📚 My Reading List for 2019

December 30, 2019 • ☕️ 4 min read

If you need a new book to add to your reading list, look no further! Here is the list of books I read this year and my favorite quotes from each and every one of them.


Drunk Tank Pink - by Adam Alter

"Each of us is an ongoing product of the world within us, the world between us, and the world around us — and their hidden capacity to shape our every thought, feeling, and behavior.”

The Meditations - by Marco Aurelio

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Algorithms to Live By - by Christian B. and Griffiths T.

"Seemingly innocuous language like 'Oh, I'm flexible' or 'What do you want to do tonight?' has a dark computational underbelly that should make you think twice. It has the veneer of kindness about it, but it does two deeply alarming things. First, it passes the cognitive buck: 'Here's a problem, you handle it.' Second, by not stating your preferences, it invites the others to simulate or imagine them. And as we have seen, the simulation of the minds of others is one of the biggest computational challenges a mind (or machine) can ever face.”

Guns, Germs, and Steel - by Jared M. Diamond

"History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.”

The Manual - by Epictetus

"Black and white thinking may seem powerful in speeches and debates, but real life is mostly gray areas. It is rarely a question of good versus bad, but of weighing greater and lesser goods on a scale of values.”

Man's Search for Meaning - by Viktor Frankl

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work - by Jason Fried & David H. H.

"When you deal with people who have trouble, you can either choose to take the token that says “It’s no big deal” or the token that says “It’s the end of the world.” Whichever token you pick, they’ll take the other.”

Blue Ocean Strategy - by Kim W. Chan

"Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. We call it value innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space. Value innovation places equal emphasis on value.”

A Universe from Nothing - by Lawrence M. Krauss

"The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution - weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”

Untethered - by Jason Lengstorf

"By taking away the safety net — the “just in case” option — I was forced to commit to the path I really wanted to be on. And in the absence of any other option, I made the necessary steps to succeed.”

Digital Minimalism - by Cal Newport

"Digital Minimalism is philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

Weapons of Math Destruction - by Cathy O'Neil

"Big Data processes codify the past. They do not invent the future. Doing that requires moral imagination, and that’s something only humans can provide. We have to explicitly embed better values into our algorithms, creating Big Data models that follow our ethical lead. Sometimes that will mean putting fairness ahead of profit.”

Mindfulness & Meditation - by Andy Puddicombe

"Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and understanding how and why you think and feel the way you do, and getting a healthy sense of perspective in the process.”

On the Shortness of Life - by Seneca

"You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.”

Hillbilly Elegy - by J.D. Vance

"This was my world: a world of truly irrational behavior. We spend our way into the poorhouse. We buy giant TVs and iPads. Our children wear nice clothes thanks to high-interest credit cards and payday loans. We purchase homes we don’t need, refinance them for more spending money, and declare bankruptcy, often leaving them full of garbage in our wake. Thrift is inimical to our being. We spend to pretend that we’re upper-class. And when the dust clears—when bankruptcy hits or a family member bails us out of our stupidity—there’s nothing left over. Nothing for the kids’ college tuition, no investment to grow our wealth, no rainy-day fund if someone loses her job. We know we shouldn’t spend like this. Sometimes we beat ourselves up over it, but we do it anyway.”

Educated - by Tara Westover

"My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”

The Attention Merchants - by Tim Wu

"As William James observed, we must reflect that, when we reach the end of our days, our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default. We are at risk, without quite fully realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.”

The Master Switch - by Tim Wu

"It is an underacknowledged truism that, just as you are what you eat, how and what you think depends on what information you are exposed to.”

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - by Shoshana Zuboff

"Our dependency is at the heart of the commercial surveillance project, in which our felt needs for effective life vie against the inclination to resist its bold incursions. This conflict produces a psychic numbing that inures us to the realities of being tracked, parsed, mined, and modified. It disposes us to rationalize the situation in resigned cynicism, created excuses that operate like defense mechanisms (“I have nothing to hide”), or find other ways to stick our heads in the sand, choosing ignorance out of frustration and helplessness. In this way, surveillance capitalism imposes a fundamentally illegitimate choice that twenty-first century individuals should not have to make, and its normalization leaves us singing in our chains.”

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