Notes from Books

My growing collection of notes from books. This page will update as I read more. Bookmark it if you want to check back in a few months.

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

If you want to be a genius, Richard Feynman's book is an incredibly useful read. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" is full of short stories from taped conversations with Ralph Leighton, Feynman's drumming partner. It covers topics you would not think a physicist would be interested in, such as safe-cracking, bongo drumming, samba dancing, language learning, biology, and art. This is my book review.

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

A book that provides straightforward views on religion, humanism, animals, and ultimately life. Quite popular in the mainstream.

Lying by Sam Harris

Why lying is bad and what you can do about it. This can also be converted into a decently long list of articles.

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

A mix between the philosophy of randomness and probability. It slightly goes into mathematics. Life is really random, isn't it?

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday

A long list of blog posts about stoicism, taking us from the micro to the macro of things.

The Sense of Style: by Steven Pinker

A writer, like a cinematographer, manipulates the viewer’s perspective on an ongoing story, with the verbal equivalent of camera angles and quick cuts.

Discover Your Inner Economist by Tyler Cowen

An interesting read on how to use economics to expand our repertoire of “recognition chunks” for seeing patterns in human behavior.

Pomodoro Technique Illustrated by Staffan Nöteberg

The ins and outs of one of the most famous productivity techniques: working in 25-minute chunks.

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

There's value in asking naïve questions, as it pushes people to explain things simply and strip away the irrelevances.

Make It Stick by Peter Brown

Effortful learning is effective but requires effort. One also needs to use self-testing as a learning tool.

The Power of No by James and Claudia Altucher

The book is a nice reminder about saying no to anything that doesn't serve you well.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Summary: Make checklists for any complex procedures or decisions.

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Cool thoughts on investing & misjudging randomness.

Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell

Understanding what complexity is and how emergence integrates into this whole scientific phenomenon, how complex systems work, get organized, and adapt based on simple micro-interactions and endless possibilities.

Your Memory by Kenneth L. Higbee

Continue learning beyond the point of bare mastery or of mere recall.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain De Botton

Random & fascinating information in regards to different domains of work. The author's time was spent observing lots of industries such as counseling, shipyards, walking along electric towers, and even fishing.

What the Dog Sawby Malcolm Gladwell

A collection of Malcolm Gladwell's top articles. Quite nice and interesting and entertaining.

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

If a writer wants the reader to think something is the absolute truth, the writer should render it in the shortest possible sentence.

Program or be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

Conventional wisdom.This book won't teach you the importance of programming.

Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth

The person capable of telling the truth - still has roles to play, but is no longer trapped by them. The integrated person behind the role no longer has anything to hide, and can relate freely to the being he knows is hidden behind the roles others are playing. The person is then in charge, rather than the role.

Flex: Do Something Different. How to Use the Other 9/10ths of Your Personality

Summary: We use only a fraction of our potential personality. Personalities fit into certain categories: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism and openness to experience.

The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

A great view inside the minds of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, the greatest investors of all time. Wisdom, advice, and different approaches towards investing.

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running: A Memoir

A novelist who runs every day is sharing his thoughts about running & how it relates to other things in work and life.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

In a nutshell: We put too much emphasis on talent and not enough on passion and perseverance. We all have a natural talent within. Forget about the idea that your abilities might be fixed. Instead, you should embrace the growth mindset.

Zone To Win by Geoffrey A. Moore

A system on how to manage a big company in 4 areas of execution, the Performance Zone, The Productivity Zone, The Incubation Zone & The Transformation Zone.

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Tips and tricks on how to put yourself out there and start sharing your work with the world. The author presents practical advice on why you should start documenting your process, teaching others, and becoming a better storyteller to help you share the work you love with a like-minded people. Austin Kleon's manifesto on how to promote yourself.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

The most interesting combination of practical and philosophical thoughts on the classical and romantic brain I've come across.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

A collection of practical tips, resources, and research to increase your productivity, teaching you how to brain works and what you can do to make your mind work better.

The Systems Mindset: Managing the Machinery of Your Life Sam Carpenter

A view of the world as an perfect collection of processes, not a chaotic collection of sounds, sights and events. From this elevated perspective, one can create and tweak existing systems to achieve the desired results.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations is a collection of 12 books written by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who'll introduce you to Stoic philosophy, the concept of logic, self-discipline and give you faith that the course the world runs is a good one.

Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins

Power Vs. Force explains the connection between individual levels of consciousness and human behavior.

How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide

In How to Have Impossible Conversations, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay guide you through the straightforward, practical, conversational techniques necessary for every successful conversation -- whether the issue is climate change, religious faith, gender identity, race, poverty, immigration, or gun control.

Ethics by Baruch Spinoza

Ethics is an ambitious work and multifaceted. Ambitious in its subject matter as critical Spinoza all traditional philosophical conceptions of God, of man and the universe. Ambitious also by Spinoza because his method is to demonstrate the truth about God, about nature, man, religion and the good life.

Napoleon: A Life by Paul Johnson

From New York Times bestselling author Paul Johnson, “a very readable and entertaining biography” (The Washington Post) about one of the most important figures in modern European history: Napoleon Bonaparte

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won't create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them.

Marc's Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid by Jocko Wilink

The Way of the Warrior Kid series follows the summertime adventures of Marc, a young boy that faces the same tough challenges every kid faces: bullies, difficulty at school, insecurities, fears and more. Luckily, while every summer (and every book in the series) brings Marc new challenges, it also brings visits from Marc's Navy SEAL uncle Jake. And Jake just might be able to teach Marc how turn his problems into opportunities.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

A great resource that synthesizes the habits, tools, and philosophies of top performers and leaders. You will walk away with dozens of nuggets of wisdom, book and article recommendations, and new habits to introduce into your life.

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

The ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book—a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world's top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life's most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

For a quarter century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities—have been inspired by Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne’s father—also a writer—in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

A short, motivating book about creating things, generating ideas, and finding your voice.

Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way by Jocko Wilink

A short, motivating story of a wimpy kid who fails at many things, such as math, pull-ups, swimming, and throughout the summer is trained by his uncle Jake, a Navy Seal.

A brave new world by Aldous Huxley

In a world in which everything is available, nothing has any meaning. The book examines a futuristic society, called the World State, that revolves around efficiency & science. Emotions & individuality are conditioned out of children at a young age, and there are no enduring relationships because everyone belongs to everyone else.

How I Lost 170 Million Dollars: My Time as #30 at Facebook by Noah Kagan

What was life like in the early days of Facebook? How did the company operate when it was just a small startup? Who were this team of misfits that built one of the most powerful tech companies in the world?

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, biography, published in 1965, of the American Black militant religious leader and activist who was born Malcolm Little. Written by Alex Haley, who had conducted extensive audiotaped interviews with Malcolm X just before his assassination in 1965, the book gained renown as a classic work on the Black American experience.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.