Peter's Bookshelf

One hundred and thirteen books that I've read. Created with Readwise.

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Reviewed Books

★ 10/10
Sapiens

Yuval Noah Harari


This completely changed my view of humanity's place in the world, our accepted societal structures and everything we perceive to be 'normal'. I used to think history was boring, however this book opened my eyes to the incredible breadth of knowledge which can be learned from studying humanity's journey to this point in time.

★ 10/10
A Guide to the Good Life

William B. Irvine


Stoicism is a practical guide to living in an inherently unpredictable world. This book is amongst my all time favourites and provides an extremely accessible and actionable overview of Stoicism's key teachings. The learnings from this book help me on a daily basis, especially in controlling my response to negative events.

★ 10/10
The Personal MBA

Josh Kaufman


If you were to read only one business book, I would recommend this! It provides bite-sized insights into the various business functions - Value creation, Marketing, Sales, Finance etc. The section on the human mind has curated highlights from the best behavioral economics books.

★ 10/10
Influence

Robert B. Cialdini PhD


Discover the 6 proven techniques sales, marketing and compliance professionals use to influence oblivious consumers. Protect yourself from the unwanted effects of advertising by understanding the techniques utilised.

★ 10/10
Stumbling on Happiness

Daniel Gilbert


A superb exploration of how we perceive our general happiness levels and various quirks of the human brain. Interesting deep dive on the limitations of human memory and how comparison has such an impact on happiness. This book also introduced me to the concept of hedonic adaption.

★ 10/10
Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy

Tim Harford


As an engineer, I geeked out exploring the unsung inventions which have profoundly affected our modern world. If you are the curious type who needs to undertsand why things are the way they are you'll love this enjoyable and educational read.

★ 10/10
The Phoenix Project

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford


★ 9/10
Getting Things Done

David Allen


"Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them." GTD - 10x your To-do/Check lists with this framework to increase productivity and reduce stress. I use the principles taught in this book every day to manage all activities in my life.

★ 9/10
Extreme Ownership

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin


Written by Navy Seals, this book is as intense and full on as the name suggests! Take ownership and responsibility for everything in your life. Solid and practicable advice as told by successful and revered military leaders.

★ 9/10
Trust Me, I'm Lying

Ryan Holiday


Understand the media system designed to trick and steal every second of the most precious resource in the world—people’s time. This absolute must-read will transform your view of the media.

★ 9/10
Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman

Richard P Feynman and Edward Hutchings


Superb biography of the insanely smart and funny Nobel prize winning Physicist. I laughed out loud throughout and was entertained from start to finish!

★ 9/10
Tools of Titans

Timothy Ferriss


It took me weeks to finish this mega-dense book packed full of timeless advice from guests on Tim's podcast. I recommend reading in bite sized chunks rather than from start to finish!

★ 9/10
The Happiness Advantage

Shawn Achor


Happiness brings success, not the other way round. Seven digestible principles for cultivating a happy mind are outlined in this positive read.

★ 9/10
Prisoners of Geography

Tim Marshall


Geography plays a key role in global politics and economics. This book's 10 chapters focus on Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic. Each chapter explores the geography of the selected region and the influence it has on geo-political strategies of the world powers.

★ 9/10
Deep Work

Cal Newport


Focus, avoid multi-tasking and engage in prolonged deep meaningful work. Great tips for anyone frustrated by the constant stream of notifications, emails and daily distractions.

★ 9/10
Principles

Ray Dalio


Dense read with some powerful concepts amongst the 600 pages. Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behaviour that gets you what you want out of life. I highly recommend just reading the Intro & ‘Part II: Life Principles’ whilst skipping the rest.

★ 9/10
ReWork

Jason Fried und David Heinemeier Hansson


Concise read from the founders of Basecamp with many actionable takeaways to improve focus, decisiveness and productivity in the workplace. Recommended read for anyone in a startup or those looking to bring a startup mentality to their current job.

★ 9/10
Awaken the Giant Within

Tony Robbins


At times quite American and over the top, it's worth powering through for the superb life advice. With almost 400 highlights it's most highlighted book of all time!

★ 9/10
How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie


Amongst the most famous personal development classics, and with good reason. Discover 30 common sense tips to enhance your social skills and interactions with others.

★ 9/10
Essentialism

Greg McKeown


★ 9/10
Red Notice

Bill Browder


★ 8/10
Man's Search for Meaning

Viktor E. Frankl


Written by a psychiatrist held prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War 2, the author's message of finding hope and greater meaning in the midst of suffering has proved to be extremely popular and inspirational to others.

★ 8/10
The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated

Timothy Ferriss


Tim Ferriss's 1st book outlines strategies to design an alternative lifestyle, one free from the 9-5pm grind that facilitates regular travel. Even if you don't plan a career change there are plenty of tactics to streamline your life.

★ 8/10
Hooked

Nir Eyal


This popular book explores the tactics used by successful technology companies to create engaging and addictive products. A must read for anyone working on a consumer tech product.

★ 8/10
The Obstacle Is the Way

Ryan Holiday


The only audiobook I've completed, this book changed my perspective on facing problems and issues. A great read for anyone looking for inspiration of overcoming challenges.

★ 8/10
21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Yuval Noah Harari


The latest book from the author of the hugely popular Sapiens explores current affairs and the immediate future of human societies. The author focuses on the biggest challenges facing the world now, including; Technological disruption, climate change and nuclear war.

★ 8/10
Shoe Dog

Phil Knight


The founder of Nike recounts the company's journey from zero to global sports giant.

★ 8/10
The Compound Effect

Darren Hardy


Small improvements made every day compound and lead to huge growth. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default.

★ 8/10
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Scott Adams


Scott Adams is best known for creating the Dilbert cartoon strip and predicting Trump’s win more than a year ahead of the result! He shares his fascinating life story and techniques which he believes can drive anyone to success. Goals are for losers, Systems are for winners.

★ 8/10
It Takes a Tribe

Will Dean


Light and enjoyable read on the origins of the hugely popular ‘Tough Mudder’ adventure race and the growth of it’s devout community.

★ 8/10
The Little Big Things

Henry Fraser


Inspirational and moving story of how a young rugby star came to terms with a horrific diving accident that left him paralysed from the neck down. This short book gave much food for thought on the value of practising daily gratitude, focusing on what lies within your control and the power of a strong support network to overcome incredible obstacles.

★ 8/10
I Will Teach You to Be Rich

Ramit Sethi


Ignore the scammy title, this popular personal finance book gives a superb intro to increasing wealth by explaining how to manage current accounts, savings accounts, pensions and an investment portfolio. The learnings are easy to digest and apply.

★ 8/10
Show Your Work!

Austin Kleon


If your work isn't online, it doesn't exist. Share what you love and those who love the same things will find you.

★ 8/10
Why Vote Leave

Daniel Hannan


I don't follow Brexit at all, yet my default has always been that it's foolish to leave the EU. It was extremely insightful to read the opposing view and listen to the argument of those who voted to leave.

★ 8/10
Lean In

Sheryl Sandberg


Great insights into the challenges faced by women in work environments which fundamentally hinder their ability to progress their career.

★ 8/10
Conspiracy

Ryan Holiday


Fantastic insight into billionaire Peter Thiel’s 10-year stealth campaign to bring down Gawker Media. The book outlines Gawker writers treatment of journalism like a game, where scandalous articles and pages views were the ultimate prizes. The ethics of Thiel using his wealth to shutter a business that slighted him are examined in a fair and balanced coverage of the dramatic lawsuit.

★ 8/10
On Form

Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz


Energy, not time is our most valuable resource, and we should optimise our lives accordingly.

★ 8/10
The Upstarts

Brad Stone


Discover the origins and the meteoritic rise of Airbnb & Uber. Great insight into their respective resilience in surmounting the challenges of regulators, industry incumbents, and fearsome rivals!

★ 8/10
The Magic of Thinking Big

David J Schwartz


An inspiring book that encourages the reader to aim high, believe big and go for large wins. Think big goals and win big success.

★ 8/10
The Lean Startup

Eric Ries


A must-read for anyone interested in startups or looking to launch a side project. Launch early, learn from feedback and improve quickly.

★ 8/10
Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari


A long and dense read, with some very interesting discussions including bioengineering, the potential role of humans in a rapidly advancing technological future and an examination of our attitudes to animals. I originally gave this a lower rating, but time has enabled the main points to sink in and be appreciated!

★ 8/10
Fooled by Randomness

Nassim Nicholas Taleb


★ 8/10
Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability

Daniel Vacanti


★ 8/10
Making Work Visible

Dominica Degrandis


★ 8/10
Life 3.0

Max Tegmark


★ 8/10
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Richard Carlson


★ 8/10
Atomic Habits

James Clear


★ 8/10
Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson


★ 8/10
Win Bigly

Scott Adams


★ 8/10
Bad Blood

John Carreyrou


★ 8/10
Food Rules

Michael Pollan


★ 8/10
Anything You Want

Derek Sivers


★ 8/10
Factfulness

Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund


★ 8/10
Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell and Thomas Pynchon


★ 8/10
Moonwalking With Einstein

Joshua Foer


★ 8/10
The Organized Mind

Daniel Levitin


★ 8/10
Narconomics

Tom Wainwright


★ 7/10
Who Moved My Cheese

Spencer Johnson


This short read uses the metaphor of mice seeking cheese in a maze to encourage us to embrace change! Recommended for those resisting change in their career, relationships or other areas of life.

★ 7/10
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey


The grandfather of personal development books, this dense best seller has some great actionable takeaways in each of the seven principles.

★ 7/10
Make It Stick

Peter C. Brown


Multiple reviews recommended just reading the first and last chapter. I did just that and got a few great practical tips to improve knowledge retention.

★ 7/10
The Startup Way

Eric Ries


Introducing startup thinking and a specialised innovation function to a large corporate can be challenging. Discover useful techniques for creating innovation teams and measuring their success in a corporate environment.

★ 7/10
Do No Harm

Henry Marsh


Enthralling first-hand account of the ever-challenging career of a successful Neurosurgeon. The devastating brain tumors and catastrophic operations gave me a reason to reflect on my own mortality. I also felt extremely lucky that as a tech worker a bad day at the office can never reach the harrowing lows of some professions!

★ 7/10
Tribe of Mentors

Timothy Ferriss


★ 7/10
Meditations

Marcus Aurelius


★ 7/10
The Daily Stoic

Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman


★ 7/10
Digital Minimalism

Cal Newport


★ 7/10
Peak

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool


★ 7/10
Goodbye, Things

Fumio Sasaki


★ 7/10
How to Read a Book

Charles Van Doren, Mortimer J. Adler


★ 7/10
Letters From a Stoic

Seneca


★ 7/10
The Richest Man in Babylon

George S. Clason


★ 7/10
The Happiness Hypothesis

Jonathan Haidt


★ 7/10
Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

Gordon Livingston and Elizabeth Edwards


★ 7/10
The E-Myth Revisited

Michael E. Gerber


★ 7/10
Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman


★ 7/10
Outliers

Malcolm Gladwell


★ 7/10
Vagabonding

Rolf Potts


★ 7/10
Never Split the Difference

Chris Voss and Tahl Raz


★ 7/10
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Mark Manson


★ 7/10
Start With Why

Simon Sinek


★ 7/10
Zero to One

Peter Thiel, Blake Masters


★ 7/10
Elon Musk

Ashlee Vance


★ 7/10
Ego Is the Enemy

Ryan Holiday


★ 7/10
Pre-Suasion

Robert Cialdini


★ 7/10
Pitch Anything

Oren Klaff


★ 7/10
It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson


★ 6/10
The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz


This would be a super read for a CEO scaling a large tech startup and facing many challenging decisions. Unfortunately, I am not in such position, hence my low rating for a book which many seem to love.

★ 6/10
The 5 Love Languages

Gary Chapman


The 5 love languages is an interesting and popular framework for helping navigate the ever complex world of love. Think of a personality test, but one which focuses exclusively on how we express and feel love!

★ 6/10
Lying

Sam Harris and Annaka Harris


Short read on the benefits of telling the truth.

★ 6/10
The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus

Publius Syrus


Enjoyable short book of old school quotes. Although many seem quite similar, skim through and you'll no doubt pick up a few gems.

★ 6/10
The Millionaire Fastlane

MJ DeMarco


★ 6/10
How to Take Smart Notes

Sönke Ahrens


★ 6/10
Talking to My Daughter About the Economy

Yanis Varoufakis


★ 6/10
The Score Takes Care of Itself

Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, Craig Walsh


★ 6/10
The Defining Decade

Meg Jay


★ 6/10
Purple Cow

Seth Godin


★ 6/10
If I Could Tell You Just One Thing...

Richard Reed and Samuel Kerr


★ 6/10
The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho


★ 6/10
The 4-Hour Body

Timothy Ferriss


★ 6/10
Smarter Faster Better

Charles Duhigg


★ 6/10
100 Things Successful People Do

Nigel Cumberland


★ 6/10
Flow

Fin Goulding and Haydn Shaughnessy


★ 5/10
Nudge

Cass R Sunstein and Richard H Thaler


Many people do not put much consideration in their choices and go with default options. This explores how carefully designed defaults can impact peoples behaviour.

★ 5/10
The Big Four

Stuart Kells and Ian D. Gow


★ 4/10
Playing to Win

A. G. Lafley, Roger Martin, A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin


Strategy book outlining the tools and frameworks P&G use to win in their many business lines. This was pretty repetitive.

★ 4/10
What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School

Mark H. McCormack


Having seen this featured in the Dublin Airport bookshop list of best sellers for a few months I thought it must be somewhat good...rookie mistake. Although I persisted until the end I wish I had stopped half way through.

★ 4/10
The Checklist Manifesto

Atul Gawande


Good message, however infinitely more suitable as a blog post than a full book.

★ 3/10
Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're a Cheese

Kathryn & Ross Petras


I bought this short book of quotes a few days before turning 28. Great title, unfortunately it was downhill from there.

★ 2/10
The Art of Asking

Amanda Palmer


I gave up 25% through.

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