For what it's worth, for anyone interested, a few things:
#1 : That list is sorted with my top recommendations up top. You can also click to re-sort it by newest or by name, but by default, I highly recommend the ones at the top of the list.
#2 : These aren't summaries of the book! These are just the little points that I personally found surprising or inspiring. If a book wasn't surprising to me - like if I'd already read a few books on the subject - then I'll have very few notes. It doesn't mean the book isn't good. These notes are really just for me, and I started sharing them as an afterthought.
#3 : If you want summaries, I hear https://www.blinkist.com/ does that.
#4 : If you want the see code for my site, it's all open at https://code.sivers.org/ - basically a little self-made static site generator in Ruby.
If you have any questions, just email me. Email address in my HN profile here.
I am an aspiring writer (I have written about 20 books, some of them are pretty good). I am addicted to writing and your book Anything You Want helped me understand what I needed to work on. Thanks again!
How do you implement all the different ideas for a good life that you find in all different books that you read?
It's very tough for me to do so. More often than not, I get lost and drift aimlessly.
Thanks for the excellent list :)
Best idea I've got so far is to save all my notes as individual ideas in a database, tagged, then use them for deliberate lateral thinking - randomizing - reflecting. But also searching for themes when needed.
Email me if all this interests you.
Any tips for readers like me? Thank you for the wonderful list, I'd like to get through it in this decade if possible :(
This great book - "How to Read a Book" - https://sivers.org/book/HowToReadABook - has a great methodlogy for reading books deeply.
I promise I will give it another try :)
p.s. I highly recommend 1491 and 1493, two of my all-time favorite books.
I lost my value in most books in 2010, We have lots of reads in common 2010 and my feeling about books is that lots fall under motivational porn and they provide instant gratification then things you can apply.
Seeing your list now I want to read Arnold Schwarzenegger book Total Recall and tempted to read Zero to One.
I would love to aspire to your level of success you had with CD Baby.
Plenty of great fiction exists, too, you know...
An alternative to blinkist is https://www.getabstract.com/en/
On Kindle, I just highlight the bits I find surprising or useful. Then when I'm done reading the book, I connect the Kindle by USB, copy the documents/My Clippings.txt file, and edit from there.
Some people will love these books. If you are not already in that category, I would urge you not to go there. Pop social science and business self-help books are like chocolate - healthy in small doses, as part of a balanced diet.
Sorry to be a nabob of negativism.
Precisely. Often, I cannot relate to classics, and therefore end up feeling let down and questioning the hype. But the reason it is a classic is because it stood out from peers at the time. It is this quality of classics that I believe you are referring to.
> Pop social science and business self-help books are like chocolate - healthy in small doses, as part of a balanced diet.
I suppose it's more like sugar for the brain. Too much of it is bad. But I see what you mean.
I don't know how many self help and sometimes slightly spiritual books my mother will have to go through before finally feeling good enough with her life. She read a ton of them and yet the benefits seems scarce to the outer eye. Here it looks the same but with an entrepreneur vibe, which doesn't make it better.
I like that your approach was to actually read these anyways, most of the time you rate them low because there was nothing new, gives me an idea of what to avoid. Thanks for posting the list!
However, I'm not sure how valuable these types of notes are for others. Often I find a passage that resonates with me falls flat for others, and vice versa. It depends on other books you've read, life context, etc.
I do try to indicate who might find the book helpful, or who should probably skip it.
I am on a recent reading spree and as I read the books I keep forgetting the lessons therein. While I have set of highlights, using Play Books and Google docs combo, one thing I found was that 2nd read seems to be better than the first one.
"Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists."
Also check out It’s Okay to “Forget” What You Read https://medium.com/the-polymath-project/its-okay-to-forget-w...
To me, reading is more about developing an internal vocabulary that makes it easy to bridge two ideas together—ultimately enabling you to create ideas of your own. With more ideas to pull from, you can ask yourself better questions.
Here's an interesting perspective on the matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR2P5vW-nVc
But one day I tried it anyway. Kept it quiet. But after years, people kept discovering it.
Now the authors contact me thanking me for highlighting their book. And publishers offer to send me new books asking to be included in my list.
So... I guess they don't mind!
I think if you encourage people to buy the book, and aren't trying to replace the book, nobody will complain.
I would everything on whatever this list is with a huge grain of salt along with any other social-science heavy book.
Technical documentation has a very narrow scope, and deeply technical writers. It's target users also are engineers directly applying what they read or looking at it for reference to something very specific.
It hasn't been historically the province of any hack and/or snake-oil salesman.
Nor do people buy book after book of technical documentation trying this and that fad to no avail to fill some psychological void. Hmm, now that I read this last sentence again...