My understanding of the American history of racism was basically that it was generally getting better over time. Slavery, Civil War, Jim Crow, and then the civil rights era. What this leaves out was that things got rapidly better after the civil war for a few decades, and then got substantially worse. And that it didn't get worse in the south; all over America white people drove out non-whites from their towns. They created "sundown towns", places where African-Americans weren't allowed after dark.
This is an era that goes unmentioned in most official local histories, and I never heard about it growing up white. That was the case even though it was happening all around the area I grew up. E.g., not far from where my family lived was a major vacation area built by and for well-off African-Americans because they were kept out of the white ones:
I had literally never heard of the place, let alone known its history, even though I know the name of almost every town an village nearby.
The thing that really made the difference for me was visiting the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. I actually was there for a wedding but ended up touring the exhibit anyway.
You'll find a ton about the Jim Crow and the racism built into federal housing policy: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/home-is-...
It was written in 1935 during the rise of totalitarian regimes in Italy and Germany, but before WW2. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that the American democracy was immune to the disease of dictatorship.
The novel speculates how a populist figure could manipulate people through fear, racism, corporatism, local militias and bald-faced lies.
He wins the popular vote and turns the US into a totalitarian dystopia.
It's fascinating to get a glimpse into people's understanding of the world before WW2 broke out. I pictured a series of catastrophes that were surprises to most people. But it's clear from this book that the horrors were anticipated in advance.
Deep Work - Cal Newport (recommended)
Stumbling on Happiness - Daniel Gilbert (recommended)
Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals - Heidi Grant-Halvorson (lots of great stuff in here, highly recommended)
The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Alex Haley (I really like biographies and Malcolm X was a pretty interesting person. recommended)
Making It in Real Estate: Starting Out as a Developer - John McNellis (meh)
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (I'm not big on sci-fi, so this book surprised me with how good it was. recommended)
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (I'm not sure how much I got out of it, but worth it just for learning about Frankl's unique experiences and perspectives. recommended)
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (meh)
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture - David Kushner (One of those books that makes you want to lock yourself in a room and program for hours. Carmack's dedication and intellect is especially awe-inspiring. recommended)
Reminds me of House of Leaves (Danielewski), which employs typography and layered (fictional) authors in a very compelling and unique manner. I can't imagine ever reading another book like that though (although I know I'll enjoy rereading it in the future). Any copy-cat would seem like cheap clone compared to the original.
I went in expecting nothing and almost abandoned half way through the first book as it seemed like a Hunger Games / Divergent rip off (and I didn't even like either of those particularly), but holy crap after about half way into the first book I was hooked. I powered through all three in a week and a half. The books are pure fun. Didn't make me think too much, and had plenty of action, politics, twists, broken friendships, violence, sex, rape, torture, etc. Not exactly YA I would say, but then again the material isn't exactly complicated either.
All in all, if you need a break from serious reads and enjoy sci-fi / fantasy, check this out. The books were absolutely written to be made into a movie trilogy at some point and I can't wait for it.
The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, by Matthew B. Crawford. This is Crawford's second book, and I recommend his first, Shop Class as Soulcraft, even more highly. This is modern philosophy, intense and grounded in the history and conventions of philosophy, but not unreadable if you're patient. Crawford started working at a Washington think tank, and bailed for a more honest life as a vintage motorcycle mechanic. He walked away from wealth and "success" in favor of ethics and peace. His focus is on the intellectual and moral value of working at a craft, using your hands and your mind in concert to create and maintain things of lasting value. When you work with the physical world, you must shape yourself to the physical world, as much as you bend the physical world to your will. In this book, he talks less about the value of work, and more about the structure of society. It has some fairly extensive critique of the Enlightenment philosophy that molded American government and ethics, and pretty brutal takedowns of many of our institutions today, which he considers wrongheaded and actively interfering with a good life. He'll make you think, for sure.
The second book is Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Components to Understanding Complex Systems, by Sidney Dekker. The subject is how we analyze failures in very complex systems (such as airplane crashes, bridge collapses, etc). Such systems are built extremely carefully and at great cost, with extensive engineering for safety and reliability, and regulatory oversight. Yet sometimes, they fail anyway. Analyzing such failures can take years and is never (honestly) reduceable to some single-sentence cause. Yet that's what we try to do. Dekker argues that the reductionist approach of the scientific method, our entire way of doing rigorous thinking, is inadequate for complex systems, because there are too many interactions. Scientific method depends on reducing variables, and sometimes, variables can't be reduced. Again, this is fascinating stuff that will really change how you think.
Books Read in 2016:
1. The Recursive Universe: Cosmic Complexity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge
- Poundstone, William
2. My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos
- Schechter, Bruce
3. One Summer: America, 1927
- Bryson, Bill
4. The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1)
- Liu, Cixin
5. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit
- Godin, Seth
6. At Home: A Short History of Private Life
- Bryson, Bill
7. Kings of Kings (Hardcore History, #56-58)
- Carlin, Dan
8. Blueprint for Armageddon (Hardcore History #50-55)
- Carlin, Dan
9. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
- Klaff, Oren
10. William Shakespeare: The World as Stage
- Bryson, Bill
11. So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
- Newport, Cal
12. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
- Pressfield, Steven
13. In a Sunburned Country
- Bryson, Bill
14. Cannery Row
- Steinbeck, John
15. Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers
- Weinberg, Gabriel
16. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
- Newport, Cal
17. Starship Troopers
- Heinlein, Robert A.
18. No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late
- Halliday, Ayun
Wonderful, I have never once in my life encountered another person who has read this book. I first read it as a student in the '90s and, like "Godel, Escher, Bach" and "QED", it made such an impact on me.
Strangely, just yesterday I found myself recommending it to someone who is currently reading the new John Conway biography and had questions about the Game of Life.
• From Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll
• The Computational Beauty of Nature - Gray Flake
I'd love to hear your thoughts on them if you've read them.
If you're looking for a book on the British Empire, this isn't it. Of course, the Empire is an essential topic in the book; however, Tombs focus remains centered on Britain, and, more specifically, England itself. For example, when discussing the Seven Years War, Tombs emphasizes how events abroad affected domestic politics without going into great detail about the international events themselves.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in English history.
- Statistics Done Wrong by Alex Reinhart. Plenty of gotchas with real world examples from academia. Well written and easy to read.
- The Circle by Dave Eggers. This one was scary. About imaginary corporation (a blend of Facebook and Google and Amazon) and probably not too distant future. If you liked Black Mirrors, you will love this.
- Brave New World by Huxley, Aldous. Classic novel with interesting thoughts about engineered society, where every human is assigned class, purpose in the society and feature at birth.
- Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Bilton, Nick. Read this book in a weekend, really well written and well researched about the inception of Twitter.
- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Tetlock, Philip E. A study on people with above average ability to forecast feature events (mostly geo-political). Talks about measuring predictions and improving them.
- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Brilliant book about overlooking rare events which have dramatic consequences because 'it's unlikely to happen'.
I enjoyed it and would recommend it, but at the same time, I felt a little disappointed in it. I think I expected a bit, more, somehow, given the premise. I dunno, it's hard to explain, but I just felt like there was more that could have been done with the setting and the premise.
Still, worth a read for sure.
I also read Ed Catmull's "Creativity Inc." this year, and one of the things he talked about was research trips for artists. He said that even if the audience of Ratatouille didn't know what the inside of a high end French kitchen looked like, it would come through in the movie that the ARTISTS did know. He emphasized the importance of these trips in the book.
Having worked in Silicon Valley, it felt like Eggers basically read a bunch of newspaper articles about it and then wrote a book, rather than visiting the place and talking to people. If you want to write a dystopian novel, this area is certainly rich with possibility. I remember that 10+ years ago I was astounded at how well "Microserfs" captured the mood and motivations of people... I'll have to go back and read it again.
Maybe I just went into the book expecting an examination of the types of tradeoffs we make when interacting with social media, and instead got a thriller. The Circle works pretty well as a thriller to be honest, its just that there is still room for a more serious novel on its subject matter.
It is written as a textbook for graduate biology students to help with their research, so it doesn't assume much mathematical knowledge. It also contains exercises (with answers) at the end of each chapter, really helps to consolidate the newly acquired knowledge.
One thought I've had: If you look the wealthiest guys in the industry and the world, they are more philosophical than mathematical, like Peter Thiel or Paul Graham. An exception would be someone like James Simons (hedge fund guy).
Warren Buffett says he basically just does arithmetic, and the rest of it is critical thinking and controlling your emotions. I was pleasantly surprised to see his partner Charlie Munger talk a lot about cognitive fallacies, which are in the realm of philosophy.
If one is new to R, would this text be a good intro to the language?
He's creating a truly magnificent universe with the Cosmere. As I understand it, he expects it to reach 32+ books total. It's all centered around Stormlight Archive, which is an ongoing 10 novel series.
The killer detail that helped win me over as a big fan was the fact that he communicates with his fans. He's a fast writer, but he still gives updates. After a few years of following GRRM, having an author that so openly speaks with his fans is a breath of fresh air. I think everyone is usually aware that estimates are never truly accurate, but at least it gives you an idea of what the author expects to accomplish. If he says he's hoping to get the next Stormlight Archive book by the end of next year, I know that doesn't mean it's definitely going to happen. But that's fine, at least he's being open and communicating with his followers.
Honestly, I think Stormlight Archive has blow away pretty much everything else I've read.
This year I discovered a genre called LitRPG  and picked up all the major books in the genre. It's very light reading, for when you just wanna go off on a brief adventure. I enjoy videogames but I tend to find myself too tired or busy to want to go into the grind myself, so this made for an entertaining proxy.
3. Tribes by Seth Godin
4. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
5. The Industries of the Future by Alex Ross
6. Bigger, Leaner, Stronger by Michael Matthews
7. The Science of Getting Rich: Financial Success Through Creative Thought by WALLACE D. WATTLES (The Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reads)
8. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins
9. Principles by Ray Dalio
10. Como Ganar Amigas e Influir Sobre las Personas by Dale Carnegie
11. Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian
12. Tribe by Sebastian Junger
13. Sapiens A Brief History of Humanity by Yuval Noah Harari
14. This is Water by David Foster Wallace
15. How Not to Be Wrong. The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
16. Walt Disney By Neal Gabler
17. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
18. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
19. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
20. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine
Out of all these, I would recommend only a few:
- The Rational Optimist
- Walt Disney By Neal Gabler
- How Not to Be Wrong. The Power of Mathematical Thinking.
- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
I read this book twice in 2016 and hope to read it again in 2017.
* The Short Drop (The Gibson Vaughn Series) - Matthew FitzSimmons
* The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
* Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution - Neil deGrasse Tyson
* Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future - Ashlee Vance
* Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries - Neil deGrasse Tyson
* The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind - Michio Kaku
* An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard Series Book 1) - Scott Pratt
* WIRED - Douglas E. Richards
* Phantoms - Dean Koontz
* Breakthrough - Michael C. Grumley
* Knots And Crosses (Inspector Rebus) - Ian Rankin
* Founders at Work - Jessica Livingston
* The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller - John Grisham
* Kick the Drink... Easily! - Jason Vale
* Hide And Seek (Inspector Rebus) - Ian Rankin
* Tooth And Nail - Ian Rankin
* Nexus (The Nexus Trilogy Book 1) - Ramez Naam
* Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - Yuval Noah Harari
* Biocentrism - Bob Berman
Good call. Even though he's famous and all, I still sometimes feel like Koontz is very under-rated and doesn't get enough respect.
- Owner's Share by Nathan Lowell
I forget who recommended I read the Solar Clipper series several years ago, but I have been following them for a long time and look forward to it. It's part of a series, so start with the first one (Quarter Share) and continue from there.
- Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno
- Programming Beyond Practices by Gregory Brown.
- Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed by Henry S.F. Cooper Jr.
For the rest of the books I read this year: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/3965760
+Effective Computation in Physics. Probably the most practical full-environment treatment of Python I've seen. Write, test, package, distribute. Third party libs.
Effective Python, Brett Slatkin. Sort of an "N ways to improve your Python." Part of a series edited by Scott Meyers.
Getting my C mojo back:
I left C/C++ 15 years ago. C++ will likely stay left, but I miss C.
+Reading 21st Century C, Ben Klemens. The first half is the development environment, which is great, since there's some new stuff since I left, and lots of stuff I've forgotten or never knew.
Rereading Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets by Van der Linden. The guy's a riot. It's dated but still relevant. The inside baseball stuff on problems seen while working in Sun's compiler group is fascinating.
Rereading C Interfaces and Implementations, Hanson. Hoping this will serve as my C version of Large Scale C++ Design by Lakos. Honestly though, the literate programming style of presentation is off-putting. Are we still talking about that?
* Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. If you can read only one book on startup this year, read this book.
* Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.
* Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works.
* Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business.
* Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle.
* Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. You will like or hate this book a lot, but it's surely an interesting read and perspective.
* Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Good book that gives you a framework to become more optimistic.
* Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
* The Three-Body Problem Trilogy. Great, great sci-fi.
* Understanding ECMAScript 6. Best ES6 reference book.
* Node.js Design Patterns. Best Node book for intermediate/advanced developers.
* CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems. Great, great book on advanced CSS tips & tricks.
* Mastering Selenium WebDriver. This is probably the only good book on Selenium among so many bad books on this topic.
* Grokking Algorithms: An illustrated guide for programmers and other curious people. This is a good book but might be too basic for many people. Recommended for those who wants to quickly refresh their algorithms knowledge.
I also got Grokking Algorithms this year. I already have a few denser algorithm books, but I really liked this one for the basics. I bought it as a refresher that wouldn't be as dry as reading CLRS, and because I've been recently helping a friend who is beginning a CS degree.
> Mastering Selenium WebDriver. This is probably the only good book on Selenium among so many bad books on this topic.
I have to work with Selenium a lot, and you're right, there are so many terrible books and articles about Selenium. I'm going to look into this one, thanks.
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat ~ Oliver Sacks, 1985. This book contains tales of some of the Sacks's patients. A very interesting read. 
- The Mind's Eye ~ Oliver Sacks, 2010. 
- Spy Catcher (Autobiography of a MI5 agent) ~ Peter Wright, 1987. 
- Applied Cryptography ~ Bruce Schneier, 1994. Approachable and succinate language of this book makes it easier to understand. 
I usually can't read a book after seeing the movie or show, but the BBC version was so good and I read reviews that they left out quite a bit. The book definitely had a lot more detail, and was even more entertaining.
- "Flash for Freedom" by George McDonald Fraser.
A part of series of historical fiction starring Harry Flashman, a cowardly degenerate who always ends up admired and revered by all around as a hero. This one is set amongst the 49ers, the Battle of Little Big Horn, and more.
- "Neverwhere" By Neil Gaiman.
Fantasy novel about a regular guy in London sucked into a magical "London below". I thought it was clever writing, and the audiobook read by the author was surprisingly good.
- "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen.
Post-apocalyptic novel about the effects of an EMP attack on the USA.
- "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank.
Another post-apocalyptics novel, about conventional nuclear attack on many sites in the USA.
- "Cibola Burn" by James S. A. Corey.
Part of the Expanse Series that has been made into a show on SyFy. These books aren't page turners for me, but overall they are entertaining enough.
- Elon Musk: Inventing the Future - Ashlee Vance
Totally worth to get insight into the Elon. Kinda changes the superhero/good guy image everyone has but you end up with more respect for him whatsoever.
- Thinking fast and slow - Daniel Kahneman
Awesome book presenting modern psychology. You'll get insight into how humans work.
- Rework - Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
Nice, albeit small book regarding how the creators of rails manage their company. So very nice insight.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers - Ben Horowitz
I started reading this but it was too business centric for me so I stopped, however if you're a business owner it might be worth it.
- Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel - Rolf Potts
This is a nice/into book if you're interested into digital nomading, long term travel in general.
- The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
This in my opinion is a superb book if you are interested in statistics/philosophy. He presents the chaotic structure of our world and why extreme events are more common than we think.Definitely suggested.
- The art of Learning - Josh Waitzkin
This is a book that presents the Author's (Chess and Tai Chi Chuan World champion) way of learning. Has some pretty useful insight.
In no particular order...
Cixin Liu -- The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest. Good read, as you'll see on everyone else's list.
Neal Stephenson -- Seveneves. Really good but arguably his weakest in some time; I wish the first three-quarters of the book were shorter and the final quarter a book in and of itself.
Cal Newport -- So Good They Can't Ignore You. I found this longer than necessary but an excellent kick in the pants.
Marcus Aurelius -- Meditations. Feels like a good "life reference" rather than a straight-through read.
Roald Dahl -- Boy, Going Solo. These were fun when I first went through them years ago, and they still _are_ fun, but the lens through which I view live has become one increasingly allergic to entitlement, and boy, if you want entitlement, look to the Brits at the end of the imperialist era.
Ed Catmull -- Creativity, Inc. Read this for work. Enjoyable but ehh.
Peter Tompkins -- The Secret Life of Plants (unfinished). I tried but couldn't get past the rampant bad science.
Steve Martin -- Born Standing Up. This was a fun profile of a comic that I appreciate; if you're already a fan it's worthwhile, otherwise skip it.
Derek Sivers -- Anything You Want. You can blow through this in a day and you should.
Worth highlighting, my most influential read this year:
Tara Brach -- Radical Acceptance. I loved this. No: I _needed_ this. Rather than the many philosophy-influenced books you'll find in this thread that are really business books with new buzzwords, this is just about loving yourself and building on that to live life fully. This will not (at least directly) help you build a startup. This will (directly) help you build important relationships.
I read this book as well when I was younger (in my "new age" period), and I agree with your opinion.
Non Fiction: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
It sometimes reads like "A People's History of the United States", but the chapter about Andrew Jackson's election would seem like they were forcing the analogies to the 2016 election if not for the fact that it was published beforehand.
Fiction: American Gods
I think lots of people will like this book, but certainly those who are into road trips across America.
I also read:
The Martian, Andy Weir --Loved it, but not for everyone
Streams of Silver, R.A. Salavatore --A fun read, disappointing ending
A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin --Wonderful
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius --Also wonderful
The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba & John Stevens --Platitudinous bullshit and an affront to O'Sensei
I cannot recommend Masters of Doom highly enough to anyone on this website. It's about the rise of Id games and the technological and cultural breakthroughs they made in the industry. Kushner expertly weaves a tale about video games, programming and entrepreneurship in a way that few can. His attention to detail is masterful -- not simply an overabundance of detail, but detail in all the places it belongs. I really felt like I was there with the two great Johns, just as invested in the future of Id as they were.
This year was rough for me as I had to deal with severe symptoms of anxiety that eventually led to panic attacks. I tried to understand the phenomenon and tackle subjects such as anxiety, consciousness and perceptual experience. Three books are especially interesting in that regard:
- The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness - Antonio Damasio - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/125777.The_Feeling_of_Wh...
- Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety - Joseph LeDoux - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23398722-anxious?ac=1&fr...
- Seeing Things As They Are: A Theory of Perception - John Searle: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22104265-seeing-things-a...
The first two books are dealing with the neurophysiological aspects, with a focus on the brain and the specific areas involved with physical sensory experiences and/or consciousness. It explains how some areas of the brain are linked to fear and anxiety (fear conditioning, fight-or-flight response, etc.). Reading "The Feeling of What Happens" gives you all the necessary knowledge to fully understand the second book which is a tough read. The book "Anxious" also gives you a glimpse on different methods to treat and prevent symptoms of anxiety (Cognitive behavioral Therapy, SSRI, beta blockers, meditation, etc..). The last book is theoretical but comes as a good complement and gives you a broad understanding on the notion of perception (which is central to the first book).
Knowing which parts of the brain are involved with fear and anxiety and how everything fits together helps me controlling my emotions when physical symptoms of anxiety are appearing (the trigger to panic attacks).
I highly recommend this book since it's good on so many levels.
Unlike quackery books into self improvement, her book describes her research and journey into human achievement using the scientific method.
Race Against The Machine - a concise and informative discussion of the impact of technology on employment, income distribution and macro economics. Highly recommended as well.
Read them one after the other, first Deep Work and then Flow. IF you are going to read both then I would recommend that order. Reading Flow first, then Deep Work doesn't have much to offer.
Those books actually re-fueled my love of programming.
It is even, for a part, totally self contradictory, where he claims that journalists can switch to deep work for 10 minutes at time. Because journalists are super humans not suffering from context switch where the coders are suffering from context switch if they do that.
So, this one is not on my recommended list.
Flow: The Psychology of Happiness
Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life
Which one are you recommending?
Of all the books I've read, this one resonated with me the most. It discusses the process of art making, both the personal process of finding your work and learning how to get better, as well as the issues with being judged through your work. If you treat your projects/code more like art than science, I think this book will be an enjoyable and provoking read.
1. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future
2. The Code Book - Simon Singh
3. Fermat's Enigma - Simon Singh
4. Deep Work - Cal Newport
5. Smarter Faster Better - Charles Duhigg
7. So good they can't ignore you - Cal Newport
8. Distributed Systems for fun and profit
9. Classic Shell Scripting
Things I partially read and hope to complete some time:
1. The music of Primes
3. Founders at work
4. Your Memory: How it works and how to improve it
Things I would recommend:
Fermat's Enigma and The Code Book are very interesting reads if you are into Mathematics. They are both written very well and you don't need to know too much of Mathematics to understand it. On the other hand The Music of Primes started of very interesting and then got a bit too heavy for an evening read. If you can chug along I think it would be a good one too.
Of all the self help books I mentioned I think Duhiggs Smarter, faster better is the one that stands out. It is more of an analysis of various teams and people and how they got to work efficiently.
Founders at work is a long read but something that you can read a chapter independently and that's why it is under half read but definitely something to look at.
Somehow tech/startup related:
- Spelunky, Derek Yu: book about creating the game of Spelunky + notes on game design
- Disrupted, Dan Lyons: book about "old" guy working in startup
- Hatching Twitter, Nick Bilton: book about Twitter
- A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami: modern Japanese novel
- The Hills of Chianti, Piero Antinori: story about wine company and notes on wine making, wine marketing and other stuff from one of the most notable wine company from Italy (700 years old, owned by one family whole history)
- The City and the Stars, Arthur C. Clark: scifi classic
I do like "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" and "Kafka on the Shore". On the other side I didn't like "After Dark" that much.
Murakami is awesome. I've only read After Dark and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, but I'm hooked. I'll definitely be reading Norwegian Wood, Kafka By The Shore and/or IQ84 in the near future.
The book itself is like a dream state, it's magic; There's something about it where even when I think about it again, I get taken off into the lands within the book. I hear other Murakami works are similar in that regard. It is really hard to explain but it had me thinking about my life, who I am as a person to outsiders who meet me, how I see myself and what I feel my purpose in life is, etc.
Best Book I read this year : Deep Work by Cal Newport and One World Education by Sal Khan.
Best fiction : Laughter in the Dark by Nabokov.
## Deep Work by Cal Newport
## The life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo
## So good they can’t ignore you by Cal Newport
## Serious men by Manu Joseph
## Strangers on a train
## One world education by Sal Khan (Highly recommend it)
There are several wonderful takeaways from the book which I will try to list :
- The current model of education is broken. The Prussian system was designed to isolate workers from thinkers and factory laborers from office bearers. In an era where we need lots of original and creative minds to solve problems, it just doesn’t work.
- Conventional education system leads to a lot of gaps in learning, which are not addressed. For example, in spite of scoring 90% in math, you might have missed out on a key concept which will come back to haunt you later on.
- The system of homework is broken. It prioritizes quantity over quality and is meaningless.
- The testing system is just a snapshot of the student’s learning and does not says nothing about a student’s potential to learn a subject.
Sal goes on to propose a futuristic schooling system where students would use Khan Academy or an equivalent medium to progress at their own pace and use their classrooms for pursuing creative activities and enhancing his/her learning. Another interesting idea which he proposes is to dismantle age-wise segregation and group them based on the levels they are at in terms of progress made.
I think Sal Khan is a fantastic role model for kids and adults alike. A former hedge fund analyst turned educator is shaking up the fundamentals of our education system and tackling problems which are deeply rooted and slowly turning political as well. Here’s to a bright Sal-led future for education!
Overall, I would give the book 4.5/5. Visionary. Excellent. Ambitious!
## The Invisible Hand
## Disgraced by Ayad Akthar
## Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
## Laugher in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov
Once you realize virtually every conversation with a human is also a negotiation, the need to study it becomes clear.
I'd recommend it if you're looking for some math reading.
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky - I went back to Dostoevsky because I needed a break from business books... Something to distract me from work in the evenings. Dostoevsky's overly descriptive narrative does a great job of transporting my mind to 19th-century Russia and far, far from my work and other present-day concerns.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown, and Deep Work by Cal Newport - Pairing them together because they both reminded me the same important lessons: 1) Do fewer things and do them better, 2) Being overly busy is not a sign of success.
I was a little disappointed that I only got through 24 this year. My goal was 75, which would have represented a stretch beyond the 53 I got through last year. But it turns out that I picked a couple of really long books this year, AND I spent a lot more time this year doing stuff like taking Coursera classes and what-not, which cut into my reading time.
All in all, I guess it just shows that a simple number like "titles read" isn't really all that meaningful. :-)
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
I really want to read this. Maybe in 2017.
- The Art of Being Unreasonable ( Eli Broad )
- Alibaba ( Clark )
- The Box ( Levinson )
- King Icahn ( Stevens )
- Expert C Programming ( Linden )
- A Passion to Win ( Redstone )
- Chaos Monkeys ( Martinez )
- A Truck Full of Money ( Kidder )
- The Hidden Wealth of Nations ( Zucman )
- Dead Wake ( Larson )
I think some of his writing made parts of who I am, and it's a nice, simple, way of paying him back.
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It - McGonigal, Kelly. Great book
The Feynman Lectures on Physics - Feynman, Richard - He is a great teacher, you will love physics even if you didn´t like it.
Stumbling on Happiness - Gilbert, Daniel Todd - Great book about how our mind works
I had to survive - Roberto Canessa: He is a survivor from the the Andes tragedy, half of the book is about that and the other half about what happens next, he become one of the best paediatric cardiologists in the world.
How to Read a Book, Mortimer J. Adler
High Output Management, Andy Grove
Hell's Angels by Hunter S Thompson
Programming Pearls, Jon Bentley
Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson
Letters from a Stoic, Seneca
Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein
Tyranny of Words, Stuart Chase
Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon
Disrupted, Dan Lyons
Big Data, Nathan Marz
Practical OO Design in Ruby, Sandi Metz
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, Rainier Maria Rilke
Anatomy of a City, Kate Ascher
Language and Thought by Chomsky
Hero of a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
Language and Responsibility by Chomsky
Magic, Science, Religion by Malinowski
Meditiations by Marcus Aurelius
Oranges by John McPhee
The Dream of the Enlightement, Anthony Gottlieb
Nonexistant Knight/Cloven Viscount, two novellas by Calvino Italo
Deltoid Pumpkin Seed by John McPhee
Infrastructure by Brian Haynes
I'd recommend almost all of them, but especially the first two, and Autobiography of Red(poetry).
* Born a Crime by Noah Trevor
* Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
* Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Alexievich, Svetlana
* Ex-Formation by Hara, Kenya (best book I read this year)
* A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bryson, Bill
* Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human
Decisions by Brian Christian (applying algorithm theory to daily life)
* Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Voss Chris (meh)
* Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Knapp Jake (meh)
* All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr Anthony (loved it)
* The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro Kazuo (loved it)
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis (an old favorite, recommended)
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco (some interesting parts, but overall a disappointment)
Theology and Sanity - Frank Sheed (recommended; a very written description of the Catholic faith; weaknesses are it's long and it's aimed to a mid 20th c. audience)
Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensees - Peter Kreeft (recommended; a good exposition of Blaise Pascal's thought)
Catholicism: A journey to the heart of the faith - Robert Barron (recommended; a good explanation of Catholicism for the common person)
His Master's Voice - Stanislaw Lem (recommended; very intellectual look at the problem of first contact)
The Industries of the Future - Alec Ross (the robotics chapter is best; other parts are more light-weight; easy read)
Clouds of Witnesses - Dorothy Sayers (not my favorite Sayers mystery, but enjoyable)
A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle (recommended)
Why Gender Matters - Leonard Sax (recommended; most of the book is based on good science, but he does go out on a limb a time or two.)
Old School - Tobias Wolff (recommended; a world before widespread TV where high school boys actually got excited about literature)
Infinite Space, Infinite God - Karina and Robert Fabian editors (story quality varies; I enjoyed some of them)
The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle (recommended)
On Stranger Tides - Tim Powers (recommended; I love Powers, but Anubis Gates and Last Call are better. Still, if you like pirates you should like this)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracian (interesting)
Aquinas at Prayer: the Bible, Mysticism, and Poetry - Paul Murray (recommended; this shows a different side of Thomas Aquinas)
Aristotle for Everybody: Difficult Thought Made Easy - Mortimer Adler (recommended; I almost think this should be required reading)
The Pilgrim's Regress - C.S. Lewis (I enjoyed it, but the ideas Lewis argues against are somewhat dated.)
Edit for formatting
2. Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace)
3. The Fellowship of the Ring (J. R. R. Tolkien)
4. The Sin of Certainty (Peter Enns)
5. The Bible Tells Me So (Peter Enns)
6. Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations
7. Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)
8. Elantris (Brandon Sanderson)
9. A Wild Sheep Chase (Haruki Murakami)
10. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Haruki Murakami)
11. Freedom TM (Daniel Suarez)
12. Lightning (Dean Koontz)
13. Daemons (Daniel Suarez)
14. Foundation and Earth (Isaac Asimov)
15. Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury)
16. Fear and Loathing in Las Veges (Hunter S. Thompson)
17. Foundation's Edge (Isaac Asimov)
18. The Doors of Perception (Aldous Huxley)
19. Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson)
20. Tortilla Flat (John Steinbeck)
21. The Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson)
It's a history of oil over the last 150 years. Sounds boring. It's not. It's one of the best books I've ever read.
This book has made me realize that the history of the world over the last century and that of oil are almost one and the same.
Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger - I had no idea what was going on, i just know i enjoyed it
American Gods - slow starting but great book
Leviathan wakes - book that the netflix series 'the expanse' is based on
A Song of ice and fire books 1 to 3
Chapman worked for sometime in sales and later product management at MicroPro (WordStar), Ashton-Tate, Novell, etc... so it has quite an "inside-look" feel and the subject matter sounds like it's treated fairly.
The narrative is quite the page-turner for a non-fiction book, but my only qualm with it is that Chapman can be pretty sophomoric and unnecessarily gratuitous in his lampooning and shaming of business leaders or strategies which flirts with undermining the otherwise really insightful analysis.
It's a little dated (Microsoft is still king and Apple the scrappy underdog), but I think it's an important context for anyone following tech today.
The Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tzu
Translated by Gia-Fu Feng (1919–1985) and Jane English (1942–)
Here is the audiobook read by Jacob Needleman, with additional commentary at the end. You can listen to it repeatedly on daily commutes, gives you something to consider:
Dhammapada, The Sayings of the Buddha
Translated and edited by Thomas Byrom
While Byrom's translation is not generally well received among literary scholars, I enjoy his poetic edits, and believe it is easier to remember the verses in everyday life. I carry it a Shambhala Pocket Classics edition with myself, usually, and read it as a reminder whenever I lose the way.
Again, read by Jacob Needleman:
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek -Dillard, Annie
The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick -Mandelbrot, Benoît B.
Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories -Blackwood, Algernon
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience -Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly
Death in Venice -Mann, Thomas
Whites -Rush, Norman
The Room -Selby Jr., Hubert
Book of Numbers -Cohen, Joshua
Maggot: Poems -Muldoon, Paul
The Peasant in Nineteenth-Century Russia -Vucinich, Wayne S.
The Mezzanine -Baker, Nicholson
The Museum of Unconditional Surrender -Ugrešić, Dubravka
What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches -Schrödinger, Erwin
Dictionary of the Khazars -Pavić, Milorad
Honored Guest -Williams, Joy
Martyrs and Miracles -Trickey-Bapty, Carolyn
Noa Noa -Gauguin, Paul
Their Eyes Were Watching God -Hurston, Zora Neale
Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party -Stewart, George R.
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale -Melville, Herman
Eileen -Moshfegh, Ottessa
Haute Surveillance -Göransson, Johannes
Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development -Matthews, W.H.
A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare -Harris, Robert
Our Lady of the Flowers -Genet, Jean
*The House of the Dead -Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
Black Swan, Nassim Taleb
- Reamde, by Neal Stephenson. What a let down, very formulaic.
- Vortex, by Robert Charles Wilson (sequel to Spin and Axis). Spin is a must-read, Vortex was quite pleasant and brings a satisfying closure to the series.
- Permanence, by Karl Schroeder (re-read). Lots of awesome tidbits (property, rights, AR, anthropocentrism) scattered through an entertaining semi-hard sci-fi space opera.
- La Zone du Dehors, by Alain Damasio. A spiritual sequel to 1984.
- Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (finally!)
- The Affinities, by Robert Charles Wilson
- La Horde du Contrevent, by Alain Damasio (in progress). A fantastic, ontologic, poetic story about the wind.
As well as a couple non-fiction:
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! This is made of pure awesomesauce and perfectly captures the kind of spirit at the root of hackerdom.
- Pale Blue Dot, by Carl Sagan (in progress). Humbling.
- Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Surprised me in many ways.
Design of Everyday Things - Don Norman
The Prince - Nicollo Machiavelli
Being Mortal - Atul Gawande
High Output Management - Andrew Grove
Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance
Red Plenty - Francis Spufford
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
The Inner Game of Tennis - W. Timothy Galleway
My Gita - Devdutt Pattanaik
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Istanbul - Orhan Pamuk
The Stranger - Albert Camus
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs 
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 
 - https://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html
 - https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Harsh-Mistress-Robert-Heinlein-e...
Personally, this book really hit home, as I had recently left a team/project much like the one described in the book, however I think anyone working on a software project at a decent sized company will be able to relate to many of the problems presented early in the book.
 - https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/106689.Ask_HN_Books_you_...
 - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1060933-listopia-list-l...
2. Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez - A first person memoir about an aqui-hire by Facebook / Twitter. Interesting to learn about the differences in corporate culture and how Ycombinator works behind the scenes.
3. Economics in One Lesson: by Henry Hazlitt - Explains classical economics in a way where I now can understand what politicians are talking about.
4. The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory
by John Seabrook - How pop music is made. It's surprising how assembly-line it actually is, and how many people work behind the scenes. Google "topline writer," for one.
5. Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton - A third-person account of Twitter's origin and subsequent CEO-shuffling. Wow, I can see why the board would want to replace Jack and Ev--they are not management material, which is why it's perplexing that Jack is back (unless it's board politics, again).
6. Disrupted by Dan Lyons - a memoir by a 50-something writer (who now writes for HBO's Startup - he wrote White Hat / Black Hat - the one where Ross had the tequila bottle incident) trying to deal with the culture of a young goofy startup culture in Boston. Another corporate culture book that was interesting, and made me glad I don't have to deal with office politics. Lyons is kind of jerk who doesn't realize it, though.
7. Steve Jobs - by Walter Isaacson. However, it's missing a lot from the "NeXT" time, surprisingly. If you're interested in Chrisann Brennan's perspective, check out her The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs--though be forewarned it's pretty whiney and I really just skimmed over most of it. Her perspective on why he was attracted to Laurene Powell is interesting, though.
8. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance - It's an authorized biography, so there's that, but it's still an interesting read.
- Summae Technologiae by Stanislaw Lem
- The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem (reread)
- Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson
- The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
- The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
- Embassytown by China Mieville
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang
- Perchance to Dream (stories) by Charles Beaumont
- Highrise by J.G. Ballard
- In a Glass Darkly and Other Stories by Sheridan Le Fanu
- The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling (checkout my openly annotatable edition https://hc.selectedintelligence.com)
- All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan
- New American Stories edited by Ben Marcus
- This is The Way by Gavin Corbett
It's been a very fictional year. I guess I wasn't enjoying reality enough to read about it.
NoViolet Bulawayo was my favourite. Anthony Doerr, Rebecca Lee and Robert Coover I liked. George Saunders made me laugh though I didn't think the story was exceptional. I remember really not liking Sam Lipsyte but everybody I spoke to said I was being unfair.
I'd never read any Don Delillo and I know I'll have nothing but grief for saying so: I thought it felt like something dust-covered from the 80s to me. Like a story set in a world of filofaxes. And not in a good way.
I didn't feel strongly enough about the rest I guess to comment. So a pretty mixed bag - but you know that's contemporary for you...time hasn't sifted the work, so it is bound to be patchy.
Also, dolphins in space.
If you are unfamiliar with this author, you may remember him from his essay on a particular persistent trope in sci-fi writing linked on HN:
I enjoyed the Uplift series (written in the eighties and nineties) a lot, and was pleasantly surprised to learn of a short story bundle that came out just this year. It includes a novelette that takes place in the Uplift universe, wrapping up some loose ends.
The story bundle is named Insistence of Vision, named for the opening story. The name is indubitably a nod to John Varley's (sublime!) short story The Persistence of Vision (also the name of the story bundle it is collected in, recommended for any sci-fi fan). I always find short sci-fi stories refreshing in that they provide a chance to explore more radical ideas and settings that would be hard to facilitate in longer works. Brin is one of those authors who succeeds in titillating the reader's imagination with interesting what-ifs and extrapolations without feeling contrived. Recommended.
* Tuf Voyaging by George RR Martin. I thought this was a stupid premise (guy travels the universe in a huge ship with cat companions?) but a friend strongly recommended it and I found it stupidly readable and very entertaining.
* Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh. Deeply interesting and humane book about the work of an eminent brain surgeon.
* The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes by Steven Pinker. Strong persuasive central thesis even if though I didn't agree with all his arguments. Very wide-ranging book with many ideas from philosophy and history.
* Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen. Informative and scary book about zoonotic diseases. Like a non-fiction cross between the detective, horror and sci-fi genres.
* The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Read this because I felt I should rather than out of pure interest, but it was a good decision: fascinating biography and startling how intelligent and occasionally ruthless Mandela was.
Alternatively, visit your local independent book store and ask for recommendations, and resist the temptation of looking up the reviews before you've finished the book yourself.
If getting to the point of actually reading a book is a problem, I find that the easiest way is to read a while in bed before you go to sleep. Reading helps relax, and has the benefit of not keeping your body awake like digital screens do.
Rosemary's Baby https://www.amazon.com/Rosemarys-Baby-Ira-Levin-ebook/dp/B00...
Make: Analog Synthesizers https://www.amazon.com/Make-Analog-Synthesizers-Ray-Wilson-e...
Android UI Design with XML https://www.amazon.com/Android-UI-Design-XML-Tutorial/dp/147...
- "Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison
- "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
These are beautifully written books-- true art. I read intellectually stimulating, non-fiction material every moment of my life. Fiction counterbalances that frenzied information consumption.
I also read 2/3 of SevenEves by Neal Stephenson. Although the first 2/3 were good, I can't recommend the book due to the last 1/3. Those who read the book will know what I'm talking about.
Personally I think both parts of the story are good. I think that it could possibly have been split into two different books to give the second part a bit more space. As it is now, the second part is a bit rushed, and ends quite suddenly (in classic Neal Stephenson fashion).
Food: A Cultural Culinary History - The Great Courses (if you've ever searched for 'authentic' food, I strongly, strongly recommend this book. It was one of my favorite listening experiences of the year)
City of Thieves - David Benioff (Wonderful storytelling, I recommend the audio version just for the performance)
The Elephant Whisperer - Lawrence Anthony (Another example of great storytelling, highly recommended)
Little Princes - Conor Grennan (Conor does a good job of teleporting you to another world and capturing the inner spirit of being a child anywhere in the world)
The Inner Game of Tennis - Timothy Gallwey (A great paradigm for practice and improvement)
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (For some, this will be life changing. ~3 hour read is all)
Tools of Titans - Tim Ferriss (I've only read through one time, but I plan to use this as a sort of reference book. I agree true that you'll enjoy 50%, love 20% and never forget 10%, but what falls under each category is different for everyone)
The Three Body Problem - Liu Cixin (I haven't read any sci-fi in a few years, this was a great reentry to the genre for me)
The Food Lab - J Kenji Lopez-Alt (If you want to know the why as well as the how when you cook, this book is for you)
The Martian - Andy Weir (slightly more entertaining than the movie)
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results - Gary Keller (great for improving ones focus on the task at hand while having the big picture in mind)
Not Fade Away - Laurence Shames (note to self: it's never too late to appreciate all we have and have had. recommended)
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration - Ed Catmull (excellent stories and a unique POV on Jobs)
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose - Tony Hsieh (a bit higher level than I had hoped for, but still worth a read)
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It - Michael Gerber (recommended)
How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (meh, I could take it or leave it)
Tribal Leadership - Dave Logan (applicable tactics and strategies to achieving happiness-- recommended by Tony Hsieh via 'Delivering Happiness'. Highly recommended)
Crossing the Chasm - Geoffrey Moore (solid concept, however this was a dry read... for me)
The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumphs - Ryan Holiday (recommended)
The War of Art - Steven Pressfield (a great way to cure procrastination)
Peopleware - Tom DeMarco (not for me)
So Good They Can't Ignore You - Cal Newport (IMHO this book would have been better as a blog post)
The Lean Startup - Eric Ries (recommended)
As a Man Thinketh - James Allen (quick read, highly recommended)
The Effective Executive - Peter Drucker (terrific book chalked full of wisdom. recommended)
The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz (recommended)
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us - Seth Godin (recommended)
Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life - Maxwell Maltz (first published in 1960, this incredible book has been, hands down, the most impactful book I read all year. This book helped me finally weed out pervasive negative though patterns and much, much more. Highly recommended if you're open to it)
Some of the books I've read this year and recommend are
1. When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi (Found this book through the author's essay (basically, an abstract from the book) in NY Times. I love it. It is the story about the life of the neurosurgeon who was battling with his cancer.)
2. The Bridge to Brilliance - Nadia Lopez (Found this book from Humans of New York page. It is the story about a school principal trying to open up a school, getting school and other struggles along the way.)
3. The Phoenix Project - I think HN audience would know it. Fun read.
4. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (This is the book I've been meaning to read but only did it awhile ago. It's beautifully written. It opens up my minds about aging and the struggles that elder people face it. It also reminds me that it is most important that one gets to enjoy life till it ends.)
The other books I read are 5 books of Haruki Murakami. Among them, I really enjoyed Wind Up Bird Chronicle and After Dark a lot.
My Goodreads for "read-2016" (although I am hoping to read a book before end of the year) is at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/22920556?shelf=read-20....
2. Anils Ghost (Michael Ondaatje) - Drama with a war background. Nice read.
3. Financial intelligence for Entrepreneurs - Very useful now that I have a small company of my own.
4. How to Speak How to listen (Mortimer Adler) - Worth it. I enjoy public speaking and this was well written and quite useful.
2016's been a bad year for me as far as books go.
"Armada" was a nice simple story very much along the lines of "Ready Player One." "Daemon" was surprising -- an interesting 'what if' regarding the evolution of AI.
Douglas Richards has a whole series of these near-future sci-fi books as well. Mind's Eye is good (along with it's whole trilogy) and Wired/Amped is decent too. I'd be hard pressed to say if Daniel Suarez or Douglas Richards are the "new Michael Crichton", but I'm glad both of them are writing books.
Here's my 2016 reading list:
#1. Zero to One - Peter Thiel - 3.5*
#2. The Alchemis - Paulo Coelho - 3.5*
#3. Founders at Work - Jessica Livingston - 3*
#4. Traction - Gabriel Weinberg - 4.5*
#5. How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie -4*
#6. Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations... - Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber - 4*
#7. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work - Mason Currey - 3*
#8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosak - 3*
#9. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs... - Eric Ries - 4.5*
#10. Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly - Bernadette Jiwa - 3*
#11. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future - Ashlee Vance - 4*
#12. Rework - Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson - 4.5*
#13. Anything You Want - Derek Sivers - 4.5*
#14. South of the Border, West of the Sun - Haruki Murakami - 3.5*
#15. As A Man Thinketh / The Path Of Prosperity - James Allen - 4*
Currently I'm reading If This Is a Man / The Truce by Primo Levi - and so far it seems to be one of the top 3 books I've read this year - definitely a 4+* book.
* Leviathan Wakes, Caliban's War, Abaddon's Gate, Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey
* Homeworld, Out of the Black (books 3 & 4 in the Odyssey One series) by Evan Currie
* Furies of Calderon, Academ’s Fury (1 & 2 of the Codex Alera series) by Jim Butcher
* The Aeronaut’s Windlass also by Jim Butcher
* The Queen of Zamba by L. Sprague de Camp
* Giant of World's End by Lin Carter
* Batgirl of Burnside (graphic novel)
* Here is Your War by Ernie Pyle - the 1st of his books chronicling American soldiers in World War 2
* Vagrant Viking by Peter Freuchen - auto-biography of the Danish explorer/Nazi resistance fighter/writer/film-maker
* Voices of 1776 by Richard Wheeler - the Revolutionary war in the words of people who were there.
The non-fiction books surprised me because I really enjoyed all of them and I usually only read fiction or technical books. The Odyssey One books by Evan Currie also stood out to me because I found the first one for a low price on Kindle and I was blown away by the story.
- Ted Chiang - Stories of Your Life and Others.
- Lawrence Weschler - Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees. A quality biography of Robert Irwin based on interviews over decades, and helps you learn to appreciate minimalist art to boot.
- Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
- Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast of Champions
- Burton G. Malkiel - A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah. Saw myself in several of these characters
- Nikos Kazantzakis - Zorba the Greek
- Jack London - John Barleycorn: Alcoholic Memoirs. Illustrates all of the interesting ways in which a person is tempted to drink: when someone else buys you one, when it's cold outside, ...
- Danny Bowien - The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook. Lots of stories between the recipes.
- David Byrne - How Music Works
- Meg Jay - The Defining Decade
- Ernest Hemingway - A Moveable Feast
- Magdalena Droste - Bauhaus 1919-1933
- Arimasa Osawa - Shinjuku Shark
- Zadie Smith - Changing My Mind
- Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart
- Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Marie Kondo - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- Haruki Murakami - The Strange Library. A fifteen minute read.
- Tim Ferriss - The Four-Hour Workweek. Good tactics for saving time; bad business advice.
- Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle
- John Berger - Ways of Seeing
Dune - Frank Herbert (been waiting more than 20 years to read this. If you haven't seen the movie from 2001 highly recommended, else not)
The Psychopath Code - Pieter Hintjens (psychology book, highly recommended, allowed me to understand a whole lot more of the "toxicity" in society)
Python for Informatics - Charles Severance (too easy for crowd here, and for me, but quite good for newbie programmers. Note: Python 2.x; not 3.x!)
Ghost in the Wires - Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon (good humor, great suspense, likeable main character)
Kingpin - Kevin Poulsen (a less likeable main character but nevertheless suspenseful)
And a bunch of cookbooks which I won't bother you with, I didn't fully complete any of them either.
I'm very happy that all the books I read were a hit, but did not read nearly as many as I wanted to. To restate, I can recommend all of the above. But they're not all new from 2016 (if that was the intention I apologise).
* Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders (David Marquet)
* Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach To Fun on the Job (Dennis Bakke)
* Ne vous résignez pas ! (Bruno Le Maire - French politician)
* Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (Michael Hiltzik)
* Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble (Dan Lyons)
* Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management (Scott Berkun)
* Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (Thomas Sowell)
* The Success of Open Source (Steve Weber)
* Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Cathy O'Neil)
* Programming in Lua (fourth edition - I read every edition)
I started reading (and will probably finish by the end of the year) Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Samuel Arbesman).
As for what I recommend, it depends what you are into, but I would say I really enjoyed Making Things Happen, which is a must if you have any kind of project management to do, and Basic Economics.
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Cathy O'Neil)
Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson (recommended)
Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari (audiobook recommended)
Boomerang - Michael Lewis (great if you have a light interest in macroeconomics)
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (recommended)
Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (recommended)
Joyland - Stephen King (great, short read)
Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull (Parts on the history of Pixar were interesting)
- "All the Birds in the Sky" by Charlie Jane Anders
- "The Shards of Heaven" and its sequel "The Gates of Hell" by Michael Livingston (fictional story set in Roman times)
- "The Last Breath" by Charlie Magee
- "The Guns of Empire" by Django Wexler (Book 4 of The Shadow Campaigns series, which I highly recommend)
- "The King's Traitor" by Jeff Wheeler (original take on Arthurian legend)
- "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik
- "End Game" by Lindsay Buroker (Book 8 of her sci-fi series, The Fallen Empire, which is a pretty fun series overall. Short and sweet adventures.)
- "Soulblade" by Lindsay Buroker (Book 8 of her fantasy series, Dragon Blood, which is another great series. All of Buroker's books are good, imo.)
- "Ghost Talkers" by Mary Robinette Kowal (It's WWII, ghosts are real... and they're spies.)
This year I also read books 1-3 of The Expanse, and I think they would also be in this list, except I haven't reviewed them yet. I'm currently reading Book 4, with the recently published book, Babylon's Ashes, in the queue. I fully expect these to make it into the top 10.
Obviously, I enjoy sci-fi / fantasy the most, but across a wide range of sub-genres. For non-sci-fi, my top read was "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi, which really changed the way I organize my finances.
Helped me understand why I object to assholes, and the real damage an asshole does to a group.
The sections on asshole capitalism, aka entitlement capitalism, are fascinating and relevant.
- The Power of Habit - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609433-the-power-of-hab...
- The Greatest Salesman in the World http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/356896.The_Greatest_Sales...
- Originals http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25614523-originals
- The One Thing http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16256798-the-one-thing
Other than that I found "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed" by Eric Cline a very interesting read, especially when it comes to methods described to figure out what happened over 3000 years ago. Contrary to it's title it's not very sensationalistic and it doesn't appear to make any claims it cannot back with some sort of evidence (and it tries to present both sides of the argument if something is uncertain).
Genghis Khan https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/93426.Genghis_Khan_and_t...
Mistakes were made (but not by me) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/522525.Mistakes_Were_Mad...
Sapiens - a brief history of humankind https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23692271-sapiens
A little history of the world https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61505.A_Little_History_o...
That last one I just finished and look forward to re-reading real soon. It's written by a German and from a European point of view.
A few other good ones but not top of my list of recommendations:
The church of fear - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17201748-the-church-of-f...
A brief history of time - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3869.A_Brief_History_of_...
Looks who's back - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17289087-look-who-s-back
Extreme Ownership: Jocko Willink - entertaining listening in the car, perhaps no so much if you tried to read it. An impressive balance of storytelling and principles. (6/10)
Maximum City: Suketu Mehta - as someone who has lived in Mumbai for nearly five years, this book captured the pulse of the supercity as no other has. Able to describe the inherent beauty of modern India without resorting to the typical cliched western neuroses about the place. (8/10)
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics: Carlo Rovelli - Got recommended this book multiple times. Brief and succinct so Carlo must be commended for that. As a pop-science book it kind of paled in comparison to Bill Bryson's "Complete History" (6/10)
Rebels: Aris Roussinos - A raw, honest and powerful book that tells a story about many of the world's conflict zones from the perspective of someone who may get shot themselves. Refreshing and beautifully upsetting all at once. (7/10)
Mere Christianity: C.S. Lewis - A broad spectrum of thoughts about meaning and purpose that have obviously been considered for many years and then condensed in a very succinct way (8/10)
Business Adventures: John Brooks - A recommendation by Buffet and Gates, entertaining read with business principles built in (7/10)
Tools of Titans: Tim Ferriss - Obviously written for those of us who have allowed our attention spans to be destroyed by the constant sugary stimulation of the internet, Tim nails the balance of useful thoughts and observations from a broad array of guests while keeping it succinct and entertaining. (7/10)
- Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
- Tools of Titan by Tim Ferriss
- Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen
- Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction by Chris Sims
- Build Better Products by Laura Klein
- Capital in the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Picketty
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez
- Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross & Jason Lemkin
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- Love Sense by Sue Johnson
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Working Effectively With Legacy Code by Michael Feathers
- Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
- Sprint by Jake Knapp
- Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb
- Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett
- Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock
- The Inner Game Of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey
- Design Sprint by Richard Banfield
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn
- The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
- Advanced Swift by Chris Eidoff
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Some of these books are older and had been on my list for awhile. Some were released this year. Most of these books are very good. I usually stop reading bad books by the end of the first chapter.
I believe it was the recent rash of replication failures that ferreted this out, so it is worth checking out in case you adopted false premises accidentally.
- The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
- The 48 Laws Of Power
- Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
- Crossing the Chasm
- The Richest Man in Babylon
- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
- Europe: A History
- The Penguin History of Europe
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Every of the books was awesome. The only thing is that I haven't finished Europe: A History from Norman and read The Penguin History of Europe instead because the Norman book was just too long for me. But It has way more details.
I switch between business-related books and non-business related (it can be everything from philosophy to language history to hardcore science) but I don't read fiction (The Richest Man in Babylon is fictional, but still the focus is on self-development).
Hope you could see some titles that might interest you.
I enjoyed Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Elegant Universe.
- Alibaba - The house that Jack Ma built by Duncan Clark https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25817524-alibaba
- Shoe Dog - A memoir by the creator of NIKE by Phil Knight https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27220736-shoe-dog
- Originals - How non-conformists move the world by Adam Grant https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25614523-originals
What's nice about it is that it's broken up into very small paragraphs, many of them unrelated to the ones surrounding it. So it's easy to read it for 30 seconds and still get value out of it, when you're a busy person like me (whether due to profession or family or both).
1) The Swerve (won the Pulitzer Prize)
A few years old but newly relevant - it made me think, are we at the dawn of a new renaissance or the breakdown of society? Both have happened before... we lost much of the classical era's accumulated human knowledge when papyrus scrolls were burned/destroyed in the Middle Ages. Is computer storage much more resilient than papyrus in the face of social upheaval?
What if Northern California seceded and let its crazy out in a super-green, post-technological, self-sufficient independent state? This book, written in the 1970s, has ridiculous foresight and anyone familiar with the Bay Area will deeply appreciate this thought experiment.
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
- Rework by Jason Fried
- Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
Kim Zetter - Countdown to Zero (on Stuxnet virus and how it was smuggled into the nuclear facility; very interesting)
Gary Kasparov - Winter is Coming (we should consider Russia a dictatorship by now; though until recently, western politicians treated it as a democratic partner country)
Mark Goodman - Future crimes (wide spanning book on crime in the age of the internet)
Philip E. Tetlock - Superforecasting (how amateurs can consistently beat domain professionals in forecasting all kind of stuff)
Venkat Subramaniam - Programming Concurrency on the JVM (good overview of your options (diy with locking / akka / clojure & STM))
I know this is about books, but Alex Gibney's documentary on the subject is also decent:
Although they chose to use a method to move the narrative that I wasn't fond of, there are some neat interviews with some of the early researchers.
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace. It took our reading group about six months to read it. Our discussions really added to my understanding and enjoyment.
Thomas Rid, Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History. From Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics to recently disclosed Russian attacks on American computer systems.
Harry Turtledove, Joe Steele. An alternate history in which Josef Stalin's parents immigrate to the U.S. and their son becomes President in 1932 instead of FDR.
George Dyson. Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe. Focuses on John Von Neumann and the computer he built at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton.
Dracula by Bram Stoker - because it was mentioned in the previous one and it's amazing how many elements we borrowed / changed / rewritten in the new works compared to the original.
02. The Firm: The secret history of McKinsey and it's influence on American business
03. The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets
04. League of denial
05. The Martian chronicles
06. The Sixth extinction
07. Lost stars
08. The Devil in the white city
09. China in ten words
10. The Fourth revolution
11. Red Mars
12. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe
13. Grit: Passion, perseverance and the science of success
14. The Signal and the noise
15. The Third chimpanzee
16. The Willpower instinct
17. The Master algorithm
18. The Emperor of all maladies
And I'm reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Honestly, I really enjoyed League of Denial about all the shady stuff the NFL did around CTE, Lost Stars which is an incredible Star Wars book, The Willpower Instinct, and 1491. Everything else was kind of take it or leave it. I doubt I'll read as many books next year
Tesla, Westinghouse, Edison & Morgan. A fascinating bit of history about the people & events that delivered electricity to the world.
Deep Work - Cal Newport
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise - Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool
The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
Do the Work - Steven Pressfield
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Ashlee Vance
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike - Phil Knight
The one that surprised me the most was the last one on that list. I don't usually read memoirs but this one was recommended by a few people so I picked it up and found the honesty with which he describes his mistakes refreshing and useful.
Will most likely end up being the best nonfiction book I've read all year.
- Limbus, Inc. - Book III (I liked I and II better tho)
- Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) - a sleeper recommendation by a coworker that I KNOW will end up as a movie.
- Underground Airlines (Modern day, but the Civil War never happened)
- The Nightmare Stacks (A Laundry Files Novel)
- Lovecraft Country
I read a LOT more than what's listed here, but these are the noteworthy ones. I read a book every couple of days. Lots of military monster-hunting fiction, zombie apocalypse pulp, manly adventure novels, self-help stuff, etc.
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, and
The Icewind Dale trilogy / Legend of Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore.
Ember was a very nice take on post-apocalyptic fiction; a Steampunk city surrounded by absolute darkness that still managed to retain a semblance of normal everyday life. Something about the setting felt very homely despite its inconveniences.
The Drizzt series is of course a guilty pleasure full of good old-school role-playing fantasy tropes. It does a nice job of providing my Dungeons & Dragons fix while I wait for a new video game.
- Jeff Hawkings "On Intelligence" (My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1561177903 )
- Cal Newport "So Good They Can't Ignore You"
- Cal Newport "Deep work" (My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1777252642 )
What a crazy life he led.
"Napoleon: A Life" - Andrew Roberts
A gigantic book that still felt rushed because of how much he did during his life.
"Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization" Kriwaczek, Paul
Interesting introduction but I was hoping for more of a focus on a specific period of time. Instead if covers several thousand years of history.
"Buddhism Without Belief" - Stephen Bachelor
"The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment" - Copenhaver, Brian
"The Philosophy Book" - Will Buckingham
Great into to the history of Philosophy
"The Vindication of Man" by John C Wright
Great, great series.
Freakonomics, is a good one about economy from a new angle of view
Usually, I'm real bad at reading & finishing non-software non-fiction; but managed ~10 of those this year.
Enjoyed reading Shoe Dog by Phil Knight & I contain multitudes by Ed Yong. I keep going back to Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman quite a bit. Need to read more in 2017.
Business - Making Things Work by Yaneer Bar-Yam
Investing - Charlie Munger The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin
Essays - Michel de Montaigne Complete Essays ($.99 on Kindle!)
Physics - At Home in the Universe by Stuart Kauffman
Software - An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language
Current Events - Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
Fiction - The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Music - Jerry on Jerry (audiobook is a recorded interview of Garcia!)
Biography - Benjamin Franklin An American Life by Walter Isaacson
Autobiography - A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
All of these are highly recomended!
- Tibet, Tibet by Patrick French
- Maya: A Novel by CW Huntington, Jr
- The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young
- Flask Web Development by Miguel Grinberg
- Buddha's Diet by Tara Cottrell
- A Feast of Vultures by Josy Joseph
- Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection by John Man
- Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari
- Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar
- Goliath by Tom Gauld
- This Will Never Happen Again by David Cain
- Cure by Jo Marchant
- If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India by Srinath Perur
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
- The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
and a few others that aren't worth recommending; all the above are.
Then there was The Kite Runner
Also, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence
Then Becoming a Technical Leader by Gerald
I wish I had read more.
Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami (I love Murakami’s novels, recommend starting with Hard Boiled Wonderland though)
Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball - Haruki Murakami
The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammet (Surprising just how much San Francisco is in it)
The Postman Always Rings Twice - James Cain
Seveneves - Neal Stephenson (recommended)
Pattern Recognition - William Gibson
The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway (recommended, refreshing language)
Running Lean - Ash Muraya
Lean Customer Development - Alvarez
Talking to Humans - Giff Constable
Hooked - Nir Eyal (probably not need the book to get the thesis)
Sprint - Jake Knapp
Juno Beach - Mark Zuehlke
Anti-Education - Nietzsche
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay
- The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer
- Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
- The Passion Trap: How to Right an Unbalanced Relationship by Dean C. Delis и Cassandra Phillips
- The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes
* City and the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
* The Master Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg
* The Algebraist - Iain M. Banks
* Hunters of Dune - Brian Herbert (in progress)
Non Fiction Pick:
* Command and Control - Eric Schlosser
Becoming Steve Jobs / Rick Tetzeli & Brent Schlender
Remote: Office Not Required / David Heinemeier Hansson & Jason Fried
Rum Punch / Elmore Leonard
2. Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
3. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
4. The Movie Doctors by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo
5. It's Only A Movie by Mark Kermdode
6. Dark Night by Paul Dini
7. Dark Days by Randy Blythe
8. David Fincher Interviews by Laurence Knapp
Graphic Novels - Scott Pilgrim Series, New 52 Batman series and Batman/TMNT crossover.
If anyone can recommend more stuff I'd be interested in based on this stuff please go ahead I want to read more this coming year.
p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code by Sue Armstrong. Its a well written book on a very complex topic. 
Also the entire Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (currently midway through the final book).
Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace)*
I was blown away by how completely delightful it was to read. I went in to it with a lot of trepidation about its length and esoteric fixation, but found myself completely immersed in the book in a way that I hadn't been since I was kid. I didn't pick up any hard and fast lessons from the book (indeed, its thesis is mostly that life is hard and the easy answers that are out there are toxic), but I definitely came away from it feeling like it was a bit more acceptable to share what I really thought and felt with others. Reading the book is like entering an intimate communion with DFW's mind and it reinforced in me the importance of inter-human connection in that way.
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story (D.T. Max)
DFW's biography, which I read after Infinite Jest. I highly recommend reading after IJ to get more background on where the books idea's came from. Two things I learned: 1. IJ basically took him ten years to write, 2: An incredible amount of it is drawn from personal issues and experiences, his struggles with addiction and loneliness were very real and he greatly downplayed them in his interviews.
The Invention of Nature (Andrea Wulf)
The best historical book I've ever read. Von Humbolt was one of the greatest scientists to ever live and I can't believe I'd ever heard of him before. The book itself does a great job of tying together the ideas of many great thinkers: Humboldt, Darwin, Thoreau, Muir, Goethe.
The Conquest of Happiness (Bertrand Russel)
Great little 'self-help' book from Russel. Perhaps a bit quaint in its datedness and Englishness, but a lot of the ideas still hold true. His thoughts on boredom were the high point of the book IMO.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things (Ben Horowitz)
The most 'make an adult of you'-feeling book I read this year. After attending an 'MBA bootcamp' style course, this book was the gritty, personal account that helped me tie all those lessons together. I got a job with a startup shortly afterwards and because I've never studied business (or worked in a real company before), I refer to the lessons in this book a lot.
My Struggle, first volume (Karl Ove Knausgaard)
Still reading this one and not entirely sure what to think. It's entertaining, heartfelt, and provides that sense of communion that good fiction needs. The book's purpose seems totally up in the air, however.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Honorable mention from 2015: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I have just started Homo Deus and my first impression is that is is a worthy sequel.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany (recommended for HP nostalgia)
Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance (recommended)
Shoe Dog - Phil Knight (highly recommended)
Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (meh)
The Gene - Siddhartha Mukherjee (currently reading, recommended so far)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: Easy to read and entertaining. I actually had to spend a good 10 minutes going thru the plot to understand what happened, felt great to get it.
(Unfinished) Barbarian Days: a book on surfing
I'm not (and have no intention of being) a Stoic, - my personal philosophy is very different - but I really liked the author's approach in bringing an ancient philosophy to life in modern times.
CSS: The definitive guide - Eric Meyer
HTML & CSS design - Jon Ducket
Zero to One - Peter Theil. (Started reading it early this year, still on it.)
I've a self-taught developer coding professionally for 4 years now and I'm looking to fill knowledge gaps and understand how things work under the hood.
What medium are you reading these books on?
Physical, ebooks, pdf, kindle?
I read two physical books this year (~25 on kindle).
I read a lot of books at the same time so I find e-readers to be very convenient because I don't have to carry a lot of books as I used to do before.
Personal: The Subtle Art of not Giving a f*ck
Sci-Fi: Red Rising
Fantasy: Powder Mage, Age of Myth
And a plug, but on topic - book mentions on HN: http://hackernewsbooks.com
- choose carefully what you give a f*ck about, but when you do, do it right
- there will always be problems, deal with them and move on, it's your own responsibility.
- the constant pursuit of a positive experience is in itself a negative experience, acceptance of a negative experience is a positive experience
Ask GaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Give and Take by Adam Grant
Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg
Non Fiction: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. This was a great read that resets you and puts things in perspective.