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Favorites that I read in 2018:

* Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466963-why-we-sleep)

* Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4806.Longitude)

* Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26156469-never-split-the...)

* Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25852784-evicted)

* Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11084145-steve-jobs)

PSA: if you use an e-reader or like audiobooks, check out Libby: https://meet.libbyapp.com/

I'm not affiliated with them. Nice app for borrowing ebooks and audiobooks from your local library.




If you like “Why We Sleep” I recommend “The Sleep Solution” as a companion. Why We Sleep is heavy on interesting sleep science but light on practical tips for improving sleep (The Sleep Solution is the opposite...)


Agreed with the remark about 'Why We Sleep'. I also suggest "Circadian Code" for some practical remarks (for improving sleep, but overall health too)


Can vouch for Circadian Code. The first two third of the book is accompanied with practical actionable items and helped me to gain control on my sleep.


I actually fixed my insomnia in 2018.

In the past, I could always rely on the fact that I was able to sleep well the night following a bad night. After I couldn't sleep two nights in a row I started to get very worried.

I changed three things:

1. Before going to bed I meditate (I usually listen to the app from Sam Harris)

2. No more caffeine after 11 am

3. 100% of what is called in books "bed hygiene", meaning: when I go to bed I immediately switch off the lights and sleep. I do nothing else. Also, I try to always sleep around the same time, even on weekends.

I believe 3) has been the biggest change. I used to read and even sometimes watch Netflix in bed. I miss reading in bed but since I stopped doing that and only focus on sleeping I have never had problems to fall asleep anymore, despite going through some stressful times.

I do sometimes still wake up early, but since I sleep well before I can handle those days pretty well. My life has changed a lot for the better, one of the best things I have done recently


Thanks for the recommendation. I agree, I wish the author had gone a bit more into practical tips and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. I'll check out The Sleep Solution.


I second Libby. You can get just about any of the books recommended on this thread for free. Additionally, for me, I like to get my books from the library since it gives me a reason to read them before I have to return them.


I have not tried Libby yet but recently started checking out eBooks from my local public library (via Overdrive) to read on my Kindle. I am pleasantly surprised how convenient and straightforward that process is. And all that without spending any money.


Libby is the new and somewhat flashier version of Overdrive. My old Android tablet doesn't handle it as well as the old overdrive app, but it works. I think it also has better support for multiple library cards than overdrive, but I haven't tried that yet.


I've used overdrive with 2 library cards and never had any issues.

I really don't understand the need for libby


I've not tried Libby yet, but I always find the popular books on LibGen.


“Never Split the Difference” was fantastic. Still it was super weird that unlike the advice in the book, some of the book comes across as bragging. Also, Chris Voss does not perform the audiobook although in the book he discusses his mastery of voice, his smooth radio jockey voice and covers different speaking techniques. Still, one of my favorites of 2018.


I finished the book recently and I cannot recommend it enough. The bragging sometimes shows through the stories and the end of the book feels like a clever marketing about his company. But the book is well written, well structured, stories are good, and each chapter brings new techniques. The book changed the way I handle communication. There are actionable practical tips and tools for communication and it shaped how I think about a hard phone call, how to prepare for a meeting and how to push coffee chitchat at work in more interesting directions. You will have to ignore more self-centered persons in your life than this book's author anyway, take it as a practice lesson :) And to Chris Voss defense he also talks about examples he made mistakes.


I found the constant bragging intolerable and ended up stopping reading after two or three chapters.


I had a similar experience. And I usually try to go through books I start even if I dislike them. But this one... it was too much...


Chris Voss's interview on Shane Parish's podcast is filled with some really good nuggets. I have not read the book but found the podcast like a condensed version of his skills/expertise: https://fs.blog/2018/01/chris-voss/


I might not end up reading this one due to the comments about bragging, but I wanted to ask: what's with the title? Why would you never split the difference?


He was an crisis negotiator focused on situation where hostages are taken. You don’t go around asking for half an hostage.


Definitely at least go through podcast: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18822162


I also enjoyed Longitude when I read it, but it's been described as "suffer[ing] however from a major flaw, it is a distortion of the real history it is claiming to relate."

https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/dava-sobel-tries-her...


Interesting, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately the post you linked is not about the book Longitude, and the blog the author links to for people who want to "discover more about what really took place" is a 404.

I'll have to do more research, but at first glance I don't see any criticism (yet?) on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitude_(book).

I'd like to see a breakdown of the facts vs. what Sobel wrote. I read the book because I'm a mechanical watch enthusiast, and I was not disappointed in any of the descriptions of the Harrison timepieces or what made them work. I plan to go see them next time I'm in London.

I still recommend the book, especially to watch enthusiasts.


Ah, sorry — that'll teach me to post when I should be asleep. The author of the blog has discussed it a few times. This is probable the best summary: https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/the-true-story-of-a-...

Here's another post, more about another book he recommends on the subject: https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/retelling-a-story-th...

The book is Richard Dunn & Rebekah Higgitt, Longitude: How Ships, clocks and stars helped solve the longitude problem, Collins and Royal Museums Greenwich, London 2014. It is from the people who were behind that 404ing Royal Observatory blog. At least some of that blog's posts are archived: https://web.archive.org/web/20150919110228/http://blogs.rmg....

The blog is still on the Royal Observatory site, but their site redesign makes it nearly impossible to find since they are merged with all their other blog posts and they didn't set up redirects. Here's that final post (the links to other blog posts are dead, but I've found most with a "site:" search with the post title): https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/behind-the-scenes/blog/so-lon...


'I still recommend the book, especially to watch enthusiasts.'

I have no interest in watches but it remains my favourite book nonetheless.


I followed your link but it did not lead to a discussion of Longitude. It lead to a discussion that mentioned Longitude and had a link to a longer discussion, which however was dead for me. If you could fix that, I for one would be interested in more.


I posted some better info in a reply to a sibling comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18746779


I have not read it, but judging by the synopsis on Goodreads, it seems to gloss over any developments during the Islamic Golden Age. Is this judgement accurate?




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