- Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon by Valley John Carreyrou
- Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep by Matthew Walker
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
- How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World by Hans Rosling
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
- The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Tia T. Farmer
- Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
- Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
- Linear Algebra by Jim Hefferon
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
- Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
- Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
I don't know if it's about self-improvement so much as self-education, which seem a little different to me. For example, Deep Work is absolutely a self-improvement book, but Prisoners of Geography is simply educational. After reading Deep Work, I behaved differently (not differently enough). After reading Prisoners of Geography, I knew more, but didn't feel any different.
I can also heartily recommend the first 5 or so Artemis Fowl books. They also have a great narrator.
 A hard magic is very understandable by the reader and can be used to resolve conflicts. Personally, I love them. See https://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-first-law/
But the Three Body trilogy has many advantages over Blindsight in terms of time (it literally takes you on a journey from 1950s to the end of universe); dimensions (very concept that I haven't seen anywhere else); society (very acute transitions).
But really, they are both good. I also recommend Bobiverse series. Though it's not as good, sorry Dennis, but it's very enjoyable, every software engineer's wet dream that is. Haha.
Sometimes it just seems there’s a forcefully acquired obsession with nonfiction reading and the misplaced sense of intellectual accomplishment attached (I’d not call it pseudo intellectualism).
I often compare it, in crude ways, with how one picks up smoking in school/college just because the “cool kids” do it too. But then that’s more to fit in I guess, or to fulfil a need to belong.
I was surprised to find friends move quickly from normal (for the lack of proper word) to “need a cig to think” or “.. do X”. Similarly “dude, this [a nonfiction book] got ‘depth’” followed by a couple of “you know”s and subtly accusing fiction of being mere entertainment.
PS. I’d love to know whether there’s been work done on relating preference of self help books with isolation, loneliness, being introverted, reclusiveness, lack of knowledge of a broader spectrum of issues (or exposure to a diverse social circle, if any at all) but having developed a very sharp analytical and logical thunks in a very narrow manner (usually the related STEM field) and tendency to just fit in everything in those “formulas” etc. I have noticed a lot of these in myself and also observed them dramatically change as my surroundings and circle changed.
I've probably gone somewhat off-track here :]
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple is the funniest novel I've ever read.
Man v Nature by Diane Cook is an inventive, insightful and sometimes dark collection of short stories that are often high concept but reveal a lot about human nature & motivations.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty is a funny and also literary novel by an author who writes endlessly clever, joyful and energetic prose.
If you are more into "novels" see this thread:
"What are some great books that are relatively unknown in the US?" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17381352
My suggestions where
Robert Musil's "The Man Without Qualities"  is by far the most outstanding novel i have read, as it stretches the limits of what language can express past anything i tought possible. The protagonist is a mathematician whose scientific mind applies allegorical dissections over a wide range of existential themes concerning humanity and feelings. The polarity makes it for an extraordinary read.
Hermann Broch "The Death of Virgil". The novel creates out of a dying poet a rich, profound vision both of civilization and of primal concerns of all mankind.
Austrian authors where on another level in the late 30s and 40s of the 20th century.
Finally, Victor Pelevin's "Empire V: The Prince of Hamlet" . You gain instruction into the vampire life and by extension the humans which vampires feed and the nature of god and existence itself, with interesting meditations on existence, theology, matter, illusion and withering attacks on fashion, advertising, politics, the Davos elite, literature and particularly the nature of money.
Finally, Karel Čapek "War with the Newts" is just great.
I'm curious, what led you to recommend _My Name Is Red_, specifically? It's 20 years old, and I would think the more obvious Pamuk recommendation would be the Nobel prize winning _Snow_.
The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. I read the trilogy but my sister did the audiobook and enjoyed it.
The problem is, the only books that do any actual synthesis of their own tend to be very long and very hard to read.
There are a few books that meet a sweet spot that are easy to read and are deep on content, (12 Rules for Life, Sapiens), but they’re hard to find.
For writers with a pleasing style and are deep on content, I would recommend Michael Pollan's books and Jared Diamond's books. Those are two of the authors that I've read 4+ books from. They are really synthesizing information and not just describing a list of studies.
I've also read 4+ books from Jon Krakauer and Anthony Bourdain. Although they're not about "synthesis", I think books that are "narrative" are better than a lot of the pop non-fiction books you're talking about. It's concrete and lets you draw the conclusions, rather than trying to force some canned conclusions upon you.
The more recent a book, the worse you should expect its content to be.
Get outside of the bubble of immediacy and read the classics.
Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
Coming Into the Country - John McPhee
The Unwinding - George Packer
Anything by James C Scott (Thinking Like a State, The Art of Not Being Governed)
The Righteous Mind - John Haidt
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins (Regardless of how you feel about his current public persona, this book published in 1976 is an absolute classic)
Doesn't "giant collection of studies and anecdotal stories all around a central theme, in easy to read language" perfectly describe it? I know I am very much in the minority but I absolotely hated Thinking, Fast and Slow.
I'd love to recommend "Abusado", by brazilian journalist Caco Barcellos, but unfortunately it does not seem to be available in English
In the original thread, the two books were:
-Linear Algebra, A First Course by Kutler
-A Concise Introduction to Linear Algebra by Schay
both in JabavuAdams' post.
Then there was a mention of the Linear B language elsewhere
> Blog posts, sign-up pages, and fundraisers can't be tried out, so they can't be Show HNs.