Booknotes

Amount: 138

Fair warning: Many of these books still do not have detailed notes or even summaries. I am still working on adding them, but it takes time. If you want to see only those with descriptions or summaries you can add a filter above!

Bookcover - 12 Rules for Life

Rated: 6/10

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson is a book about how to live a good life. The most memorable thing about it is that you should have a resemblance of order within your life. Because without order, everything else quickly falls to pieces and problems arise. And problems hurt.

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Bookcover - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Rated: 10/10

Seven Habits is one of the most influential books I have read in my whole life. I think it's the best self-help book out there and if internalized and incorporated into your life, the principles from this book have the potential to change your life drastically.

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Bookcover - A Guide to The Good Life

Rated: 8/10

Stoicism is a philosophy that is concerned with one question: How to live a good life? It's about being resilient against outside influences, mentally and physically. And about preparing for the worst, keeping death in mind, but being content with whatever happens.

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Bookcover - Anthem

Rated: 7/10

A rather short book about a dystopian world. The people in this world live miserable lives in small rural communities. Every little bit of individuality is artificially repressed and held down. They have forgotten words such as "I", "my" and "yours" everything is "us" and "ours"...

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Bookcover - Antifragile

Rated: 7/10

Nicholas Nassim Taleb writes a lot of good books. This is one of them. In Antifragile, Taleb tries to push one central idea: The difference between Fragile and Antifragile Systems. Antifragile systems learn and improve over time. They use small errors to get better and disarm the harmful effects of black swans.

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Bookcover - Behave

Rated: 10/10

Hands down one of the best books I have ever read. I very very strongly recommend picking up a copy. Robert Sapolsky is one of the most knowledgeable people on the topic of human behavior and this book is a tour de force display of that knowledge. I feel this book should be read in full and I don't do it justice when summarizing...

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Bookcover - Being You

Rated: 7/10

Consciousness is something measurable and we are beginning to understand what it is. But there is still a lot left to learn and uncover. Theories like Integrated Information Theory (IIT) and the Free Energy Principle are promising starts, but still fall short of a complete picture.

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Bookcover - Bhagavad Gita

Rated: 7/10

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most influential books in history I would argue. And for that reason alone it's worth reading, to get a broader idea of different cultures and see where ideas come from and how old some of them are. It is connected in thought with lots of other philosophical directions, like Taoism or Stoicism.

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Bookcover - The Black Swan

Rated: 9/10

Nicholas Nassim Taleb at his best. A little angry on the state of the world, and knowing that he often knows better. To me the most memorable idea from this book is the allegory of the Turkey. It's a story about how a turkey tries to predict the future based on past data and fails. We are the turkeys.

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Bookcover - Blink

Rated: 4/10

The main idea of the book is simple yet profound. You have a part of your "brain", that "thinks" fast – subconsciously – and makes decisions in an instant. You could call it instinct or reflex or muscle memory. But the point is that it's snappy. It happens in the blink of an eye, doing complex tasks and problems effortlessly.

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Bookcover - Blood Music

Rated: 9/10

Blood Music, without spoiling anything, is about different forms of intelligence, about something alien to us, about biotechnology and experiment, about humans and how we cling to our notions of normal and the "self". It deals with all of these questions, and weaves them into a beautiful story.

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Bookcover - Complexity

Rated: 8/10

This is a wonderful introduction to all the people that contributed to the field, and amounts to a vibrant list of books, and articles and papers that I now want to read as well. This books, just opens the door, to go out and search for much much more, inviting the reader down into a wonderful rabbit hole.

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Bookcover - Creativity Inc.

Rated: 9/10

This book moved me. Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar shares the wisdom he gained while running this groundbreaking company, trying to innovate and make beautiful movies. It goes against the spirit of this book to summarize it, because the insights from the book, need careful thinking and consideration.

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Bookcover - Einsteins Dreams

Rated: 9/10

This book is truly wonderful. A quick read, filled with extremely beautiful, almost poetry-like prose, and small short stories, about deeply human desires, fears and ideas, woven into small short stories about different universes, where time works completely different from how it does in ours.

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Bookcover - Elon Musk

Rated: 9/10

An incredible biography of the life of "the raddest man alive" - Elon Musk. To me the most important takeaway from this book is this: If you want to have an amazing future, you have to go out and build it yourself. No matter what it takes.

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Bookcover - Enough

Rated: 9/10

This book is a fun little read. It's about how we have lost the character values of the enlightened era and how that leads to slow corrosion of best practices in the market as well. It's about how all of this can be transformed back to resemble more how things have been, while also making sure that we keep the good new things.

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Bookcover - Finite and Infinite Games

Rated: 8/10

Humans play all kinds of games with each other and with themselves. Most of human activity can be looked at through this lens of "games that we play". There are status games, money games, games of friendship and family.

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Bookcover - Flow

Rated: 8/10

Chess, learning, climbing, swimming, playing music, coding, parkour, conversations, skiing, philosophizing, proving mathematical theorems, painting and a host of other activities can lead to the same cognitive and mental state => Flow.

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Bookcover - Foundation and Earth

Rated: 9/10

I think writing summaries for science fiction books makes not much sense, but the whole Foundation Series is simply awesome. 7 books in total, they are all worth it. And all the rest of Asimov is worth it too. Especially the Robot Series.

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Bookcover - From Bacteria to Bach and Back

Rated: 8/10

This is a book about a few very deep and important questions - how can physics give rise to life? And how can life give rise to intelligent, comprehending minds? The short answer to all of these questions is ... evolution. The longer answer, to how that process actually works these "miracles" is found in this book.

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Bookcover - Gödel, Escher, Bach

Rated: 10/10

This is on of my most favorite books of all time. Tough to read, even harder to summarize. But worth to read, and then re-read. And re-read. The dialogues where the turtoise discusses important riddles and philosophical questions alone, make this book worthwhile. How they are self referentially tied into the whole picture, makes it even better.

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Bookcover - Grit

Rated: 7/10

The main takeaway is that the character quality of grit - others might call it persistence, perseverance or resilience - in Finland they call it Sisu, is the main predictor of success. If you can face problems and bad times with equanimity and push through the pain, that's the one important ingredient necessary to set up for success in life.

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Bookcover - High Output Management

Rated: 7/10

A good book on effective management. For me it is not too applicable right now, since I am not managing people, otherwise, this might have deserved a better rating even. Very likely something that I am going to revisit a few years down the road.

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Bookcover - How to Read a Book

Rated: 6/10

How to Read a Book is a Book about how to retain more from reading texts - it is about reading a book, not for the sake of passing time but for the sake of gaining insights from it. To do that it details 4 different levels of reading.

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Bookcover - How to Travel the World on 50$ a Day

Rated: 4/10

This book is worth it if you don't yet know how to travel on a budget and still need that paradigm shift of: "Oh wait, you can travel the world while spending less money than what you would have spent when you stayed at home in Europe or the US"

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Bookcover - How to Win Friends and Influence People

Rated: 10/10

This is one of the best self-help books in existence. The insights are incredibly powerful ideas about how humans interact with one another. The title puts a bad wrap on the whole book because it makes it seem to be about manipulation. But in reality, the book teaches how to build long-lasting, genuine relationships. And how to care for other people.

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Bookcover - Immune

Rated: 8/10

A book about how the human immune system works. It goes over the different cell types and how they work together to fight off diseases of all kinds. The body is an incredibly machine, and even though the immune system is just a part of it, it's mindbogglingly complex.

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Bookcover - Indistractable

Rated: 4/10

A book about attention and techniques that help focusing our attention, when faced with the diversions of a modern life. It's explaining many basic ideas about how to live a more productive life, by restricting time spend mindlessly engaged with media in various ways.

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Bookcover - Life 3.0

Rated: 8/10

Max Tegmark wants the reader to think about the problems of AI safety and the thorny questions related to creating machines that surpass us in intelligence someday. He reasons that this is possible and maybe even possible sooner than we think and therefore we should start working on solving these problems as soon as possible.

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Bookcover - Lying

Rated: 7/10

Lying (intentional deception) erodes trust on both sides. It damages relationships in unforeseen ways, needs maintenance and leads to psychological stress. It doesn't help other people live a better life and often leads to slow but sure decline of beautiful relationships. And the benefits are not nearly enough, especially in the long run, to justify all of that.

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Bookcover - Momo

Rated: 10/10

One of my favorite books of all time. I grew up reading Michael Ende, but this is one of the books, which changes it's meaning as you grow up. It's about appreciating the small, but important things in life. Savouring the moments, and not forgetting, for the sake of time and efficiency, what it means to be alive.

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Bookcover - The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Rated: 10/10

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is one of the best books I have ever read and one I am going to re-read over and over and over again, simply because it is packed so full of wisdom that it's unbelievable. A collection of quotes, tweets and interviews and writings from AngelList founder Naval Ravikant, collected by Eric Jorgenson.

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Bookcover - Outliers

Rated: 5/10

This is the book that popularized the 10.000 hours idea. The main idea behind the rule is this: There exists a level of mastery that can be achieved for any kind of subject, after having deliberately practiced and studied it for at least 10.000 hours.

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Bookcover - Principles

Rated: 9/10

The book is split into 3 parts - the personal history of Ray Dalio, his work principles and his life principles. To me, the most interesting part of the book is, where he details his life principles. Beautiful ideas and mental models of how to live a good life fill the pages.

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Bookcover - Tao Te Ching

Rated: 7/10

There is a universal "substance", the Tao, that permeates all and is all. But yet isn't. There is nothing, yet something, and the Tao is undefinable by mere words and defies understanding and logic, yet it underlies all there is.

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Bookcover - The Beginning of Infinity

Rated: 10/10

The book introduces a single concept - The Beginning of Infinity - from many different angles. What the book means by Infinity is the open-ended journey of cosmic exploration. Other people might call this the "Cosmic Endowment" of humanity. And we are at the beginning of it.

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Bookcover - The Wealth of Nations

Rated: 8/10

A classic that has shaped a lot of thinking in economics over the last centuries. Adam Smith describes how markets interact with one another and describes his thought about how countries should be governed so that the market can flourish. A central idea is tying these thoughts together - the invisible hand.

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Bookcover - Zero To One

Rated: 10/10

One of the best books in existence. Highly creative, highly unique, and extremely thought-provoking. How startups work, and how they don't. Why good ideas are important, and how to find them, and why we have to build the future ourselves, or else it won't happen.

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