This is a list of books that I have read over the last couple of years. Going forward, I will try to add a short summary for each book that I have read.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Interesting book on how we form and develop habits that guide us through our lives. The core content could be summarized in a few pages, which make the book a bit of a dry reading because it is full of anecdotes and examples.
- The Mastermind: The hunt for the World’s most prolific criminal by Evan Ratliff
The captivating story of Paul Le Roux, a computer programmer who managed to make millions in a legal grey area by selling painkiller drugs via the internet on a massive scale. He then evolved to become an international drug kingin before he was finally captured by US law enforcement. I had heard about Le Roux previously from a series of articles in The Atavist, but this book provides even greater details in some of his seemingly crazy projects (like running his own militia in Somalia).
- Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX by Eric Berger
Engaging read to learn more about the founding phase of SpaceX and the efforts that went into putting the Falcon1 rocket into orbit. The author narrates the crazy journey that the company took to disrupt the entire aerospace industry.
- The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper
I find it very hard to write a short and concise summary of this book, so you may want to consult other resources if you would like to learn more about it. In general, the book deals with the role of historicism and reflects critically on the thoughts of Plato, Marx and Hegel.
- Doing Good Better by William MacAskill
This book was recommended to me by a friend. I like the framework which the author uses to analyze NGOs and measure the impact of charity work (quality-adjusted life years - QALYs). It also has some good remarks on statistics, such as modeling with fat-tailed distributions.
- A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine
I mainly bought this book to complement “Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca. Irvine provides a great presentation of the Stoic philosophy, including various techniques that can assist us in practicising Stoicism (e.g. negative visualization). Definitely a helpful read if you aim to attain inner tranquility.
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella Meadows
A good introduction to systems thinking and how we can apply it to model complex behavior of e.g. companies. The whole world exhibits system properties and understanding these and their interactions is crucial to bringing along positive change.
- The Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio
A good primer on the macro-trends that have led to the rise and fall of nations over the last 2000 years. Ray Dalio tries to find patterns in the major events that have occured in the past and how they can be used to explain what we are experiencing the present (e.g. debt crisis or the struggle for influence and power between the US and China)
- Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
This books provides a great introduction to Stoic philosophy. It’s a collection of Seneca’s letters in which he gives advice on how to live a good life - many principles can also be followed in modern-day society!
- Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini
Reading “Influence” will help you become aware of the tricks and tactics that marketing uses in order to sell you something / convince you of something. The book describes how under certain conditions, our mind switches to auto-pilot mode - in this mode, we behave in a very predictable (and exploitable) way.
- La llamada de la tribu by Mario Vargas Llosa
In this book, Mario Vargas Llosa shares his experience of reading and thinking about some of the greatest philosophers of the last century (Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin and many others). He describes how reading these philosophers have helped him in developing his own ideas as well as shaping his views of the liberal agenda.
- Option Volatility and Pricing: Advanced Trading Strategies and Techniques by Sheldon Natenberg
This book is a good textbook introduction into option trading. I just skimmed over the majority of the content, but my main takeaway is that option trading is a very complex and risky activity and that, as a non-professional trader, you should better stay away from it (and instead directly invest in the underlying security)…
- Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson
A good read to gain a bit more understanding of human psychology. The book first dives into the topic of animal behaviour and social norms that lead us to rely on signaling and self-deceptition. It then covers a variety of aspects in our lifes (such as body languange, religion and politics) in which our behaviour can often be explained by very different motives than those that we claim to follow.
- Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb
- Schrödingers Katze auf dem Mandelbrotbaum by Ernst Peter Fischer
- One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
- La Tierra de las Papas by Paloma Bordons
- Flash Boys by Michael Lewis
- Lab Rats by Daniel Lyons
- Against the Gods - The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein
- EDGE: Value-driven digital transformation by James Highsmith
- The Go Programming Language by Alan Donovan
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari
- Line by Line - How to edit your own writing by Claire Cook
- Die 5 Sprachen der Liebe by Gary Chapman
- Upheaval by Jared Diamond
- Lifes per Gallon by Terry Tamminen
- The great reversal by Thomas Philippon
- The Triathlete’s Training Guide - Joe Friel
- The prosperity paradox by Clayton M. Christensen
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- How to build a billion dollar app by George Berkowski
- Why we sleep by Mathew Walker
- Beruflich in Australien by Lea Joskowicz
- Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm
- In a sunburned country by Bill Bryson