Reading List

“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…


  1. “The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State,” by Elizabeth C. Economy.
  2. “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built,” by Duncan Clark. Book notes entry is here.
  3. “Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment,” by Robert Wright.
  4. 2019

  1. “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.
  2. “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.
  3. “How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region,” by Joe Studwell.
  4. “How to Win an Indian Election: What Political Parties Don’t Want You to Know,” by Shivam Shankar Singh.
  5. “Exit West: A Novel,” by Mohsin Hamid.
  6. “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” by Neil Postman.
  7. “1984,” by George Orwell
  8. “The Fix,” by David Baldacci
  9. “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” by Michael Lewis
  10. “The Cabin at the End of the World,” by Paul Tremblay
  11. “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock,” by Paul Tremblay
  12. “Googled: The End of the World as We Know It,” by Ken Auletta


  1. “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires,” by Tim Wu. Book Notes entry is here.
  2. “The Other One Percent: Indians in America,” by Sanjoy Chakravorty, Devesh Kapur and Nirvikar Singh. Book Notes entry is here.
  3. “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by Yuval Noah Harari. Book Notes entry is here.
  4. “Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World,” by Shadi Hamid
  5. “How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is,” by Teresa Ghilarducci
  6. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity,” by Katherine Boo
  7. “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl
  8. “Moby Dick,” by Herman Melville
  9. “India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy,” by Ramachandra Guha
  10. “Aadhaar: A Biometric History of India’s 12-Digit Revolution,” by Shankkar Aiyar
  11. “A Drink Before the War: A Novel,” by Dennis Lehane
  12. “Killing Floor,” by Lee Child
  13. “The Economists’ Diet: The Surprising Formula for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off, by Christopher Payne and Rob Barnett
  14. ”Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World,“ by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.
  15. ”Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,“ by John Carreyrou


  1. ”Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion,“ by Sam Harris. Book Notes entry is here.
  2. ”The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,“ by Walter Isaacson. Book Notes entry is here.
  3. ”The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century,“ by George Friedman. Book Notes entry is here.
  4. ”The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail,“ by Clayton Christensen. Book Notes entry is here.
  5. ”The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,“ by Brad Stone. Book Notes entry is here.
  6. ”An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions,“ by Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen
  7. ”Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter,“ by Thomas Cahill
  8. ”The Curse of the Mogul: What’s Wrong with the World’s Leading Media Companies,“ by Jonathan A. Knee and Bruce C. Greenwald
  9. ”The Circle,“ by Dave Eggers
  10. ”The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40,“ by Jonathon M Sullivan and Andy Baker
  11. ”How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain,“ by Gregory Berns
  12. ”Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count,“ by Richard E. Nisbett
  13. ”The Golden Tap: The Inside Story of Hyper Funded Indian Startups,“ by Kashyap Deorah
  14. ”How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading,“ by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
  15. ”The Windup Girl,“ by Paolo Bacigalupi


  1. ”Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets,“ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Book Notes entry is here.
  2. ”The Dog Stars,“ by Peter Heller. Book Notes entry is here.
  3. ”Never Eat Alone…and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time,“ by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz. Book Notes entry is here.
  4. ”Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,“ by Cal Newport. Book notes entry is here.
  5. ”Den of Thieves,“ by James B. Stewart. Book Notes entry is here.
  6. ”Purity,“ By Jonathan Franzen. Book Notes entry is here.


  1. ”Asian Godfathers,“ by Joe Studwell. Book Notes entry is here.
  2. ”The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel,“ by Adam Johnson. Related blog post here.
  3. ”The One Thing,“ by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. Book Notes entry is here.
  4. ”A Little History of The World,“ by Ernst Gombrich


  1. ”The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and why,“ by Richard Nisbett
  2. ”Singapore: The air-conditioned nation; essays on the politics of comfort and control, 1990–2000,“ by Cherian George
  3. ”Parasites Like Us,“ by Adam Johnson. Related blog post here.

And further back…


  1. “The Big Short,” by Michael Lewis
  2. “Liar’s Poker,” by Michael Lewis
  3. ”Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics,“ by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim
  4. “Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health,” by Gary Taubes
  5. “Why We Get Fat,” by Gary Taubes
  6. “In Defense of Food,” by Michael Pollan
  7. ”Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training,“ by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore. Related blog post here
  8. ”A Short History of Nearly Everything,” by Bill Bryson.
  9. “Guns, Germs and Steel,” by Jared Diamond.
  10. “Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction,” by James B. Stewart
  11. “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” by Dave Eggers
  12. “Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East,” by Pico Iyer
  13. “Bobos in Paradise : The New Upper Class and How They Got There,” by David Brooks
  14. “The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now,” by Alma Guillermoprieto
  15. “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel,” by Rolf Potts
  16. “How Soccer Explains the World : An Unlikely Theory of Globalization,” by Franklin Foer
  17. “On Writing,” by Stephen King
  18. “How to Cook Without a Book,” by Pam Anderson
  19. “Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press,” by Michael Schudson
  20. “The Turk Who Loved Apples: And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World,” by Matt Gross


  1. ”Netherland,“ by Joseph O’Neill
  2. “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” by Truman Capote. Capote-related blog posts here and here.
  3. “The Sportswriter,” by Richard Ford
  4. “Independence Day,” by Richard Ford.
  5. “The Lay of the Land,” by Richard Ford
  6. “Fever Pitch,” by Nick Hornby.
  7. “A Confederacy of Dunces,” by John Kennedy Toole
  8. “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien
  9. “Winterkill,” by Craig Lesley.