My bookshelf at home started stacking up more and more books that I hadn’t read. Something always came up, but at the same time I had a lot of time while driving or just lazing around town. I drive around 1.5 hours on average a day. I used that as a trigger to read books. And it’s been working so far.
I’ve read 17 books in six months which isn’t bad, that’s 4 more books than the first 6 months. The books I’ve enjoyed the most have been about human behavior, economics and psychology. It’s just fascinating when someone dissects the world by numbers or explains that little quirk of yours from an evolutionary perspective, gets me everytime.
So here’s the list with one line reviews and a link to a full review on goodreads.
Psychology / Philosophy
Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner – 320 pages ★★★★★
Highly engaging, entertaining, one of the best I’ve read in 2016. This book won’t change your life but it will leave you with perhaps a cynical but more real perspective about the world. A world driven by numbers.
Read Full Review of Freakonomics
The Art of War – Sun Tzu – 273 pages ★★★★☆
It’s such a wonderful book, minimalist at its best. Every word is in it’s right place and you cannot take a single word away without losing its meaning.
It’s stripped off any frills and tells the philosophy as it is and you keep nodding your head yes master, true master.
Read full review of Art of War
Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell – 309 pages ★★★★★
This is must read for us Pakistanis with a Jew conspiracy theory of success. We who clicks on a Rags to Riches story on a click bait website. Us who in our past time either talk about corrupt politicians or Property Dealers and how much they make.
Read full review of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson – 656 pages ★★★★☆
The biography for me was a battle to understand was job’s a good guy or not. I think we have to ignore that. He was a selfish guy, who did not often care for people or things, he wasn’t a humanitarian, a philanthropist nor did he want to fix the world.
Read full review of Steve Jobs Biography
Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance – 392 pages ★★★★☆
Wonderful book about a super interesting man. The good thing is it’s not just about Musk it’s a lot more than that, it’s about entrepreneurship, futurology and the craziness that is silicon valley.
Einstein: His Life and Universe – Walter Isaacson – 551 pages ★★★★☆
Fascinating book, about a fascinating man. There is so much to learn from this not just about Einstein but his work, philosophy and political views. The Einstein’s perspective.
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Seth Godin – 151 pages ★★★★☆
Cracking the Tech Career – Gayle Laakmann McDowell – 275 pages ★★★★☆
Wonderful for anyone who is serious about his career. its just not about tech job but any jobs in the modern world. Great detailed analysis with research from resume to interviews.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown – 260 pages ★★★☆☆
The books which focus on look what he did wrong and what happens feel like a chain letter. More than good examples it often focuses on things that went wrong. Personally I enjoy more how can you implement the concepts with examples.
Mastery – Robert Greene – 318 pages ★★★★☆
I’m not sure what genre to put this book in, it’s part biography, part self help and a whole lot of great research on human behaviour to take in. But it’s a great read lets you have an in depth look at old and contemporary masters, their journey and their lessons.
Read full review of Mastery
The Millionaire Fastlane – M.J. DeMarco – 322 pages ★★★★☆
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie – 288 pages ★★★★★
The writer explains the simple rules and takes incidents from history of people applying them and the results that follow. These stories come from Roosevelt trying to win an election to house wife’s trying to raise their kids right. And work for both and everything in between.These are such simple rules which were true in 1939 (when it was written) and still hold true today.
Who Moved My Cheese? – Spencer Johnson – 96 pages ★★★★☆
This book is just right, short enough that you can read it in a sitting. Comprehensive and entertaining so you fully grasp the concept and enjoy it. A must read for everyone, because we all deal with changes all the time.
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke – 297 pages ★★★★★
A classic for a reason, it’s not everyday there’s a novel written just for the purpose of making a film on it. From Space Travel, AI to intelligent life forms it’s got it all one of the best sci fi I’ve read. The only regret I have is why didn’t I do it earlier.
The only science about the book is the fact that the man is from mars, everything is pretty much fiction. It’s an interesting take on human behavior but I’d want it in a smaller package.
Do check out Zaki’s year in books round up some great books in there. And if you’d like to read more of my ramblings, consider signing up for the email alert.
And if you’ve got any recommendations please send them over, I’m always looking for good books.