It taught me (reminded me mostly) what kinds of attitudes I have when I am happiest and kicking ass with my projects. Over time I had somehow lost myself. This book helped me get back to the person I liked the most. I think it's also helping me do a lot better on my current startup, so it's not just a touch-feely book, it is having a lot of real, immediate, positive impact, at least to me.
I'm fairly stubborn, so it takes a lot for me to change my ways. This book has changed my daily work routine. Johnson outlines 7 environments that have historically produced the most innovative ideas. It's easy to apply the lessons to your typical working day. Best book I've read in probably 5 years.
4-minute Teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU
TED Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0af00UcTO-c
Also, have you read Csikszentmihalyi's Creativity?
Two quick and easy changes from WGICF:
1. The power of bad/wrong ideas. I used to approach a problem space by first eliminating all of the obviously bad ideas. Johnson makes a compelling case that invalid facts and invalid ideas juice our creativity. Since reading the book, I've made an effort to at least consider the bad ideas and implementations. More than once there has been a nugget of creativity that I would have otherwise glossed over.
2. Liquid networks. I get banged up A LOT (2x - 5x per week) by people who have an idea and want to bounce it off of someone. I used to view these as a fun distraction and would reward myself with a 1-hour coffee only if I had met my goals for the previous week. If I was behind, these meetings were the first to go. Now, I always make it to these, even if I'm hopelessly behind. The idea is that the more you lift your head out of the sand and participate in a larger network of thought, the more creative you'll be.
Also on the TED site: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_com...
GRRM manages to create an alternate world that feels real, where characters have flaws, nothing is black and white, and the good guys don't always (or even frequently) win. By far the best book (and series) I've ever read.
On the other hand there is an HBO series in the works that looks to be very high quality.
I read the first one or two Game of Thrones books, thought they were awesome, and much much higher quality level than what Wheel of Tome became, but, alas, by then I had too much fantasy/medieval/magic fatigue and put them down. I will likely pick them up again.
The "*" joke, and the ";" joke pop up in my mind whenever I see one. :)
Am I misunderstanding here? I am seriously wondering and hoping that I am. I am still struggling with realizing what I believe in certain circumstances and I wonder if it's partly due to manipulation.
Here was this small, completely helpless animal that would have died if I hadn't cared for it. As he got older, he began to exhibit a behavior that is commonly referred to as 'flirting' -- starts with smiling. The response in the mother's body is a release of oxytocin. Children don't just flirt with their parents; they also do it with strangers. To be short, the more people a small, helpless human can charm into caring for it, the more likely it is to survive. It's hard to believe that a child's first smile at around one month of age is a learned behavior. This leads me to believe that we're naturally wired to try to control each other to our advantage.
Sure, there's a line where that stops being moral, but those borders are cultural.
It's a mystery, with things left for the reader to figure out. These things include where and when it's set, and what genre it's written in. A brilliantly apt form for a novel about science, which makes it hard to describe without spoiling it.
The author has his usual fun. Historical inspriation: monasteries in the dark ages. Martial artists: far too cool for their own good. Tensor calculations performed as interpretive dance: it had to be done. The plight of hackers and scientists in a violent, greedy world strikes as true as ever.
Stephenson's neologisms are a bonus. The principle "'X would be nice' does not imply X" needs a name, though I don't expect "Diax's rake" to stick. Also useful is "Lorite", for a scholar who specialises in refuting claims of novelty.
I've even bought some of the music tracks by David Stutz:
Profits from this go to the Long Now Foundation - which is very appropriate given then themes in the book.
Also the "Daemon" series by Daniel Suarez is great along the same lines as snow crash.
Fiction: Of Mice and Men - A tiny little book that fits in masses of content and atmosphere.
Heard about it for years, always wrote off as too esoteric but as an entrepreneur it seriously resonated and somehow made it all seem a little more manageable.
HP&TMOR didn't sound like the kind of thing I'd have liked... massively mistaken. Very good. Highly recommended.
That's book is really grabbing me at the moment.
There goes the next two weeks of your free time.
It's great fun, but yeah, you have to figure out a way to spread it out over a few weeks or you'll accomplish little else. :)
It was like a Borghes book told by the author of Harry Potter.
Along the same lines, Siddartha by Herman Hesse was my favorite book this year. Quite similar to the Alchemist really, viz. understanding yourself and being conscious and receptive to your environment.
Both books are about the financial crisis on Wall Street. They provide excellent insight into how smart people made very bad decisions that had repercussions around the entire world. The last time I remember getting such an insight into this important industry was Lewis' own 'Liars Poker'.
I think it is important for people to understand what went wrong with the most recent financial crisis, and these two books do an excellent job of informing us from an insiders perspective.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through _All The Devils Are Here_ by Joe Nocera and feel like it's doing a brilliant job of addressing the shortcomings for Sorkin's book, which I felt maybe sacrificed some accuracy for the sake of building an enjoyable narrative. _Devils_ also has an interesting structure, different than the others; it's a catalog of sketches of the different people/forces/companies that went into the mess, so you get a chapter on the guy who started Ameriquest, and a chapter on Fannie's struggles against the Bush administration, and a chapter on how Goldman's IPO and Merrill's cultural mismatch to trading culture caused them to screw up the market. It's great reading.
Speaking of documents of the financial crisis (though it's not a book), I went to see Inside Job last night, partly because I'm interested in the subject and partly because a weird sort of hey-he's-a-startup-guy-too loyalty inclines me to patronize Charles Ferguson's movies. It's an overview that falls a little short as a movie, i.e. it doesn't quite structurally hold up to the level of outrage it's going for. The most interesting thing, though, is how Ferguson devotes the last quarter of the movie to ripping academic economists a new one for their shoddy work and gaping conflicts of interest. Given that he started out as a policy wonk on the Ivy League/DC circuit, it seems clear that this is where his heart is. I felt very uncomfortable watching those segments (Ali G makes me squirm too) but it seemed like it needed to be done.
Edit: Also, Nouriel Roubini, on whom the film relies heavily, turns out to be surprisingly good onscreen.
This talk by him was interesting (which was how I found out about the book): http://fora.tv/2008/08/08/Daniel_Suarez_Daemon_Bot-Mediated_...
- I hated the politics/game-playing that seem to be a huge component of getting on in academic research
- It was clear to me that we are unlikely to see any fundamental breakthroughs in general AI during my career
- I had been doing work on the Web since '92 and it was clear to me by '95 that this had a much brighter future than "classical" AI
- I co-founded a Web/Java startup in '95
I'm not even finished with it, but it has still introduced me to Lisp, functional programming, artificial life, and web servers as well completely changed the way I program.
Ender's Game is one of those books I never got round to reading and I thought it was incredible what they put that boy through. I got the main twist a bit earlier than I should've done but it was such a good story that it didn't affect me too much. I loved the manipulation of political debate by the other children, it reminded me of Fox news for some reason.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is the tale of two Afghan women, one in Kabul and one from outside. It's incredible, harrowing and keeps you in a vice-like grip from start to finish. I loved it so much I bought a copy for my Mother in Law as I kept raving about it. If you liked the Kite Runner then you'll love this (it's by the same author).
From a long time I wanted to dig deeper in to the subject of human history starting from the undocumented prehistoric era. But the plethora of information available in the internet often bewilders me and I find my self thinking where to start. This book--mind you first printed in 1936--describes the story of humans from the stone age to atomic age in 40 concise chapters. It's like a reading a fiction (a good one..). This is the most comprehensive span of the human history and the most colorful and vivid account of it.. (at least comparing the history books I've read..)
Naked Economics was a brilliant overview of economics in that it explains all the concepts behind economics without being utterly boring (like all the other texts I've attempted to read) and has real life examples for each and every thing. Lots of revelations of how incentives work together and / or clash at times to create important results.
Predictably Irrational was a mind-changing book in that it questioned the notion that rational self interest is embedded in everyone. All the statements are backed up with either previous research or at least ad lib experiments, and I love that. None of that handwaving bullshit that I usually see in popular science (and especially psych) books.
Informative, in a space I am interested in, and im already applying the techniques. Probably something everyone on this site should read.
A book from 1985 that makes many books discussed here on Hacker News seem obsolete ("Four steps to the epiphany", etc.).
Drucker discusses 7 sources for finding the right idea, entrepreneurial management and startup strategies.
I was really suprised how good this book was: Very insightful and fun to read.
Price was 1,93 an Amazon Germany.
Bottom line: the best book an entrepreneurship I ever read.
In 2008 I was on vacation in Costa Rica with my girlfriend and was actually reading this book. Two days before we went back to New York we checked in at a nice hotel in San José.
The first evening we met a really nice older Texan couple and had a few drinks with them.
The man was an engineer and had built a nice business around drilling for oil with some special explosives. Apparently no other companies did this and he was selling this technology to the rest of the world.
Then the day we were leaving I was in the airport reading the book and waiting for the plane. And lo and behold in the book Ducker referenced a company in Texas who had found a niche in the oil market.
I never found out if that was in fact the same guy since I never got his contact details. But I assume it was him.
Had I only read those pages a few days before!
Amazing story, super inspirational, and lots of great history. My wife and I both loved this book and could not set it down.
I often found myself make much better decision when I'm a bit detached, which is one of 'the' lessons people learned from that accident. So now in our startup, my business partner does all the client/customer/user communication works and I had the precious opportunity to sit back and observe.
(Medium Raw, a 2010 book, was also pretty good --- although probably only if you're into the high-end restaurant scene).
Note: I'm not saying either of those books are bad; I liked them. I loved _Into The Wild_.
† I'm not one.
My favorite is The Use of Weapons. I liked Surface Detail but I do think you should read the Culture novels in the order they were written.
Banks is good, but I find his universes are to be sketchy and sometimes fairly shallow and not well-thought through (e.g. the one in the Algebraist). Hamilton is as creative as Banks, when it comes to the concepts, but he really delivers on the depth and complexity of the story lines and the actual execution. If you haven't read him, do it. If you have, I'd be curious to hear how you compare him to Banks.
Banks is in a different class from Hamilton - in general I think the quality of his work has dropped off a bit but some of his earlier writing is exceptional: Use of Weapons is particularly strong.
Violent criminal escapes from prison in Australia, travels to Mumbai on a forged passport, learns Hindi and Marathi, lives for years in a slum, fights with the mujahideen in Afghanistan, becomes a gangster, learns about life, love and honor in the process.
Not only is it a great story, but it's about a self-made man surviving by hacking languages, cultures and business. I read it as an allegory of entrepreneurship.
"There is no man, and no place, without a war. The only thing we can do is choose a side, and fight. That is the only choice we get - who we fight for, who we fight against. That is life."
"For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world."
This is by far the best biography on the man. Alice Schroeder did an amazing job. His life story is incredibly instructive whether you're an entrepreneur or an investor. When you study Buffett's life you get a deep appreciation for the intangible qualities that define extraordinary entrepreneurs.
Best business book I've ever read, and probably will ever read. I don't say that lightly. My copy is thoroughly dog-eared, highlighted, and I turn to it over and over again.
Will teach you far more business than any MBA will -- but only if you're serious about learning, and reading through 832 pages.
The title gives away the premise of the book, but to think - it was all put into motion because of a $0.75 accounting discrepancy.
From a HN perspective, this book is inspiring because it documents the tenacity of both of these men in the face of grinding failure.
From a personal perspective, it was eye-opening, because I have always lionized Gandhi and despised Churchill, and the rather clinical look this book takes at their lives shows both their warts and blemishes.
A fascinating book about everyday life in today's China. It's actually 3 books in one:
- Book 1 is an account of his driving trip along the route of the great wall from near Beijing to the Western deserts and steppes, the people he meets, and the towns he visits.
- Book 2 is an account of his experiences in the village of Sancha where he bought a house and came to know a family with dreams of setting up an inn and restaurant. Eventually the village becomes a suburb of Beijing and the family gets wealthier and wealthier, at a price.
- Book 3 is an account of his experiences in the town of Lishui, a small city on the way to becoming a major manufacturing center. The focus is on a couple of entrepreneurs who set up a factory that makes bra rings.
Besides the excellent writing style, what I liked about this book is that it focused on ordinary people and their hopes and dreams. It was impossible to avoid mentioning corruption of small time party leaders, but it didn't dwell on them. It was the first book about China I've read that didn't make the country seem like a dark menace or an unstoppable economic dynamo.
Nonfiction: QED, by Feynman. It made a large portion of quantum physics "click" for me intuitively and dispelled a bunch of popular notions about quantum physics that are just wrong.
Fiction: Probably the celebrated Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, for reasons others have stated over and again, or else Ass Goblins of Auschwitz for letting me explore an author's deliciously disturbing mind.
What Made this so valuable to me was that it introduced for the first time the concept of what Seth calls the "Resistance", the part of the brain that prevents you from taking risks and putting yourself on the line. I also love it for introducing me to The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Since reading those books I have been much better at doing important work that actually matters without putting it off or making excuses.
It's an autobiography of the businessman and inventor who basically created the industry of large scale earth moving equipment before, during, and after the Great Depression. "What does this have to do with tech stuff?" you may ask. I read this book right after re-reading Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham. LeTourneau utilizes many of the business principles that Paul Graham espouses in his book. Additionally, LeTourneau was a true hacker before computer hackers were around - he just hacked tractors. I highly recommend this book. One thing that many may not like is that his machines destroyed rainforests. Being from a different generation, he saw this as taking unproductive jungle and making it productive. Not a view many of us would take in this day in time as we've seen the consequences. LeTourneau was a Christian and he does talk about his faith a good bit in the book. Even if that's not your thing, I still think you'll enjoy the book and be surprised at the similarities between his makeup and the makeup of a modern hacker
Not really the audience here (it has a very anti-libertarian message), but I found this book to be eye-opening. Basically it's about how companies create uncertainty, delay, litigate, whatever it takes to keep extremely harmful products from being made illegal (most of the methods were pioneered by the tobacco industry). I found it eye-opening.
In Japan the book “What if the Female Manager of a High-School Baseball Team read Drucker’s ‘Management’" (By Iwasaki Natsumi) is incredibly popular. So I decided to read the original Drucker book and see for myself. Drucker's historical perspective by itself is interesting enough to warrant checking this book out. Although the advice is more focused on management in large companies, I think it lays a good foundation for those of us lacking MBAs.
Fascinating book about the mental activity/game at peak performance, and transferring skills from old disciplines to new ones. This book helped me realize the value of interdisciplinary studies in my own personal studies and work.
It made me think of what makes me happy and how I can help make the people around me happy, while still being entrepreneurial (which makes me happy).
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh.
Really great historical fiction about 16th century Japan. Quickest 1100 pages I've ever read.
None of Clavell's other endeavors even comes close (though Tai-Pan was, relatively speaking, a fun modern romp).
Worth a read, still.
It didn't stand out enough for you to get the title right though ;)
That said I totally agree. Excellent book.
Because it opened my eyes to a whole new world in terms of understanding customer development and the "market definition" side of things. And, coming from a background as a hacker, not a sales/biz-dev guy, that's exactly what I needed.
It's absolutely riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but it's still one of my favourite books of the year for the content.
About how there has been an enormous rise in the rates of mental illness over the last 50 years. And despite the fact that the APA says it's because we've gotten better at diagnosing mental illness, the bulk of the evidence points to the fact that psychiatric drugs are causing diseases that used to mostly get better with time to become both more severe and long lasting.
A great look behind some of the pseudo-science and psychological principles behind decision-making, rationality, and markets.
Jerry started "GO," the company that was the first to bring to market "pen computing." His company raised over 75M and spent it all on a product that the market did not want. It is a great read. A time before the concept of "product/market" fit had entered main-stream vocabulary
(Apologies to OP's request for brevity; there's just a lot of good stuff that I'd like to share.)
A must read for anyone here who is serious about their startup.
I read it on the flight to Startup School to "get in the mood". I couldn't put it down.
It's easy to read for 2 reasons: every chapter is a short essay by a different person (including many Techstars alumni) and it's very well written, almost like pg essays but by lots of different people. It covers lots of ground, much of which has been covered here at hn many times, but then again, some of this stuff can't be covered too often. Also, sometimes someone says the same thing a little differently, and that's the one that actually reaches you.
My 300 page copy has 50 or 60 dog-earred pages and hundreds of red marks; it's that full of gems. (For that reason, I highly suggest buying a hard copy and keeping it on your bookshelf for future reference.)
I think that yc should come out with a similar book. I'd love to read essays from yc alumni, their advisors, and of course the yc principals themselves about what they thought was important. I realize much of this is on-line already, but there's nothing like a great hard copy too.
A few of my favorite quotes from _Do More Faster_:
"I realized that I had two options. I could quit buying comics or I could quit my job and build the iTunes of comics." - Kevin Mann
"Getting feedback and new ideas is the lifeblood of any startup. There is no point in living in fear of someone stealing your idea." - Nate Abbott and Natty Zola
"That means every moment you're working on something without it being in the public arena, it's actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world." - Matt Mullenweb
"Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful" - David Cohen
"You know you're on to something when the community starts donating money to make sure it stays alive." - Darren Crystal
"In companies that rely on having a large user base as ours does, it is very unlikely that you will offend enough people quickly enough to dampen your future growth." - Sean Corbett
"We learned that very few people care how you accomplish something. Instead, these people care more about whether you create value for your end user." - Colin Angle
"We knew that the high-level concept of our first site still really inspired us." - Alex White
"They stepped back from what they had created and thought about what they could do better than anyone else in the world." - editors
"During the first few days of every TechStars cycle, we tell the 10 bright-eyed new teams that one of them will not be together at the end of the program. Unfortunately, we have not been wrong yet." - editors
"If you can't quit no matter how hard you try, then you have a chance to succeed." - Laura Fitton
"When you ask CEOs of major companies what they're most worried about, one common answer is 'a couple of guys in a garage somewhere.'" - David Cohen
"Companies that work just always seem to move at lightning pace." - David Cohen
"It turns out that giving up your one obvious competitive advantage often proves to be deadly. If a startup can't do more faster, it usually just gets dead faster." - David Cohen
"There is an enormous difference between exciting technology and an exciting business." - Howard Diamond
"Changes come daily, weekly, and monthly - not once a quarter or once a year." - Ari Newman
"While it was only a detour of a week, that's a lot in TechStars time." - Bill Warner
"Only hope instead is to listen to their head and their heart and follow a path that they believe in, keeping some of the feedback and discarding other thoughts and ideas." - Bill Warner
"...when presented with exponential growth, remember that people tend to drastically overestimate what will happen in the short term, but will profoundly underestimate what happens over longer time spans." - Ryan McIntyre
"...consider life as a founder of a startup to be one big intelligence test." - Ryan McIntyre
"Remember that human nature has a tendency to admire complexity, but to reward simplicity." - Ben Huh
"If you are innovating, you actually don't know what your product needs to be. Furthermore, your customers don't either. No one does." - Ajay Kulkarni and Andy Cheung
"Nearly every startup must find ways to differentiate itself from competitors." - Raj Aggarwai
"What is the thing that matters most to making progress right now?" - Dick Costolo
"...you cannot create the need." - Michael Zeissner
"Opportunity cost can kill a startup." - Michael Zeissner
"It's easy to feel trapped by these handcuffs but if you change your perspective just a little, you might find that you hands are bound by nothing more than air, and the future is yours to create." - Eric Marcoullier
"There is one thing that the hundred of founders I meet each year have in common, and that is that their plan is wrong. Sometimes it's the big things, sometimes it's the little things, but the plan is always wrong." - Rob Hayes
"...we have to strike while the iron is hot! My experience is that this is rarely true." - David Brown
"Take the time to get it right and you'll find that those competitors might not be as close as you think." - David Brown
"Seeking the perfect combo: 'a smart-ass team with a kick-ass product in a big-ass market.'" - Jeff Clavier
"The moral of the story is easy: When you follow your heart, good things usually happen. We have a very short stay on this spinning orb and I believe life is way too short to be stuck in a career that doesn't fulfill you." - Mark Solon
>Sometimes someone says the same thing a little differently, and that's the one that actually reaches you.
Beautiful! and true.
I can't wait to read it.
It's easily the best book on teaching I've ever read, and it will have a strong influence on how I structure my classes in the coming semester.
An awesome look back at the space program in the 1960s.
The best book of 2010 for me
"Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall:
There are so many great things about this book. It has an amazing story and also delivers a message why humans were born to run.
Barnum was masterful at using the media of his day to promote his various business enterprises:
"I am indebted to the press of the United States for almost every dollar which I possess and for every success as an amusement manager which I have ever achieved. The very great popularity which I have attained both at home and abroad I ascribe almost entirely to the liberal and persistent use of the public journals of this country."
A great read for startup people, even though it's a biography of a 19th-century personality. Chock full of timeless advice and quotes, to whit:
"Without promotion something terrible happens... Nothing!"
"Every crowd has a silver lining."
"Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant."
"Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done."
"If I shoot at the sun I may hit a star."
Can anybody recommend a book that has helped them become a more productive and efficient developer?
Very easy read, explains a lot of functional programming concepts. This book made me a fan of Scala and functional programming.
Klondike "like" experience, forges determination.
For actual book as book, probably "First In; How Seven CIA Officers Opened the War on Terror in Afghanistan" by Gary Schroen. They basically went in with $30mm or so and an old helicopter, 2 SF ODAs, and accomplished most of the good accomplished to date in Afghanistan within 2 months.
For fiction, I'd love to say Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, but it's just too fucking long. He needs an editor; I'm on book 3. For unexpectedly awesome, Suarez's Daemon and Freedom.
It'd been on my list for quite awhile but I just got around to it a few months ago. It was fascinating to read about all the games I'd played growing up. For those who haven't read it - it covers pretty much the birth of the gaming industry as we know it today not just Doom. It goes all the way back to when Romero was writing games and sending them in to magazines to be included on disks. Carmack has always been an icon for me so it was interesting to read about him on a more personal level.
In addition to the interest factor - it was also quite inspiring to me. It certainly increased my drive to get stuff done. If the early history of PC gaming interests you at all; or you just want to read a page turner of a book about people not that dissimilar from you I'd highly recommend it.
I haven't finished it, but the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs was by far my favorite book that I've been reading this year. It really opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas, as it apparently has for so many other people.
Just came but worth buying if you don't know the story of the ABC and it's relationship to ENIAC.
It made me think about reality in a very novel way, and the nature of what a tautology really is, and it was extremely readable considering how cerebral it is.
It fit with what I needed at the time. It gave me some great new ideas and confirmed others I had already been both coming up with on my own and brewing from others around me. I will probably re-read it again soon.
I'm trying to read more fiction and am cruising this thread for ideas. Downthread, someone suggested _Into Thin Air_ as being startup-relevant (in an entrepreneurial, building something amazing up from nothing sense), and I added _Kitchen Confidential_ to that pile. Both are nonfiction. What are some good fiction titles that resonate the same way?
If you think this talk http://g4tv.com/videos/44277/DICE-2010-Design-Outside-the-Bo...
is good you should really read the book. Great stuff.
Killed off completely any remaining hope I had that artificial intelligence would be achieved via formal logical methods.
This was probably a good thing: can't say I didn't have some idea that it was coming but I didn't see the headlights until I read the book!8-)
Exceptional book about the environmental, social and individual costs of industrial animal farming. Also somewhat philosophical about consuming animals and cruelty against them.
The title is a little misleading, since the book is not against love per se, but speaks about coupledom. It does not want to give answers, but only ask questions and it's a good book to think about our love affairs.
I was actually very surprised on how insightful this book was. It is a great look into the inner mind of a prolific writer and the anguish he felt by in genius.
The books that caused me the most mental change were the three volumes of the Gulag Archipelago. It's a harrowing real-life, incredibly human, insightful story of Solzhenitsyn's experience in the Soviet prison camps during and after Stalin in Russia. A real life page turner.
Never had a chance to read it and now I think it's one of the most brilliant book I ever red.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Metamorphosis (major spoilers)
Mediocre novel, tremendous ideas. The prose is a slog but worth it.
Two friends challenge each other to an old fashioned race around the world with one caveat: no airplanes. Starting from the first page hilarity ensues as the two try to outdo, outthink and out race while experiencing as much as they can at the same time.
For me "How We Decide" has been the best book of the year as it gave me quite some insights into human brain works and how to deal with different situations.
The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins. Young adult fiction that reads fast but makes you think.
Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough - Lori Gottlieb: Amusing book, easy read and aimed at women, but has some good insights on why we fail to get married before it's too late.
I love that I was able to scroll through pages on Amazon to check (most of) the books I read this year.
"The Four Steps to the Epiphany" needs no introduction. The first couple of chapters really drove home some mistakes I have made in past projects.
And once you've finished that, there's a sequel series (actually written before the House of Niccolo): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymond_Chronicles
However, yes, entrepreneurs in particular will love Niccolo.
Take time to walk slowly and think deeply. Walk slow enough to forget that you're actually walking.
This book is just threatening to be a masterpiece. An overview of mans scientific ideas about the stars and the planets and the cosmos in general from before Ptolemy to Einstein and modern times. Absolutely epic in scope. This book is to the history of astronomy like "The Prize" is to the history of oil, only bigger.
Captures human ingenuity brilliantly. A timeless book that makes me look at _everything_ with an eye to make it better. A must read for any hacker of any persuasion.
Also enjoyed The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel. After reading about Hardy in this book, I have read "A Mathematician's Apology" which was excellent too.
The Big Short
It's full of realistic ideas you can apply to your freelancer career, and no BS about becoming a trillioner in an x amount of time. Its actually stuff that can put to work now as you read it, so it worked as a manual for me.
It is fascinating story about domain tycoons like Kevin Ham or Frank Schill
This book is a new cosmology for a new age of civilization. Couldn't stop reading and it expanded my cosmic view.
Some things are exaggerated. That's what I like about it.
Elie Wiesel is a Nobel peace prize winner and he is a survivor of The Holocaust. The short novel Night, talks about his experiences in the concentration camp. The Dawn and Day are fictional works by him .