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1. La peste (Albert Camus) - entertaining if you're into French existentialism

2. Linked (Barabasi) - insightful and useful to understand that most phenomenon we see in real life follow a power law and what that means

3. Leonardo da Vinci (Walter Isaacson) - surprising how little of da Vinci's real personality is reflected in his modern image

4. Matrix computations – third edition (Gene Golub, Charles van Loan) - good read if you're into linear algebra

5. Giving effective feedback (Harvard business review) - useful for getting an understanding on how to handle human interaction

6. The old man and the sea (Ernest Hemingway) - enjoyed it a lot, a reflection of Hemingway's romantic spirit. Also, a quick read.

7. Screwjack (Hunter S. Thompson) - didn't resonate with me although I am a fan of existentialism

8. Sun and steel (Yukio Mishima) - raw and intimate. before reading this book I'd recommend reading up on Mishima's life

9. Stranger than fiction (Chuck Palahniuck) - somewhat entertaining, more so because it served as a glimpse into Palahniuck's creative process

10. Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Dana Meadows) - useful for understanding that in modern life we have complex systems at work with emergent behavior that we didn't expect. Trying to isolate / model a single component of one of these systems is a flawed approach.

11. Chaos monkeys (Antonio Garcia Martinez) - entertaining, but quite long

12. Weapons of math destruction (Cathy O'Neil) - in a way, similar to Thinking in systems, but at an applied level. Shows how rules in modern society can have unintended negative consequences when hidden negative feedback loops emerge from the complex system they are embedded in.

13. Lolita (Nabokov) - a brilliant novel from many points of view. Although the topic is controversial, it is a book that had to be written.

14. The prince (Machiavelli) - an interesting read. It was intended as a guide to the young price Cesare Borgia from his teacher Machiavelli. The secret to enjoying it is not to judge it by modern morality.

15. Give and take (Adam Grant) - psychology research about giving / taking / matching personality types presented in a book for the masses. I would not read it again; watching a presentation online should be enough to get the point across.

16. Mécanique (Landau, Lifchitz) - refresh of mechanics

17. Do androids dream of electric sheep (Philip K. Dick) - enjoyable and entertaining! I'm surprised how different the feel of the book is compared to the Blade runner films. In the book androids are purely rational beings, whereas the film wraps them in an aura of romanticism.

18. How we learn (Benedict Carey) - decades of learning research condensed in a book

19. Advanced Calculus: A Differential Forms Approach (Harold M. Edwards) - the best math book I've read so far! For me it was eye-opening in a fundamental way. Edwards is truly a gifted teacher.

20. Three men in a boat (Jerome K. Jerome) - enjoyable and amusing

21. Getting to yes (Roger Fisher, William Ury) - negotiation book, nicely written and structured

22. Without a word (Zhang Jie) - historical novel by one of China's most acclaimed modern writers. I don't have a good reference to compare against since this was my first Chinese novel, but overall I did enjoy it. It felt real and raw.




Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss is an excellent book on negotiation, the antithesis of Getting to Yes. Written by FBI negotiator. Says you want to get to _no_ as quickly as possible. Recommend.


Will check it out, thanks!


+1 "The old man and the sea"




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