Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Books I’ve finished recently

Tiny summary but detailed notes for each. Use the ISBN number to find it from your local library or anywhere else. This page will constantly update as I read more, so bookmark it if you want to check back in a few months.

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So Good They Can't Ignore You - by Cal Newport

So Good They Can't Ignore You - by Cal Newport

ISBN: 1455509124 READ: 2012-10-07 RATING: 10/10

Shockingly smart thoughts about your career. A MUST-READ for anyone who is not loving their work, wanting to quit their job, and follow their passion, or not sure what to do next. I'm recommending this many times a week to people who email me with these kinds of questions. Best book I've ever read on the subject.

The Personal MBA - by Josh Kaufman

The Personal MBA - by Josh Kaufman

ISBN: 1591843529 READ: 2011-02-16 RATING: 10/10

Wow. A masterpiece. This is now the one “START HERE” book I'll be recommending to everybody interested in business. An amazing overview of everything you need to know. Covers all the basics, minus buzz-words and fluff. Look at my notes for an example, but read the whole book. One of the most inspiring things I've read in years. Want proof? I asked the author to be my coach/mentor afterwards. It's that good.

Seeking Wisdom - by Peter Bevelin

Seeking Wisdom - by Peter Bevelin

ISBN: 1578644283 READ: 2011-01-03 RATING: 10/10

Maybe my favorite book ever. Read many times. Incredibly rich. It's a great overview of the lessons of Charlie Munger (partner of Warren Buffett) - and his approach to checklists of multi-disciplinary models to guide clear thinking. Main point: if you can just avoid mistakes, you're doing better than most. So it's a catalog of the most common or important mistakes. Focused on investing, but can be applied to life.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - by William Irvine

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - by William Irvine

ISBN: 0195374614 READ: 2010-09-26 RATING: 10/10

Almost too personal for me to give an objective review, because I found when reading it that the quirky philosophy I've been living my life by since 17 matches up exactly with a 2000-year-old philosophy called Stoicism. Mine was self-developed haphazardly, so it was fascinating to read the refined developed original. Really resonated.

Stumbling on Happiness - by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness - by Daniel Gilbert

ISBN: 1400077427 READ: 2007-07-11 RATING: 10/10

Not at all new-agey, as the title might suggest. Harvard professor of psychology has studied happiness for years, and shares factual findings that will change the way you look at the world.

5 Elements of Effective Thinking - by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

5 Elements of Effective Thinking - by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

ISBN: 0691156662 READ: 2013-08-30 RATING: 9/10

Short and brilliant book with tips on being a better thinker. Being persistent, thorough, rooted in fundamentals, creative, and a more active learner. Surprisingly inspiring.

Antifragile - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Antifragile - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

ISBN: 1400067820 READ: 2013-05-15 RATING: 9/10

Bold perspectives, unusual ideas, and surprisingly wise advice around an interesting subject of the “opposite of fragile.” Looking through that lens at health, education, governments, business, and life philosophy. Very inspiring, and sparks a lot of further discussion.

The Willpower Instinct - by Kelly McGonigal

The Willpower Instinct - by Kelly McGonigal

ISBN: 1583334386 READ: 2013-02-05 RATING: 9/10

Amazing book about willpower from Stanford psychology professor who teaches just this. Killer first point: The best way to improve your self-control is to see how and why you lose control. This is a better book than the other book on Willpower here on my list, because it's more actionable, better written, better presented. Really amazing (IF you act on it!)

The Little Book of Talent - by Daniel Coyle

The Little Book of Talent - by Daniel Coyle

ISBN: 034553025X READ: 2012-09-08 RATING: 9/10

First he wrote The Talent Code, which I also highly recommend, then he distilled all that research about deliberate practice into 52 actionable tips. Amazing and inspiring, you can read the whole thing in 90 minutes, then get to work!

What Technology Wants - by Kevin Kelly

What Technology Wants - by Kevin Kelly

ISBN: 0143120174 READ: 2012-04-26 RATING: 9/10

Fascinating historical and philosophical perspective on technology, where it's come from, where it's going.

The War of Art - by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art - by Steven Pressfield

ISBN: 0446691437 READ: 2012-01-05 RATING: 9/10

Have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is. This book is about that. Read it.

The Developing World - by Fredrik Härén

The Developing World - by Fredrik Härén

ISBN: 9197547077 READ: 2011-12-28 RATING: 9/10

This is a wonderfully one-sided book that shows how exciting the big growth of China, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, and Korea are. He's found great examples of people and companies doing really innovative things, but most of all it's a mindset.

Thinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel Kahneman

ISBN: 0374275637 READ: 2011-12-08 RATING: 9/10

If you liked “Predictably Irrational” or “Stumbling on Happiness” or any of those pop-psychology books, well, this is the Godfather of all of their work. Huge thorough book gives a great overview of much of his work. Read the other quotes on Amazon about it.

The Lean Startup - by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup - by Eric Ries

ISBN: 0307887898 READ: 2011-10-23 RATING: 9/10

EVERY entrepreneur should read this book! Its methodology is the one I recommend the most. The stuff I preach is like a cute casual intro to the real deal: the Lean Startup methodology. (As an aside: this book is the one that pushed my book out of the #1 slot on Amazon's Entrepreneur charts. Quite an honor.)

Power of Full Engagement - by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Power of Full Engagement - by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

ISBN: 0743226755 READ: 2011-09-03 RATING: 9/10

The authors worked with the best athletes and executives for years, and found that the best ones knew how to push themselves, then recuperate, push, recuperate. Take this same approach to your emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual life, and it's a powerful metaphor. Think of sprints, not marathons. Be fully in whatever you're in, then give time to recuperate. But push futher each time, past your comfort zone, like a good exercise plan.

What Got You Here Won't Get You There - by  Marshall Goldsmith

What Got You Here Won't Get You There - by Marshall Goldsmith

ISBN: 1401301304 READ: 2011-08-22 RATING: 9/10

Aimed at already-successful people. The personality traits that brought you to success (personal discipline, saying yes to everything, over-confidence) are the same traits that hold you back from going further! (Where you need to listen to lead, and don't let over-confidence make you over-commit.) Stinging counter-intuitive insights that hit very close to home for me. Great specific suggestions for how to improve.

Drive - by Daniel Pink

Drive - by Daniel Pink

ISBN: 1594488843 READ: 2010-09-01 RATING: 9/10

Essential for all managers. Deep surprising study of motivation at work. Extrinsic vs intrinsic. Work vs play. When money is used as an external reward for some activity, the subjects lose intrinsic interest for the activity. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

Switch - by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Switch - by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

ISBN: 0385528752 READ: 2010-05-10 RATING: 9/10

Great great great great GREAT psychology book about real ways to make change last - both personal and organizational. So many powerful insights, based on fact not theory. Inspiring counterintuitive stories of huge organizational change against all odds. Highly recommended for everyone.

The Happiness Hypothesis  -  by Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan Haidt

ISBN: 0465028020 READ: 2010-05-01 RATING: 9/10

Psychology professor's digestible but deep insight into how our minds work, around the topic of happiness. Great metaphor of a rider on the back of an elephant. Rider is reasoning, elephant is emotions. Rider has limited control of what the elephant does. Surprising insights into ethics and morality. See my notes for great quotes, but read the whole well-written book.

The Geography of Bliss - by Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss - by Eric Weiner

ISBN: 044669889X READ: 2010-01-20 RATING: 9/10

Cranky NPR reporter dives deep into Iceland, Bhutan, Qatar, Holland, Switzerland, Thailand, India and Moldova to find out why people are happy (or not) in each. So beautifully written with astounding insights into culture and happiness. Amazing. Been thinking about it for weeks afterwards.

The Investor's Manifesto - by William J. Bernstein

The Investor's Manifesto - by William J. Bernstein

ISBN: 0470505141 READ: 2009-11-12 RATING: 9/10

Absolutely my favorite author and advisor on the subject of investing. Anyone with any money to invest (or already invested) please read this book. Such clear thinking, using only facts, and using numbers not guesses. Modern portfolio theory: use passive indexes of the entire market, no speculation, no stock picking, and avoid the entire fee-sucking financial industry.

How We Decide - by Jonah Lehrer

How We Decide - by Jonah Lehrer

ISBN: 0618620117 READ: 2009-11-10 RATING: 9/10

Brilliant book with one clear message: our emotional brain is faster and usually smarter than our logical brain. Our emotions are trained by years of logic and experience, retaining it all for real wisdom. Many decisions are better made by going with the gut feeling. Gets a little too technical with deep brain/neuro/cortex talk, but brings it back to usable points.

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives - by David Eagleman

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives - by David Eagleman

ISBN: 0307377342 READ: 2009-10-04 RATING: 9/10

Fiction. Awesomely creative think-piece of 40 different short stories of what happens when you die. To be clear: the author is not pretending this is fact! The framework is inspiring for anyone: coming up with 40 different answers to any one question.

Influence - by Robert Cialdini

Influence - by Robert Cialdini

ISBN: 006124189X READ: 2009-08-15 RATING: 9/10

Classic book on the psychology of persuasion. I read it 15 years ago, thought about it ever since, and re-read it now. How to get a 700% improvement in volunteers. How to sell more by doubling your prices. How to make people feel they made a choice, when really you made it for them.

The Time Paradox - by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd

The Time Paradox - by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd

ISBN: 1416541993 READ: 2009-04-03 RATING: 9/10

See my in-depth article about this book at sivers.org/time

Personal Development for Smart People - by Steve Pavlina

Personal Development for Smart People - by Steve Pavlina

ISBN: 1401922759 READ: 2008-12-27 RATING: 9/10

A surprisingly great broad and unflourished look at all different aspects of self-improvement. Really great insights from someone who's read them all.

Predictably Irrational - by Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational - by Dan Ariely

ISBN: 006135323X READ: 2008-08-11 RATING: 9/10

My favorite type of book: pointing out and understanding all of the counter-intuitive things people do.

The 4-Hour Work Week - by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Work Week - by Tim Ferriss

ISBN: 0307353133 READ: 2008-05-15 RATING: 9/10

Brilliant reversal of all of the “how to manage all your crap” books. This one tells you how to say “no” to the crap, set expectations on your terms, and be just as effective in a fraction of the time. This is perfect for musicians with other responsibilities (day jobs) that need more free time to actually make music!

The Wisdom of Crowds - by James Surowiecki

The Wisdom of Crowds - by James Surowiecki

ISBN: 0385721706 READ: 2008-04-16 RATING: 9/10

Mind-blowing examples of how groups of diverse people acting independently are smarter than any one person in the group. Has huge implications for management, markets, decision-making, and more.

The Paradox of Choice - Why More is Less - by Barry Schwartz

The Paradox of Choice - Why More is Less - by Barry Schwartz

ISBN: 0060005688 READ: 2007-07-11 RATING: 9/10

Faced with many options or decisions in your life? This will change the way you look at them. We feel worse when we have too many options.

Made to Stick - by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Made to Stick - by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

ISBN: 1400064287 READ: 2007-03-12 RATING: 9/10

Actually analyzing what makes certain ideas or stories more memorable than others! Fascinating. Apply this wisdom to your songs, bio/story, communication with fans, etc.

The Innovator's Solution - by Clayton Christensen

The Innovator's Solution - by Clayton Christensen

ISBN: 1578518520 READ: 2006-09-21 RATING: 9/10

Required reading for business-owners and investors. Shows how technology improves faster than people's ability to use it, so when someone says a technology is “not good enough”, add “yet” and prepare for disruption.

Small is the New Big - by Seth Godin

Small is the New Big - by Seth Godin

ISBN: 1591841267 READ: 2006-09-08 RATING: 9/10

My favorite author, by far. I’m a massive fan and disciple. A collection of his short insightful posts from his blog, all thought-provoking and inspiring for anybody marketing anything, even music. (Seth was a CD Baby client and fan.)

The Art of Profitability - by Adrian Slywotzky

The Art of Profitability - by Adrian Slywotzky

ISBN: 0446692271 READ: 2005-12-02 RATING: 9/10

25 different models of profitability presented in examples you can relate to your own business, making you realize profit-sources you’d never thought of before.

E-Myth Revisited - by Michael Gerber

E-Myth Revisited - by Michael Gerber

ISBN: 0887307280 READ: 2004-02-26 RATING: 9/10

Everything needs to be a system. Think of your business as a franchise prototype. You should be able to hand the “how-to” manual to just anyone, to do it as good as you.

Choose Yourself! - by James Altucher

Choose Yourself! - by James Altucher

ISBN: 1490313370 READ: 2014-04-10 RATING: 8/10

Anyone who likes my writing will probably LOVE his writing. We've got a very similar style and approach. I was smiling most of the way through, reading things I could have (and wish I would have) written myself. His vulnerability is so endearing.

Self Reliance - by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self Reliance - by Ralph Waldo Emerson

ISBN: 1936719061 READ: 2013-11-08 RATING: 8/10

Pow! This punched me in the gut from page one. Takes a tiny effort to read the English of the 1840s, but what a reward. A masterpiece essay (manifesto?) on independence, non-conformity, and trusting oneself.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big - by Scott Adams

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big - by Scott Adams

ISBN: 1591846919 READ: 2013-10-28 RATING: 8/10

Random assortment of life tips/hacks from the creator of Dilbert. Interesting common thread of making your life a system for increasing your odds at success. But I liked the random tips, too.

The Icarus Deception - by Seth Godin

The Icarus Deception - by Seth Godin

ISBN: 1591846072 READ: 2013-01-11 RATING: 8/10

VERY interesting. Seth is moving from talking about business to talking about being an artist in the broad sense of anyone who creates (and ships!) something daring and new. I loved the distiction between the industrialist and the artist, as it helped me give a term for something I'd experienced: not being able to relate at all to those who just want to grow business for business' sake, whereas I always saw my business like a creative art project. The book stays very high-level, so don't look for “TO-DO” type tips.

Turning Pro - by Steven Pressfield

Turning Pro - by Steven Pressfield

ISBN: 1936891034 READ: 2012-10-25 RATING: 8/10

In the same vein as his other books “Do the Work” and ”War of Art” - but a message that needs to be said again and again to really get through. It's all about the resistance, avoiding distractions, getting serious. Here he dives more into the mindset shift of thinking of your art as a hobby versus a real career. This stuff shakes me to the core, every time.

Quiet - by Susan Cain

Quiet - by Susan Cain

ISBN: 0307352145 READ: 2012-09-22 RATING: 8/10

Any introvert should like this book. Wonderful info and insights about introversion. It'll help you defend your preference for low-stimulus environments. Since reading it, I feel better about insisting on my quiet/alone time.

The Passionate Programmer - by Chad Fowler

The Passionate Programmer - by Chad Fowler

ISBN: 1934356344 READ: 2012-01-15 RATING: 8/10

Wonderful book about the art, craft, and passion of being a great computer programmer. Loved the analogies to being a musician: sight-reading, being the worst member of the band, understanding new styles of music, practicing just for improvement, etc.

Willpower - by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

Willpower - by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

ISBN: 1594203075 READ: 2011-09-09 RATING: 8/10

You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it. Two traits that consistently predict “positive outcomes” in life: intelligence and self-control. Most major problems, personal and social, center on failure of self-control. When people were asked about their failings, a lack of self-control was at the top of the list. So let's talk about self-control....

Moonwalking with Einstein - by Joshua Foer

Moonwalking with Einstein - by Joshua Foer

ISBN: 159420229X READ: 2011-06-18 RATING: 8/10

For those fascinated with memory. Riveting page-turner about a journalist (with no particularly good memory) who went to cover a memory championship event. Intrigued and befriending some competitors, he starts practicing, and a year later wins the U.S. memory championship event himself. Inspiring dive into the subject of memorization.

Poke the Box - by Seth Godin

Poke the Box - by Seth Godin

ISBN: 1936719002 READ: 2011-03-15 RATING: 8/10

Awesome short manifesto about getting into the habit of starting things. Inspiring as hell. Go go go!

Hackers & Painters - by Paul Graham

Hackers & Painters - by Paul Graham

ISBN: 1449389554 READ: 2010-08-20 RATING: 8/10

A collection of essays from one of the best. Loosely about intelligence, entrepreneurship, programming, and questioning norms. Many brilliant ideas and insights.

Confessions of a Public Speaker - by Scott Berkun

Confessions of a Public Speaker - by Scott Berkun

ISBN: 0596801998 READ: 2010-06-28 RATING: 8/10

Best book on public speaking. A must-read if you do this at all. Great concrete advice and personal tales.

The Talent Code - by Daniel Coyle

The Talent Code - by Daniel Coyle

ISBN: 055380684X READ: 2009-08-22 RATING: 8/10

A great book showing that deep practice - (struggling in certain targeted ways - operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes - experiences where you're forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them) - is what really makes you improve at anything.

Ignore Everybody - by Hugh MacLeod

Ignore Everybody - by Hugh MacLeod

ISBN: 159184259X READ: 2009-06-28 RATING: 8/10

Brilliant succinct wisdom on creativity from an artist. Seth Godin says, "Hugh harangues and encourages and pushes and won't sit still until you, like him, are unwilling to settle." I highly recommend this to all musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs. Even those that prefer not to read much. :-)

What Would Google Do?  -  by Jeff Jarvis

What Would Google Do? - by Jeff Jarvis

ISBN: 0061709719 READ: 2009-03-05 RATING: 8/10

Great think-piece about lessons learned from Google's approach to things, and how they might approach different industries like airlines, real estate, education, etc.

CrowdSourcing - by Jeff Howe

CrowdSourcing - by Jeff Howe

ISBN: 0307396207 READ: 2008-08-27 RATING: 8/10

Great look at a different way of getting a project done: not outsourcing it to a person, but developing a system where thousands of people can contribute a little bit.

The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read - by Daniel R. Solin

The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read - by Daniel R. Solin

ISBN: 0399532838 READ: 2008-05-14 RATING: 8/10

An itty-bitty quick-read no-fluff book with the wisest succinct advice to investors: You can't predict the future, and neither can anyone else. Determine your asset allocation, stick with cheap broad indexes, and rebalance occasionally.

Wikinomics - by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams

Wikinomics - by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams

ISBN: 1591841933 READ: 2008-04-23 RATING: 8/10

Lessons learned from Wikipedia can be applied to most other businesses. How can you harness the spare-time or self-interest of thousands to build something better for everyone?

Meatball Sundae - by Seth Godin

Meatball Sundae - by Seth Godin

ISBN: 1591841747 READ: 2007-12-30 RATING: 8/10

Instead of asking how to use the new internet tools to support your existing business, ask how you can change your business to take best advantage of the new tools.

Execution - by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Execution - by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

ISBN: 0609610570 READ: 2007-02-12 RATING: 8/10

Great in-depth look at the dirty discipline of getting things done in a large organization.

Getting Things Done - by David Allen

Getting Things Done - by David Allen

ISBN: 0142000280 READ: 2005-04-30 RATING: 8/10

Classic book with near-cult following. How to manage every last itty bitty tiny thing in your life. Keep your inbox empty.

The 48 Laws of Power - by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers

The 48 Laws of Power - by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers

ISBN: 0140280197 READ: 2003-05-06 RATING: 8/10

Warning: some think this book is pure evil. But power exists, so it can only help to understand it better, even if you choose not to wield it.

Give and Take - by Adam M. Grant

Give and Take - by Adam M. Grant

ISBN: 0143124986 READ: 2014-02-10 RATING: 7/10

If you feel you are too generous, or too greedy, or are wary and insist on reciprocation, consider reading this research-based look at the subject of these different personality types. Counter-intuitive findings.

The Bed of Procrustes - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Bed of Procrustes - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

ISBN: 1400069971 READ: 2014-01-15 RATING: 7/10

I'm thrilled if I get a few counter-intuitive thought-provoking ideas from any source. This book is filled with his usual cocktail party sprezzatura bravado, but refreshingly succinct, minus his usual blowhard explanations of his superior scholarly approach to life.

Making Ideas Happen - by Scott Belsky

Making Ideas Happen - by Scott Belsky

ISBN: 1591844118 READ: 2013-12-20 RATING: 7/10

The full title - “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality” - describes its contents perfectly. Great book on that subject.

A Short History of Nearly Everything - by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything - by Bill Bryson

ISBN: 0767908171 READ: 2013-08-25 RATING: 7/10

Fun read of everything from the big bang to tectonic plates to the evolution of early man.

Ikigai - by Sebastian Marshall

Ikigai - by Sebastian Marshall

ISBN: B006M9T8NI READ: 2013-07-06 RATING: 7/10

Essays on history, power, self-discipline, negotiation, and the hustle. I especially liked his philosophy on luck, building universally valuable skills, and producing/shipping something from even fleeting interests.

Wired for Story - by Lisa Cron

Wired for Story - by Lisa Cron

ISBN: 1607742454 READ: 2012-11-18 RATING: 7/10

If you've read other books on how to write a great story, this probably won't hold much new for you. But this was my first book on this subject, and I loved it. Changed the way I pay attention to movies and novels. Makes me want to write a novel.

Mastery - by George Leonard

Mastery - by George Leonard

ISBN: 0452267560 READ: 2012-10-01 RATING: 7/10

A description of the path to mastery in any field: to enjoy regular practice for its own sake, to push your capabilities but to accept the plateau, to surrender to the path and exercises your teacher gives you. Stay focused, not distracted like the dabbler, impatient like the obsessive, or complacent like the hacker.

The Power of Habit - by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit - by Charles Duhigg

ISBN: 1400069289 READ: 2012-03-01 RATING: 7/10

Great dissection and analysis of what creates habits, and the power of changing just one of three steps in the habit loop.

Meditations - The Emperor's Handbook - by Marcus Aurelius - translation by C Scot Hicks and David V Hicks

Meditations - The Emperor's Handbook - by Marcus Aurelius - translation by C Scot Hicks and David V Hicks

ISBN: 0743233832 READ: 2012-02-04 RATING: 7/10

A true classic, filled with stoic wisdom mostly about being your best rational self, doing good for its own sake, and not letting other people upset you.

You Are Not So Smart - by David McRaney

You Are Not So Smart - by David McRaney

ISBN: 1592406599 READ: 2011-11-15 RATING: 7/10

Great summary of 46 cognitive biases. Much of it covered in other books like Predictably Irrational, but if you haven't read those, this is a great starting book. Otherwise, just a good reminder, and worth reading.

Do the Work - by Steven Pressfield

Do the Work - by Steven Pressfield

ISBN: 1936719010 READ: 2011-10-25 RATING: 7/10

A true manifesto. A call to action. A kick in the butt for any creative person. Great thoughts on overcoming the resistance to creating.

Practicing Mind - by Thomas Sterner

Practicing Mind - by Thomas Sterner

ISBN: 0977657205 READ: 2011-05-27 RATING: 7/10

Great simple philosophy: Life itself is one long practice session. Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. Practice is not just for artistic or athletic skill, but practicing patience, practicing communication, practicing anything you do in life. The process/practice itself is the real goal, not the outcome.

The 4-Hour Body - by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Body - by Tim Ferriss

ISBN: 030746363X READ: 2010-12-18 RATING: 7/10

Amazing book for anyone wanting to improve their body. Core concept is the “minimum effective dose”: the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. Anything beyond that is wasteful. This documents Tim's years-long pursuit of the minimum effective dose of everything, from weight loss to muscle-building. Related subjects include orgasm, sleep, and medical tourism.

Mindset - by Carol Dweck

Mindset - by Carol Dweck

ISBN: 0345472322 READ: 2010-11-27 RATING: 7/10

Crucial distinction: People in a “fixed” mindset believe that you *are* great or flawed. People in a “growth” mindset believe your greatness (or flaws) are because of your actions. The fixed mindset is very harmful in every area of life (work, art, relationships, business, etc.) We get our initial mindset from our environment. When parents say, “You are great,” instead of ”You did great work,” they accidently create the “fixed” mindset.

Start Small, Stay Small - by Rob Walling and Mike Taber

Start Small, Stay Small - by Rob Walling and Mike Taber

ISBN: 0615373968 READ: 2010-11-16 RATING: 7/10

Great how-to guide about being a micropreneur: an entrepreneur running many small but profitable businesses.

Making a Good Brain Great - by Daniel G. Amen

Making a Good Brain Great - by Daniel G. Amen

ISBN: 1400082099 READ: 2010-07-28 RATING: 7/10

About the care of the physical brain - the goo in your skull - from a doctor who scans brains and has linked specific behavior to brain chemistry.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich - by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich - by Ramit Sethi

ISBN: 0761147489 READ: 2010-03-23 RATING: 7/10

An amazing book about consumer finance and a healthy approach to managing your money. If you are age 18-35, this is a must-read! My notes are scarce, so get the book. Even if over 35, you might find some good tips on lowering your fees on various services, and a good reminder of good savings practices.

Business Stripped Bare - by Richard Branson

Business Stripped Bare - by Richard Branson

ISBN: 1905264429 READ: 2010-02-17 RATING: 7/10

A real and specific description of the inner workings of the Virgin companies. Every entrepreneur, investor, and manager should appreciate this detailed account of practices, philosophies and stories from the core.

Talent Is Overrated - by Geoff Colvin

Talent Is Overrated - by Geoff Colvin

ISBN: 1591842247 READ: 2009-11-16 RATING: 7/10

Talent is not innate - it comes from thousands of hours of deliberate practice: focused improving of your shortcomings. That's it. If you can get past the first 20% of the book that just asks questions, the next 60% is quite good.

Never Eat Alone - by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

Never Eat Alone - by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

ISBN: 0385512058 READ: 2009-07-26 RATING: 7/10

A good book that's mostly about networking, but also some general business smarts. Definitely read if you need more work being social.

Reality Check - by Guy Kawasaki

Reality Check - by Guy Kawasaki

ISBN: 1591842239 READ: 2009-03-08 RATING: 7/10

Great collection of essays about entrepreneurship from his blog at blog.guykawasaki.com

You, Inc -  The Art of Selling Yourself - by Harry Beckwith

You, Inc - The Art of Selling Yourself - by Harry Beckwith

ISBN: 0446578215 READ: 2008-07-26 RATING: 7/10

One of my favorite authors, and a massive inspiration for my e-book. This is his newest, but read anything he’s done. It’s all top-notch insights on making life easier by being more considerate, whether you call that marketing or just life.

The Ultimate Sales Machine - by Chet Holmes

The Ultimate Sales Machine - by Chet Holmes

ISBN: 1591842158 READ: 2008-06-12 RATING: 7/10

After reading E-Myth Revisited, this is the best book I’ve seen on how to turn it into real results, step-by-step. Not ambiguous. Very “do it like this”.

The Four Pillars of Investing - by William Bernstein

The Four Pillars of Investing - by William Bernstein

ISBN: 0071385290 READ: 2008-06-07 RATING: 7/10

If you've already read and loved The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read, above, then read this more in-depth book next.

The Art of Learning - by Josh Waitzkin

The Art of Learning - by Josh Waitzkin

ISBN: 0743277457 READ: 2008-05-30 RATING: 7/10

Chess master becomes Tai Chi master, realizes his real genius is learning, and shares his insights and stories.

Here Comes Everybody - by Clay Shirky

Here Comes Everybody - by Clay Shirky

ISBN: 1594201536 READ: 2008-04-06 RATING: 7/10

Like Wikinomics and Crowdsourcing, required reading if interested in harnessing the collective power of people online.

Maximum Achievement - by Brian Tracy

Maximum Achievement - by Brian Tracy

ISBN: 0684803313 READ: 2006-11-12 RATING: 7/10

A classic self-help book. Exactly what you'd expect. But very good.

The Story of French - by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow

The Story of French - by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow

ISBN: 0312341849 READ: 2014-02-02 RATING: 6/10

Just an interesting history and present look at the French language. I had no idea what an influence French was on English, and didn't understand its role in current Africa. Makes me want to learn French.

Island - by Aldous Huxley

Island - by Aldous Huxley

ISBN: 0061561797 READ: 2013-12-14 RATING: 6/10

This book totally changed my life at a key moment, when I was 22. It made me quit my job and pursue a life of variety. Some great ideas inside, especially the ones about family and healthy child-rearing. I just re-read it now, 22 years later, and it didn't hit me as hard as it did back then, maybe because I've internalized its philosophies so completely.

Ready for Anything - by David Allen

Ready for Anything - by David Allen

ISBN: 0143034545 READ: 2013-11-28 RATING: 6/10

I read this in 2004, before Getting Things Done (same author), and liked it more, because it's more philosophical than instructional. It made a big impact on me then. I was just re-reading now for a little refresher.

Starting Strength - by Mark Rippetoe

Starting Strength - by Mark Rippetoe

ISBN: 0982522738 READ: 2013-11-01 RATING: 6/10

For those who ever considered getting fit, this is the way to do it, and the best book on the subject. Not sure if I should put this in my book list, because it's not something you read, but something you do.

The Now Habit - by Neil Fiore

The Now Habit - by Neil Fiore

ISBN: 1585425524 READ: 2013-04-05 RATING: 6/10

Good book with insights and advice on overcoming procrastination.

Mastery - by Robert Greene

Mastery - by Robert Greene

ISBN: 0670024961 READ: 2012-12-06 RATING: 6/10

Mostly detailed historical biographical tales of ”masters” like DaVinci, Darwin, Mozart, Proust, Goethe, Wright Brothers, Einstein, Coltrane, Martha Graham, etc. Lessons dissected from their successes, and categorized. Similar format to his great book “48 Laws of Power”, but a little less effective here. The biographies were interesting, but lessons were mostly conventional wisdom.

Pragmatic Programmer - by Andy Hunt and David Thomas

Pragmatic Programmer - by Andy Hunt and David Thomas

ISBN: 020161622X READ: 2012-09-27 RATING: 6/10

Classic book for computer programmers. I read it first in 2003 before I was taking book notes, so I read it again now to take notes. Great wisdom in here. Amazing to see how much of its advice was adopted as norms by Ruby on Rails.

Meditation for Beginners - by Jack Kornfield

Meditation for Beginners - by Jack Kornfield

ISBN: 1591799422 READ: 2012-01-12 RATING: 6/10

Just some nice thoughts on meditation.

A Gift to My Children - by Jim Rogers

A Gift to My Children - by Jim Rogers

ISBN: 1400067545 READ: 2011-07-15 RATING: 6/10

A nice short book of unconventional wisdom, mostly about investing.

Linchpin - by Seth Godin

Linchpin - by Seth Godin

ISBN: 1591843162 READ: 2010-12-11 RATING: 6/10

For someone who has a job at a company, I would call this essential reading with my highest recommendation. Since I haven't had a job since 1992, I couldn't apply many of his great points to my life. Still I loved his reminder of the value of the brilliant workers instead of systemized workers. The opposite of E-Myth (another book reviewed here).

Cognitive Surplus - by Clay Shirky

Cognitive Surplus - by Clay Shirky

ISBN: 1594202532 READ: 2010-12-10 RATING: 6/10

I always love Clay Shirky's insights into the internet culture. This is about how all the spare time people are using to add to Wikipedia, create YouTube videos or LOLCats, is previously time they were passively watching TV. Perhaps passive watching was a temporary habit that lasted 80 years, and now we're going back to a more participatory culture?

Art and Fear - by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Art and Fear - by David Bayles and Ted Orland

ISBN: 0961454733 READ: 2010-11-23 RATING: 6/10

For artists and musicians only: beautiful insights into the creative process.

The Selfish Gene - by Richard Dawkins

The Selfish Gene - by Richard Dawkins

ISBN: 0199291152 READ: 2010-09-18 RATING: 6/10

About evolution and the theory of natural selection, proposing the idea that it's not creatures that are looking to replicate, but individual genes.

Nudge - by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Nudge - by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

ISBN: 014311526X READ: 2010-08-15 RATING: 6/10

Introducing the idea of Libertarian Paternalism: influencing people's behavior for their own benefit, without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.

On Writing - by Stephen King

On Writing - by Stephen King

ISBN: 0743455967 READ: 2010-05-05 RATING: 6/10

Great thoughts about writing (mostly books) from one of the most successful writers ever. Oddly doubles as an autobiography, telling many stories about his life from childhood.

Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking - by D.Q. McInerny

Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking - by D.Q. McInerny

ISBN: 0812971159 READ: 2010-03-15 RATING: 6/10

World getting too fuzzy and unreasonable? Watching too much TV? A good book on logic is a great antidote. I'd never read one before, so I don't know how to compare it to others, but I really loved the clear thinking and deep insights here.

Pomodoro Technique Illustrated - by Staffan Nöteberg

Pomodoro Technique Illustrated - by Staffan Nöteberg

ISBN: 1934356506 READ: 2010-01-11 RATING: 6/10

Pretty cool technique of working in 25-minute chunks. Better to start with a simple article about it, then read the book after if you love it. I do, so far.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning - by Andy Hunt

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning - by Andy Hunt

ISBN: 1934356050 READ: 2009-11-03 RATING: 6/10

A great curated collection of facts about how to learn effectively and think clearly. Since it's written by a programmer, it makes many computer analogies that fellow programmers will appreciate. Non-programmers might feel a little left out.

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes - Gilovich and Belsky

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes - Gilovich and Belsky

ISBN: 0684859386 READ: 2009-10-19 RATING: 6/10

My favorite genre of book lately: clear examples of bugs in our brain: where our intuition is wrong. But this one focuses just on money issues. Loss aversion. Sunk cost fallacy. Confirmation bias. Anchoring. Etc. I love this stuff.

Born to Run - by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run - by Christopher McDougall

ISBN: 0307266303 READ: 2009-06-21 RATING: 6/10

Gripping story of a man who was trying to find out why his feet hurt while running. This led him to the story of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyon, the greatest distance runners in the world. If you like running, you'll love this book! My favorite quote: "No wonder your feet are so sensitive. They’re self-correcting devices. Covering your feet with cushioned shoes is like turning off your smoke alarms."

Outliers: The Story of Success - by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success - by Malcolm Gladwell

ISBN: 0316017922 READ: 2009-04-23 RATING: 6/10

Deep study of why some people are so much more successful. Often due to circumstances and early opportunities, but really comes down to the fact that it takes about 10,000 hours of hard work to master something.

Lucky Or Smart? - by Bo Peabody

Lucky Or Smart? - by Bo Peabody

ISBN: 1439210101 READ: 2009-04-23 RATING: 6/10

Tiny book by an incredibly successful serial entrepreneur telling his tales and lessons learned.

The China Study - by Campbell and Campbell

The China Study - by Campbell and Campbell

ISBN: 1932100660 READ: 2009-04-23 RATING: 6/10

Biggest study ever on the effects of diet on health. The multiple health benefits of plant-based foods, and dangers of animal-based foods, including all types of meat, dairy and eggs.

The Power of Less - by Leo Babuta

The Power of Less - by Leo Babuta

ISBN: 1401309704 READ: 2009-01-21 RATING: 6/10

Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. Set limitations. Become incredibly effective. Written by someone who's been successfully living this way for years.

Tribes - by Seth Godin

Tribes - by Seth Godin

ISBN: 1591842336 READ: 2008-11-17 RATING: 6/10

Inspiring look at what it takes to organize and mobilize groups of people.

How to Talk to Anyone - by Leil Lowndes

How to Talk to Anyone - by Leil Lowndes

ISBN: 007141858X READ: 2008-09-12 RATING: 6/10

Wonderful considerate book about conversational people skills.

Brain Rules - by John Medina

Brain Rules - by John Medina

ISBN: 0979777704 READ: 2008-08-26 RATING: 6/10

New scientific insights into why our brains work this way, and how to use what we now know to learn or work better.

The Magic of Thinking Big - by David Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big - by David Schwartz

ISBN: 0671646788 READ: 2008-07-26 RATING: 6/10

A classic self-help book. Exactly what you'd expect. But very good.

Cut to the Chase - by Stuart Levine

Cut to the Chase - by Stuart Levine

ISBN: 0385516207 READ: 2008-07-26 RATING: 6/10

Tips on more effective communication.

How to Get Rich - by Felix Dennis

How to Get Rich - by Felix Dennis

ISBN: 1591842050 READ: 2008-06-18 RATING: 6/10

Shockingly honest thoughts from a filthy rich bastard.

The Culting of Brands - by Douglas Atkin

The Culting of Brands - by Douglas Atkin

ISBN: 1591840961 READ: 2008-02-08 RATING: 6/10

Unique fascinating dissection of cults and why they work. Then how to apply those lessons to marketing your business.

Don't Make Me Think - by Steve Krug

Don't Make Me Think - by Steve Krug

ISBN: 0321344758 READ: 2007-08-08 RATING: 6/10

The classic book of web usability. Required reading for anyone who makes websites.

Know-How - by Ram Charan with Geri Willigan

Know-How - by Ram Charan with Geri Willigan

ISBN: 0307341518 READ: 2007-02-12 RATING: 6/10

Acquired expertise in big business. Subtitle: 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't.

The Art of Project Management - Scott Berkun

The Art of Project Management - Scott Berkun

ISBN: 0596007868 READ: 2006-11-19 RATING: 6/10

The best book on how to oversee projects to completion.

In Pursuit of Silence - by George Prochnik

In Pursuit of Silence - by George Prochnik

ISBN: 0767931211 READ: 2013-11-13 RATING: 5/10

Interesting thoughts and findings on the search for peace and quiet in the modern world.

The Laws of Subtraction - by Matthew May

The Laws of Subtraction - by Matthew May

ISBN: 0071795618 READ: 2013-01-09 RATING: 5/10

I'm biased. I'm in it. This is a subject I live. So I flipped through a little fast, thinking, “Yep. I know. Got it. Living it. Yep.” But for those who need some minimalist inspiration, this has some great thoughts in it.

Drop Dead Healthy - by A. J. Jacobs

Drop Dead Healthy - by A. J. Jacobs

ISBN: 141659907X READ: 2012-05-22 RATING: 5/10

Funny and informative book by the always-brilliant A.J. Jacobs - about trying every health remedy and suggestion. Some surprising ones are effective.

Little Bets - by Peter Sims

Little Bets - by Peter Sims

ISBN: 1439170428 READ: 2011-05-10 RATING: 5/10

Examples of the fact that much success or creativity comes from trying many things, failing fast, getting feedback, trying more things, and deliberate practice. Stories from Pixar, Chris Rock, Silicon Valley, Frank Gehry.

Fail-Safe Investing - by Harry Browne

Fail-Safe Investing - by Harry Browne

ISBN: 031226321X READ: 2011-04-21 RATING: 5/10

Its main point is the “Permanent Portfolio” - a beautiful simple idea to have 25% of your savings each in investments that do well during boom (stocks), bust (bonds), inflation (gold), deflation (cash). Then just rebalance when they get too far out of 25% each. No predicting the future. No worrying about the news. Just 25% each and rebalance.

Focus - by Leo Babauta

Focus - by Leo Babauta

ISBN: 1434103072 READ: 2011-01-17 RATING: 5/10

Nice short reminder of the importance of solitude and focus. Single-tasking. Only doing your most important things, and let the rest go.

The Upside of Irrationality - by Dan Ariely

The Upside of Irrationality - by Dan Ariely

ISBN: 0061995037 READ: 2010-07-05 RATING: 5/10

First read his amazing book “Predictably Irrational.” But if you read and loved it, then this is a continuation with some more examples - mostly organizational. He also catharticly details his own painful injuries in every chapter.

The Profit Zone - by Adrian Slywotzky

The Profit Zone - by Adrian Slywotzky

ISBN: 0812933044 READ: 2009-10-14 RATING: 5/10

Dryer but deeper prequel to the great “Art of Profitability” book, also recommended here. Start with that one. Only read this if that one fascinated you.

Overachievement - by John Eliot

Overachievement - by John Eliot

ISBN: 1591841313 READ: 2009-07-04 RATING: 5/10

Performance coach, with a bent towards sports, surgery, and executive performance, gives his thoughts on being a top performer. The key is the "Trusting Mindset": like a squirrel runs across a telephone wire. Just doing it, without thought, because you've trained yourself plenty until that point.

The Culture Code - by Clotaire Rapaille

The Culture Code - by Clotaire Rapaille

ISBN: 0767920570 READ: 2008-11-01 RATING: 5/10

Weird look at how different cultures (mostly Europe versus U.S. in this book) see things differently. Example: British luxury is about detachment whereas U.S. luxury is about rank.

Speaking of India - by Craig Sorti

Speaking of India - by Craig Sorti

ISBN: 1931930341 READ: 2008-09-30 RATING: 5/10

Required reading for anyone doing business in India, with detailed analysis of cultural and communication differences. Example: in India a lack of emphatic “yes!” means “no”. Teaches Westerners to adapt to this.

Richard Branson - Losing My Virginity

Richard Branson - Losing My Virginity

ISBN: 0812932293 READ: 2008-06-01 RATING: 5/10

Autobiography of his life from childhood through 2004. Interesting how he was always over-leveraged and how that drove him forward. Amazing how he negotiated Necker Island from £3 million down to £180k.

No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs - by Dan S. Kennedy

No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs - by Dan S. Kennedy

ISBN: 1932156852 READ: 2012-10-05 RATING: 4/10

Repeated message: Your time is precious. Know its value and don't work for less. Defend it against time-vampires. Be hard to reach. Make every minute count. Do only the valuable tasks. Good conventional wisdom.

The Checklist Manifesto - by Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto - by Atul Gawande

ISBN: 0312430000 READ: 2011-12-25 RATING: 4/10

Like Malcom Gladwell, a book that could and should have been an article, but puffed up with 200 pages of supporting stories, mostly great detailed tales of his surgeon experiences where a checklist would have come in handy. Here's the book in one sentence: You should make checklists for any complex procedures or decisions.

Hiring Smart - by Pierre Mornell

Hiring Smart - by Pierre Mornell

ISBN: 1580085148 READ: 2011-08-07 RATING: 4/10

Good advice on hiring. No big surprises, but some useful tips.

Discover Your Inner Economist - by Tyler Cowen

Discover Your Inner Economist - by Tyler Cowen

ISBN: 0452289637 READ: 2009-10-19 RATING: 4/10

The book title is misleading. It ends up being mostly the author's recommendations for the transactions of life. When to give to charity, what restaurants to choose, what insurance to buy, etc. He makes a rational case for these, that is often very interesting, but still feels like just his opinion.

Causing a Scene - by Charlie Todd

Causing a Scene - by Charlie Todd

ISBN: 006170363X READ: 2009-08-18 RATING: 4/10

Fun tales from the guy that invented Improv Everywhere. Not really educational as much as just fun, and I'm a huge fan of their “missions”.

How to be a Billionaire - by Martin Fridson

How to be a Billionaire - by Martin Fridson

ISBN: 0471416177 READ: 2009-04-23 RATING: 4/10

Biographical look at billionaires from the last 200 years, and lessons learned from how they did it. Some lessons aren't really applicable to the rest of us, like changing government laws to protect your monopoly. But some are.

Enough - by John Bogle

Enough - by John Bogle

ISBN: 0470398515 READ: 2009-04-23 RATING: 4/10

Legendary investor, now 80, looks back with long-view wisdom on investing, living, and giving.

Management of the Absurd - by Richard Farson

Management of the Absurd - by Richard Farson

ISBN: 0684830442 READ: 2009-04-14 RATING: 4/10

Counter-intuitive lessons about management. Highly recommended for managers and leaders, but also teachers and parents.

Fooled by Randomness - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fooled by Randomness - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

ISBN: 1400067936 READ: 2008-04-05 RATING: 4/10

Mr Black Swan sure does love the sound of his own voice. Interesting thoughts on investing and misjudging randomness inside lots of blather.

The Obsolete Employee - by Michael Russer

The Obsolete Employee - by Michael Russer

ISBN: 0966248465 READ: 2007-10-01 RATING: 4/10

How to run a company without employees, but with a loose network of work-from-home freelance agents. Very instructive, but also good perspective like how until the industrial revolution, there were no employees: everyone was freelance.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind - by T. Harv Ecker

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind - by T. Harv Ecker

ISBN: 0060763280 READ: 2007-06-12 RATING: 4/10

If you suspect that your mindset is holding you back from making more money, read this. Identifies and dissolves the mental baggage we've built up that believes money is evil and those who have it are greedy.

Your Memory - by Kenneth L. Higbee

Your Memory - by Kenneth L. Higbee

ISBN: 1569246297 READ: 2014-04-11 RATING: 3/10

Read the book “Moonwalking With Einstein” instead. Most of the same info, but this is more academic than entertaining. Written for students taking exams.

The Philosophical Baby - by Alison Gopnik

The Philosophical Baby - by Alison Gopnik

ISBN: 0312429843 READ: 2013-11-21 RATING: 3/10

A good friend highly recommended this as one of his favorite books on baby-hood. I just didn't connect with it, after a few attempts. You may love it.

Bird by Bird - by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird - by Anne Lamott

ISBN: 0385480016 READ: 2013-11-11 RATING: 3/10

So many people love this book, but it just wasn't my style. Aiming to be funny and describing a crazy mindset, but I couldn't relate to either. Mostly about writing novels.

One Simple Idea - by Stephen Key

One Simple Idea - by Stephen Key

ISBN: 0071756159 READ: 2011-04-29 RATING: 3/10

Good introduction into the world of licensing your ideas to companies that manufacture products.

Hire With Your Head - by Lou Adler

Hire With Your Head - by Lou Adler

ISBN: 0470128356 READ: 2010-12-15 RATING: 3/10

Great advice on hiring, but insanely repetitive. Maybe this was an editing mistake - that the exact same points are made over and over and over and over - often with the exact same words, sentences, even paragraphs. But those key points are great.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - by Alain De Botton

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - by Alain De Botton

ISBN: 0307277259 READ: 2010-12-12 RATING: 3/10

Thoughtful rambling observations on different lines of work. Personal tales of his time spent observing different industries like fishing, counseling, shipyards, or walking along electric towers. Some tangential insights along the way.

Born Standing Up - by Steve Martin

Born Standing Up - by Steve Martin

ISBN: 1416553657 READ: 2010-01-09 RATING: 3/10

A simple autobiography of his early years. Interesting tale, though no usable lessons for me.

Committed - by Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed - by Elizabeth Gilbert

ISBN: 0670021652 READ: 2010-01-07 RATING: 3/10

If listening to someone think out loud about marriage for 12 hours interests you, you will like this. Since I was newly engaged, I did.

What the Dog Saw - by Malcolm Gladwell

What the Dog Saw - by Malcolm Gladwell

ISBN: 0316075841 READ: 2009-12-05 RATING: 3/10

A pretty-good collection of his articles from the past few years. While most are somewhat interesting, it felt a little like surfing the net or TV. Lots of “huh”, but no lasting insights. More entertainment than education.

Crash Proof 2.0 - by Peter Schiff

Crash Proof 2.0 - by Peter Schiff

ISBN: 047047453X READ: 2009-10-25 RATING: 3/10

Opinion on what to do if the dollar crashes, as the author is strongly speculating that it will. I highly recommend reading the Investor's Manifesto after or instead of this, for a strictly fact-based non-speculative approach instead. But still this is interesting to hear this point of view.

The Great Formula - by Mark Joyner

The Great Formula - by Mark Joyner

ISBN: 0471778230 READ: 2009-06-06 RATING: 3/10

Create an irresistable offer. Present it to people who need it. Sell them more afterwards. Lots of examples of this.

China Road - by Rob Gifford

China Road - by Rob Gifford

ISBN: 0812975243 READ: 2009-06-02 RATING: 3/10

Not a business book, unless you want to understand China a bit more. Journalist who's worked in China for 10 years decides to move back to London, but takes one last cross-country trip and gets first-time insights into rural Chinese life and how the country has changed.

Hot Commodities - by Jim Rogers

Hot Commodities - by Jim Rogers

ISBN: 0812973712 READ: 2008-08-11 RATING: 3/10

Very specific book about understanding the commodity markets.

Program or Be Programmed - by Douglas Rushkoff and Leland Purvis

Program or Be Programmed - by Douglas Rushkoff and Leland Purvis

ISBN: 1935928155 READ: 2011-07-20 RATING: 2/10

Maybe I'm just too immersed in this, but everything said here seems to be the most conventional wisdom - nothing I haven't heard. Shame, because I thought it was going to be about teaching the lay-person the importance of programming.

The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger - by Bud Labitan

The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger - by Bud Labitan

ISBN: 0615241298 READ: 2011-01-21 RATING: 2/10

Another overview of the investment approach of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - by Haruki Murakami

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - by Haruki Murakami

ISBN: 0307389839 READ: 2010-12-27 RATING: 2/10

This novelist runs every day, including many marathons. This book is his thoughts about running and how it relates to other things in work and life.

Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur - by Stuart Skorman

Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur - by Stuart Skorman

ISBN: 0787987328 READ: 2010-12-24 RATING: 2/10

Personal tales, almost an autobiography, of someone who created a wide range of businesses, both successful and not. Some insights along the way, but not many surprising ones. I'd recommend “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis instead, also reviewed on this website.

Life Without Lawyers - by Philip K. Howard

Life Without Lawyers - by Philip K. Howard

ISBN: 0393065669 READ: 2010-04-24 RATING: 2/10

I really liked his TED talk (search ted.com), and this book elaborates on the idea. Makes a good point, but should just be a long article - not a whole book.

The Productive Programmer - by Neal Ford

The Productive Programmer - by Neal Ford

ISBN: 0596519788 READ: 2009-11-01 RATING: 2/10

I thought it was going to be more general or philosophical tips, but seemed to be more about IDE-specific tips instead. Then it crashed my Kindle (and still does). Oh well.

Rapt - by Winifred Gallagher

Rapt - by Winifred Gallagher

ISBN: 1594202109 READ: 2009-07-26 RATING: 2/10

Well-intentioned book I couldn't stomach because of her awkwardly flowerly writing style. Also I've read a lot about focus and flow, so this was mostly a repeat covered better in other books.

Radical Honesty - by Brad Blanton

Radical Honesty - by Brad Blanton

ISBN: 0970693842 READ: 2009-06-20 RATING: 2/10

First read the great article in Esquire magazine: http://www.esquire.com/features/honesty0707 This book just elaborates on that philosophy.

The How of Happiness - by Sonja Lyubomirsky

The How of Happiness - by Sonja Lyubomirsky

ISBN: 159420148X READ: 2009-06-01 RATING: 2/10

Since I loved Stumbling on Happiness, I was prepared to love this, but the big difference is that Stumbling on Happiness showed tests and experiments to prove their points, whereas this book only presents conclusions. Maybe equally accurate but less convincing.

A Bull in China - by Jim Rogers

A Bull in China - by Jim Rogers

ISBN: 1400066166 READ: 2008-08-06 RATING: 2/10

Very specific book about investing in China's stock market.

Founders at Work - by Jessica Livingston

Founders at Work - by Jessica Livingston

ISBN: 1430210788 READ: 2008-02-12 RATING: 2/10

Long in-depth interviews with company founders, telling their tales of how they started. Lots of stories with a few usable gems.

How to Learn and Memorize French Vocabulary - by Anthony Metivier

How to Learn and Memorize French Vocabulary - by Anthony Metivier

ISBN: 1482667002 READ: 2014-04-08 RATING: 1/10

Only interesting if you haven't read anything else about the “loci” / “memory palace” method of memorization. Had almost nothing to do with French. Obviously made from copy-n-paste with his other books about German, Spanish, Russian, etc. Just change a few words, and voila! New ebook.

Cambodia's Curse - by Joel Brinkley

Cambodia's Curse - by Joel Brinkley

ISBN: 1586487876 READ: 2011-10-05 RATING: 1/10

Cambodia's political history from 1978 to 2009 or so. Appalling, horrible, infuriating, disgusting, etc. I hated this book. I was hoping to learn more about Cambodia and its culture, but this only gives chapter after chapter detailing the horrible things the people in goverment did, and nothing else. No bright side. No other insights. Just horror.

Conspiracy of the Rich - Robert Kiyosaki

Conspiracy of the Rich - Robert Kiyosaki

ISBN: 0446559806 READ: 2009-11-24 RATING: 0/10

Yet another Rich Dad book shat out for the usual audience of those who don't read. Often so bad it hurts, but with the occasional useful sentence. He always seems to go out of his way to avoid giving any usable info - only generalities. Does he care? Is he trying to write great books? Are these things just machine-generated or something?

The Think Big Manifesto - by Michael Port and Mina Samuels

The Think Big Manifesto - by Michael Port and Mina Samuels

ISBN: 0470432373 READ: 2009-05-12 RATING: 0/10

One of the few books I've actively disliked. Ever read the introduction to a book? Where they say “what you hold in your hands here is something that could change the world”, and blah blah blah? I kept reading, wondering when the introduction was going to be over. Over halfway through the book, I realized this was it: just broad general encouraging unuseful nothings for the entire book.