Books that I recommend reading twice

There are certain books that are so good that they deserve being read multiple times - you will always derive something else from them. This shelf contains my personal favorite books that I intend to read again.
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Zero to One: Note on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future

by Peter Thiel,Blake Masters

About the book:  What valuable company is nobody building? The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won't make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we alre...

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The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life

by Nick Lane

About the book:  The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies and cities. Yet there’s a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.For two and a half billion years, from the very origins of life, single-celled organisms such as bacteria evolved without changing their basic form. Then, on just one occasion in four billion years, they made the jump to complexity. All complex life, from mushrooms to man, shares puzzling features, such as sex, which are unknown in bacteria. How and why did this radical transformation happen?The answer, Lane argues, lies in energy: all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a lightning bolt. Building on the pillars of evolutionary theory, Lane’s hypothesis draws on cutting-edge research into the link between energy and cell biology, in order to deliver a compelling account of evolution from the very origins of life to the emergence of multicellular organisms, while offering deep insights into our own lives and deaths.Both rigorous and enchanting, The Vital Question provides a solution to life’s vital question: why are we as we are, and indeed, why are we here at all? 37 illlustrations

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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

by Jared M. Diamond

About the book:  "Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."―Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

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The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

by David Deutsch

About the book:  The New York Times bestseller: A provocative, imaginative exploration of the nature and progress of knowledgeIn this groundbreaking book, award-winning physicist David Deutsch argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe—and that improving them is the basic regulating principle of all successful human endeavor. Taking us on a journey through every fundamental field of science, as well as the history of civilization, art, moral values, and the theory of political institutions, Deutsch tracks how we form new explanations and drop bad ones, explaining the conditions under which progress—which he argues is potentially boundless—can and cannot happen. Hugely ambitious and highly original, The Beginning of Infinity explores and establishes deep connections between the laws of nature, the human condition, knowledge, and the possibility for progress.

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Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

by Richard Rumelt

About the book:  Even though everyone is talking about it, there is no concept in business today more muddled than 'strategy'. Richard Rumelt, described by McKinsey Quarterly as 'a giant in the field of strategy' and 'strategy's strategist', tackles this problem head-on in a jargon-free explanation of how to develop and take action on strategy, in business, politics and beyond. Rumelt dispels popular misconceptions about strategy - such as confusing it with ambitions, visions or financial goals - by very practically showing that a good strategy focuses on the challenges a business faces, and providing an insightful new approach for overcoming them. His sharp analysis and his brilliant, bold style make his book stand out from its competitors (something that Rumelt himself says is crucial). Rumelt has always challenged dominant thinking, ever since, in 1972, he was the first person to uncover a statistical link between corporate strategy and profitability - and this is his long-awaited tour de force.

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The Innovator's Dilemma

by Clayton M. Christensen

About the book:  Examines how companies can create a balance between marketing cutting-edge technology and anticipating customer demand.

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The Innovator's Solution

by Clayton M. Christensen,Michael E. Raynor

About the book:  An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen’s work continues to underpin today’s most innovative leaders and organizations. A seminal work on disruption—for everyone confronting the growth paradox. For readers of the bestselling The Innovator’s Dilemma—and beyond—this definitive work will help anyone trying to transform their business right now. In The Innovator’s Solution, Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor expand on the idea of disruption, explaining how companies can and should become disruptors themselves. This classic work shows just how timely and relevant these ideas continue to be in today’s hyper-accelerated business environment. Christensen and Raynor give advice on the business decisions crucial to achieving truly disruptive growth and propose guidelines for developing your own disruptive growth engine. The authors identify the forces that cause managers to make bad decisions as they package and shape new ideas—and offer new frameworks to help create the right conditions, at the right time, for a disruption to succeed. This is a must-read for all senior managers and business leaders responsible for innovation and growth, as well as members of their teams. Based on in-depth research and theories tested in hundreds of companies across many industries, The Innovator’s Solution is a necessary addition to any innovation library—and an essential read for entrepreneurs and business builders worldwide.

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First, Break All The Rules

by Marcus Buckingham,Curt Coffman

About the book:  Explains how good managers can select, focus, motivate, and develop their employees in order to transform talent into performance

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The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

by Peter M. Senge

About the book:  Leading management guru Peter M Senge defines the five business 'disciplines' which together help to build learning organizations. These companies will be the successful ones in the coming decade because of their ability to learn, to absorb new ideas, theories and practices at all employee levels and use them to competive adventage. Shared vision, teamwork and leverage are the main themes of this book.

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The Performance Pipeline

by Stephen Drotter

About the book:  The guide that defines the results required at each organizational level to sustain business success It's not enough to build a company full of people with leadership skills. The Performance Pipeline digs deep into the real work of executing business results at each leadership layer. Filled with lessons and examples from the author's 40 years of experience Shows how to set performance standards, make sure the right work is being done, and remove performance barriers Illustrates how leaders can make the transition to the next level and achieve full performance This book gives leaders in any industry an advantage over the competition.

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Deep Work

by Cal Newport

About the book:  Many modern knowledge workers now spend most of their brain power battling distraction and interruption, whether because of the incessant pinging of devices, noisy open-plan offices or the difficulty of deciding what deserves your attention the most. When Cal Newport coined the term 'deep work' on his popular blog, Study Hacks, in 2012, he found the concept quickly hit a nerve. Most of us, after all, are excruciatingly familiar with shallow work instead - distractedly skimming the surface of our workload and never getting to the important part. Newport began exploring the methods and mindset that foster a practice of distraction-free productivity at work, and now, in DEEP WORK, he shows how anyone can achieve this elusive state. Through revealing portraits of both historical and modern-day thinkers, academics and leaders in the fields of technology, science and culture, and their deep work habits, Newport shares an inspiring collection of tools to wring every last drop of value out of your intellectual capacity. He explains why mastering this shift in work practices is crucial for anyone who intends to stay ahead in a complex information economy, and how to systematically train the mind to focus. Put simply: developing and cultivating a deep work practice is one of the best decisions we can make in an increasingly distracted world.

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The Big Picture

by Sean Carroll

About the book:  Over the last few hundred years an avalanche of discoveries have changed our world dramatically, having a profound effect on what we think really matters. Now, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll breaks down how the universe works at the quantum, cosmic and human levels, and links them together to reveal how our human values relate to scientific reality. A synthesis of cosmos-sprawling science and the most profound questions about life, death and our place in the universe, The Big Picture is the ultimate guide through the scientific revolution that has taken us from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness and the universe. As Carroll’s eloquent quest to explain everything demonstrates, our lives may forever be dwarfed by the immensity of the universe but they can be redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.

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The Fabric of Reality

by David Deutsch

About the book:  An extraordinary and challenging synthesis of ideas uniting Quantum Theory, and the theories of Computation, Knowledge and Evolution, Deutsch's extraordinary book explores the deep connections between these strands which reveal the fabric of realityin which human actions and ideas play essential roles.

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Theory of Nothing

by Russell Standish

About the book:  The "Theory of Nothing" explores the radical idea that the reality we see around us is but one of an infinite "library" of alternate realities, the sum of which contains no information and is in fact "Nothing". The necessity for observed reality to be consistent with the observer's existence implies a strong connection between fundamental physics and cognitive science. A revolutionary understanding of why physics has the form it does, and why our minds are the way they are is forged.

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From Eternity to Here

by Sean Carroll

About the book:  Uses recent concepts in theoretical physics to explore the properties of spacetime and explain why time appears to only move forward, and has done so since before the Big Bang itself.

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Work Rules!

by Laszlo Bock

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER The Globe and Mail Top Leadership and Management BookForbes Top Creative Leadership Book From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations comes a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work-and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. "We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing." So says Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge. This insight is the heart of WORK RULES!, a compelling and surprisingly playful manifesto that offers lessons including: Take away managers' power over employees Learn from your best employees-and your worst Hire only people who are smarter than you are, no matter how long it takes to find them Pay unfairly (it's more fair!) Don't trust your gut: Use data to predict and shape the future Default to open-be transparent and welcome feedback If you're comfortable with the amount of freedom you've given your employees, you haven't gone far enough. Drawing on the latest research in behavioral economics and a profound grasp of human psychology, WORK RULES! also provides teaching examples from a range of industries-including lauded companies that happen to be hideous places to work and little-known companies that achieve spectacular results by valuing and listening to their employees. Bock takes us inside one of history's most explosively successful businesses to reveal why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world, distilling 15 years of intensive worker R&D into principles that are easy to put into action, whether you're a team of one or a team of thousands. WORK RULES! shows how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, leading to success you can measure in quality of life as well as market share. Read it to build a better company from within rather than from above; read it to reawaken your joy in what you do.

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Consciousness and the Social Brain

by Michael S. A. Graziano

About the book:  Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all: what is consciousness? Linking consciousness with social intelligence, Graziano discusses the science, the philosophy, and the implications.

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Fooled by Randomness

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

About the book:  'One of the smartest books of all time' Fortune Everyone wants to succeed in life. But what causes some of us to be more successful than others? Is it really down to skill and strategy - or something altogether more unpredictable? This book is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. It is all about luck: more precisely, how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the markets - we hear an entrepreneur has 'vision' or a trader is 'talented', but all too often their performance is down to chance rather than skill. It is only because we fail to understand probability that we continue to believe events are non-random, finding reasons where none exist. This irreverent bestseller has shattered the illusions of people around the world by teaching them how to recognize randomness. Now it can do the same for you. Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a radical and paradoxical philosopher for our times. He has spent his life immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability, and knowledge, and he has led three high-profile careers around his ideas, as a man of letters, as a businessman-trader, and as a university professor and researcher. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's Polytechnic Institute. His books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in thirty-three languages. Taleb refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.

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The Book of Disquiet

by Fernando Pessoa

About the book:  Sitting at his desk, Bernardo Soares imagined himself free forever of Rua dos Douradores, of his boss Vasques, of Moreira the book-keeper, of all the other employees, the errand boy, the post boy, even the cat. But if he left them all tomorrow and discarded the suit of clothes he wears, what else would he do? Because he would have to do something. And what suit would he wear? Because he would have to wear another suit. A self-deprecating reflection on the sheer distance between the loftiness of his feelings and the humdrum reality of his life, The Book of Disquiet is a classic of existentialist literature.

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

About the book:  The intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent begin in the first volume of the 'trilogy of five', Douglas Adams' comedy sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON'T PANIC. The weekend has only just begun . . .

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