Reads

This is list of some of the books I’ve read so far in 2019:

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. This cautionary tale reads like a Hollywood thriller. It’s hard to believe how so many people were duped by Elizabeth Holmes’ drive to create the next Silicon Valley unicorn. The story also highlights the importance of investigative journalism and government regulations. Thank you Mr. Carreyrou.
  • Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen. This is a solid primer on Prof. Christensen’s “Jobs to Be Done” framework (which is a complement for his theories on disruption). If you want a shorter version of this book, read his HBR article from 2016 “Knowing Your Customer’s Jobs to Be Done.”
  • Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport. I really enjoyed Newport’s previous books, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” and “Deep Work”. The message of Digital Minimalism is important but the content and tactics are meandering and periodically tedious.
  • Iron Gold by Pierce Brown: The first novel of a 2nd trilogy set 10 years after the events of the bestselling Red Rising trilogy. Instead of first-person POV from our main protagonist, Brown now cycles between four different character viewpoints. The action is still taut and the back-stabbing and betrayals are fast and furious. A really fun read that will keep you up past bedtime.
  • The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli: A collection of 100 or so mental models and cognitive biases. Less of a coherent book than a collection of short blog-length articles. Note: This book has been accused of plagiarism by some of the sources quotes in the book (Nassim Taleb among them).
  • The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers: This is a non-fiction work about a Yemeni-American man named Mokhtar Alkhanshali and his rags-to-riches story. The story centers on coffee—which has historical roots in Yemen—and Mokhtar’s ambition to elevate the fortunes of the farmers in his ancestral homeland and connect them with the affluent consumers in the West. You will learn all about the coffee industry as well as the political plight of Yemen. Eggers’ ability to turn this story into a such a gripping tale is testament to his literary skill.