Updated September 2021
An incomplete list of books I read and my reviews for some of them.
Iron John: A Book About Men
Letters of Note
The Dao of Capital
Upgrade: A Methamorphosis of Prime Intellect (short story)
Madonna in a Fur Coat
Who Will Cry When you Die?
The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO
Мужчины и Ислам
The Player of Games (Culture #2)
I don't completely buy this behavioral economics based on author's experiments on psychology students. But it's an amusing read nonetheless.
Ulpan is Her Name
An ode to strong, smart women. Beyond the author's strange fascination with the Russian culture, one of the best books I have read.
Tracking the Gods: The Place of Myth in Modern Life
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
A collection of career, health, relationships pieces of advice from a cartoonist. Sounds sketchy (pun intended)? Well, it's actually legit. Possibly the book of the year for me.
Under Saturn's Shadow
A must-read for men. Especially those brought up in patriarchical societies. So, like, all of them?
Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
My gateway drug into Jungian analysis, which, from my completely unqualified point of view,
is the best branch of psychology.
The Name of the Rose
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 book.
Dostoyevskiy is obviously one of the greatest. 'The Idiot' is depressing, gloomy, seemingly hopeless. But great nonetheless.
Pride and Prejudice
Finally overcame my pride and prejudice and enjoyed one of the wittiest books I've ever read.
Skin in the Game
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".
Should've been called Stories about Thor and Loki. Actually, I forgot how much I enjoyed reading myths.
The Tartar Steppe
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.
Nabokov's first novel. Characters here are manifestations of the good 'ol saying: wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
It was a real eye-opener about the life of one of the greatest comics in history. Enjoyed it a lot.
My favorite book this year. 'The barbell strategy', 'via negativa', 'ergodicity' and many other concepts to live by.
The Black Swan
A masterfully written book about time, love, war, from the perspective of one strange Billy Pilgrim. So it goes.
Everything is F*cked
This is basically a continuation of Manson's ideas in Models and The Subtle Art, with bits and pieces from Kaneman, Taleb and others. Manson likes to oversimplify, which I guess is the appeal about "self-help" literature. On the other hand, maybe people indeed need to uncomplicate stuff. I chuckled at Newton's Three Laws of Emotion and Einstein's Pain Relativity Theory. Recommended!
The Diary of a Young Girl
We shouldn't be
reading someone else's diary.
The Old Man and the Sea
"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
(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
This thing 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
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.
He was a universal man, a polymath. Inventor, politician, musician, diplomat etc. – they don't make them like this anymore. An absolute must-read.
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 advantage of.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Classic Murakami here. Loved it.
The Obstacle Is the Way
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
It's a meta-pleasure to listen to Murakami's half-life autobiography while running.
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
We think too little about death. Probably the saddest part is that we remember about death only when it's too late.
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!
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
12 Rules for Life
Essays and Aphorisms
С ума сойти!
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
How Will You Measure Your Life?
Moral letters to Lucilius
The Littel Prince
The Lovely Bones
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter
Great book that I wish I had read earlier. But perhaps some things we appreciate fully only retrospection.
How to Live on 24 Hours a Day
So simple. Like all great things. But simple doesn't mean easy. That's the catch.
Hear the Wind Sing
Трудно быть богом
Понедельник начинается в субботу
The Ocean At The End of the Lane
Ready Player One
A treasure for nerds. So captivating too.
The 5th Wave
No More Mr. Nice Guy
The Importance of Being Earnest
One of all time favorites. Read this early, and re-read often.
Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)
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.
To be reviewed. For now, holy shit!
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)
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
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)
An absolute must-read for people who are lost or cannot find their purpose in life. IMO.
Winner Take All (John Rain, #3)
The Rosie Project
Light-hearted, feel-good book about an OCD person in love. Gets boring towards the end but worth a read.
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)
Pat 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)
The 4-Hour Workweek
The Taming of the Shrew
Fun. Do watch the self-titled movie with Adriano Chelentano.
Of Mice and Men
I loved this shorty, but hated that someone started chopping onions as I was finishing the book.
A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain, #1)
A Lonely Resurrection (John Rain, #2)
I love these 'contract killer' stories, where the character is actually a good guy deep inside. Very deep.
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)
About the whole trilogy: great, great work.
The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2)
The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1)
Ooph! What an amazing thriller! A story about a bitch and an asshole fitting together well.
A science fiction book done right. Excellent!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
Географ глобус пропил
To Kill a Mockingbird
Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5)
Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4)
Tripwire (Jack Reacher, #3)
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
Flowers for Algernon
Good book for rinsing the lacrimal glands.
It's Kind of a Funny Story
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
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
A lot of Isaac Asimov
All (I think) of Alexander Kuprin
A lot from the Russian classics: Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Turgenev etc.
The Red and the Black
Wild Animals I Have Known
The Necklace and Other Short Stories
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
What Dreams May Come
I Am Legend
I believe I read it more than 16 times. Really wanted to be like Pippi when I was little :)
The Night Watch series
The Cronicles of Amber
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again