Bookshelf

Last updated: January 2020

This was inspired by Patrick Collison’s bookshelf and Nassim Taleb’s description of Umberto Eco’s library at the beginning of The Black Swan.

Sonia (my wife) says I have a book buying addiction. I don’t want this page to give an inflated impression so I need to admit this up front: I’ve only read half these books. Maybe. That is probably generous.

This page contains most of the books on my physical bookshelf, my kindle, and my Amazon wishlist. I’ve moved a couple times as an adult and done a few purges, so many of the books I bought earlier in life aren’t listed. I haven’t included textbooks, children’s books, travel books, cookbooks, or anything I found too embarassing.

I’m organizing my books broadly by subject because I hope it helps you navigate. It’s also roughly how I aspire to organize my actual bookshelf, which is usually in a semi-disordered approximation of these lists. Some of the books could live in multiple categories. This is entirely my own categorization, i.e. non-standard.

All sections are organized alphabetically by author’s first name.

Business and Investing

Title Author
Predictable Revenue Aaron Ross
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind Al Ries
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life Alice Schroeder
High Output Management Andy Grove
Only the Paranoid Survive Andy Grove
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Ben Horowitz
The Intelligent Investor Benjamin Graham
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist Brad Feld
The Everything Store Brad Stone
A Random Walk Down Wall Street Burton Malkiel
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail Clayton Christensen
The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth Clayton Christensen
Competing Against Luck Clayton Christensen
The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures Dan Roam
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement Eliyahu M. Goldratt
The Lean Startup Eric Ries
Magic Box Paradigm: A Framework for Startup Acquisitions Ezra Roizen
Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey Moore
The Origin of Financial Crises: Central Banks, Credit Bubbles, and the Efficient Market Fallacy George Cooper
The Art of the Start Guy Kawasaki
Simple Habits for Complex Times Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston
Good to Great Jim Collins
Built to Last Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
The Essays of Warren Buffett Lawrence A. Cunningham
Kaizen: The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success Masaaki Imai
Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance Michael Porter
Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors Michael Porter
The First 90 Days Michael Watkins
Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High Patterson Greeny McMillan Switzler
Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite Paul Arden
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be Paul Arden
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done Peter F. Drucker
The Practice of Management Peter F. Drucker
Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger Peter Kaufman
One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market Peter Lynch
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization Peter M. Senge
Zero to One Peter Thiel
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings Philip A. Fisher
Principles: Life and Work Ray Dalio
Big Debt Crises Ray Dalio
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters Richard Rumelt
Irrational Exuberance Robert Shiller
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In Roger Fisher and William Ury
Marketing Imagination Theodore Levitt
In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman
Blue Ocean Strategy W. Chan Kim
On Becoming a Leader Warren Bennis
Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor Warren Bennis and Daniel Goleman and James O’Toole

Economics

Title Author
Does Education Matter?: Myths About Education and Economic Growth Alison Wolf
Give People Money Annie Lowrey
Economic Fables Ariel Rubinstein
Openness to Creative Destruction: Sustaining Innovative Dynamism Arthur M. Diamond
Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages Carlota Perez
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty Daron Acemoglu
The Road to Serfdom F. A. Hayek
Economics: The User’s Guide Ha-Joon Chang
Progress and Poverty Henry George
The Economy of Cities Jane Jacobs
Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake
Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Joseph A. Schumpeter
The Ultimate Resource 2 Julian L. Simon
Essentials of Game Theory Kevin Leyton-Brown
The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy Mariana Mazzucato
The Mason Gaffney Reader: Essays on Solving the Unsolvable Mason Gaffney
Capitalism and Freedom Milton Friedman
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics Richard Thaler
Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction Robert C. Allen
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness Russ Roberts
Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
Enlightenment Now Steven Pinker
The Incredible Bread Machine Susan Love Brown
The Undercover Economist Tim Harford
Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals Tyler Cowen
The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves W. Brian Arthur

Science and Engineering

Title Author
Entropy: The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth Arieh Ben-Naim
Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies Cesar Hidalgo
The Mathematical Theory of Communication Claude E. Shannon
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea Daniel C. Dennett
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World David Deutsch
The Diversity of Life: With a New Preface Edward O. Wilson
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Elizabeth Kolbert
What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches Erwin Schrödinger
Maker of Patterns: An Autobiography Through Letters Freemason Dyson
Chaos: Making a New Science James Gleick
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood James Gleick
An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise John R. Pierce
An Introduction to Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Keith Stowe
Biodiversity: An Introduction Kevin J. Gaston and John I. Spicer
The Evolution of Culture Leslie A White
The Quark and the Jaguar Murray Gell-Mann
The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life Nick Lane
Four Laws That Drive the Universe Peter Atkins
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning Peter Brown
The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins
The Blind Watchmaker Richard Dawkins
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Richard Feynman
On Social Structure and Science Robert K. K. Merton
The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself Sean Carroll

Math and Computer Science

Title Author
Mathematics: Its Content, Methods and Meaning A. D. Aleksandrov
The C Programming Language Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie
The Little Schemer Daniel P. Friedman and Matthias Felleisen and Gerald J. Sussman
Speed Mathematics Simplified Edward Stoddard
Elements Euclid
Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension Matt Parker
What Is Mathematics? An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins
Some Abstract Algebra: A Primer and Interactive Workbook Richard Grassl
Book of Proof Richard Hammack
Understanding Analysis Stephen Abbott

Philosophy

Title Author
The Bhagavad Gita Anonymous
In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon Bhikkhu Bodhi
Basic Writings of Nietzsche Friedrich Nietzsche
The Portable Nietzsche Friedrich Nietzsche
Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals John Gray
Sophie’s World Jostein Gaarder
The Prophet Kahlil Gibran
Popper Selections Karl Popper
All Life is Problem Solving Karl Popper
Philosophical Investigations Ludwig Wittgenstein
Meditations Marcus Aurelius
What I Believe: 13 Eminent People of Our Time Argue for Their Philosophy of Life Mark Booth
The Foucault Reader Michel Foucault
The Book of Five Rings Miyamoto Musashi
Plato: Complete Works Plato
Mind-body Problem Rebecca Goldstein
The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness Reinhold Niebuhr
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values Robert M. Pirsig
On the Happy Life Seneca
On the Shortness of Life Seneca
Letters from a Stoic Seneca
Leviathan Thomas Hobbes

Creative Work

Title Author
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life Anne Lamott
The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers Christopher Vogler
The Design of Everyday Things Don Norman
Visual Explanations Edward Tufte
Envisioning Information Edward Tufte
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering Frederick P. Brooks Jr.
Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences Janis Bell
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) Joseph Campbell
The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition Julia Cameron
Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity Ray Bradbury
Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting Robert McKee
344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment Stefan G. Bucher
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft Stephen King
Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability Steve Krug
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life Twyla Tharp
Play-Making A Manual of Craftsmanship William Archer
On Writing Well William Zinsser

General Non-Fiction

Title Author
The World Without Us Alan Weisman
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Angela Duckworth
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Atul Gawande
Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science Atul Gawande
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Atul Gawande
The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking Barbara Minto
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin
Daring Greatly Brené Brown
So Good They Can’t Ignore You Cal Newport
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol S. Dweck
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Clayborne Carson
How to Win Friends & Influence People Dale Carnegie
Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely
The Talent Code Daniel Coyle
Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman
The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram
Getting Things Done David Allen
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World David Epstein
Thinking in Systems: A Primer Donella H. Meadows
Creativity, Inc. Ed Catmull
Diffusion of Innovations Everett M. Rogers
Talent Is Overrated Geoff Colvin
The Wisdom of the Ego George Vaillant
Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study George Vaillant
Adaptation to Life George Vaillant
An Introduction to General Systems Thinking Gerald M. Weinberg
Factfulness Hans Rosling
The Death and Life of Great American Cities Jane Jacobs
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared Diamond
Trees in Paradise: A California History Jared Farmer
Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly John Kay
Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief Jordan B. Peterson
Moonwalking with Einstein Joshua Foer
Gandhi, An Autobiography M.K Gandhi
Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work Mason Currey
Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World Michele Gelfand
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Black Swan Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Fooled by Randomness Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Now Habit Neil Fiore
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World Niall Ferguson
Understanding Beliefs Nils J. Nilsson
Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? Philip E. Tetlock
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Robert Cialdini
Mastery Robert Greene
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries Safi Bahcall
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Stephen Covey
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner
The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires Tim Wu
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Steve Jobs Walter Isaacson
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari

Narrative

Title Author
The Stranger Albert Camus
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Alice Munro’s Best: Selected Stories Alice Munro
Henry and June Anais Nin
Close Range: Wyoming Stories Annie Proulx
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection Arthur Conan Doyle
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson
White Noise Don DeLillo
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Edwin A. Abbott
Musashi Eiji Yoshikawa
Swag Elmore Leonard
The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Flannery O’Connor
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Faust Goethe
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami
Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller
Siddhartha Hermann Hesse
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights Howard Pyle
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Nine Stories J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
Slouching Towards Bethlehem Joan Didion
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
The Forever War Joe Haldeman
Bad Blood John Carreyrou
A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
Rabbit, Run John Updike
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Jules Verne Collection, 33 Works Jules Verne
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey
Timequake Kurt Vonnegut
Welcome to the Monkey House Kurt Vonnegut
Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
100 Years of The Best American Short Stories Lorrie Moore
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The Complete Works of Mark Twain Mark Twain
The Eden Express Mark Vonnegut
House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski
The Pillowman Martin McDonagh
Liar’s Poker Michael Lewis
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt Michael Lewis
The Undoing Project Michael Lewis
The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
Hatching Twitter Nick Bilton
The Naked and the Dead Norman Mailer
The Name of the Wind Patrick Rothfuss
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
Shoe Dog Phil Knight
Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick Philip K. Dick
Goodbye, Columbus Philip Roth
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
The Illustrated Man Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Herzog Saul Bellow
The Adventures Of Augie March Saul Bellow
The Orchid Thief Susan Orlean
The Crying of Lot 49 Thomas Pynchon
Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
The Bonfire of the Vanities Tom Wolfe
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Truman Capote
The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia Ursula K. Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
A House for Mr. Biswas V. S. Naipaul
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Collected Stories William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying William Faulkner

Poetry

Title Author
Howl Allen Ginsberg
Bob Dylan: Lyrics, 1962-1985 Bob Dylan
The Singing C. K. Williams
Repair C. K. Williams
Love is a Dog From Hell Charles Bukowski
The Last Night of the Earth Poems Charles Bukowski
The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Charles Bukowski
Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs Leonard Cohen
Poems, 1965-1975 Seamus Heaney
Ariel Sylvia Plath
The Collected Poems Wallace Stevens
Selected Poems William Carlos Williams