The Pursuit of Perfect, by Tal Ben-Shahar
Many people call themselves perfectionists, but, to be honest, most of them aren't in most cases. But every once in a while there is a time, a certain set of circumstances where you can't do anything but strive for the impossible. This is a great little book about perfectionism. And yes, I will end this sentence with a comma,
So Good They Can't Ignore You, by Cal Newport
A nicely written case against the 'follow your passion' advice with a well-defined career-building strategy. As many non-fiction sel-help books, could be at least 10 times shorter, but hey, it's pretty good.
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, by James Fadiman
This is a fascinating topic, and there's a lot of BS floating around it. This book is one of the good ones.
★ Creativity, Inc, by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant
I didn't expect it to be this interesting and insightful. Great book. Recommended to anyone in the creative and managerial industry.
Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder
A beautiful and gentle overview of philosophy. Nice read.
Algorithms to Live By, by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths
One of the few books that successfully brings CS into everyday life. We need more books like this. An audiobook is also available, but this one is better on paper.
★ The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, by Alan Watts
Can't go wrong with Alan Watts.
You Are Not So Smart, by David McRaney
More like a series of blog posts than a cohesive narration, but still a fantastic book about most common cognitive gotchas.
★ Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
It's one of those things that make perfect sense once you think about it. Great book, very important premise and a short and concise explanation. Can't recommend enough.
★ Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, by Robert M. Sapolsky
What a great book! A lot of interesting research and anecdotal data. Changes your perception of human behavior quite a bit. There's also an audio version narrated by author. And a series of free Stanford lectures available on Youtube.
★ Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
It's a great book. I wish it was shorter though.
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans
★ The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White
I wish everybody read this book. The surprising thing is that many aspects and recommendations apply to virtually any language, not specifically English.
The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success, by Emma Seppälä
I guess it's not for everyone.
It was a great 5 minute TED talk, but making a book out of it is meh. Very repetitive and self-conscious. Nothing new here.
★ The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine, by Charles Petzold
I guess you can't go wrong with Charles Petzold. This book is excellent and highly recommended to anyone interested in computing. Must read for computer science students and software developers.
Accidental Gods, by Andrew Busey
Pretty cool idea, a somewhat rushed execution.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer
One of the good ones. If you're interested in mindfulness and the nature of consciousness, check this out.
One of the best things I had the pleasure to listen to.
★ You're It! On Hiding, Seeking, and Being Found, by Alan Watts
Love it. Can't get enough. The series of lectures by Alan Watts did shape a lot of my life.
Words are tools to hide truth. I can't say much about these recordings and books by Alan Watts. It wouldn't be fair to do so.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, by Mark Manson
One of those cases when a nonfiction book can be 10 times shorter, but you don't really want it to be, since is's so fun and interesting. Author's style is fantastic.
A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin
First fantasy since LOTR that pulled me in mercilessly.
Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
This book is hugely popular for the reasons I can't really understand. It's… okay, I guess. But I don't really think it is "for beginners".
★ Mindfulness in Plain English, by Henepola Gunaratana
One of the best books on mindfulness. No frills, no BS, straight to the point. I guess, if you could pick one book in the topic, I'd go for this one.
The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
You have to ignore (or interpret) some parts, but in general there is no doubt Eckhart Tolle is an enlightened being.
★ Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, by Sam Harris
Good, concise and straight-forward exploration of spirituality. Loved it.
10% Happier, by Dan Harris
Nice and entertaining introduction to the ideas of mindfulness and meditation.
★ Code, by Charles Petzold
Woah, what a ride! An excellent explanation of how computers work, starting from scratch. Really, from scratch.
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas, by Seymour Papert
The only regret I have is not reading this book 5 years earlier. Also, not every single teacher on the planet did read this — what a shame.
★ Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
One of the best and definitely the scariest space opera. The universe Dan Simmons had created is enchanting.
★ The Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
Lock In, by John Scalzi
Somewhat simple, but still great. I guess we'll see a mediocre Hollywood adaptation (or a TV show perhaps) soon.
★ Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
Loved it! Geeky, nostalgic, lots of action and lots of cool ideas. The pace is great, and it's hard to pull off in a book this large.
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, by Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman
This was a great motivation when I started running, but it's a very niche book.
Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall
Fascinating stories and science behind epic runners. If you're getting into running or just interested — check this out.
★ House of Suns, by Alastair Reynolds
One of the best sci-fi and deep space opera books for me. If you love space and scientifically ~accurate fiction — do explore Alastair Reynolds' worlds.
★ The Martian, by Andy Weir
When an engineer or a scientist decides to write science fiction, it's usually either very bad or very good. This one is very good.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Good' but can be around 500 times shorter.
★ Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, by Ash Maurya
I prefer and recommend this over the canonical "Lean Startup"
★ The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries
Of course, you can't not read The Lean Startup if you… actually, in any case! Do read it!
I didn't really track books before 2015. Here is a short list of some books I really loved and remembered from that ancient past. Everything else is lost and forgotten forever.
★ Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character, by Richard Feynman
Feynman was a Teacher. This book is as fantastic as the man himself.
★ The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, by Brian Greene
String theory for the masses. This is how popular science books should be like: interesting, enchanting, inviting.
★ The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman
Must read not only for designers, but for software developers too, even if you develop backend exclusively. I wish everybody read it really.
★ A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
Talking about quantum physics and singularity is hard. This book makes it seem easy. Loved it.
★ Introduction to Algorithms, by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Spent endless hours digging through The Book. It's very well written and organized and was a tremendous help in my CS studies.
★ Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem, by Simon Singh
The book that sparked my interest in discrete math and abstract algebra. Other books by Simon Singh are also fantastic.
Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel, by Michio Kaku
It's a very interesting book, but for some reason Michio Kaku's style doesn't spark me as much as Briane Greene's or Stephen Hawking's or Neil deGrasse Tyson's.
★ The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
One of the top 3 books in my life.
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
Militant atheism is entertaining, but generally counter productive.
Modern Operating Systems, by Andrew S. Tanenbaum
I really enjoyed reading this textbook even after finishing the corresponding course.
★ Dune, by Frank Herbert
No way around it — Dune is probably the best science fiction I've ever read.
★ Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny
Back in high school this book had changed the way I perceive reality and science fiction.
★ The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins
Having an interest in genetics and molecular biology, I was completely enchanted by the narrative.
Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, by Linus Torvalds, David Diamond
Nicely written and an entertaining story of Linus Torvalds and the creation of Linux kernel. I read it in high school and it definitely strengthened my interest in computer programming.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
I don't do GTD now, but the book is very good even if you don't plan to follow the methodology to the word.
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Middle-Earth's bible, myths and legends. Loved at the time.
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Having read this after LOTR, it was fun but underwhelming. Starting from scratch, it's definitely better to start with The Hobbit.
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
What can I say? Seems like I spent most of my free time in this universe back in high school…
Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling
Ah, high school memories! Seems like this series was an important part of my childhood.
Introduction to Assembly Language Programming: From 8086 to Pentium Processors (Undergraduate Texts in Computer Science) , by Sivarama P. Dandamudi
Dark nights, lots of coffee… This was fun!