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There are a lot of books rated 5 stars. They're good reads most of them, but there's another class of books. The kind where even a year later you remember them. They truely changed how you think about a topic. I'm always searching for those top class books, the kind that feel like religious experiences to read. The issue is there's no way to distinglish them from regular 5 star books, the kind where you put them down and say "wow good book", but a year from now you really can't recall much about it..

Would you care to share some of books that did this for you? :)

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

I can't help but see the world as Fragile Robust Antifragile.

do you know if there is a compilation of those really awesome books somewhere ?

There was a great post about a week ago about books you would give as a gift.


I haven't found one yet :\

The problem is that your top-tier book for one person isn't a top-tier book for another, and then there's different kinds of top-tier books, ones that focus on depth vs ones that focus on context. I think it should be possible though to identify these books, classify them based on depth vs breadth vs context, and then put them in sub-tiers (eg layman, motivated amateur, budding specialist, master).

Getting back to the individual though, it's very hard to know how big of an inference gap there is for the model(s) you're trying to convey and how much the person "knows" already. Some books are masterful if you've read precursor books a, b, f, and p. Some books are masterful if you're coming from the right cultural context. And then there's tightly held biases that can get in the way of some core assumption of the book, ruining the whole effort.

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