Book Reviews

A list of book reviews.
2022-07-25 – ⁠2022-09-11 in progress
⁠certainty: log ⁠importance: 3

Notes on fiction books can contain spoilers. I maintain a Commonplace: a collection of quotes and aphorisms that I’ve found to be accurate or interesting.

Non-fiction Books

Acting

  • Audition
  • How to be the Greatest Improviser
  • Improvisation and the Theatre
  • The Art of Acting

Argumentation

  • A Rulebook for Arguments
  • Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning

Arts

  • Imaginative Realism #read/2010s
  • Making Comics #read/2022
  • Understanding Comics #read/2022

Ayurveda

  • Textbook of Ayurveda Vol 1: Principles of Ayurveda
  • The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies

Biographies

  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Avoid Boring People
  • Eisenhower in War & Peace
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World #read/2022
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • The Reluctant Mr Darwin
  • The Surrender Experiment: do what your personal self doesn’t want to. #read/2021
  • Usain Bolt: Faster than Lightning

Biology

  • Dopamine Nation #read/2022
  • Dreamland
  • Food Rules: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. #read/2015 ★★★★★
  • The Body
  • The Selfish Gene ★★★★★
  • The Telomere Effect
  • Why we Sleep

Business

  • How to Measure Anything
  • Measure what Matters
  • Playing to Win
  • The Lean Startup
  • The Outsiders
  • UX for Lean Startups

Career

  • Deep Work
  • Range ★★★★
  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  • The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Coaching

  • Coaching for Performance
  • The Trillion Dollar Coach

Cooking

  • Deliciously Ella
  • The 4h Chef
  • The Food Lab
  • The Pizza Bible
  • The Slow-Carb Cookbook

Creativity

  • A Technique for Producing Ideas
  • Cognitive Surplus
  • Lateral Thinking ★★★★★
  • Steal like an artist
  • The Creative Curve
  • The Map of Innovation

Culture

  • In the Plex
  • Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • Team Geek
  • The Culture Code
  • Turn the Ship Around ★★★★★
  • Work Rules!

Cross-disciplinary mental models

  • Antifragile ★★★★★
  • Skin in the Game ★★★★★
  • The Black Swan
  • The Signal and the Noise

Decision making

Design

  • Insanely Simple
  • Logo Design Love #read/2020
  • New York School of Interior Design
  • The Interior Design Handbook

Education

  • Out of our Minds
  • The Smartest Kids in the World

Engineering

  • Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down
  • The Box

Exercise

  • Hardstyle Abs
  • Kettlebell Simple & sinister
  • Relax into Stretch
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Guides

  • Living and Working in Switzerland

Habits

  • Atomic Habits
  • The Power of Habit

History

  • 15 Battles That Changed History
  • Debt
  • El Último Caballero
  • Guns, Germs & Steel: The Fates of Human Societies ★★★★★
  • History’s Greatest Voyages of Exploration
  • Homo Deus
  • How Asia Works
  • In the Garden of Beasts
  • Lone Survivor
  • Musashi
  • Sapiens ★★★★★
  • The Fall and Rise of China
  • The Great Stagnation
  • The History of the Ancient World
  • The Lessons of History
  • The Other Side of History
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Humor

  • Calypso
  • Emergency Laughter

Investing

  • Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor ★★★★★
  • Enough
  • Poor Charlie’s Almanack ★★★★★
  • Richer, Wiser, Happier #read/2021
  • Security Analysis
  • The Art of Execution
  • The Dhandho Investor
  • The Education of a Value Investor
  • The Intelligent Investor
  • The Little Book That Beat The Market
  • The Snowball

Language learning

  • Fluent Forever

Marketing

  • Known
  • Un-Marketing

Mastery

  • How We Learn
  • Mind Gym
  • Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise
  • Relentless
  • Talent Is Overrated ★★★★★
  • The Art Of Learning
  • The Champion’s Mind
  • The Checklist Manifesto ★★★★★
  • The Inner Game of Tennis
  • The Little Book of Talent
  • Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

Math

  • Against the Gods
  • All of Statistics
  • Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Deep Simplicity
  • How to calculate quickly
  • Secrets of Mental Math

Note-taking

  • How to Take Smart Notes
  • The Mind Map Book
  • The Sketchnote Handbook
  • The Sketchnote Workbook

Philosophy

  • 30 Lessons for Living
  • Buddha in Blue Jeans
  • Discipline Equals Freedom: formatting errors (digital edition) and content read like a disconnected talk. #read/2021 #abandoned
  • Essentialism ★★★★★
  • Extreme Ownership ★★★★★
  • Goodbye things
  • Letters to his son on the art of living
  • Living With a SEAL
  • Man’s Search for Meaning ★★★★★
  • Meditations ★★★★★
  • On the Shortness of Life
  • One Small Step Can Change Your Life
  • The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation
  • The Art of Living (Thich Nhat Hanh)
  • The Art of War
  • The Enchiridion ★★★★★
  • The Infinite Game
  • The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
  • The Obstacle is the Way
  • The Power of Now ★★★★
  • The Road to Character
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
  • The Wander Society: hodgepodge of mindfulness ideas centered on walking and observing. The title is a gimmick, the author made up the society for the book despite what she tells throughout the book. #read/2022
  • What to do when it’s your turn
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are ★★★★★
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Photography

  • Perfect Exposure
  • The Photographer’s Eye
  • The Photographer’s Mind

Politics

  • Media Control
  • Profit over people

Problem-solving

  • Are your lights on? ★★★★★
  • Diaminds
  • How to Solve It

Productivity

Psychology

  • Blink
  • Character Strengths and Virtues
  • David and Goliath
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience ★★★★★
  • Influence
  • Made to Stick
  • Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes
  • Mindset ★★★★★
  • Moonwalking with Einstein
  • Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul #read/2021 ★★★★
  • Power: why some people have it and others
  • Power vs Force
  • Principles
  • Radical acceptance ★★★★
  • Superforecasting: how to improve your prediction skills. #read/2020
  • The As If Principle
  • The Happiness Advantage
  • The Likeability Factor
  • The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s …
  • The Meaning Revolution
  • The Wisdom of Crowds
  • Thinking Fast and Slow
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  • What to Say When You Talk to Yourself ★★★★★

Reading

  • Breakthrough Rapid Reading
  • How to read literature like a professor: recognize symbols & patterns. #read/2021 #abandoned
  • The Lifetime Learner’s Guide to Reading and Learning
  • The Well-Educated Mind ★★★★★
  • Too Much Information
  • Too Much to Know

Relationships

  • Boundaries
  • Crucial Conversations
  • Essential Manners for Men
  • Etiquette
  • Getting to yes
  • Give and Take
  • How to win friends and influence people
  • It’s not all about me
  • Just Listen ★★★★★
  • Multipliers
  • Never Eat Alone
  • Never Split the Difference
  • The Fine Art of Small Talk
  • The Power of Kindness
  • The Serious Business of Small Talk
  • Who’s Got Your Back

Science

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything ★★★★★
  • Death by Black Hole
  • Factfulness
  • How to run a paper mill
  • Scale: The Universal Laws of Life, Growth, and Death in Organisms
  • The Art of Scientific Investigation ★★★★★
  • The Body
  • The Demon-Haunted World
  • The Half-Life of Facts ★★★★★
  • The Science of Energy
  • Tools of Titans
  • Tribe of Mentors
  • What if?

Self-improvement

  • Awaken the Giant Within ★★★★★
  • Daily Self-Discipline
  • Ego is the Enemy
  • Re-awaken the Giant Within
  • The Way we’re Working Isn’t Working

Sex

  • Come as you are
  • Porn Star Secrets of Sex
  • Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy
  • The Sexual Key
  • What Women Want in a Man
  • Women’s Anatomy of Arousal

Software engineering

  • An introduction to computational Learning Theory
  • Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
  • Clean Code ★★★★
  • Code Complete ★★★★★
  • Cracking the Coding Interview
  • Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs ★★★★★
  • The Pragmatic Programmer

Speaking

  • Freeing the Natural Voice
  • It’s the way you say it
  • Speaking with Skill
  • Voice Work

Storytelling

  • Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

Tabletop roleplaying games

  • Play Unsafe
  • Tome of Adventure Design
  • The Lazy Dungeon Master

Writing

  • Brief
  • Draft No. 4
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
  • On Writing Well
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
  • The Elements of Style
  • The Sense of Style

Yoga

  • Anatomy of Hatha Yoga
  • Autobiography of a Yogi: inspiring as a teenager, unable to finish it now because of distracting SRF manipulations everywhere. #read/1990s, #read/2021
  • Kundalini-Yoga Parampara
  • Letters from the Yoga Masters
  • Mind - Its Mysteries and Control
  • Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Bryant) ★★★★★
  • The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi #read/2021
  • The Roots of Yoga
  • The Yoga of The Yogi #read/2021

Fiction Books

Comics

  • 13 Rue del Percebe
  • Asterix
  • Lucky Luke
  • Mortadelo y Filemón
  • Pepe Gotera y Otilio
  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Various Marvel and DC Comics Superheroes comics
  • Zipi y Zape

Other fiction

  • 1Q84
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Man in Full
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • A Wild Sheep Chase ★★★★★
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • All The Light We Cannot See #read/2016
  • Animal Farm
  • Anna Karenina
  • Catch-22
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Crónica de una muerte anunciada
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  • Don Quijote
  • Dubliners
  • El Otoño Del Patriarca (The Autumn of the Patriarch)
  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know
  • Foundation
  • Frankenstein
  • Good Omens
  • Going Postal
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • La Celestina
  • La Regenta
  • Lolita: disgusted after 5%. #read/2010s #abandoned
  • Overstory: style coldly neutral but also too elaborate, can’t engage when combined with stories about death and illnesses. #read/2022 #abandoned
  • Musashi
  • Rashomon and Other Stories
  • Red Notice
  • Siddharta
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Short fiction - Philip K. Dick: #read/2021
  • Termination Shock: uninteresting sample. #read/2021 #abandoned
  • The Alchemist #read/2021
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • The Colour of Magic: first book that made me ROFL. ★★★★★ #read/1990s
  • The Hand Maid’s Tale: unengaging. #abandoned
  • The Little Prince
  • The Metamorphosis
  • The Old Man & The Sea ★★★★★ #read/2010s
  • The Princess Bride ★★★★★ #read/2010s
  • The Satanic Verses
  • The Secret Garden: #read/2010s
  • The Sun Also Rises
  • The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time): loved as a teenager, boring in 2021. #read/1990s #read/2021
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Science Fiction

  • 1984
  • 2001: Space Odyssey: gripping plot, awe-inspiring world, specially from Jupiter onwards. A bit too didactic about space travel. #read/2022
  • A Clockwork Orange: too violent. #abandoned
  • Ancillary Justice
  • Brave New World
  • Cosmos
  • Dune
  • Ender’s Game ★★★★★
  • Foundation
  • Hyperion
  • I, Robot
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Neuromancer: too many drugs, unlikeable characters, hard to visualize. #abandoned #read/2022
  • Ready Player 1 ★★★★★
  • Seveneves
  • Snow Crash ★★★★★
  • Starship Troopers
  • Stranger in a Strange Land: started out as an interesting and hilarious adventure but it slowly devolved into a series of lectures on diplomacy, religion, and relationships. #read/2022 #abandoned
  • Stories of your Life and Others
  • The Fall of Hyperion
  • The Fifth Elephant
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • The Martian ★★★★★
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • Ubik ★★★★
  • War of the Worlds

Not to read list

  • Anything by Lobsang Rampa (The Third Eye, etc): fiction labeled as non-fiction.