Good Reads & Favourites

Most non-fiction and non-technical,
and all expanded my world view.

Currently reading

I usually buy multiple books so there’s always, at least, one new book ready to start as soon as I finish reading one. These are the ones I’ve been picking up and reading regularly lately — I’ve written about how I read books before.

Company of One
Paul Jarvis
I’ve been reading Paul Jarvis’ newsletter for many years. In this book, he draws from personal experience to show an alternative way to create a productive and profitable life by deliberately staying small. My kind of company.
Jony Ive
Leander Kahney
After reading Steve Jobs’ bio, I had to pick Jony Ive’s bio. Although it’s from a different writer, it’s equally fascinating to read about his life and how his collaboration with Jobs at Apple resulted in so many iconic and successful products.
The Montessori Toddler
Simone Davies
Even before my son was born, I started getting immersed in parenting knowledge. It’s a never ending rabbit hole, but the Montessori way seems very effective in developing a child based on their interests and natural curiosity.
Radical Candor
Kim Scott
Found out about this concept while working with Thread and saw the impact it had on growing a well challenged and well supported team. A good read for any team manager. I’m loving it, even though I have no interest in managing people.
David Epstein
Just started reading this one, but do you know that '10.000 hours rule'? Yeah. Far from ideal or even good for most people. Broad interests and experiences will get you further in life. Another great book suggestion from Farnam Street.
The Strange Order of Things
António Damásio
In this book, the neuroscientist António Damásio helps understand how feelings connect every living organism. Or so I think. So far, I’ve had to restart reading this book twice. It’s easy to read but requires time and focus.

Read & Recommended

These are my favourite books. Some I read more than once, because I really enjoyed and needed a refresh; or because it was more complex than I expected; or just because I got distracted way to many times and needed a fresh start. Whatever reason, all worth it.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
Chris Hadfield
Like many, being an astronaut was a childhood dream of mine. Since that is not likely to happen anytime soon, listening to real stories mixed with good life advice told by an astronaut was surely the next best thing.
The Art of Choosing
Sheena Iyengar
Once again, less is more. But how much less? Having options to choose from feels good, but often it’s also overwhelming and we should just not be given options at all, as long as someone we trust chooses for us. Ah… the illusion of choice.
Atomic Habits
James Clear
How to get into a particular habit? By setting yourself up for success, taking small easy steps and repeating over time. With each repetition, change will accumulate and you’ll start creating a new improved self. Much easier than it sounds.
Malcolm Gladwell
In this book, I learned how our intuition works, when to trust it and when to ignore it just until we have enough information to make a good informed decision in a timely manner. Also learned how to improve gut feelings by filtering out red herrings.
Born a Crime
Trevor Noah
Amazing life story narrated by Trevor himself. Helps understand racism, how it was like to live under apartheid and how much influence a strong-minded mother can have over a child. All this intertwined with many drops of humour.
Tina Fey
As a fan of 30 Rock, this book feels like a big comedy sketch. Tina Fey tells stories from behind the scenes of her career and life as a down-to-earth hard-working female comedian, in an honest and hilarious way without any TV-editing or filters.
Brain Rules for Baby
John Medina
Medina draws on scientific research and his own parenting experience in this book packed with practical usable advice and narrated with a good sense of humor by the author. If you only want to read one parenting book, make it this one.
Creativity, Inc
Ed Catmull
From the co-founder of Pixar, this book includes plenty of management wisdom with a side of good humor. Explains how they built a creative company with a lasting culture and a massive track record of computer-animated movies.
Daniel H. Pink
One of many books I read from Daniel H. Pink. This one alone made me change how I drink coffee, how I take breaks and how I start a new project. Also learned why many people make life changes at around particular ages and dates.
Total Recall
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Put simply, Schwarzenegger explains how a German immigrant makes his way to be the world’s most famous bodybuilder, the biggest action movie actor in Hollywood and then Governor of California. All within 50 years of his life.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Ben Horowitz
Another great book with lessons on leadership and how to approach problems paired with humorous and humbling first-hand stories by someone with many years of success and struggle as a CEO.
The Obstacle Is The Way
Ryan Holiday
Years ago a team manager called me ‘a bit stoic‘. This book is an easy introduction to the practical philosophy of Stoicism with stories about well-known people who overcame great difficulties. There’s a way to turn every negative into a positive.
Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
Probably the only fiction book I’ve read in over 20 years. Heard about the movie and as a child of the 80’s decided to read it before watching the movie. Though a bit too nerdy, recalled good memories and I now want to play in the OASIS as well.
Susan Cain
As an introvert, this is music to my ears. A self reassuring book by a top TED speaker with over 20 million views. Explains why extroverts are seen as an ideal of success and how introverts can even out the field and make the world a better place.
Punished By Rewards
Alfie Kohn
As a dad, this book challenged my assumptions of what good parenting and education should look like. The ‘well done‘s and ’good job’s that many adults need to hear for validation is a result of the carrot-and-stick approach learned from birth.
Start With Why
Simon Sinek
Another book looking at the success of leaders, breaking it down and squeezing out a formula. Once you start thinking on the why and not just the what or how, you digg deeper and find a meaning that can also inspire others to take action.
Lost and Founder
Rand Fishkin
The overnight successes told by media fail to show the harsh reality that most startups simply fail or don’t even bring the expected riches. This is the untold and less glamorous story of the startup world written and narrated by the founder of Moz.
Jason Fried & David H. Hansson
As a long time user of Basecamp, this book helped me rethink the cultural approach to work. It knocks down many beliefs about what’s needed to start and be successful as a business. Long hours and investors are very last resorts.
Delivering Happiness
Tony Hsieh
A story of how much work a long term vision focused on building a great company culture and creating an amazing customer experience can turn into another “overnight” success, told by the founder himself. It’s not easy being the best in the world.
Get Some Headspace
Andy Puddicombe
This book got me started on meditation. Together with the app (Headspace) I learned the basics and then strengthen my medidation routine. It already helped me improve my sleep and focus. By the way, I have to start doing it every day, again.
Hatching Twitter
Nick Bilton
Everyone knows Twitter is an amazing tool with its ups and downs but still far from perfect. Now just imagine how much drama it went through since it was launched well over a decade ago. This is that story. Entertaining and insightful.
Nir Eyal
Using psychology goggles, this book destiles how technology products used by millions of people became so successful. Most of the methods explained are now considered harmful and just like slot machines in a casino, the house always wins.
The Laws of Simplicity
John Maeda
Ten laws to help us simplify complex systems in both business and life. The laws become obvious once learned, but I’ve read this book a couple of times to keep it fresh in memory. I often use it for design and technology thinking.
Made to Stick
Chip & Dan Heath
A guide book explaining a “simple” way to get others to pay attention to your ideas. The authors look at successful ad campaigns, stories and myths to explain why the unexpected works best and keeps us going. Also, why clickbait works.
The Myths of Innovation
Scott Berkun
How big ideas really change the world. Most are well covered by the media and painted in a different light, simplified for mass consumption. But as anyone who works at the verge of ideas and technology knows, this is very far from true.
Malcom Gladwell
This book debunks the myth that some people are just successful on their own, independently of external conditions. It explains how much weight luck and events out of their control like birth month and place, really played a part in that success.
Yuval Noah Harari
I’ve never been great at general History knowledge, but this book grabbed my attention like no other. I was eager to read it cover to cover. The book shows how ideas in Human minds can connect millions of people around it, and propel us forward.
Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson
You probably know his name or heard the stories. They’re likely true. The guy who created Apple could be both a genious and a mad man. This is a long, accurate and detailed book but also the only authorized and written with Jobs’s consent.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman
Learn from a Nobel Prize winner about the two thinking systems in our brains, one for intuitive output and another for deliberate rationalising. And how these two are constantly fighting for control and often leading us astray with leaps of judgement.
Why We Sleep
Matthew Walker
I used to think that sleeping was a total waste of time. Now I regret doing all-nighters and sleeping only 5-6 hours for years. A shocking revelation to a night owl like me, and a reminder of how bad my brain will get just by not sleeping enough.
All books sorted in alphabetical order.

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