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Ask HN: What are some interesting books you read in 2017?
91 points by sukhadatkeereo on Jan 1, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 31 comments
My favorite is- Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture by Matt Goulding(Fascinating book on Japanese Culture)

- Mindset by Carol Dweck. Taught me a lot about just grinding/practicing.

- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. It's helping me focus only on the things I really want.

- Deep Work by Cal Newport. I have almost no social media now, and I value uninterrupted time greatly.

- Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Quite sobering honestly. I realize I'm spoiled AF.

- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. I'm more conscientious of my (and my close friends') plans and I try to help them as much as possible. No excuses. Also the military discipline/mindset is really inspiring.

- Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. I haven't finished it but this is what I read before sleeping, I can just flip the page anywhere and I read something cool

These are my 10 favourites:

- Total Freedom by J Krishnamurti

- Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanack: Benjamin Franklin

- Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

- The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius by Marcus Aurelius

- 10% Human: How Your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness by Alanna Collen

- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert Pirsig

- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami

- Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger by Janet Lowe

- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

- The Complete Adventures of Feluda (Volume 1) by Satyajit Ray

Thanks for the list. Principles by Ray Dalio is next on my list. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami is one of my favorites ever. Murakami is such an amazing writer. Check out Kafka on the Shore and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Murakami, great books.

Can you please share your opinion on "Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio"? It has popped up several times on HN and I am curious about what people think of the book.

I particularly liked these 12 books:

- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

- Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

- The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

- Do I Make Myself Clear? Why Writing Well Matters

- This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike

- A Life in Parts

- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

- Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be

- The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it

- The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

- The Compassionate Achiever: How Helping Others Fuels Success

- The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

I had decided I wasn't going to read any book in 2017. I almost succeeded - ended up reading Novice to Master - An ongoing lesson in the extent of my own stupidity by Soko Morinaga.

I found the book to be beautiful and practically useful. I am going to continue my resolve in '18 by not reading and instead applying what I have already read towards more productive and joyous life. I think I have plenty to go on with.

Enjoyed the below:

The Beginning of Infinity - David Deutsch

Dear Friend, From My Life I Write To You in Your Life - Yiyun Li

Hillbilly Elegy - JD Vance

Inadequate Equilibria - Eliezer Yudkowsky

The Neapolitan Novels - Elena Ferrante

Mating In Captivity - Esther Perel

Our Mathematical Universe - Max Tegmark

Radical Candor - Kim Scott

Scale - Geoffrey West

The Seventh Day - Yu Hua

Somebody with a Little Hammer - Mary Gaitskill

Stubborn Attachments - Tyler Cowen (ebook)

What Do You Care What Other People Think? - Richard Feynman

Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha and The Dhammapada The Buddha's Path of Wisdom.

I really enjoyed Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog. I’m not that into shoes so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but he’s an excellent story teller and there are surprisingly a lot of parallels between being a shoe startup in the 1960s and a tech startup today.

In no particular order:

* The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

* The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday

* Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl

* Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

* The Personal MBA, Josh Kaufman

* The Effective Engineer, Edmund Lau

* The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

* Certain to Win, Chet Richards

* Left of Bang, Patrick Van Horn & Jason A. Riley

* Native Set Theory, Paul R. Halmos

* Introducing Go, by Caleb Doxsey.

If you'd like to read what I think of these books, you can read my blog post about them here: http://aalhour.com/blog/2018/01/02/review-of-my-2017-reading...

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman was a game changer for me. I've seen it mentioned countless times here.

I found this book fascinating but after a while it just started to feel like a review of psychology research and a list of example after example and it eventually became boring and I didn’t finish it. I also think more recent research has called into question some of the claims it makes. That said, the concept of two systems and recognizing when system 1 is in action has stayed with me.

What do you do differently since reading the book?

As mentioned above, I've found myself noticing when other people are engaging their system 1 response instead of their system 2 and allow and encourage opportunities for system 2 results to arise in conversations and conflicts. It's been really productive in that way.

This sounds like a really interesting read.

System 1 and System 2 remind me somewhat of the Buddhist/mindfulness/whatever idea of "the watched" and "the watcher".

Where 1 is instinctual, reactive, emotional (aka "autopilot") and 2 is awareness part of the mind that says "I notice instinct/emotion X" and considers one's current state before acting.

My favorite was Pre-Suasion. An excellent book on influence.


The best book published in 2017 for me is this one:

"A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market" by Edward O. Thorp


Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers was interesting to gain a better understanding of the Myers Briggs types.

Curing Cancer with Immunotherapy by Rene Chee and Edward Chee was interesting and informative as well as it describes Rene's cancer experience and immunotherapy which I knew nothing about.

Non tech book “On tyranny by Timothy Snyder”. The book points out that it is easy too loose democracy if you do not protect it.


Sapiens. An insightful book on the history of humankind and its possible future.

i just started. loving this book so far.

Read quite some. Here are my favourites: -Poor dad rich dad -Elon Musk's biography -The republic (Plato) -Man's search for meaning -Autobiography of a yogi

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is really terrible advice. There are much better books on personal finance that don't give misleading or outright illegal advice. The Millionaire Next Door is a good one.

I was a big fan of Creativity, Inc. That was my most gifted book this past holiday season.

The World Is Flat by Tom Friedman.

Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper.

Inner Engineering by Jaggi Vasudev.

Sapiens by Yuval Harari.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel.

'Antifragile' by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I have read

- Who Moved My Cheese?

- Che Guevara: A Life by Nick Caistor

- A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products Book by Nir Eyal

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