Updated February 2021
An incomplete list of books I read and my review for some of them.
- How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco
- Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
- Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett
- Replay by Ken Grimwood
- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
- Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl G. Jung
- Under Saturn's Shadow by James Hollis
- The Eden Project by James Hollis
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – Imagine if Sherlock
Holmes was a Franciscan friar and Dr. Watson was his helper monk, with
Eco using them to nerd out about Christianity. You get this
- The Idiot by F. M. Dostoyevskiy – Dostoyevskiy is obviously one of the
greatest. 'The Idiot' is depressing, gloomy, seemingly hopeless. But great
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Finally overcame my pride and
prejudice and enjoyed one of the wittiest books I've ever read.
- Skin in the Game by Nassim N. Taleb – The continuation of my
obsession with NNT. A broker with a skin in the game doesn't recommend stocks, but
shows his own portfolio. An architect stands on top of his own
building during a seismic test. A politician sends his own son to a war
he helped to wage. All of this is "skin in the game".
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – Should've been called
Stories about Thor and Loki. Actually, I forgot how much
I enjoyed reading myths.
- The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati – I am certain that this book
will help anyone to self-reflect: about the transience of time and
life, about the danger of false expectations and hopes, about fatality
of the sunk cost fallacy.
- Mashenka by Vladimir Nabokov
- My Autobiography by Chalie Chaplin
- Antifragile by Nassim N. Taleb – My favorite book this year. 'The
barbell strategy', 'via negativa', 'ergodicity' and many other
concepts to live by.
- The Black Swan by Nassim N. Taleb
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson – Basically a continuation of
Manson's ideas in Models and The Subtle Art, with bits and pieces from
Kaneman, Taleb and others. Mark Manson likes to oversimplify, but it's
ultimately the readers' choice and decision to find their own meaning
in a book. I chuckled at Newton's Three Laws of Emotion and Einstein's
Pain Relativity Theory. Recommended!
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – We shouldn't be
reading someone else's diary.
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – Re-read by listening
to it during a 10k race. Started the run with a bad knee and ran
through pain. Disclaimer: don't ever do it. But Santiago's
thoughts and strength of his spirit gave me mental fortitude to get to
the finish. Now, taking a pill of ibuprofen, I wonder if the
old man was just stubborn and stupid? I know I was.
- Solving the Procrastination Puzzle by Timothy A. Pychyl – (0) Not
all delay is procrastination. All procrastination is
delay. (1) Predecision is key. Know your personality
traits, what can hurt you? How will you respond to an unexpected
situation that will potentially promote procrastination. (2)
Motivation follows intention. (3) Just START it.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – This has the highest
joke per sentence ratio I've ever seen in a book. I especially enjoyed
the "expat in France" stories.
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – I
enjoyed the non-linear storyline. Every new life story helps to bring
the picture together. Not a must-read, but there are many pleasant,
funny, touching and sad moments in this book. So, recommended.
- The Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin – He was a universal man, a
polymath. Inventor, politician, musician, diplomat etc. – they don't
make them like this anymore. An absolute must-read.
- Influence by Robert B. Cialdini – Decided to read this book after
Chalie Munger sweared that there was nothing written better about
psychology of persuasion, and that he presented it to everyone in his
family. Well, nothing mind-blowing. But of course it's useful to be
aware of many things covered in the book in order to not be taken
- The Gadfly by Ethel Voynich
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – Classic
Murakami here. Loved it.
- The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
- Models by Mark Manson
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki
Murakami – It's a meta-pleasure to listen to Murakami's
half-life autobiography while running.
- The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy – We
think too little about death. Probably the saddest part is that we
remember about death only when it's too late.
- Short Stories by Leo Tolstoy
- Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – Funny and sad
to the point of being too funny and a little bit sad. Every sentence
in this book seems to be sarcastic. Every. Single. Sentence.
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman –
Great stories from the life of a perfectly imperfect genius. One of my
friends decided to become a physict after reading this book.
- Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston
- 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
- Essays and Aphorisms by Arthur Schopenhauer
- С ума сойти! by Дарья Варламова
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
- How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen
- Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
- Moral letters to Lucilius by Seneca
- The Littel Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg
Jay – Great book that I wish I had read earlier. But maybe
some things we appreciate fully only by retrospection.
- How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett – So
simple. Like all great things.
- Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
- Snow by Orhan Pamuk
- Трудно быть богом by Аркадий и Борис Стругаций
- Понедельник начинается в субботу by Аркадий и Борис Стругаций
- The Ocean At The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – A treasure for nerds. So captivating too.
- The Stranger by Albert Camus
- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
- No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – One of all time favorites. Read this early, and re-read often.
- Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2) by Jim Butcher – I thought this
was a step up from the first book. Language, character development,
and plot are much better in Fool Moon. However, I still don't get what
kind of character Dresden is. His own description of himself sounds
self deprecating, but he acts as a true badass. Entertaining read,
will give the next one a try.
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman – To be reviewed. For now, holy shit!
- Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher – It's been a
long time since I couldn't go to sleep because of a book. Storm Front
is just such a book. The story line gets progressively exciting, and
the protagonist is very likable. The language is a bit too
simple for my taste. But I enjoy the concept of urban wizardry too
much, to not continue with the series.
- The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle – I started reading The Last
Unicorn looking for the hidden metaphor, what meaning did the author
give to the Unicorn? I haven't found the answer yet, but ended up
genuinely enjoying the read - Peter S. Beagle is a wordsmith. 5/5 for
this beautifully written book.
- The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2) by Stieg Larsson
- A Confession by Leo Tolstoy – An absolute must-read for people who
are lost or cannot find their purpose in life. IMHO.
- What If? by Randall Munroe
- Winner Take All (John Rain, #3) by Barry Eisler
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Light-hearted, feel-good
book about and OCD person in love. Gets boring towards the end but worth a
- The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by
Patrick Rothfuss – Patrick Rothfuss is one of my favorite
wordsmiths and worldbuilders. Patiently waiting for the last book in this trilogy.
- The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare – Fun. Watch the self-titled movie with Adriano Chelentano.
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – I loved this
shorty, but hated that someone started to cut a lot of onions as I was
finishing the book.
- Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque
- A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain, #1) by Barry Eisler
- The Physician by Noah Gordon
- A Lonely Resurrection (John Rain, #2) by Barry Eisler – I love
these 'contract killer' stories, where the character is actually a
good guy. Deep inside.
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Horns by Joe Hill – So, it turns out Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. I guess good writing is in their DNA.
- The Atlantis World (The Origin Mystery, #3) by A.G. Riddle – About the whole trilogy: great, great work.
- The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2) by A.G. Riddle
- The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1) by A.G. Riddle
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Ooph! What an
amazing thriller! A story about a bitch and an asshole fitting
- The Martian by Andy Weir – A science fiction book done right. Excellent!
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson
- Географ глобус пропил by Алексей Иванов
- Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5) by Lee Child
- Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4) by Lee Child
- Tripwire (Jack Reacher, #3) by Lee Child
- Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2) by Lee Child
- Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1) by Lee Child
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – Good book if you want to rinse your lacrimal glands.
- It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
2013 and earlier (extremely incomplete, influential)
- Many of Boris Akunin's Erast Fandorin Mysteries (#1–11)
- All of John Green
- All of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- All of Honoré de Balzac
- All of Sergey Dovlatov
- (Almost) all of Fazil Iskander
- (Almost) all of Nodar Dumbadze
- All of Harry Potter series
- A lot of Jules Verne
- All (I think) of Alexander Kuprin
- A lot from the Russian classics: Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Turgenev etc.
- The Red and the Black by Stendhal
- Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton
- The Necklace and Other Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
- What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
- Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – I believe I read it more
than 16 times. Really wanted to be like Pippi when I was little :
- The Night Watch series by Sergey Lukyanenko
- All of The Cronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- A lot of Isaac Asimov
- The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens