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Bookshelf

Inspired by Patrick Collison’s bookshelf, these are nontechnical books I’ve read from ≈2018 onwards that I think others might enjoy. Strong recommendations in bold.

  • Americana (Bhu Srinivasan)
  • Albion’s Seed
  • American Prometheus
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death
  • The Anatomy of Story
  • Annihilation
  • The Art of Learning
  • The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
  • Atomic Habits
  • Axiomatic
    • Greg Egan is a great sci-fi author in general, and I think Axiomatic is his most thought-provoking set of short stories.
  • Bad Blood
  • The Bad Food Bible
  • Bad Paper
  • Billion Dollar Whale
  • Born Standing Up
  • Bullshit Jobs
  • Carrying the Fire
  • Collected Fictions (Borges)
  • Child of God
  • The Chickenshit Club
  • Chimpanzee Politics
  • Churchill: Walking with Destiny
  • Consider the Lobster
  • Countdown to Zero Day
  • Creative Selection
  • The Decadent Society
  • A Deepness in the Sky
  • Designing Design
  • The Dream Machine
    • I had never heard of J.C.R Licklider before reading this; excellent history of time-sharing & interactive computing.
  • The End of Theory
  • Efficiently Inefficient
  • Exhalation
  • Factfulness
  • A Fire Upon the Deep
  • Fortune’s Formula
  • Fooled by Randomness
  • Found Audio
  • Founders at Work
  • Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers
  • Hard Landing
    • The airline industry may seem staid today, but in the past it was anything but.
  • A Gentleman in Moscow
  • The German Generals Talk
  • The Great Train Robbery (Michael Crichton)
  • High Growth Handbook
  • A History of the International Chemical Industry
    • Early chapters on 18th and 19th century chemical engineering show many interesting parallels to Silicon Valley today.
  • Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times
  • How to Be Miserable
  • How to Decide
  • Inadequate Equilibria
  • Lincoln in the Bardo
  • Legacy of Ashes
  • Legal Systems very Different from Ours
  • Leonardo da Vinci (Isaacson)
  • The Long Haul
  • Lost Person Behavior
  • The Making of Prince of Persia
    • Most histories of successful endeavors are written after the fact, which is distortive — this is compiled from journals written at the time events were unfolding.
  • A Man for All Markets
    • The best quant history book, IMO; autobiography of Ed Thorp.
  • The Man who Solved the Market
  • Masters of Doom
  • Medieval Technology and Social Change
  • Misbehaving
  • Moral Mazes
  • The Most Important Thing Illuminated
  • The Mythical Man Month
  • Napoleon: A Life
  • Neuromancer
  • Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
  • Permutation City
  • Player Piano
  • The Plot Against America (Roth)
  • The Power Broker
  • Principles (Dalio)
  • Radicalized: Four Tales of our Present Moment
  • Red Plenty
  • The Rise and Fall of American Growth
  • Rise and Kill First
  • The Road
  • Sapiens
  • The Secret of Apollo
  • Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself
  • Seeing Like a State
  • The Signal and the Noise
  • Skunk Works
  • Snow Crash
  • Spineless
  • The Spy and the Traitor
  • Stubborn Attachments
  • Stuff Matters
  • Superforecasting
  • The Three Body Problem
  • Tools of Titans
  • The Tyrrany of Metrics
  • In An Uncertain World
  • Unix: A History and a Memoir
    • Brian Kernighan’s personal history. Interesting in its own right, and for the insight into what made Bell Labs work.
  • Unscaled
  • Venture Deals
  • Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
  • The War of Art
  • When Prophecy Fails
    • Researcher joins a UFO cult right before its prophesied rapture/apocalypse; documents what happens to the cultists as beliefs are falsified.
  • Where’s my Flying Car?
  • Why we Sleep