I once thought that I’d be able to come up with a commentary each time I finish reading a book. I later on realized that I won’t always have the time or the desire to provide commentaries for every book I read.

I’ve read a lot of stuff that’s awesome. I have full respects of every book I end up buying. Hats off to everyone who has had the steely fortitude to finish writing a full length book and getting it published by a reputable publisher. But some books are way awesome-er than others.

So instead of commentary on every book I read, I’ll come up with my list of recommended reads. I’ll try arrange everything in broad categories as well.

This is a work in progress. But instead of letting this list live in draft-universe forever, I’ve decided to publish it. It’s half-finished as it is and I’ll probably work on it over the years. So without further ado.. Of everything I’ve read, these books are the awesome-est :

Life and Ways of Living It

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

When my wife first gave this book, it hadn’t yet hit the bestseller lists. At that time, I felt like I was holding a secret tome of wisdom. Since then, this book has catapulted up great heights of popularity. The book is best summed up in the that life is just too short, and you just have to focus about what you really care about.

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

I recommend this book to everyone. Yes, everyone. This book will teach you to make better decisions. I was able to wrote something about this book in a previous article.

Science, Technology & Engineering

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

I’ve already written about the book The Selfish-Gene in a separate article. The Self Gene by Richard Dawkins. I have a bias towards recently published books, but I highly recommend this 1976 classic to anyone who wants to understand more about genetics, evolution, and even… the purpose of life.

History, Society & Culture

  1. The World Before Yesterday – it gives us a perspective of what modern human society is by looking at the spectrum of what human society always was until recently
  2. Guns, Germs and Steel – I love this book for sentimental reasons. Some ideas here have been refined by other authors but this books started a revolution in thinking about the history of civilization.
  3. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty – This book calls out Guns, Germs and Steel and mentions why the theories here are not sufficient. If ever you ask yourself why the (insert name of country) is poor/rich, and want to know the real answer and you’re tired of the usual pop culture answers like culture, history or fate. It’s institutions.
  4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – This book will help you understand why the human species is so unique, and why it made us so successful. As of time of the writing, Yuval Noah Harari had three huge hits: Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Like any movie trilogy, I enjoyed the first one, Sapiens, the best. I heard from an Israeli diplomat Harari is like an academic rockstar back home.
  5. Collapse – this book focuses on how human society is a story of rise and collapse based on environmental resources. It benefits from the amazing storytelling by author Jared Diamond (who also wrote a number of books on this list).
  6. Is there Anything Good about Men? – This is a must read by everyone interested in gender issues. I wish I could give a copy to every angry ultra-Feminist out there, to help balance their views, at least when it comes to most modern societies.
  7. Empires of the Word – For any language, linguistics and history buffs out there. This book sure ain’t for everyone. It’s a bit academic, but it’s great to nerd over. As a tip, you don’t have to read all the footnotes, there are way too many of them, if you just want to enjoy the book. If you aren’t a language nerd, this book might bore you though.

The Human Mind and Body, Health and Human Psychology

  1. 10 The Honest Truth About Dishonesty – it makes us understand the psychology of dishonesty.
  2. Predictably Irrational – it is an interesting and entertaining book on how people are irrational actors, meaning they don’t make rational decisions
  3. The Language Instinct – If you want to understand how language is unique to humans, and the marvels of this gift, give this book a gander
  4. The Third Chimpanzee – This discusses how man is really just another specie of ape, of chimpanzee to be more precise.

Entrepreneurship, Business and Management

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Written by one of the founders of PayPal, this book is meant to inspire a quantum leap for individuals and business on thinking out of the box and creating value in the world. I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of starting a new business venture, and dares to change the world.

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

This book changed my outlook on life and launched a world-wide movement. What was the idea that time, doing the things you are truly passionate about, is in the end what matters. It is in a way, this book rallied against “deferred living”, people grinding and saving for thee one day they will finally retire and get to “enjoy life”. Through some brilliant thought experiments and some mind-bending change of perspectives, Tim Ferriss will turn the way you think about your life, and how you should run it, upside down.