Reading Lists

Quite generally, the familiar, just because it is familiar, is not cognitively understood. The commonest way in which we deceive either ourselves or others about understanding is by assuming something as familiar, and accepting it on that account; with all its pros and cons, such knowing never gets anywhere, and it knows not why. Subject and object, God, Nature, Understanding, sensibility, and so on, are uncritically taken for granted as familiar, established as valid, and made into fixed points for starting and stopping. While these remain unmoved, the knowing activity goes back and forth between them, thus moving only on their surface. Apprehending and testing likewise consist in seeing whether everybody's impression of the matter coincides with what is asserted about these fixed points, whether it seems that way to him or not.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit §31

Log Off

Get off social media, stop reading the news.

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America - Daniel J. Boorstin

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man - Marshall McLuhan

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business - Neil Postman

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media - Edward S. Herman

Hate Inc. : Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another - Matt Taibbi

The News: A User's Manual - Alain de Botton

Focus, Attention, Productivity

Your Brain at Work - David Rock

Deep Work - Cal Newport


What all "management" books should really be.

Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession - U.S. Strategic Studies Institute

The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military - Tim Bakken

Turn the Ship Around! : A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders - L. David Marquet

The Manager's Path - Camille Fournier

Brian Cantrill's Software Values Trilogy

History, Memoir

Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India - Shashi Tharoor

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism - Edward E. Baptist

Desert Solitaire - Edward Abbey

The Big Machine - Robert Jungk

The Jakarta Method - Vincent Bevins


Homer's The Odyssey - As translated by Emily Wilson

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman


Phenomenology of Spirit - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
My personal highlights

The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism - Bernard Reginster

Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist - Walter Kaufmann

The Portable Nietzsche - Published by Penguin, Kaufmann's translation, notes, and curated selection of works makes this an excellent resource.

Building Analytical Frameworks

Antifragile - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Public Opinion - Walter Lippman

Crowds and Power - Elias Canetti

Genre Fiction

The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan

The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu

Eisenhorn - Dan Abnett

Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds

Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky

Leviathan Wakes - James S. A. Corey


The Sifter - Food research and historical cookbooks

Mallmann on Fire - Francis Mallmann


Oblique Strategies

Others' Lists notebooks

Pykewater Library

Five Books

The King's College Cambridge undergraduate reading lists