“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough…the more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” — John Adams
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — Stephen King
“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” — Fran Lebowitz
“If you want to think long-term, you can’t spend all day reading things that train your brain to twitch.” — Jason Zweig
Books have always been an important part of my life, whether for formal education, self-study, work, pure escapism, or some combination of all of these.
I decided to use this page to track the notable books I’m consuming, and to recommend titles others might enjoy.
To help me better remember what I’ve learned, I typically write Book Notes entries for those I especially like.
Note: This list, which I’m starting in Sept. 2018, is obviously incomplete. But I will endeavor to work back through the years to cover many of the best books I’ve read. This is just a start…
- “The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State,” by Elizabeth C. Economy.
- “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built,” by Duncan Clark. Book notes entry is here.
- “Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment,” by Robert Wright.
- “The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World,” by Brad Stone. Book Notes entry is here.
- “The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal,” by David E. Hoffman. A fascinating look at the men and women at the CIA who dedicated their lives to gathering intelligence on the Soviet Union, and the risks their informants took – and the price they paid – over many years providing that intel. Also contains many interesting details on tradecraft.
- “How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region,” by Joe Studwell.
- “How to Win an Indian Election: What Political Parties Don’t Want You to Know,” by Shivam Shankar Singh.
- “Exit West: A Novel,” by Mohsin Hamid.
- “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” by Neil Postman.
- “1984,” by George Orwell
- “The Fix,” by David Baldacci
- “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” by Michael Lewis
- “The Cabin at the End of the World,” by Paul Tremblay
- “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock,” by Paul Tremblay
- “Googled: The End of the World as We Know It,” by Ken Auletta
- “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires,” by Tim Wu. Book Notes entry is here.
- “The Other One Percent: Indians in America,” by Sanjoy Chakravorty, Devesh Kapur and Nirvikar Singh. Book Notes entry is here.
- “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by Yuval Noah Harari. Book Notes entry is here.
- “Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World,” by Shadi Hamid
- “How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is,” by Teresa Ghilarducci
- “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity,” by Katherine Boo
- “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl
- “Moby Dick,” by Herman Melville
- “India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy,” by Ramachandra Guha
- “Aadhaar: A Biometric History of India’s 12-Digit Revolution,” by Shankkar Aiyar
- “A Drink Before the War: A Novel,” by Dennis Lehane
- “Killing Floor,” by Lee Child
- “The Economists’ Diet: The Surprising Formula for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off, by Christopher Payne and Rob Barnett
- ”Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World,“ by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.
- ”Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,“ by John Carreyrou
- ”Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion,“ by Sam Harris. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,“ by Walter Isaacson. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century,“ by George Friedman. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail,“ by Clayton Christensen. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,“ by Brad Stone. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions,“ by Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen
- ”Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter,“ by Thomas Cahill
- ”The Curse of the Mogul: What’s Wrong with the World’s Leading Media Companies,“ by Jonathan A. Knee and Bruce C. Greenwald
- ”The Circle,“ by Dave Eggers
- ”The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40,“ by Jonathon M Sullivan and Andy Baker
- ”How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain,“ by Gregory Berns
- ”Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count,“ by Richard E. Nisbett
- ”The Golden Tap: The Inside Story of Hyper Funded Indian Startups,“ by Kashyap Deorah
- ”How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading,“ by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
- ”The Windup Girl,“ by Paolo Bacigalupi
- ”Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets,“ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”The Dog Stars,“ by Peter Heller. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”Never Eat Alone…and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time,“ by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,“ by Cal Newport. Book notes entry is here.
- ”Den of Thieves,“ by James B. Stewart. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”Purity,“ By Jonathan Franzen. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”Asian Godfathers,“ by Joe Studwell. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel,“ by Adam Johnson. Related blog post here.
- ”The One Thing,“ by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. Book Notes entry is here.
- ”A Little History of The World,“ by Ernst Gombrich
- ”The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and why,“ by Richard Nisbett
- ”Singapore: The air-conditioned nation; essays on the politics of comfort and control, 1990–2000,“ by Cherian George
- ”Parasites Like Us,“ by Adam Johnson. Related blog post here.
And further back…
- “The Big Short,” by Michael Lewis
- “Liar’s Poker,” by Michael Lewis
- ”Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics,“ by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim
- “Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health,” by Gary Taubes
- “Why We Get Fat,” by Gary Taubes
- “In Defense of Food,” by Michael Pollan
- ”Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training,“ by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore. Related blog post here
- ”A Short History of Nearly Everything,” by Bill Bryson.
- “Guns, Germs and Steel,” by Jared Diamond.
- “Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction,” by James B. Stewart
- “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” by Dave Eggers
- “Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East,” by Pico Iyer
- “Bobos in Paradise : The New Upper Class and How They Got There,” by David Brooks
- “The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now,” by Alma Guillermoprieto
- “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel,” by Rolf Potts
- “How Soccer Explains the World : An Unlikely Theory of Globalization,” by Franklin Foer
- “On Writing,” by Stephen King
- “How to Cook Without a Book,” by Pam Anderson
- “Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press,” by Michael Schudson
- “The Turk Who Loved Apples: And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World,” by Matt Gross
- ”Netherland,“ by Joseph O’Neill
- “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” by Truman Capote. Capote-related blog posts here and here.
- “The Sportswriter,” by Richard Ford
- “Independence Day,” by Richard Ford.
- “The Lay of the Land,” by Richard Ford
- “Fever Pitch,” by Nick Hornby.
- “A Confederacy of Dunces,” by John Kennedy Toole
- “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien
- “Winterkill,” by Craig Lesley.