Updated Apr 12, 2021
- Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (Hofstadter)
- Domain-Driven Design (Evans)
- High Growth Handbook (Gil)
- Siddhartha (Hesse)
- Neuromancer (Gibson)
- The Seasoned Schemer (Friedman, Felleisen)
- Types and Programming Languages (Pierce)
- Managing Gigabytes: Compressing and Indexing Documents and Images (Witten)
- The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System (Neville-Neil, McKusick)
- Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective (Bryant, O’Hallaron)
- The Master and Margarita (Bulgakov, trans. by Burgin, O’Connor)
- Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (Kurose, Ross)
- Debt: The First 5000 Years (Graeber)
- Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports (Ittelson)
- Introduction to Finance: Markets, Investments, and Financial Management (Norton, Melicher)
- Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk (Bernstein)
- Common Japanese Collocations: A Learner’s Guide to Frequent Word Pairings (Shoji)
- Programming Language Pragmatics (Scott)
- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (Sussman, Abelson)
- Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Meadows)
- Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Feathers)
- The Emperor’s Soul (Sanderson)
- Ficciones (Borges)
- The Lessons of History (Durant, Durant)
- The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World (Deutsch)
- Snow Crash (Stephenson)
- The Black Company (Cook)
- Essentials of Economics (Ballvè)
- The Theory of Money and Credit (Mises)
- The Mystery of Banking (Rothbard)
- Understanding the Dollar Crisis (Greaves)
- Game Theory: An Introduction (Tadelis)
- Naked Money: What It Is and Why It Matters (Wheelan)
- Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (Bostrom)
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Adams)
- The Stand (King)
- Leviathan (Hobbes)
- A Brief History of Time (Hawking)
- On Liberty (Mill)
- The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Keynes)
- The Wealth of Nations (Smith)
- Capitalism and Freedom (Friedman)
- Sapiens (Harari)
- Homo Deus (Harari)
- The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Ferguson)
- Traction (Weinberg, Mares)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Pirsig)
- To do something well, first be a good person. Then you will naturally do it well.
The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win (Konnikova)
- It reads more like a portrait of Erik Seidel than about her own journey. This book would have turned out quite differently if Konnikova’s mentor was anybody else. Still entertaining though, and a pleasant break from some of the denser material I’m working on right now.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Lencioni)
- I wish more books were written this concisely. The story carries the message well without boring, and strategies and techniques for dealing with the various dysfunctions are simply written and easily actionable. The title of the book is unfortunate — this book is better read before one actually needs it.
Category Theory for Programmers (Milewski)
- Despite probably being the most accessible book to category theory, it’s still some of the hardest material I’ve ever covered (it’s not saying much, since I’m not much of a math guy). Some of the chapters took me multiple days of concentrated mental effort to understand, and I had to take a month-long break in the middle to let my brain’s diffuse mode do its thing. Definitely revisiting this book again in the near future.
The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky, trans. by Pevear, Volokhonsky)
- BK has brought me closer to the face of God than any other ostensibly religious work. Dostoevsky’s master stroke was in realizing that it was likely that the reader would be more an Ivan and less an Alyosha, and tailord his message accordingly. The novel is just as relevant today (if not more so) as it was in the Russia of 1879.
- The Four Pillars of Investing (Bernstein)
- Architecture of a Database System (Hellerstein, Stonebraker, Hamilton)
Alice in Borderland (Haro)
- The first manga I completed since the conception of this reading list. Alice in Borderland first came to my attention as a Netflix show. Having enjoyed other stories involving survival games (see Liar Game, No Game No Life), I was inclined to read the source material, and I’m glad I did. A disparate group of people is torn from placid existences and forced to participate in games in order to extend their visas, which dictate how long they can live before being executed by sky lasers with pinpoint accuracy. Some of these games involve careful probabilistic analyses, others only possible by sacrificing others. All said, a genuinely delivered study on what life means for each of the characters in the group, and dare I say, the reader himself.
The Elements of Style (Strunk, White)
- Indispensable for writing well.
Meditations (Aurelius, trans. by Hays)
- Deeply transformative. I’ve naturally gravitated toward some of the tenets described within, but seeing them, and more, in writing only strengthens my conviction.
Games People Play (Berne)
- Would have dropped it if it were any longer. Many of the games presented in this book seem contrived and out of touch with modern social interactions. I also expected a bit more rigour in the formalization of transactional analysis. If such a thing exists I didn’t find it here.
A Promised Land (Obama)
- First biography I read in its entirety. The book can be divided into two parts — pre-presidency (Chapter 1-10), and presidency (Chapter 11-27). The book covers the first term of his presidency, making it all the way to the bin Laden raid. Highly recommended. Despite its length, one can’t help but imagine that Obama had to make many tortuous decisions on which events to make it to the printing press. The chapters on US relations with the Middle East and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict were particularly enlightening.
The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts (Parrish, Beaubien)
- Didn’t learn much from this book. Not sure who the target audience for this book is; anyone inclined enough to pick up this book probably already knows most of what this book is going to say.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art (Nestor)
- Not a long book, but too long for the material it covers. TLDR: don’t breathe through your mouth. There are a few interesting breathing techniques mentioned in the book that I’ll try and report back.
Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters (Rumelt)
- I can’t quite remember where I saw this recommended. I’m struck by how much sense this book makes, being as it is a book about the most airy-fairy term in business. Even if you’re not a business-type, give it a quick browse.
The Type Astronaut’s Guide to Shapeless (Gurnell)
- Wanted to figure out what all the fuss was with about generic programming. I think my takehome from this book is, if you don’t know if you should be using Shapeless, you probably shouldn’t be. I don’t like how complicated things are, and how much massaging and pleading with the compiler you need to do to get aforementioned Very Complicated Things to work.
Death’s End (Liu, trans. by Liu)
- I haven’t read any science fiction in a long time, so I’m not sure if it’s normal to be so blown away by a work of fiction. I also miss the compulsive feeling of not being able to put down a story. On a related note, I had been harbouring a personal belief that beyond a certain stage, it gets progressively more difficult to be impressed by fiction. Depending on how you look at it, this series has either strengthened that belief or blown it out of the water. I’m looking forward to reading some of Brandon Sanderson’s work, as recommended to me by a good friend.
The Vintage Guide to Classical Music (Swafford)
- Might initially be mistaken as Wikipedian, but the true value of this book is in the author’s characterizations of some of the enigmatic figures in music. The section on music recommendations that bookend each chapter is a godsend also.
Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (Hazlitt)
- One of the most digestible books I’ve ever read on how economic policies work. It taught me how to make sense of things like minimum wages and rent control. This book and more like it can be found on the Mises website, for free.
- Went through this short story on friendship as part of my ongoing Japanese lessons.
- Discovering Statistics Using R (Field, Miles)
- The Dark Forest (Liu, trans. by Martinsen)
- Scala Cookbook (Alexander)
- Japanese Core Words and Phrases (Shoji)
- The Little Schemer (Friedman, Felleisen)
- A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bryson)
- Programming in Scala (Odersky, Spoon, Venners)
- Trading and Exchanges: Market Microstructure for Practitioners (Harris)
- Functional Programming in Scala (Chiusano, Bjarnason)
- The Three-Body Problem (Liu, trans. by Liu)
- Learning How To Learn (McConville, Oakley, Sejnowski)
- Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Petzold)
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications (Kleppmann)
- HTTP: The Definitive Guide (Totty, Gourley)
- Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces (Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau)
- Discrete Mathematics (Lovász, Vesztergombi)
- Cracking The Coding Interview (McDowell)
- You Don’t Know JS (Simpson)
- Data Structures and Algorithms in Java (Goodrich, Tamassia)
- Data Structures and Algorithms in Python (Goldwasser, Goodrich, Tamassia)
- Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System (Lamport)
- TCP/IP Illustrated: Volume 1 - The Protocols (Fall)
- The Righteous Mind (Haidt)
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera)
- High Performance Web Sites (Souders)
- Even Faster Web Sites (Souders)
- The Alchemist (Coelho)
- Head First Java (Bates, Sierra)
- The Hunger Games Trilogy (Collins)
- Genki I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (Banno, Ikeda, Ohno)
- Genki II: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (Banno, Ikeda, Ohno)
- Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Dubner, Levitt)
- The God Delusion (Dawkins)
Functional and Reactive Domain Modeling (Ghosh)
- Putting this on break to finish Domain-Driven Design by Evans first, given how heavily this book borrows from said book.
The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy (Williams)
- The antiquated tone makes it hard to read. I dropped this in favour of a more academic approach in Tadelis’s Game Theory: An Introduction.
Crafting Interpreters (Nystrom)
- Finished the first half of the book (which covers a complete implementation in Java). May eventually come back to cover the second half, which rewrites the whole thing in C with a focus on performance
- All of Statistics: A Concise Course in Statistical Inference (Wasserman)
- Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams (Walker)
- The Creature from Jekyll Island (Griffin)
- Clean Code (Martin)
- The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles (Nisan, Schocken)
- Functional Programming, Simplified (Alexander)
- How to Solve It (Pólya)
- Introduction to Algorithms (Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, Stein)
- Reliable and Secure Distributed Programming (Cachin, Rodrigues, Guerraoui)
- Data and Reality (Kent)
- Exhalation (Chiang)
- Ruby Under a Microscope: An Illustrated Guide to Ruby Internals (Shaughnessy)
- Programming Pearls (Bentley)
- Rebuilding Rails (Gibbs)
- Eloquent Ruby (Olsen)
- Nginx HTTP Server (Nedelcu)