Forty book recommendations

It turns out I churned out a decent number of book reviews in the last four years. (I think I blogged about only half of the books I read. In retrospect, I wish I had blogged about all of them, so I could refer to the posts to recap their main ideas quickly.)

Recently I was asked if I have a post that consolidates my book reviews. Well, this post is it.

These books can be helpful for researchers and information workers, both in terms of providing inspiration and supplying techniques for thinking and writing. They are all easy reading.

I classified the books as technological, writing, personal development, biographies, fiction, and other.


  1. Zero to One (Peter Thiel)
  2. Crypto: How the code rebels beat the government---saving privacy in the digital age. (by Steven Levy)
  3. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (by Ed Catmull, cofounder of Pixar, with Amy Wallace)
  4. Loonshots: How to nurture the crazy ideas that win wars, cure diseases, and transform industries (by Safi Bahcall)
  5. "What Technology Wants" and "Inevitable" (by Kevin Kelly)
  6. The Big Short: Inside the doomsday machine (Michael Lewis)
  7. Next: The Future Just Happened (Michael Lewis)
  8. Rework (by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson)
  9. Ignorance: How it drives science (by Stuart Firestein)


  1. The Art of War (Steven Pressfield)
  2. Nobody wants to read your shit (Steven Pressfield)
  3. Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content (by Mark Levy)
  4. How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing (Paul J. Silvia)
  5. Draft No. 4 (by John McPhee)
  6. Made to stick: why some ideas survive and others die (by Chip and Dan Heath)
  7. Talk like TED (by Carmine Gallo)
  8. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (by Austin Kleon)
  9. Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (by Austin Kleon)

Personal development

  1. The Growth Mindset (by Carol Dweck)
  2. Tiny Habits (by BJ Fogg)
  3. Last lecture (by Randy Pausch)
  4. Digital minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (by Cal Newport)
  5. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World (by David Epstein)
  6. Smarter Faster Better (by Charles Duhigg)
  7. Book review: Intuition pumps and other tools for thinking (by Daniel Dennett)
  8. Every tool is a hammer: Life is what you make it (by Adam Savage)
  9. The art of powerful questions: catalyzing insight, innovation, and action (by David Isaacs Eric E. Vogt, Juanita Brown)


  1. Einstein (by Walter Isaacson)
  2. The Undoing Project: A friendship that changed our minds [about Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman]  (by Michael Lewis)
  3. A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age (by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman)
  4. Vincent Van Gogh, Lust for Life (by Irving Stone)
  5. Endurance: A year in space, a lifetime of discovery (by Scott Kelly)


  1. Breakfast of the champions (by Kurt Vonnegut) 
  2. Three body problem (by Liu Cixin) 
  3. The Dark Forest (by Liu Cixin) 
  4. Death's End (by Liu Cixin) 
  5. Ready Player One (by Ernest Cline)
  6. Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins)


  1. Kingdom of speech (by Tom Wolfe)
  2. The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch (by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)


Anonymous said…
Thanks for taking the time to list your favorites!

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