Favorite Books of 2016 – Philosophy
“A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” by William B. Irvine
Excellent introduction to stoicism, it’s history and how to apply it in a modern context. One of my favorite books of all time. My reading this year has been heavily skewed towards stoic philosophy but I’m planning to broaden my horizons next year. 😜
Favorite Books of 2016 – Biographies
I read a lot of really good biographies this year, making this a tough category for me. But I think “Einstein” deserves the top spot. Most biographies have one or more parts, even the really good ones, where you lose interest because connect with certain aspects of that persons life.
“Einstein” didn’t have that even though it’s a brick of a book. It phenomenal from start to finish.
- “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt“ by Edmund Morris
- “Benjamin Franklin: An American life“ by Walter Isaacson
- “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life“ by Alice Schroeder
Favorite Books of 2016 – Psychology
We are faced with tremendous amounts of decisions in our everyday life and if the brain didn’t use shortcuts to speed up the process we would be totally overwhelmed. The problem is that some of these shortcuts leads to irrational decisions and misjudgment. These are called cognitive biases, and trust me, marketers, salesmen and politicians are doing everything in their power to exploit them.
This book teaches you how to recognize the tricks influencers use in their persuasion and that knowledge help you recognize and compensate for biases before you make decisions.
A book that can’t be summarized, only highly recommend.
- “Civilization and its Discontents“ by Simund Freud
- “A Mans Search for Meaning“ by Viktor E. Frankl
- “Pre-suasion“ by Robert Cialdini
Favorite Books of 2016 – Self-Discovery
One of my many takeaways from Nassim Nikolas Talebs book “Antifragile” was to read original material and books that stood the test of time. So I did just that and it turned out to be pretty sound advice. I naively thought it would be tough to enjoy books from hundreds of years ago, because old school writing styles, but thanks to modern translations I found it to be quite the opposite.
One book that stood out to me was “The Bhagavad Gita”, translated and introduced by Eknath Easwaran. After seeing this ancient Hindu scripture being referenced in more than six of the books I read this year, covering very different subjects, I’d decided to give it a shot. It was well worth it and you can find my “review” of it in my feed. What really stuck with me was the concept of detachment from outcome. “Only the one who is utterly engaged and utterly detached is able to live life fully.”
Favorite Books of 2016 – Niche Books
Now and then you need something completely different to spice thing up. I wanted to highlight a few cool books that stand out from what I usually read:
- “Masters of Doom” by David Kushner
Heavy metal, dungeons and dragons, huge egos and code! It’s the the story of Id software, the creators of legendary games like Wolfenstein, DOOM and Quake. It’s fucking amazing and a must read for anyone with a ounce of nerd bubbling within.
- “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Thing” by Randy O. Frost & Gail Stekeete
I don’t watch TV much, but when I do, I watch Hoarders! It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. This book is about is not an exploitable freak show though, but a deep dive into the psychology behind the behavior. I loved it!
- “NOFX” by Nofx
Bondage, drugs and rock n roll! A Hilarious (and sometimes very sad) California punk rock biography. The audiobook is especially awesome since it’s read by the band members. I enjoyed it immensely!