Reading List

A place for me to record the books I intend to read, and a brief reason for why.

Currently Reading

  1. 哈利波特:与魔法石 / Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (J.K. Rowling)
  2. Thinking Fast and Slow
  3. Why we sleep
  4. The Daily Stoic

To Read

  1. 🚨📈Lifespan: Why we age and why we don't have to📈🚨

  2. 马云: 路有多远就能走多远

  3. Charlie Munger's works

  4. Algorithms to live by

  5. Henry Kissinger's works

  6. Cognitive Diversity, how our individual differences produce collective benefits

  7. Richest man in Babylon

  8. Growth Hacking: Marketing

  9. The Innovator's Dilemma

  10. The E Myth

  11. The Happiness Project

  12. Stoic Thought for Life

  13. Brain Gut Connection

  14. Wired for War

  15. Imaginary numbers are real

  16. Structures, or why things don't fall down

  17. Singularity by Ray Kurzweil

Have Read

Atomic Habits

James Clear
This is a real practical framework for developing better ways of improving yourself, and your life incrementally. The method is simple, with 5 stages:

  1. Cue - Something that reminds you to do something and kicks off the routine
  2. Craving - A wanting that needs to be filled
  3. Response - The actual action that is desirable
  4. Reward - Payoff, now you actually feel better

Along with this simple framework, Clear provides a few ways of making this work for you. If you want to do more of something: Make it easy. If not, Make it hard. Is your phone distracting you? Put it in another room. Make your passcode really long and write it down on a piece of paper. Or, remove the cue. Make it silent. Do not disturb.

Interestingly, other books on this list about Growth Hacking use the same techniques - but someone else is deciding what the "Response" is in the above framework.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Satoshi Nakamoto
This should absolutely be accompanied by the forum posts cataloged here: A very powerful idea expressed in simple terms. I am grateful to be alive during a time at which ideas as peaceful, powerful and productive as this can flourish.

Couples that Work

Jennifer Petriglieri
Before reading this book, I was expecting to glean some facts, tools and actionable advice for managing relationships for modern dual career couples. After reading a few pages, I found much of the content to be highly subjective and based on personal experience of the author. Despite the author's credentials, this book suits the purpose of a memior than a useful toolkit for self improvement. While some advice is given, it doesn't offer generalizations.
Other authors offer more factual and practical advice in this space, or more insightful personal reflections.

Everybody Lies

Seth Stevens-Davidowitz
<coming soon>

The Lean Startup

Eric Ries
<coming soon>

Putting Stories to Work

Shawn Callahan
<coming soon>

Ego is the Enemy

Ryan Holiday
Lacking rigourous justification or supporting data, however an interesting and highly relevant take on how to control our impulse to self gratify at the expense of our best interests.

Invisible Women

Carline Criado Perez
A very abrasive take on the current state of design, politics and data that by negligence or ignorance, fails to accurately collect data for women. The author's take is that currently, female people have a harder time than is necessary using systems, being represented in politics and particpating in economic activities than could otherwise be the cas. It's suggested that we should both collect gender disaggregated data and drive decisions with an awareness of the different needs.
Her work challenged me to think about defining groups when dealing with data that does not seem necessary to disaggregate.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Friedrich Nietzsche
The book has some underpinnig ideas that form lexical threads throughout each of the 4 sections of the voluptuously verbose stream of consciousness. Whilst there are some seemingly intriguing ideas, they are hiden far beneath an excess of rambling incoherence.
I see that the benefit and weakness of this narrative style is one and the same: You can interpret the message in almost any which way.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin was a fellow personal development nerd. Before the invention of the spreadsheet, he was tablulating and ticking off his progress in several key areas of his life. Amongst his many achievements, he tracked and kept himself accountable for one goal every week.

I've found using a bullet journal to keep similar reflective logs extremely helpful myself, using Ryder Carroll's Bullet Journaling method.


Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Something that might help all of us through times of elevated stress, and unpredictability.
Mindfulness blends storytelling, practical advice and clinically validated methods in a volume that unlocks the ability to remain collected, calm and at ease when our emotions are running rampant, we need to be focussed or even when we just need to appreciate what little things are going on around us.

A little bit of stress motivates us, and constant stress has a cocktail of negative side effects. This is another great tool to have in your belt to understand yourself, and how you respond to your environment.

Getting Things Done

David Allen
GTD is something that was my first foray into personal development, and showed me how a few habits could be built to increase my efficiency at checking off my todo's. Allen's simple systems are adaptable with a focus around how we as humans receive, process and then act on new information.

I can put to rest the nagging tasks at the end of a day by simply writing them on a list in my inbox to be processed later. The best part of Getting Things Done, is being able to Not Get Things Done.

Deng Xiaoping

Ezra Vogel
As an Australian growing up in a small country town, I had little to no exposure to any cultures outside of my own. While the United States and the UK are oceans away, we are culturally so close to both of them in Australia.
I would recommend this book to every single Australian person who wants to have an informed opinion on China. This period of Chinese history covered by the book is contemporary enough to understand some of the events that led to the current political structure and government function. My assumptions about how a government should and can work were challenged by this book.
Sometimes it's hard for a fish to understand it's surrounded by water.

I'd challenge Australians to increase their awareness of how one of our largest and closest trading partners works inside.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Spencer Johnson
The book at only 32 pages long is designed to be accessible to anyone, even the most strapped for time. The allegorical tale is to the point, showing benefits and drawbacks to different ways of dealing with change.
Right now, I'm living in a world where a lot of cheese at "Cheese Station C" has vanished. The mice and little people in the story encourage us to look at how we deal with change ourselves. Will we be resentful and backward? Or relentlessly keep looking, like a scurrying mouse?

The Motivation Manifesto

Brendon Burchard

Brendon has a goal to welcome all of his readers to make the most of their lives.
Not in a narrow-minded 'success' story based on pure career satisfaction, nor with meaningless stats or metrics. Instead, he cultivates an appreciation for all aspects of what he calls 'the charged life.' His messaging around the harder parts of life is direct and effectual.
We can 'honor the struggle' when things get rough.
Something applicable in all times, but a message that will resonate with many of us right now, when quite frankly some of us have a really tough year ahead.

Thanks to one of my earliest mentors for recommending this when I needed it. Each chapter is filled with hand-drawn notes in my physical copy, though I also own the audiobook and Kindle editions

I'm Ok You're Ok

Thomas Harris M.D.

This book is extremely evidence based in it's psychological approach, and while it might be dry for some - it really speaks to my Data Driven personality. For me, it provided an excellent mental model and language to understand how people process and make sense of their world. I found the "Parent - Adult - Child" model the most useful and applied concept, helping deconstruct and communicate the 'why' behind our own actions.