Every Book on my Bookshelf (R-Z)

Rage For Order: Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, Robert Worth, 2015

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David Epstein, 2018: Rather than obsessively focusing on a narrow discipline, creative achievers tend to have broad interests, which often supports insights that cannot be attributed to domain-specific expertise alone. (4.5/5)

Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, Matt Ridley, 2010 

Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything, Bryce Hoffman, 2017 

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach their Kids About Money, Robert Kiyosaki, 2000: Many things that people consider as assets (puts money into pocket) are actually liabilities (takes money out of pocket). (4/5)

The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason, 1926

Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons in Creative Leadership from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney, Robert Iger, 2020: Much of Disney’s success in recent decades is driven by well-executed acquisitions, and integral to this was consciously preserving the creative culture of the companies they were buying. (4/5)

The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free, Alex Perry, 2015: Despite its dark past, the new Africa is coloured by a new sense of bottom-up self-assertion, with Africans solving African problems rather than getting muddled in ineffective old Africa foreign aid. (4/5)

Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion, Jonathan Haidt, 2012: While people like to think that morality and social conventions are separate things, more recent evidence shows that this distinction is a cultural artifact. (5/5)

The Road to Serfdom, F. A. Hayek, 1944: Not only are planned economies ineffective, they are also likely to turn totalitarian. (4/5)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Harari, 2011: Homo sapiens got this far thanks to being able to collaborate in much larger numbers, and such grand-scale collaboration was enabled by having shared myths (religion, ideas, etc). (5/5)

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, Jonathan Kozol, 1991 

Scale: The Universal Laws of Life, Growth, and Death in Organisms, Cities, and Companies, Geoffrey West, 2017: There are so many unexpected relationships within and between various biological, organisational and social characteristics. So damn good I read the entire book in one 3 hour sitting. (5/5)

Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd, Frans Osinga, 2007:  In war, the victor is the one who can handle the quickest rate of change (rapid Observe-Orient-Decide-Act OODA loops). (4.5/5)

Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, James Scott, 1998: With sedentary states have a tendency to shape society in a way to simplify the classic state functions of taxation, conscription, and preventing rebellion. (4/5)

Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger, Peter Bevelin, 2006: We can make better judgements by becoming familiar with cognitive biases, physics and mathematics. (4.5/5)

Second Sex, Simon de Beauvoir, 1949

Sense and Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, 2017

Shoe Dog: Memoir by the Creator of NIKE, Phil Knight, 2013: Entrepreneurship never gets easier as a business scales, and contrary to popular belief, genius is knowing when to give up to try something else. (4/5)

Show And Tell, Dan Roam: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations , 2004: Reports change an audience’s information, an explanation changes ability, a pitch changes action, and drama changes their beliefs. (4/5)

Silent Invasion: China’s Influence In Australia, Clive Hamilton, 2018

Silk Roads: A New History of the World, Peter Frankopan, 2015: Just as anatomy helps explain how the body works, understanding the silk road routes help explain how today’s world works – it’s a shame this part of the world has been neglected in mainstream history. (5/5)

Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono, 1985

Skin In The Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, Nassim Taleb, 2015: Most have a poor understanding of asymmetric risk – from ergodicity to corrupted incentive systems. (4/5)

Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, Alice Schroeder, 2008 

The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos, Christian Davenport, 2018 

So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo, 2018: Racism is prejudice against someone based on race, when those prejudices are reinforced by systems of power. (4/5)

Sovereign Individual, James Davidson, 1997

Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth, Eric Ries, 2017

The State Of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence, Martin Meredith, 2007: Despite high hopes following the wave of independence in the mid 20th century, the post-colonial institutional fragility in this region has proven incredibly difficult to overcome. Kind of a depressing read, but that’s the unfortunate reality right. (3.5/5)

Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson, 2013

The Story of Art, E.H. Gombrich, 1954: The story of art is not a progress of increased technical proficiency, but a story of changing societal ideas and values. (4/5)

Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers, Will Durant, 2006

The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn, 1962: Normal science accumulates and re-articulates already-accepted facts, while anomalies lead to paradigm shifts that redirects research into completely new fronts. (4/5)

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, Mark Manson, 2016: Self-improvement is really about choosing better things to give a fuck about. Was fortunate enough to have stumbled upon the original 2014 blog post and have continued to reap the benefits since… reading the full book was a welcoming refresh with more detail and it did not disappoint. (4.5/5)

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Nick Bostrom, 2013: There are many possible forms (speed, collective, quality) and pathways (artificial, whole brain emulation, brain-computer interfaces, networks) to superintelligence. (4/5)

Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Graham Hancock, 2006: Little remains known in popular wisdom about the potential impact of altered states of consciousness on our distant ancestors’ experiences, visions, and beliefs; and more importantly, the potential impact this had on human progress. (4/5)

Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman!, Richard Feynman, 1997: Some are fortunate to get a kick out of exploring how the natural world works. (4/5)

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Chip Heath and Dan Heath, 2010 When solving problems, instead of just asking “what’s broken”, also ask “when has it worked.” (4/5) 

The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2015

The Talent Delusion: Why Data, Not Intuition, Is Key to Unlocking Human Potential, Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 2017

The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around You, Max Landsberg, 1996 

The Tao of Leadership, John Heider, 1985: Be fully present , grounded, balanced, and go with the flows of nature rather than harshly intervening. (5/5)

Tao Te Ching, Laozi translated by Chad Hansen, 2012: The paradoxes of nature can be perhaps be reconciled by seeing balance on multiple dimensions. Good concepts, but seems like bad and dull translation. (2/5)

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012, Carol Loomis, 2012

These Truths: A History of the United States, Jill Leopore, 2019: “Very often, histories of nation-states are little more than myths that hide the seams that stich the nation to the state.” (4/5)

Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, 1937: Those that figure out how to unlock the power of the unconscious mind will turn their dreams into reality. (4/5)

Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, 2011 

Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Donella Meadows and Diana Wright, 2009: “When we draw structural diagrams and then write equations, we are forced to make our assumptions visible and to express them with rigor.” (4/5)

Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life, Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, 1991: Game theory situations are subtly prevalent and better understanding its key concepts is incredibly useful in business and daily life. (4.5/5)

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, Adam Kay, 2017: Working as a junior doctor is pretty much modern-day slavery. (4/5)

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See, Seth Godin, 2018: Most marketers deliver the same feelings, just in different ways, with different stories, for different products, people, and moments. (4/5)

This Is Water, David Foster Wallace, 2009: Make the meaning you construct out of every experience a conscious choice. (4.5/5)

The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, 2006: Politics and ideology interfering with science is a very dangerous thing. (4/5)

Thus Spoke Zarathrustra, Freidrich Nietszche, 1883 

Timelines, John Haywood, 2019: Many events we consider significant today will end up as footnotes in history. (4/5)

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsay, 2007

Trespassers on the Roof of the World, Peter Hopkirk, 1995

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, Dave Logan and John King, 2008 

The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships, Neil Strauss, 2015: While fighting temptations is more difficult for some than others, monogamy is ultimately the best option. More famously known for his pick-up artist book, The Game, Strauss takes the reader through his most personal relationship challenges. It’s an excellent illustration of attachment theory – where childhood experiences shape the way you love as an adult. (4.5/5)

Turned On, Kate Devlin, 2018: The second and third order effects of advanced sex robots may take society by surprise, maybe even as much as contraceptives did in the 60s. Was anticipating a more thorough essay on the broader implications of sex robots on humanity, but book was more like an extended article than an essay. If interested in this topic, check out my post on Sex Robots and the Third Sexual Revolution. (3.5/5)

Understanding Power, Noam Chomsky, 2002: US foreign policy cares not about democracy and freedom, rather its primary objective is to keep as many nations dependent on it, powered by the “military-industrial-complex”. (4/5)

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, Jared Diamond, 2019: National crises, while painful, present with unique opportunities to rebuild a country and reshape national identity. (4/5)

Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic, Dan Ariely, 2010

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom), Adam Fisher, 2018: In the early days of breakthrough technologies and world-changing companies, most could not even fathom what value they were creating. (4/5)

Velocity, Ahmed Ajaz, 2012: Organisational agility is becoming incredibly important. (2/5)

Venture Deals, Brad Field, 2016: It really helps to understand the terminology and way that venture capital firm think and work before securing a deal. (4/5)

The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead, Richard Branson, 2014

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, Nick Lane, 2016

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, Sam Harris, 2014: There is no free will, only the illusion of it. (4/5)

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield, 2002: “The more you love your art, calling or enterprise, the more important its accomplishment is to the evolution of your soul, the more you will fear it, and the more resistance you will feel towards it.” A must read for anyone that works in the creative field, in the process of mastering a certain skill, or undertaking a side hustle. (4.5/5)

Water Kingdom: A Secret History of China, Philip Ball, 2015

We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement, Andi Zeisler, 2016

What Every Body Is Saying, Joe Navarro, 2008: Your feet is the most honest part of the body, while your face is the least. (4.5/5)

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, Randal Munroe, 2014: With some simple physics, we can get a sense of what would happen in some unusual circumstances. (3.5/5)

When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi, 2016: Life is fragile, beautiful and cruel; make it count. (3.5/5)

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin Diangelo, 2018: Racism is a system, not an event – so it is important to acknowledge the subterranean social forces that affect our perceptions. Don’t agree with some of the more extremist views, but a fascinating read on an increasingly sensitive topic. (4/5)

Wholeness And Implicate Order, David Bohm, 1980: An explicit, mechanistic, fragmented approach to questioning reality and consciousness will inevitably only produce false fragmentary answers. (4/5)

Why Aren’t They Shouting?: A Banker’s Tale of Change, Computers and Perpetual Crisis, Kevin Rodgers, 2016

Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, 2013: Impoverished countries are that way not because of igno: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Povertyrance or culture, but because those in power intentionally made choices that sustained poverty for their own self-interest. (5/5)

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams, Matthew Walker, 2017: Sleep science – including  how memory works, as well as the function of dreams – is relatively new, and understanding it reveals implications beyond health. (4/5)

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Robert Sapolosky, 2004: We all know stress is bad, but understanding the specifics on a physiological level has been a powerful deterrent to consciously managing my own stress levels. (4/5)

The Wizard And Prohet: Science and the Future of Our Planet, Charles Mann, 2018: There are two opposing approaches to environmental sustainability: Prophet says we should consume less, while Wizard says we should focus more on devloping new technologies. (4/5)

Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, Spencer Johnson, 1998

The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, 2007 

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, Thomas Friedman, 2006

World Order, Henry Kissinger, 2014: While balancing legitimacy and power is tricky, history provides clues into other state’s political ideologies. While not everyone likes or agrees with Kissinger’s decisions, no one can deny that he was an incredibly influential figure in late 20th century US foreign policy. So it’s worth reading about how he thinks about the world. (4/5)

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? , Jared Diamond, 2012: Without romanticising pre-agrarian tribal life, since this is how we lived through most of human history, it’s likely that there may be some surprising lessons on sociology to re-learn from our ancestors. (4/5)

Worth Dying For: Power and Politics of National Symbols, Tim Marshall, 2016 

Wrong Way, Damien Cahill et al, 2018: From social services to finance, energy and telco, the Australian neoliberal reforms (privatisation, deregulation, and marketisation) in the 80s have not lived up its promises. (3.5/5)

Zero To One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel, 2014: Create breakthrough technologies instead of just incremental improvements; and protect it with a monopoly. (4/5) 


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