Click here to go to John's Goodreads profile

Click here to see the new non-fiction recommendation database John is working on

John's bookshelf: read

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
it was amazing
tagged: favorites, human-relationships, non-fiction, science-tech, thinking...
Hitch-22: A Memoir
liked it
tagged: biography and non-fiction
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
liked it
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Tao Te Ching
liked it
by Lao Tzu
tagged: self-improvement-and-wisdom, thinking-and-behavior, and non-fiction
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction and science-tech
The Prophet
liked it
tagged: fiction, poetry, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice
liked it
tagged: non-fiction and self-improvement-and-wisdom
A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy
liked it
tagged: non-fiction and self-improvement-and-wisdom
Lying
really liked it
tagged: human-relationships, non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and ...
Anything You Want
liked it
tagged: business-investing, non-fiction, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
Common Sense
liked it
tagged: history and non-fiction
When Breath Becomes Air
liked it
tagged: biography, non-fiction, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
The Lessons of History
it was amazing
tagged: favorites, history, and non-fiction
Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion
liked it
tagged: thinking-and-behavior, self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, an...
Hegel: A Very Short Introduction
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Marx: A Very Short Introduction
really liked it
tagged: history, human-relationships, macroeconomics, non-fiction, and thin...
Free Will
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Between the World and Me
really liked it
tagged: thinking-and-behavior, non-fiction, and human-relationships
Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
liked it
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice
liked it
tagged: human-relationships, macroeconomics, non-fiction, and thinking-and-...
The Law
it was ok
tagged: history, non-fiction, and thinking-and-behavior
War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
really liked it
Two interesting ideas in this book: 1) That if we required a referendum to pass before going to war, and that only the combat-age citizens would be eligible to vote, we’d almost never have war. 2) If the US military stayed on American so...
tagged: history, non-fiction, and improving-the-world
Be The Best You Can Be
it was ok
tagged: biography and self-improvement-and-wisdom
The Wright Brothers
really liked it
tagged: biography, history, and non-fiction
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
liked it
tagged: self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, and thinking-and-behavior
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically
it was amazing
tagged: favorites, improving-the-world, non-fiction, and thinking-and-behavior
Soviet Politics 1917-1991
liked it
tagged: history and non-fiction
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
really liked it
tagged: history, non-fiction, and macroeconomics
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
liked it
tagged: science-tech, non-fiction, human-relationships, and business-investing
The Discourses
liked it
tagged: history, non-fiction, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
liked it
tagged: science-tech, non-fiction, and business-investing
What to Expect Before You're Expecting
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction and human-relationships
Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future
liked it
tagged: business-investing, non-fiction, and science-tech
Excel 2013 Bible
really liked it
tagged: self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, and science-tech
Mindfulness
it was ok
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
From Dictatorship to Democracy
liked it
tagged: non-fiction, thinking-and-behavior, and history
Fear and Trembling
it was ok
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
it was amazing
tagged: favorites, improving-the-world, non-fiction, and science-tech
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, thinking-and-behavior, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
Man's Search for Meaning
liked it
tagged: biography, human-relationships, non-fiction, self-improvement-and-w...
Letter to a Christian Nation
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction and thinking-and-behavior
50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know
really liked it
tagged: history, non-fiction, and science-tech
Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference
it was amazing
tagged: improving-the-world, non-fiction, favorites, and educated-in-10-books
What Is Philosophy? A Guide to the World of Thought and Logic
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, thinking-and-behavior, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
really liked it
tagged: favorites, human-relationships, improving-the-world, non-fiction, s...
Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help
really liked it
tagged: human-relationships, improving-the-world, non-fiction, and thinking...
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
it was ok
Pretty much what you'd expect from the infamous Little Red Book. Right in the book's forward, Mao is praised as the greatest Marxist-Leninist of the era, that his thought is the ONLY correct thought, and that "our most fundamental task i...
tagged: thinking-and-behavior, non-fiction, and history
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
really liked it
Key takeaways: 1) Humans learn in narratives - so create a story if you want to remember something. 2) Breaking up X hours of studying between multiple days instead of cramming and doing X hours all at once, is very powerful and can mor...
tagged: non-fiction, science-tech, thinking-and-behavior, and self-improvem...
The Stranger
liked it
tagged: fiction and thinking-and-behavior
Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?
it was amazing
A wonderful crash course in justice and morality. Sandel's book is a truly engaging, thought-provoking work that breaks down many of today's most popular moral systems (utilitarianism, libertarianism, egalitarianism, etc) and layers on t...
tagged: thinking-and-behavior, self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, im...
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
really liked it
In the Moral Landscape, philosopher Sam Harris argues that science can be used to determine human values, instead of: 1) values being determined by superstition (religion), or 2) values being left undermined by science (moral relativism)...
tagged: improving-the-world, non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and ...
The Last Lecture
really liked it
tagged: self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, and favorites
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
liked it
A very interesting book, by famous atheist thinker Sam Harris, that argues one can reap many of the benefits of being spiritual by practicing secular meditation and mindfulness. This practice would provide those benefits without the nega...
tagged: non-fiction, thinking-and-behavior, and self-improvement-and-wisdom
Mortality
liked it
tagged: biography, non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-a...
A Brief History of Time
really liked it
tagged: non-fiction, science-tech, and history
On the Shortness of Life
liked it
by Seneca
tagged: non-fiction, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and thinking-and-behavior
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
it was amazing
Another 5 star work by Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus, picks up right where Sapiens left off. While I think Sapiens is better than 99% of the non-fiction books I've ever read, I'd put Homo Deus merely in the 90th-95th percentile. It's an i...
tagged: favorites, educated-in-10-books, history, science-tech, and thinkin...
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
it was amazing
Of the 175 non-fiction books I’ve logged over the past 6-7 years…THIS is the best book I’ve read. Sapiens is a mind-blowing, ambitious, and deep reflection on the past, present, and future of Homo sapiens. I am literally going to force m...
tagged: educated-in-10-books, favorites, history, non-fiction, science-tech...
Heart of Darkness
liked it
This is THE classic, brutal tale of imperialism and cult of personality, inspired by Conrad's real life experiences in Africa. The book is super short, but the complex, mysterious nature of Conrad's writing combined with late 1800s langu...
tagged: fiction, history, and thinking-and-behavior
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
it was amazing
An amazing, powerful book on how humans are drawn to the narcotic of war, and the horror that results. Everyone should read this book. The central idea that war is a very potent drug – the biggest high you can get – often peddled by his...
tagged: favorites, human-relationships, history, non-fiction, and thinking-...
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
really liked it
A mind-blowing journey through the history of, and unexpected connections between, some of our species greatest innovations. Ideas that represent Johnson’s “Hummingbird effect” include: how glass made the world much more connected, how t...
tagged: history, non-fiction, and science-tech
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
liked it
This book did not live up to the hype for me. It is essentially a collection of autobiographical stories of Feynman where he portrays himself as a curious, genius, trickster. Each anecdote is intended to be humorous and leave the reader ...
tagged: biography, non-fiction, and science-tech
No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy
liked it
Full Disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Gates and Buffett and read this book (which criticizes them both heavily) to try and keep a well-rounded, balanced view of these two role models of mine. The main argument of this book is that big phi...
tagged: improving-the-world
How Google Works
really liked it
I’ve read a ton of business books, but this was definitely one of the more practical and more interesting ones. There’s a lot to digest in this book, if you can get passed the self-glorification. Below are the two ideas that made the big...
tagged: business-investing, non-fiction, and science-tech
The Times Complete History of the World
it was amazing
tagged: history, non-fiction, and favorites
Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life
it was amazing
tagged: self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, and favorites
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
it was amazing
tagged: thinking-and-behavior, non-fiction, and favorites
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
it was amazing
At a whopping 700 or so pages, Tools of Titans is Tim Ferriss doing what he does best: Picking the brains of the super-successful, and distilling their approaches to life, business, and health into actionable items. Themes that come up...
tagged: business-investing, self-improvement-and-wisdom, non-fiction, and f...
The Story of My Life
it was ok
tagged: biography and non-fiction
Ready Player One
really liked it
Although >80% of my reading is non-fiction, I really loved this story. Ready Player One is a dystopian novel in which Earth is plagued by famine, poverty, energy crisis, disease, and war. Most people escape this horrible world by spend...
tagged: fiction
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
it was amazing
tagged: business-investing, biography, non-fiction, and favorites
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
really liked it
tagged: biography, thinking-and-behavior, and non-fiction
Harmonium
liked it
tagged: poetry and non-fiction
Meditations
really liked it
tagged: history, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and non-fiction
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
it was amazing
This is the unbelievable true story of a woman named Henrietta Lacks. Ms. Lacks died in 1951 from cervical cancer. During her treatment, some of her cervical cells were removed, and turned out to be “immortal” in that they continued to r...
tagged: biography, science-tech, non-fiction, and favorites
Saint Of Auschwitz: The Story Of Maximilian Kolbe
liked it
tagged: biography and non-fiction
Catching Fire
really liked it
tagged: fiction
The Night Circus
liked it
tagged: fiction
Mockingjay
really liked it
tagged: fiction
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
really liked it
A very well written account of the illiterate slave who conquered more land (also more densely populated land) in 25 years than the Romans did in 400 years. Innovative psychological fighting techniques, speed and surprise over defense, a...
tagged: history, biography, and non-fiction
Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms
liked it
3.5 stars from an atheist Oh man – Time Tebow – where to begin? Tebow, similar to a prominent politician or public intellectual, is irrationally loved by those that share his worldview, and irrationally loathed by those who don’t share ...
tagged: biography, self-improvement-and-wisdom, and non-fiction
The Hunger Games
it was amazing
tagged: fiction and favorites
Escape from Freedom
really liked it
tagged: thinking-and-behavior and non-fiction

goodreads.com

John's read books

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
Siddhartha
Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Brave New World
Battle Cry of Freedom
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Animal Farm / 1984
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Never Eat Alone
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Intelligent Investor
The Hunger Games
30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans


John Leven's favorite books »