A comprehensive list of books I've read (or just have) and a couple ideas on them if I have read them. Opening it for discussion and recommendations!
Recommend me a new one!Back Home
- Skin in the Game - Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Along with Paul Graham, the top essayist I've read. The ideas he presents are so powerful that are life changers. Cannot recommend this one enough.
- Founders at Work - Jessica Livingston. It is a great book filled with amazing advice for startup founders but more importantly; filled with motivation. Founders most of the time were only trying to experiment creating something great and that's it. They were just curious people.
- The Cathedral and the Bazaar - Eric S Raymond. It is a nice compendium of history of the open source (previously known as Free software) by one man that was involved deeply on the transition and is a big part of the hacker culture: ESR.
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard P Feynman. An amazing story of the life of the physicist and Nobel Prize (which he hated) winner Richard P. Feynman. He was an amazing professor and physicist. He had a curious character and it seems like that was what took him places in life. He never ceased to amazed himself, to ask questions, to learn and doubt.
- What You Do Is Who You Are - Ben Horowitz. A great compendium of historical lessons on how to establish a top Culture in a startup. It contains multiple amazing examples of how relevant the culture has been historically on great teams and how that allowed truly relevant feats such as what Genghis Khan was able to achieve all through the world. It all started with how he treated his soldiers and what he expected from them. It gives some great basis on how to create a culture and it also establishes what most important in my opinion. That a Culture is never done. It is something that will continue to mutate as it is what people will be doing and that changes with time and circumstances. It doesn't matter if you're not trying to found a startup just yet. Some knowledge there can be applied to the personal level as well, at least I did.
- Poor Richard's Almanack - Benjamin Franklin. A brief book with a lot of instruction on multiple topics. It was written by Benjamin Franklin under a pseudonym. It contains a lot of aphorisms in the style of books like "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. Some great advice from the book and in such a short format. Something like 30 pages.
- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder - Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book has a lot of timeless advice. The "via negativa" chapter is one of the greatest things I've read. It exposes how some things are better learned or made via substraction of things. Sometimes it's easier to grasp a concept by the removal of a thing. The antifragility concept itself it's a big thing too. The opposite of fragile is not robust. It's antifragile. A thing that gains from disorder, not only that it is immune to the chaos but that it becomes better from it.
- The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium - Martin Gurri. This book talks about the most relevant cultural revolutions and how they happened thanks to technology. How nowadays "the public" is tired of the institutions that raised from the industrial age. It goes deep into the details of the revolutions that started happen since 2008. It explains the Arab Spring, Ocuppy Wall Street and much more. It even has and added chapter to go into details of what is happening since 2016 Trump's election. It tries to make a proper prediction on what can be done and how we can help it. Basically, choosing people with virtues to the elites, and making governments "antifragile", governments should do trial and errors, and be completely honest.
- Masters of Doom - David Kushner. An inspiring story of the origins of the company that developed DOOM and Quake. It's really thrilling to read about how John Romero and John Carmack got together with friends and started making games for the sake of it. They had different personalities and that's what allowed the initial chemistry of the company to be so good. One pushed the technical boundaries with new engines more impressive every iteration, while Romero designed levels that were fun and hard to play. As an avid gamer he was the perfect person to develop the most captivating games. A game designer who used to also be the best person playing his game. A lot to learn here from their franctic obsession with gaming and creating games. They worked for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week fueled by this obsession. And they were so good it payed off.
- Cuentos Completos - Jorge Luis Borges. His "Ficciones" was the book that blew my mind the most. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" is the story I found more fascinating. He invents universes within universes within books. All this in something like 20 pages. His capacity to push boundaries of what's real, probable and posible makes his tales something worth reading and re-reading.