Since Spring 2018, I have been tracking all the books I’ve read, and want to read. Below, in roughly descending order, are the books I highly recommend.
If you want to see my entire list, check out my library. If you want to see books I hope to read in the future, see my anti-library.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Genre: Speculative Fiction.
The Outsider by Albert Camus. Genre: Modern Classic / Philosophy.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann. Genre: Psychology.
The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg.
1984 by George Orwell. Genre: Speculative Fiction.
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Genre: Memoir. I may be overrating this since I read it pretty young, but it completely changed my perspective on human life and childhood.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Genre: Classic. One of those books you’re not sure you understand. Then when certain life events happen you realise: ah, this is what Waugh was on about.
Conjectures and Refutations by Karl Popper. Genre: Philosophy.
The Art of Doing Science and Engineering by Richard Hamming. Genre: Engineering
How to Solve It by Georg Polya. Genre: Mathematical Thinking.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Genre: Modern Classic.
Night by Elie Wiesel. Genre: Memoir.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Genre: Coming of age classic.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Genre: Speculative Fiction. All of the technology in this book exists in some form today.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Genre: Novel.
The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. Genre: Psychology. Full of so many interesting psychological and anthropological studies.
The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman. Genre: Physics.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Genre: Classic.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Genre: Sci-fi.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. Tolkein. Genre: High Fantasy.
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi. Genre: Short Stories. Carbon is a particularly beautiful chapter.
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Genre: Biology.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. Genre: Business. Blake Masters’ original class notes are even better.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Genre: Speculative Fiction.
A Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Genre: Coming of age novel.
Animal Farm by George Orwell. Genre: Satire.
Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Genre: Short Stories.
Dune by Frank Herbert. Genre: Sci-fi.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Genre: Classic.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. Genre: History
His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. Genre: Fantasy.
Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel-Garcia Marquez. Genre: Magical Realism. Another like Brideshead, which returns to my mind as I collect more life experience.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Genre: Postsmodern Classic.
Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman? by Richard Feynman. Genre: Memoir.
The New Science of Strong Materials by JE Gordon. Genre: Engineering
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. Genre: Psychological Novel.
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Genre: Writing.
The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch. Genre: Physics.
The Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov. Genre: Satire.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Leguin. Genre: Sci-fi.
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. Genre: Psychology.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Genre: Post-apocalyptic.
The Trial by Franz Kafka. Genre: Classic.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Genre: Modern Classic.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Genre: Modern Classic.
Why I Write by George Orwell. Genre: Politics.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Genre: Philosophy.