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Ask HN: Books on specific topics that have applied to many areas of your life?
204 points by arikr on Nov 22, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 105 comments
What are books that you read for a specific topic, that you've found massive use for in a variety of areas in daily life?

I thought to submit this thread after reading

> Reading the book (on operant conditioning, with particular emphasis on how it can be used to train dogs) was transformative for me. Operant conditioning is such a major force in shaping our behaviour. I learnt an awful lot of things from this book which should have been taught in school; I see the principles around me in action every day, but they're just not the kind of thing one habitually pays attention to.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11425249

In regards to a book about dog training.

Other books I've seen this mentioned about:

- "The Inner Game of Tennis"

- "Nonviolent Communication"

- "The Design of Everyday Things"

- "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk"

What are books you read on a specific topic, that have ended up changing your view of daily life, or being useful in many more situations than just the topic of the book?




Never Split the Difference. It's about hostage negotiation. A lot of negotiation tricks don't work when dealing with irrational, desperate, insane people. It covers how to build rapport with these people, get them to talk themselves into supporting your argument, and just understanding people deeply enough for them to give you everything you ask for but walk away satisfied with the deal.


I'm listening through this book right now on my daily commute and it's possibly the first time I've clung onto every word in an audiobook.


1984 - because it was the first book in English that I read front to cover, with a dictionary by my side, and learned so much recurring essential vocabulary that after that effort I could read anything; by now I have read much more from the much larger pool of writings in English than in my mother language. And, of course, it made me look differently at so many things.

Things Fall Appart - because it helped me understand how religions like Christianity and other initially subversive beliefs spread, and the sudden impact of Western culture on other cultures.

Anthropology (Marvin Harris) - because it impacted the way I look at humanity, society and history, and also helped me understand that marxism is much more than an arguably failed political doctrine.

The Bernstein Tapes about Critique of Pure Reason - I am still working through this, but has already impacted my conception of what knowledge is

History of Western Philosophy (Bertrand Russel) - because it made me understand the interwining between ideas and history. A desert island book

Concepts Techniques Models of Computer Programming - still working through it, because ir is making me realize I had no clue about programming and design. Best programming book I have come across

The Prince (Maquiavelli) - because it completely changed the way I look at politics and society

The Making of The Atomic Bomb - because it is a great way to see the incremental progress of science, and made me realize how much those at the leading edge extract from a few crumbles of information. Also the starkest description of the impact of industrialized killing in WW1,


+1 on "Nonviolent Communication" - if anyone is interested I have some directive like notes from the book here https://blog.abuiles.com/reading-feed/nonviolent-communicati... -- going through the book is important for the context but this can give you a quick overview of what it is about.

Other books in my list are:

- Punished by rewards by Alfie Kohn

- On the shortness of life by Seneca


Another +1. "Nonviolent Communication" as well as "Crucial Conversations" can be life changers if you follow even a little of their guidance. The techniques I've picked up have helped me build stronger relationships with my spouse, my children, my customers, my employees, and my peers.

There are other books on communication, but these are my top two. They're actionable, in that they provide specific techniques as well as discussing thoery. Both books lay a similar foundation that any book on communication worth its salt will likely have in common: we're all emotionally driven beings and we communicate most effectively when we're able to separate observations from judgements.


I have not read the book "Nonviolent Communication," but anecdotally, the several people I know who have mentioned reading this book tend to speak in an abnormally passive aggressive, condescending, and overbearing way. I am curious if this is just a fluke or if others have had the same experience.


Like a lot of concepts that are meant to improve communication and understanding, NVC can be "weaponized" to have the exact opposite effect, especially when put into practice by beginners in highly-charged emotional contexts. It can also come across as passive-aggressive to those who are unfamiliar with the practice. Maddeningly, it can be very difficult to distinguish between these two situations. It really needs understanding and buy-in from both parties to be effective, in my experience. (It's also damn hard to learn from a book. Much better if you have an experienced and empathetic friend who's willing to teach you.)


Interesting! Those things are exactly what the book tells you not to do.


"Impro for Storytellers" by Keith Johnstone is so relevant to pretty much everything about life and communication that I'm reading it the way people used to read the bible -- every night or two I take it off the nightstand and read a random passage, and think about it.


Impro is incredible. The best improv book ever written and one of my go-to references for all theatre projects.


The Way of Zen by Alan Watts. The book is a historical analysis of the culmination of zen buddhism from its roots in hindu, buddhist, and toaist philosophies. Watts presents a perspective on how to approach your everyday life (relationships, communication, work, play, boredom, stress, anxiety, happiness, sadness) that is contrary to how we're taught to live in the "western world".


I find his books a bit wordy and boring but his "Out of Your Mind" lectures are amazing.

Though "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki is a much better introduction to the topic – Watts had a scholarly approach to it and lacked the actual practice.


Wish I could up-vote you more, but I do agree Alan Watts was a turning point in my life.


I'll present "Small Gods" by Terry Pratchett as foil that notes that one should be really careful about what happens when one presents a foil to a (any) religious based offering.


Zen is more like a philosophy of psychological judo rather than a religion, at least for me


You’ll get enough non-fiction recommendations. Something fictional (barely) and a lot more relaxed: The Remains of the Day, Ishiguro. It’s a chance to think about work/life split, life accomplishments, and professional vs personal identity.

If you like that, check out Larry’s Party by Carol Shields.


I just finished reading "The Remains of the Day" earlier today!


"Elizabeth I and her Circle" by Susan Doran from OUP, and related biography. What got me glued to the 1500's reign of Elizabeth I is her art of far reaching strategic management when organizational resources are sketchy, and living in times of great social uncertainty.


Franz de Waal's "Chimpanzee Politics". It's nominally about the social relationships of a chimp colony in a Dutch zoo. But it made me see the extent to which humans are just another great ape, and a lot of human dynamics are really primate dynamics, especially around social power.

Johnstone's "Impro". It's about improvisational theater, and mainly meant for people learning improv. But the section on status transactions helped me see a lot about how we express those primate dominance dynamics. There's also great material on the nature of creativity.

"Getting to Yes" is a great book about business negotiation, but is lessons about shifting discussions from zero-sum to positive-sum are things I use a lot.

Braitenberg's "Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology" is a way of thinking about psychology (and our inference of mind) by examining imaginary robots.

"The Toyota Way" and other books on Lean Manufacturing are about running extremely effective manufacturing operations. But they have deeply changed how I think about systems of making software and running businesses. Other great books in this category include "Toyota Kata" and "Principles of Product Development Flow".

"Crossing the Chasm" is about how tech products get adopted. But its mindset around segmenting audiences and building credibility taught me a lot about any sort of social change.

"Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" is nominally about abuse in romantic relationships. But its insights about power and control have been useful to me way beyond that. E.g., so much behavior in large corporations is inexplicable if you look at it in business terms, and perfectly sensible if you think about if from the perspective of, "What would a person with abusive tendencies gain from this situation?"

Also, hearty +1s for books "Design of Everyday Things", "Finite and Infinite Games", and "Punished by Rewards".


In terms of near-universal applicability, Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War' comes to mind. You could substitute every occurrence of the words 'war'/ 'opponent' /'enemy' with just about anything you are looking to master / defeat.


A Mathematician's Apology by G. H. Hardy. Went into it thinking I was reading a book on math and ended up reading a book about life.


The best book for me. I read this everyday.

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

I've learned a lot from this book. It made me calm and influenced my decisions.

For those who are interested and want to see an example here is an excerpt from the book:

July 1st

DO YOUR JOB

“Whatever anyone does or says, for my part I’m bound to the good. In the same way an emerald or gold or purple might always proclaim: ‘whatever anyone does or says, I must be what I am and show my true colors.’”

— MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.15

The Stoics believed that every person, animal, and thing has a purpose or a place in nature. Even in ancient Greek and Roman times, they vaguely understood that the world was composed of millions of tiny atoms. It was this idea—this sense of an interconnected cosmos—that underpinned their sense that every person and every action was part of a larger system. Everyone had a job—a specific duty. Even people who did bad things—they were doing their job of being evil because evil is a part of life. The most critical part of this system was the belief that you, the student who has sought out Stoicism,have the most important job: to be good! To be wise. “To remain the person that philosophy wished to make us.” Do your job today. Whatever happens, whatever other people’s jobs happen to be, do yours. Be good.

There's more gems in this book. Guaranteed!


"Thinking, Fast and Slow", in particular the explanation of prospect theory.


I recommend reading George Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces".

This is about comparative mythology, aka comparative story telling. He works out the core elements and common concepts that appear in story telling across cultures and time.

It opened my mind to be able to understand all kinds of storys on another level.

In school I always hated literature. It was like they tried to make me do something I just didn't understand at all. Literature was just random stories for me and all interpretation and attribution of meaning was fruitless and had I to just guess/fake it. Yea maybe my education was just bad who knows, doesn't matter now.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces changed that. Now I was open for all the literature and saw everything in a new light. I could recognize common concepts in stories and human life in general.

It also opened my mind for later Alan Watts reads on the interconnected-ness of everything. Someone already recommended "The Way of Zen" by Alan Watts, which I can only approve of! I'd also like to add "The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are", also by Watts.


Isn't it Joseph Campbell?


You are right! I certainly don't know where that "George" was coming from. Thank you for pointing out the mistake


"In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch (sound and editing on Apocalypse Now, Godfather, the Conversation, and so many more). The book is about film editing but actually about how humans absorb information.


"Mindset: The New Psychology of Success". By Carol Dweck, PhD. This is a game-changer. It taught me what we believe is what really defines what we can or cannot do.


Just believe you can believe, and you will believe.


Antifragile. Poor Charlie's Almanack.


Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is one book that changed my life a lot more than I expected when picking it up. In many ways, it left me a different person.


Have to agree here. It has a unique and valuable worldview.


it's interesting with Yudkowsky - I've never met a person who's lukewarm about his writing, you either love it or hate it.

Personally I hate it - it's condescending, weirdly tone-deaf, scientistic (is that the adjective of scientism?), without a trace of human warmth, and way too verbose and over-long to keep me interested. Then again, opinions clearly vary.


I am lukewarm about it. Lots of things to hate. But you have to admit he comes at things differently than most people.


This is completely not tech related but I came across a PDF a few months ago called Endgame. I got it when I believed I was having issues with meeting and attracting women.

It kickstarted a series of events that’s completely changed my life. Initially for the worse but in a whole a massive positive.


Could you please tell us about your experience? I’m intrigued (and I think at least a couple others are as well).


Not sure if anyone is still reading this but here's story time.

I've been someone who's struggled with social anxiety for a long time. Not just with women but I wanted women in my life. I read The Game years ago and understood the book at a very superficial level. That alone got me to attracting some women, but not the women I really wanted. I saw some success doing silly routines and following step by step plans. In hindsight this was the worst thing that could have happened to me. I saw some success and figured I just need to get better at this to get the women I really want.

I did this for a few years and had some crazy experiences but it was never authentic.

Then I met her. I promised myself I wouldn't make a move because we worked together. We were really good friends for a few months. Then she decided that she was going to move overseas.

After that I was stupid one night and made some terrible move on her. Even as I did it I felt terrible inside. She rejected me, just as all the other women I wanted in my life did. What I did was very unattractive and dishonest.

Over the next week there were a number of events that happened. There was a serious physical accident, some crazy conversations and just a general, relaxed atmosphere.

After all of this we started dating. Back then I thought it was because my great moves. Now I realise it was in spite of all that. What she was actually attracted to was what I was doing in the situations in the week after the terrible move I made on her. If those situations hadn't have happened I can guarantee we wouldn't have dated.

She has been by far the best person I've ever had in my life.

Now, because I had a bad interpretation of why she was attracted to me I ended up behaving in ways that sabotaged the relationship. I wasn't the guy she was initially attracted to. I wasn't happy. She deserved better. At this stage I was an anxious wreck with no job, no friends and no future. It wasn't a way to live.

I decided that I needed a future. I ended up throwing everything away and starting over.

Different country.

Different job.

Different path.

No relationship.

We don't talk any more, which is fair. I wasn't the man I should have been.

A couple of months after I left I had no energy to pursue women. I lacked all that drive I used to have to be flirty and smooth. I was lost. Where has that energy gone? So I asked google:

"why don't I want to have sex?"

It came up with a bunch of results talking about women not wanting to have sex with their husbands. Okay, maybe I need to rework the query. Every time it came up with simple stuff like "eat a better diet", "exercise more", etc etc. I'm a reasonably fit guy that cares about what he eats so I KNEW it wasn't any of this pop factoid rubbish.

Then somehow I came across the attraction institute website. One of the blog posts was talking about how the seduction community sucks. The post talked about how it's all superficial and terrible and it prevents guys from growing... Exactly the feelings I'd been having but articulated so well.

The content resonated with me so much I bought the book almost instantly. I remember being engrossed in the book. I did nothing for a whole weekend but read it. Once I finished it and mentally processed it all I had a lot of self realisations. How I was using others around me. Why I was alone.

I got a glimpse of who I really was. I was not a good person.

The more I learned about myself the worse I got. But the worse I felt caused me to want to better myself.

That's what I meant by "Initially for the worse but in a whole a massive positive".

---

This might be a bit random but if anyone wants to chat more about this you can send me an email at bcurran421@gmail.com.


Endgame by Samuel Beckett?


Not OP, but the book he is referring is probably Endgame by Leigh Louey Gung aka "Logun", and he was an Australian "pick-up artist" (I don't think he called himself a pick-up artist, but whatever). He wrote some books, did video courses and writed articles in this site: http://attractioninstitute.com/, but I don't think he is active anymore (altough his site is still online).

I would recommend the book. It wasn't just a bit about how to pickup random women on the streets, it was more about why and how to improve yourself so you could get in a state were doing anything that before could cause you pain or anxiety (like approaching a random women in the street just to ask her what time is it), more easy, but that was just a consequence of improving yourself.

Keep in mind that I read the book 3 or 4 years ago, so I wouldn't be capable to say if is still as good as I remember it, but I'd still recommend anyone to read it.


Pick-up community got me into personality development. IIRC it is often called "inner game" there, in opposition to the "outer game", which is how to approach women, talk etc. The inner game aspect was very interesting and can be used as a starting point for any personal spiritual development. But you certainly have to look over the edges of the pick-up community.


Yeah exactly, the whole book was about improving your "inner game" (your beliefs, your values, etc) so you wouldn't have to worry yourself about the "outer game".

> But you certainly have to look over the edges of the pick-up community.

Agreed, many of the teachings and mentors of the pick-up community can be very shaddy and outright bad for the long-term development of a person.


link please?


There is a place where you can (supposedly) buy it, but it is pricy: http://www.lulu.com/shop/leigh-louey-gung/endgame/ebook/prod...


If it costs you $50 and a few days reading a book that could potentially alter the way you fundamentally see the world I think that’s pretty cheap.

If you want something free I can suggest their free goodies page on his site.

http://attractioninstitute.com/free-goodies/

There’s lots of articles on there that gives a feel for the book.


If I believed for certain it would chance my life, I wouldn't have written that comment, I would have brought the book and read it then and there.

However there are a lot of great books out there, but they are not really going to chance my life.


I couldn't find any online link for the pdf, but I think I still have the book somewhere in my laptop.

I can send it to you as an email if you want.


Is it the ebook linked by the sibling comment? If yes, I downloaded a copy :)


Yeah it is the same book :)


hey my email is jollycrow@maildrop.cc, I would appreciate if you can send me the book. Thanks in advance!


Sent!


How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie

This book starts off as a business book but it is the single most useful book I have ever read. For some people they will find that it's second nature, for those of us on the less socially aware side of the spectrum it's like an instruction manual for communicating effectively without coming off as a creep.


"The Diary of St. Faustina" - it's the diary of a nun from the 1930s who had regular visions of Jesus for many years, which the Catholic Church has approved. As a Christian it's been difficult sometimes to interpret the gospels or to understand how to put virtues into action or even how to pray, and this book has given me plenty of concrete examples of all these.


Chaos. Godel, Escher, Bach. Flatworld.


or GED as we know it. Auth: Hofstadter - "Godel, Escher, Bach"

Belting read.


1. Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters. I'm reading this book for instructions on doing calligraphy. However, the authoress attention to detail and didactic style has really influenced the way I teach my own students and approach learning new topics. It also anticipates problems that students might face and prepares them to face it before they actually do. I'm still not done reading the book. The chapters are organised by hand and I've only reached the second.

2. Lone Wolf and Cub (the Manga). I read this just because I liked the drawing style and the dramatic presentation. It rekindled my interest in the martial arts like no other book has and gave me enough fuel to start studying again and get my first dan.


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is the book I've recommended more than any other, and have been thanked by people I've recommended it to disproportionately. He's got a few other books--Do The Work, Turning Pro--that cover similar ground, but The War of Art is the best of them by far.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I quit my “traditional engineering“ job after reading this book.


Why?


One of the central themes of the book is human-technology interaction and that technology for its own sake is ultimately worthless. In my "traditional engineering" job so much effort was spent debating the minutiae of our stack and never once talked about how the customer was made better by our efforts.

So I left.


Shit, me too. I started a book club at my employer and gave out like a dozen copies.


The Millionaire Next Door is advertised as a personal finance book, but I found it useful for many other areas of life.

The central point of the book is that most millionaires live ordinary middle class lifestyles. They saved a ton of money because they don't buy expensive things.

That taught me a few things. First, you have no idea what anyone else's situation is, financial or otherwise.

Just because someone has a big house doesn't mean they're rich. They might be or they might not be. They might have a large income to buy that house, or they may have taken out huge amounts of debt to finance it. You just don't know.

The book also has great tips for careers, family, and marriage. I think it's well worth a read.


Metaphors We Live By - Lakoff/Johnson

Philosophy in the Flesh - L/J

Rationalism in Politics - Oakeshott

Erving Goffman – Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Walter Lippmann – Public Opinion

Art as Experience - John Dewey

Plutarch's Lives

G.K. Chesterton – Heretics

(essay) William James - On A Certain Blindness in Human Beings (and its sequel)

(essay) R.L. Stevenson - The Lantern-Bearers


1.Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture by Matt Goulding

2.Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks

3.A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

4.Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Ernest Hemingway

5.Seven Elements That Have Changed the World: An Adventure of Ingenuity and Discovery by John Browne.


The Art of Creative Writing by Lajos Egri ended up playing a huge role a decade after I read it in how I approached sales and marketing.

From a more theoretical perspective Cosmos by Sagan had a huge impact on how I view life's big questions.


Brian Lopes - Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Taught me that the sound of my tires rolling on gravel is more rewarding than a place in the podium.

Patrick King - The Art of Witty Banter. Taught me how to be entertaining among non-engineers.


“The Double Helix”

Rich on so many levels—must read for anyone considering grad school with a real, research component. Also a good, broad look at team/organizational dynamics—and, surprise: the best self-promoter wins.


The 33 Strategies of War & The 48 Laws of Power.

Both of these are history books, but don't expect just the cliches of Napoleon and Genghis Khan. Robert Greene covers case studies throughout history, from Roosevelt to Gandhi, to some much lesser known figures of history.

Basically a lot of us deal with conflict. One book covers how to deal with politically, and the other one more directly. It's not all about attacking, but rather strategies around war - defense, deterrence, motivating your side, keeping the (moral) high ground, getting your adversaries to work for you.


Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

This is supposed to be the author's memoir but it is more than that. Read it and it will change the way how you look at your own life.


More Money Than God by Sebastian Mallaby - solidified my experiences in the market with great examples for my "hobby" - developing trading robots and resulting in constantly making more money that my real job in IT and giving me my FU money and ultimate freedom in life...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Money_Than_God


The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

These two books taught me the importance of being true to one's values and not sacrificing them under any circumstances. They introduced me to Individualism and Objectivism which have profoundly impacted the way I look at the world.


I have read Atlas Shrugged twice now, and it is a really nice treatment of guilt, especially unearned guilt. It is less useful as a treatise on humans.

Many, many people hate it, but most of those who hate it has not read it - they would be shocked, for example, to know that one of her heroes pays his workers more than the norm and more than what the other unions require (he does so, so that he can have the best workers), and how the heroes are not above, or unable to, do manual work.


Atlas Shrugged is one of those books that is often life-changing. Whether that is positive or not depends wildly upon the reader and their situation.

Other books I'd put in that category are Fight Club and Walden


+1 for Walden. You don't have to go live in a cabin in the woods to get a ton of benefit from that book. One of the books that helped me see the world with new eyes.


So what is the big deal about Fight Club? I've heard so much about it but haven't read it yet; trying to decide if it's worth the time.


It's not a huge commitment. Maybe 3 hours nonstop. The movie completely subverts the book, in my mind


I've read both books. I personally didn't find them to be well written, however they convey what they are trying to convey well enough. If anything, people should read them to better understand how libertarians of the Objectivist streak view the world. It would be eye-opening to say the least.


These books present ideas that ought to be explored, especially by those who might disagree with them.


here's another fiction book for you: The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. a professional torturer is exiled for showing mercy to a client. what it's really about is love, self, and how self relates to other. if you'd think this covers the whole spectrum of what it means to be human, you wouldn't be far off.

i have read and re-read this book in great lengths of leisure, frequently leaving my paperback copies with friends wherever i travel before finding another in some dusty second-hand store. i have grown up with its main character, Severian, and can no longer tell you how much of me is him. my ethics, my perspectives, how i ruminate and how i love someone can all find some trace of impression in this masterwork.


and if that hasn’t convinced you, i’ll leave it to a passage from the thing itself, a conversation between a courtesan and the protagonist:

> Aren't you strong enough to master reality, even for a little while?"

> "What do you mean?"

> "Weak people believe what is forced on them. Strong people what they wish to believe, forcing that to be real. What is the Autarch but a man who believes himself Autarch and makes others believe by the strength of it?"

> "You are not the Chatelaine Thecla," I told her. "But don't you see, neither is she. The Chatelaine Thecla, whom I doubt you've ever laid eyes on-No, I see I'm wrong. Have you been to the House Absolute?"

> Her hands, small and warm, were on my own right hand, pressing. I shook my head. "Sometimes clients say they have. I always find pleasure in hearing them."

> "Have they been? Really?"

> She shrugged. "I was saying that the Chatelaine Thecla is not the Chatelaine Thecla. Not the Chatelaine Thecla of your mind, which is the only Chatelaine Thecla you care about. Neither am I. What, then, is the difference between us?"

> "None, I suppose."

> While I was undressing I said, "Nevertheless, we all seek to discover what is real. Why is it?”


The Art of Thinking Clearly : a 2013 book by the Swiss writer Rolf Dobelli which describes in short chapters 99 of the most common thinking errors - ranging from cognitive biases to elements like envy and social distortions. Really changed my way of life.


Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez. Literally changed my life. Also, because of the nature of the program it informs pretty much everything I do and every decision I make. In short: it's not just about money, it's about everything.


I may get flak for this but... The Bible. Immensely useful in a variety of areas in daily life. Even secular readers praise its poetry and purpose. I prefer the English Standard Version. Readable yet accurate.


The Flight of the Garuda: The Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism translated by Keith Dowman.

I've read many books about meditation, but this is one of my favorites. I wish I could read the original text to get the rhyme scheme!


"the fall" by camus

the specific topic is a man's life-- but not the man you think.



I have this book lying around here waiting to be read because someone already recommended it.

What in the book stands out the most in your opinion? Why would say this is worth a recommendation?


I'll jump in and say "Attached" by Levine and Heller deeply influenced how I interact with people in my personal life, romantic and otherwise.


Currently reading Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse and it already helped me form a simple model to approach many different problems in life.


"What is life?" - Erwin Schõdinger


The Foundation Series by Asimov. Turned me into an optimist and helped me stop worrying about the little things.


Center of the Cyclone by Dr. John C Lilly


Lee's Lieutenants by Douglass Southall Freeman

Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor

The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann


- "The Art and Craft of Drawing", by Vernon Blake (1924)

- "Mindstorms", by Seymour Papert

- "Dune", by Frank Herbert

-


Sideshow by Sheri Stewart Tepper.

This book changed the way I think about what is right and what is wrong.


oddly enough...The Phoenix Project and Don't Make Me Think


Good to Great - Jim Collins

The Man who Mistook his job for a life

An Open Heart - Dalai Lama


Flowers for Algernon from David Keyes


This was a great book! I almost forgot I read it. One of those important books I read when I was younger.


"Getting to Yes"


"Start with no" by Jim Camp ;)


Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan


Anything by "Barbara Cartland" - nothing she has written has influenced me in any way.

This is arikr's comment history: https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=arikr

Read the original comment. Do they tally?


What are you saying?


Was this topic submitted by an AI experiment? I've taken a quick shufti at arikr's profile and English is not a problem there.

I will submit: anything written by Sir Terry Pratchett (may he rest in piece)




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