My Reading List

How to think for yourself – Paul Graham

Books that I have read:

King Solomons Mines

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The Hobbit

So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport

The 4-Hour Body – Tim Ferris

The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris

The 4-Hour Chef – Tim Ferris

American Pastoral – Phillip Roth

For Whom the Bells Toll –

American Sniper – Chris Kyle

The Art of Living – Epictetus

The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

Wolf Hall – Hillary Mantel

Bring up the Bodies – Hillary Mantel

Page by Page – Tom Page – 7/10

The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dummies

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

Dune – Frank Herbert

Dougs Beef and Dairy Bible – D.S McClymont

Emergency – Neil Strauss

The Game – Neil Strauss

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

Freakonomics – Levitt and Dubner

The First 20 Hours – How to Learn Anything Fast – John Kueman

The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins

The Great Zoo – Mathew Riley 1/10

The Hunt for Red October – Tom Clancy

Lawrence in Arabia – Scott Anderson 8/10

Letters from a Stoic – Seneca

Looking for Alaska – John Green

The Art of Fielding –   9/10

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius 9/10

Models – Mark Manson

No More Mr. Nice Guy – Robert Glover

The Only Way to Win – Jim Loehr

Oryx & Crake – Margaret Atwood

Maddadam – Margaret Atwood

QI : Advanced Banter – Loyd and Mitchinson

The Rational Male – Rollo Tomassi

Raising Beef Cattle for Dummies – Royer

The Rise of Superman – Steven Kotler 3/10

The Road to Character – David Brooks – 3/10

The Social Animal – David Brooks 9/10

The Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior – 7/10

The Bourne Identity – Robert Ludlum 2/10

Scrawny to Brawny – Mejia and Berardi 7/10

The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson 9/10

So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport 9/10

Starting Strength – Mark Rippetoe 9/10

Treasure Island – R.L Stevenson

Unbeatable Mind – Mark Devine 8.5/10

The Wolf of Wall Street – 9/10

Day Trading for Dummies – 6/10


The Four Hour Work Week- Tim Ferris   9/10 Read

Read in 2010 I think. This book is not valuable for the actual advice that it gives. It is valuable for the underlying principles it demonstrates. On the surface it is a book about building automated online businesses that leverage cheap online knowledge workers and automated supply chains to create low time/capital input businesses. It also talks about the lifestyle design that comes with the renewed freedom that this business model can potentially offer someone who goes down the route.

But under all this is a philosophy of questioning underlying assumptions about the way we live and how to make decisions by taking fundamental principles and reasoning up from there(theres a video of Elon Musk saying this exact quote somewhere). The common way of approaching a problem is to look at how everyone else has been tackling it and trying to do all the good stuff they did, then tweaking it in some unique way to gain a slight edge over the competition. Ferris presents a model of thinking in this book that ignores the status quo and shoots for the core of the problem. At its essence it is a book about asking the right questions.

For example. Problem: recurring niggling shoulder injury.

Why havn’t I got it fixed? Fear of the cost. Underlying assumption? I have to treat it locally. Ignoring this assumption what are my options? Go to a country where its a lot cheaper to get scans done.

That I ha

The Running Technique – Brian Martin – 9/10

Great manual on running. Fundamental thinker who went out and got the core information. Is written for somebody who knows nothing and wants to get to 80% fast. Loved it.

Time and Space – James Coventry – 7/10

Amazing read about the evolution of both the tactics of Australian Rules Football and the sport’s history.

Daniels Running Formula – Jack Daniels – 2/10

Can’t remember much other than I didn’t like it much. I beleive it recommeded a high level training regime for begginers.

Dispatches – Michael Herr – 9/10 – Read 2017 whilst in Vietnam

Lives up to its reputation. Paints an incredibly murky(but clear) picture of Vietnam. You feel like you’re in the mud reading it. Frightened me.

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy – 9/10 – 2016 while working at sea

A beautiful, terrible novel. One of my favorite quotes:

“The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning. ”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – Mark Manson – 6/10

I had read most of his other stuff and was familiar with all the ideas presented so no bomb shell for me. Potentially a lot better book for a different reader.

Deep Work – Cal Newport – 7/10

Very interesting and timely read for me. The concept of siloing your time, isolating yourself completely when it is time to do deep work is useful for me. Just the concept of Deep Work is very useful. Good addition to the concepts of SGTCIY.

The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain De Botton – 6/10

Started strong and lost its way for me. Probably worth a re-read at some point. A fair bit of advice for marriages in their latter stages which was interesting but not yet applicable. Likes the Stoic ideas. Find his outlook somehow off-putting.

The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins – yet to finish.

Tools of Titans – Tim Ferris – Yet to finish.

Packed with useful concepts but a little overwhelming at this point. High level concepts, I need to build my foundation before I can add these in.

Psych – Judd Bassiato – 5/10

A good anologous read to back up the concepts in Unbeatable Mind. Basically Win in Your Mind First, but taken to the extreme.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying – Marie Kondo – 3/10

The concept is great, but the book does a bad job of supporting it. More of a sales pitch than an in depth look at the benefits of keeping things tidy.

Lying – Sam Harris – 7/10

He kept it short as he should. Eye opening exploration of the science of lying. Lying is a lot more prevalent and damaging than we expect. This book gave a good philosophical back-up to my principle of not lying wherever possible.

I Think You’re Fat – A.J Jacobs – 9/10

Good one to read before you delve in to the more nuanced Lying by Sam Harris. Entertaining read and really blows your mind about what it actually looks like to live a life completely free of lying. Both liberating and disturbing in the truths it reveals. We lie a lot. Especially if you count omission as an act of lying.

Principles -Ray Dalio – 8/10

The overall concept of why you need Principles to live by and why you should deveop them yourself is very powerful and to me, completely convincing. Forms the basis of my reasoning for my Beleif Structure philosophy. Gets a bit noisy when he starts going in to his own principles, a lot of which seem to be self evident and valuable to him but not very applicable or convincing to me. Another book that I will read again later in life.

The Moral Landscape – Sam Harris – Read early 2018

Still reading.

Mans Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl – 8/10

A simple, stark, tragic and heroic story of accepting your situation. Highlights the importance of having purpose and meaning in your life.

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 8/10