu
  172. 🌟Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
  173. 🌟Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And the Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
  174. 🌟On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  175. 🌟One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  176. 🌟Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat
  177. 🌟Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  178. 🌟Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  179. 🌟Sacred Cows: The Truth about Divorce and Marriage by M.D. Danielle Teller and Astro Teller PhD
  180. 🌟Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm by Nicole Daedone
  181. 🌟Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, 10th Anniversary Edition by Bo Burlingham
  182. 🌟Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow
  183. 🌟Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  184. 🌟Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey and Eric Hagerman
  185. 🌟Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman , Ralph Leighton , et al.
  186. 🌟Tao Te Ching: A New English Version by Laozi and Stephen Mitchell
  187. 🌟The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  188. 🌟The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
  189. 🌟H.P. Lovecraft, The Complete Omnibus, Volume II: 1927-1935 by Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Finn J.D. John
  190. 🌟Edgar Allan Poe - The Complete Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
  191. 🌟A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  192. 🌟For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  193. 🌟Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science by Carl Sagan
  194. 🌟The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan
  195. 🌟Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan
  196. 🌟The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
  197. 🌟The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  198. 🌟The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  199. 🌟The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King by Rich Cohen
  200. 🌟The Graveyard Book: Full-Cast Production by Neil Gaiman , Dave McKean, et al.
  201. 🌟The Halo Effect: …and the 8 Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers by Phil Rosenzweig
  202. 🌟Last Words by Shari J Ryan
  203. 🌟The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
  204. 🌟Pandemic by Sonia Shah
  205. 🌟Jerusalem by Guy Delisle
  206. 🌟Shenzhen by Guy Delisle
  207. 🌟From Bacteria to Bach and Back by Daniel C. Dennett
  208. 🌟Life’s Greatest Secret by Matthew Cobb
  209. 🌟The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf
  210. 🌟The Arab of the Future 2 by Riad Sattouf
  211. 🌟A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
  212. 🌟Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
  213. 🌟The Pope of Physics by Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin
  214. 🌟Elbow Room by Daniel C. Dennett
  215. 🌟Vietnamerica by GB Tran
  216. 🌟Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra
  217. 🌟American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  218. 🌟The Wild Party by Art Spiegelman
  219. 🌟The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
  220. 🌟The Patriarch by David Nasaw
  221. 🌟March, books 1, 2, and 3 by John Lewis , Andrew Aydin , et al.
  222. 🌟Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom
  223. 🌟The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
  224. 🌟The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  225. 🌟The Way of Strangers by Graeme Wood
  226. 🌟Venomous by Christie Wilcox
  227. 🌟Dr. Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick
  228. 🌟It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
  229. 🌟Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M. M. Blume
  230. 🌟Neurocomic by Hana Ros and Matteo Farinella
  231. 🌟The Master of Auschwitz by Rudolf Hoess, Tim Dalgleish, et al.
  232. 🌟A Contract with God by Will Eisner
  233. 🌟We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson
  234. 🌟An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson
  235. 🌟All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton and Ken Gire
  236. 🌟Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima by James Mahaffey
  237. 🌟The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers by Tom Standage
  238. 🌟The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel
  239. 🌟The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben , Jane Billinghurst, et al.
  240. 🌟Cartoon History of the Universe Volumes 1-7 by Larry Gonick
  241. 🌟Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic, Holter Graham, et al.
  242. 🌟The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution (Pt. 1) by Larry Gonick
  243. 🌟The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon
  244. 🌟The Magus by John Fowles
  245. 🌟The Martian by Andy Weir
  246. 🌟The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris
  247. 🌟The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  248. 🌟The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil
  249. 🌟The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil
  250. 🌟The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  251. 🌟The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel by Milan Kundera
  252. 🌟Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and Peter Bien
  253. 🌟The Road to Character by David Brooks
  254. 🌟The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins
  255. 🌟On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  256. 🌟Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks
  257. 🌟How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region by Joe Studwell
  258. 🌟The Economics of Inequality by Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer
  259. 🌟Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer
  260. 🌟The Fever: Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah
  261. 🌟Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  262. 🌟Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner
  263. 🌟Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele
  264. 🌟The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson
  265. 🌟13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks
  266. 🌟The Feynman Lectures on Physics, boxed set: The New Millennium Edition by Richard P. Feynman
  267. 🌟For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics by Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein
  268. 🌟The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen
  269. 🌟Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
  270. 🌟The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz
  271. 🌟This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff
  272. 🌟The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking by Eli Broad and Michael R. Bloomberg
  273. 🌟Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
  274. 🌟The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin
  275. 🌟The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life by Nick Lane
  276. 🌟How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
  277. 🌟Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
  278. 🌟The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  279. 🌟Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond Ph.D.
  280. 🌟An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield
  281. 🌟The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
  282. 🌟How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  283. 🌟Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed
  284. 🌟Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin
  285. 🌟Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
  286. 🌟Bold: How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  287. 🌟A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  288. 🌟Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
  289. 🌟The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
  290. 🌟A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles
  291. 🌟The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  292. 🌟How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  293. 🌟American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
  294. 🌟Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life by J. Craig Venter
  295. 🌟The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  296. 🌟Nexus: Nexus, Book 1 by Ramez Naam and ARGH! Oxford
  297. 🌟Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster - in Just Two Weeks by Dave Asprey
  298. 🌟Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter by Scott Adams
  299. 🌟Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
  300. 🌟Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker PhD
  301. 🌟Pre-Suasion: Channeling Attention for Change by Robert Cialdini Ph.D.
  302. 🌟Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman
  303. 🌟Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
  304. 🌟Lying by Sam Harris and Annaka Harris
  305. 🌟Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father - and How We Can Fix It by David Goldhill
  306. 🌟Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lindley
  307. 🌟The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
  308. 🌟A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  309. 🌟Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality by Max Tegmark
  310. 🌟Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age by Michael A. Hiltzik
  311. 🌟Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig
  312. 🌟The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  313. 🌟The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  314. 🌟The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison
  315. 🌟Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966–2012: A Fortune Magazine Book by Carol J. Loomis
  316. 🌟Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
  317. 🌟Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
  318. 🌟How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of ‘Intangibles’ in Business by Douglas W. Hubbard
  319. 🌟Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard
  320. 🌟Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick
  321. 🌟The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by
  322. 🌟Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  323. 🌟Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  324. 🌟Harry Pottter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  325. 🌟Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  326. 🌟Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
  327. 🌟Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  328. 🌟Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  329. 🌟Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
  330. 🌟Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen
  331. 🌟Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
  332. 🌟Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  333. 🌟Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  334. 🌟Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  335. 🌟Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
  336. 🌟The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin by Mark Skousen and Benjamin Franklin
  337. 🌟The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
  338. 🌟Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  339. 🌟NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman and Oliver Sacks
  340. 🌟At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell
  341. 🌟A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh
  342. 🌟The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker
  343. 🌟Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction by Timothy Gowers
  344. 🌟Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction by Fred Piper and Sean Murphy
  345. 🌟Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Tanner
  346. 🌟Memory: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan K. Foster
  347. 🌟Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction by John Polkinghorne
  348. 🌟Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen Eric Bronner
  349. 🌟The Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction by Samir Okasha
  350. 🌟Heidegger: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Inwood
  351. 🌟The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig, et al.
  352. 🌟How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell
  353. 🌟Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff
  354. 🌟Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus
  355. 🌟The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
  356. 🌟Freakonomics: Revised Edition by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  357. 🌟Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West
  358. 🌟The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  359. 🌟The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  360. 🌟Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  361. 🌟Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  362. 🌟Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
  363. 🌟Bossypants by Tina Fey
  364. 🌟The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
  365. 🌟The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever by Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns
  366. 🌟Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts and Timothy Ferriss
  367. 🌟The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama , Desmond Tutu, et al.
  368. 🌟The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
  369. 🌟Machine Learning: The New AI: The MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series by Ethem Alpaydin
  370. 🌟How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil
  371. 🌟Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
  372. 🌟Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger
  373. 🌟Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil
  374. 🌟Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  375. 🌟The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
  376. 🌟A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution by Jennifer A. Doudna and Samuel H. Sternberg
  377. 🌟The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Tier 4 📚: “Average (i.e., 4-Stars on Netflix or Amazon)”

Exactly what it says, in the title: Average (or what you would assign a 4-star review on Amazon or Netflix). There may be fewer books in this and the next sections based on what you would expect from a Normal Distribution, but that’s because I intentionally seek out books that I think I would like. This and the next sections are failures of those efforts.

  1. 📚The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  2. 📚The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson
  3. 📚48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
  4. 📚Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover
  5. 📚Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel by Kate Bowler
  6. 📚The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie
  7. 📚Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson
  8. 📚The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
  9. 📚Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order by Noam Chomsky and Robert W. McChesney
  10. 📚Mastering the Market Cycle by Howard Marks
  11. 📚Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury
  12. 📚Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  13. 📚Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  14. 📚The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku
  15. 📚Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw , et al.
  16. 📚TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson
  17. 📚Grain Brain by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg
  18. 📚Renegades by Marissa Meyer
  19. 📚Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  20. 📚Turtles All the Way Down by John Greene
  21. 📚1Q84 by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin , et al.
  22. 📚Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan
  23. 📚Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan
  24. 📚Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  25. 📚What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul, Brendan Moynihan, et al.
  26. 📚Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
  27. 📚Sex At Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
  28. 📚Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
  29. 📚The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos
  30. 📚Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky, George Thomas, et al.
  31. 📚Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir
  32. 📚The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  33. 📚Presence by Amy Cuddy
  34. 📚Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  35. 📚A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age by William Manchester
  36. 📚The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker
  37. 📚Rich People Problems: A Novel by Kevin Kwan
  38. 📚Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens
  39. 📚The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
  40. 📚Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp , John Zeratsky , et al.
  41. 📚The Shadow of Sirius by W.S. Merwin
  42. 📚The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
  43. 📚Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, an the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
  44. 📚The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple
  45. 📚The Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche
  46. 📚Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  47. 📚Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  48. 📚The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
  49. 📚Inland by Tea Obreht
  50. 📚The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím
  51. 📚Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower by Henry M. Paulson
  52. 📚Maid: Hard work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s WIll to Survive by Stephanie Land
  53. 📚Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice
  54. 📚Being Nixon: A Man Divided by Evan Thomas
  55. 📚The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
  56. 📚Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
  57. 📚Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
  58. 📚The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
  59. 📚The Cost of Hope by Amanda Bennett
  60. 📚The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke
  61. 📚The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age by Archie Brown
  62. 📚A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter
  63. 📚Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
  64. 📚Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker
  65. 📚How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams
  66. 📚Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton
  67. 📚The Road to Serfdom, the Definitive Edition: Text and Documents by F. A. Hayek and Bruce Caldwell
  68. 📚Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
  69. 📚The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  70. 📚Finding My Voice by Valerie Jarret
  71. 📚Uncharted by Erez Aiden & Jean-Baptiste Michel
  72. 📚Gods’ Man by Lynd Ward
  73. 📚The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala
  74. 📚My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) by Martin Gardner
  75. 📚Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  76. 📚The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis, Dennis Boutsikaris, et al.
  77. 📚Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English by John McWhorter
  78. 📚Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  79. 📚The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber
  80. 📚Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington
  81. 📚The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
  82. 📚The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
  83. 📚The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz
  84. 📚A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule by Jim Rooney
  85. 📚Computing: A Concise History by Paul E. Ceruzzi
  86. 📚The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg
  87. 📚Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David M. Oshinsky
  88. 📚The Game-Players of Titan by Philip K. Dick
  89. 📚The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
  90. 📚Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich
  91. 📚Standard Deviations by Gary Smith, Tim Andres Pabon, et al.
  92. 📚Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler and Shaun Whiteside
  93. 📚Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick
  94. 📚The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  95. 📚The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
  96. 📚The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley
  97. 📚Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley
  98. 📚Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
  99. 📚Solitary by Albert Woodfox
  100. 📚The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  101. 📚The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
  102. 📚The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
  103. 📚Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
  104. 📚We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter

Tier 5 🤷🏻‍♂️: “There’s better books out there…”

At this point, we’re beyond recommendations, and more just a list of books that I’ve read.

  1. 🤷🏻‍♂️Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
  2. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
  3. 🤷🏻‍♂️Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  4. 🤷🏻‍♂️How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
  5. 🤷🏻‍♂️The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance by Rom Brady
  6. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Daily Show (the AudioBook): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Jon Stewart and Chris Smith
  7. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Addiction Formula: A Holistic Approach to Writing Captivating, Memorable Hit Songs. With 317 Proven Commercial Techniques & 331 Examples by Friedemann Findeisen
  8. 🤷🏻‍♂️Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
  9. 🤷🏻‍♂️So, Anyway… by John Cleese
  10. 🤷🏻‍♂️Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
  11. 🤷🏻‍♂️Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
  12. 🤷🏻‍♂️Do the Work by Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin
  13. 🤷🏻‍♂️Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier
  14. 🤷🏻‍♂️Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
  15. 🤷🏻‍♂️Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  16. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Bed of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  17. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  18. 🤷🏻‍♂️Free Will by Sam Harris
  19. 🤷🏻‍♂️Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  20. 🤷🏻‍♂️Astrophysics for People in A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  21. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
  22. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Dao of Capital by Mark Spitznagel and Ron Paul
  23. 🤷🏻‍♂️Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  24. 🤷🏻‍♂️Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson
  25. 🤷🏻‍♂️Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  26. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis
  27. 🤷🏻‍♂️Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
  28. 🤷🏻‍♂️Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg
  29. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy
  30. 🤷🏻‍♂️Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  31. 🤷🏻‍♂️Unshakeable by Tony Robbins and Peter Mallouk
  32. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey and J. J. Virgin
  33. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Subtle art of Not Giving a F-ck by Mark Manson
  34. 🤷🏻‍♂️Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society by Delgado M.D., Jose M. R.
  35. 🤷🏻‍♂️Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows and Diana Wright
  36. 🤷🏻‍♂️Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins by Andrew Cockburn
  37. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  38. 🤷🏻‍♂️Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
  39. 🤷🏻‍♂️Linked: The New Science of Networks by Albert-laszlo Barabasi and Jennifer Frangos
  40. 🤷🏻‍♂️Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
  41. 🤷🏻‍♂️Zadig by Voltaire
  42. 🤷🏻‍♂️Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  43. 🤷🏻‍♂️How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
  44. 🤷🏻‍♂️Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler
  45. 🤷🏻‍♂️Exponential Organizations: New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (and What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail , Michael S. Malone , et al.
  46. 🤷🏻‍♂️Accelerando by Charles Stross
  47. 🤷🏻‍♂️Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki
  48. 🤷🏻‍♂️Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success by Jordan Belfort
  49. 🤷🏻‍♂️Crux: Nexus, Book 2 by Ramez Naam
  50. 🤷🏻‍♂️Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris
  51. 🤷🏻‍♂️Wild Seed by by Octavia E. Butler
  52. 🤷🏻‍♂️I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  53. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh
  54. 🤷🏻‍♂️A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours by John Allen Paulos and Gildan Media, LLC
  55. 🤷🏻‍♂️Humpty Dumpty in Oakland by Philip K. Dick
  56. 🤷🏻‍♂️Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter by Peter Singer
  57. 🤷🏻‍♂️Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence by Hans Moravec
  58. 🤷🏻‍♂️Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works by Jonathan Gruber and Nathan Schreiber
  59. 🤷🏻‍♂️Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  60. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  61. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks
  62. 🤷🏻‍♂️Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Garcia Martinez, Antonio
  63. 🤷🏻‍♂️How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
  64. 🤷🏻‍♂️Normal People by Sally Rooney
  65. 🤷🏻‍♂️Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre
  66. 🤷🏻‍♂️Choose Yourself! by James Altucher
  67. 🤷🏻‍♂️Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
  68. 🤷🏻‍♂️Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
  69. 🤷🏻‍♂️Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
  70. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Secrets of Power Negotiating: You Can Get Anything You Want by Roger Dawson and Nightingale-Conant
  71. 🤷🏻‍♂️American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
  72. 🤷🏻‍♂️The End of Faith by Sam Harris
  73. 🤷🏻‍♂️The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss
  74. 🤷🏻‍♂️Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Tier 6 💩: “What the Hell did I just read?”

If anything I list these here because I’d like to spare you from reading them. In contrast with the last section, these were actively painful to read. In come cases I may have read them because they were next in line after a previous book that was much more enjoyable. In other cases I read them because they had an extremely vocal fanbase and I wanted to understand what all the fuss was about. In still a few other cases I consumed the work more or less against my will (such as with the cross-country road trip where a Dan Brown audiobook was played just because it would keep my friend awake while he drove).

For obvious reasons, I’m not including Amazon links for these books. That way, if you actually end up paying money for any of these dumpster fires, that’s entirely your own damn fault. I am completely blameless if you’re actually masochistic enough to spend part of your finite life subjecting yourself to these works.

  1. 💩Dune: House Atreides by Brian Herbert (I had high hopes for the son of the original Dune author, Frank Herbert. That was a huge mistake.)
  2. 💩Dune: The Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert (Brian…please…just stop)
  3. 💩Inquisitor by Ian Watson (I don’t understand how Steven Spielberg could have looked at this sewer goblin’s prior work and thought “hey, I’ll get this guy to write a screenplay for my next movie”. I am unfortunately not joking about that in the slightest. This weirdo actually wrote the screen story for Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.”. After “Inquisitor”, I suspect Ian Watson was a big reason why “A.I.” became such a waste of otherwise great potential.)
  4. 💩Armada by Ernest Cline (“Ready Player One” wasn’t perfect, but this took all the worst aspects of that book (and JUST the worst aspects), and turned them into some kind of Frankenstein’s monster of a novel.)
  5. 💩The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (Among the other problems with this book, if you’re trying to make an individualist manifesto, making your main character an architect just seems like an incredibly dumb choice.)
  6. 💩Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (It almost seems like this is sacrificing any possible steelman arguments for objectivism simply for the sake of being more polarizing and attention-getting. Even if you agree with objectivism, there are so many ways of presenting it better than it was here, so what was even the point of this book? I’m starting to think that for most adult fans of Ayn Rand, their literary sensibilities haven’t changed much since the 5th grade.)
  7. 💩The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins (I had low expectations from just the title. Turns out, not low enough.)
  8. 💩The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (Classmate in high school had this on tape during a long drive. That classmate was later roped up into a pyramid scheme, to the surprise of absolutely nobody.)
  9. 💩Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (I don’t think the Glibert Gottfried reading takes away from the tone at all. This is some “Inquisitor”-level (see #3) ANTI-aphrodisiac here)
  10. 💩Dianetics by L Ron Hubbard (Well, at least reading this removed any motivation to have anything to do with the Scientiology cult. That’s at least one bullet dodged.)
  11. 💩Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard (I don’t know why I thought the book was going to be better than the movie)
  12. 💩Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (The 2nd book wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, but did Orson have a stroke or something between the 2nd and 3rd?)
  13. 💩Rama II by Gentry Lee & Arthur C. Clarke (There was such a dramatic drop in quality between the 1st and 2nd books that I was worried)
  14. 💩The Garden of Rama by Gentry Lee & Arthur C. Clarke (God…dammit…God fucking dammit, Arthur.)
  15. 💩The Number of the Beast by Robert Heinlein (I powered through this book hoping that there was going to be some kind of worthwhile ending. There are so many ways my limited time in this life could have been better spent.)
  16. 💩Fire with Fire by Charles Gannon (Were the 2014 Nebula Awards judges bribed?)
  17. 💩Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (Knowing the summary of this book vs. actually reading it is like the difference between seeing a picture of a landfill and being there to experience the rancid smell because HOLY SHIT! 🤮 Not only is the author trying to present sociopathic self-serving opportunism as a political ethos, but now I think some of those Nazi book burnings were so he could hide the fact that he plaigarized some of the more coherent parts. Most of the rest is a rambling mess. I found myself saying out loud mid-reading, “Will you just shut the fuck up already, Hitler?“. I didn’t think it was possible, but I somehow have even more contempt for neo-nazis than before.)
  18. 💩Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (I tried to be open-minded and look at some “christian” fiction. It turns out this was one of the worst possibe starting points. This is the kind of Kirk-Cameron-death-to-all-not-part-of-my-subdenomination christianity that turns people into atheists.)
  19. 💩Timeline by Michael Chrichton (I used to think Deepak Chopra was bad with the whole “Quantum = Magic” schtick. It turns out he could have done so much worse.)
  20. 💩Forever Free by Joe Haldeman (Why do such amazing science fiction books keep getting such aggressively horrible sequels?)
  21. 💩Anthem by Ayn Rand (I thought revisitng Ayn Rand decades later, I’d finally be able to undertand what all the fuss is about. Nope.)
  22. 💩The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker (What the hell happened to Bran Stoker between this and “Dracula”?)
  23. 💩The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (I feel like the fast pace is designed to keep you attention long enoug to stop you from scratching your head at what you just read.)
  24. 💩The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis (Actually read this at a party (one where a LOT of alcohol was involved). This “The Room” of books. Even H.P. Lovecraft would look at this book and say “This author’s just going too overboard with the flowery descriptions”)
  25. 💩Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (This is all our fault. We really shouldn’t have encouraged Dan Brown with the popularity of The Da Vinci Code.)

Tier i 🤔: “Haven’t read yet; want to”

Not giving this tier a place among the previous ones, because I literally have no idea how good these works are. I want to know, though.

  1. 🤔Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines by Dieter K Huzel
  2. 🤔Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter by Terrence Deacon

If you have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to contact me at [contact at matthewmcateer dot me] and I will be very happy to add them to the queue! Alternatily, you can follow me on Twitter and reach out to me there.