Books I've read

I really got into reading when I started going to university. Here is a simple list of some of my favorite books and I'll add some comments to some of them. This list is inspired by the book list of the writer and programmer James Somers. The books do not have a particular order and are only loosely organized by theme and genre.

Early Nonfiction

  • The New Kings of Nonfiction introduced by Ira Glass - This collection of different nonfiction articles and book excerpts got me really into nonfiction. Most books I have read in the first few years in university were mostly from the great authors presented in this book. I initially bought this book, because I am a big fan of Ira Glass' podcast This American Life.
  • Among the Thugs by Bill Burford
  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
  • The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis
  • Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis
  • Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis
  • Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life by Michael Lewis
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker by James McManus

On Intelligence & Computing

  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
  • Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
  • The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
  • Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang - All short stories are great, but my favorites are Divison by Zero, Understand, and Tower of Babylon.
  • Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide by Alex Reinhart
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't by Nate Silver
  • Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra
  • The Passionate Programmer by Chad Fowler

Grantland Authors & Sports

  • The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy by Bill Simmons
  • The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein
  • The Dead Do Not Improve: A Novel by Jay Caspian Kang - I often go back to his personal essay The High Is Always the Pain and the Pain Is Always the High on gambling and his addictive behavior towards gambling at different times of his life.
  • Basketball (and Other Things): A Collection of Questions Asked, Answered, Illustrated by Shea Serrano
  • Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo by Andy Greenwald
  • Monogamy: An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman
  • Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman
  • Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century by Chuck Klosterman


  • Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell
  • Death by Video Game: Tales of Obsession from the Virtual Frontline by Simon Parkin

DFW & Postmodernism

  • Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments by David Foster Wallace
  • The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace - My favorite short stories from this collection are Forever Overheard, The Depressed Person, Signifying Nothing, Octet, and Adult World (I).
  • Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace - My favorite short stories from this collection are Little Expressionless Animals, Lyndon, Here and There, and Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way.
  • Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky
  • The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon - I read this book around the time when Under the Silver Lake was released. I find both stories very similar from their tone.
  • E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction by David Foster Wallance - This isn't a book, but an essay. Jason Somers has the story on his website uploaded here.

Graphic Novels

  • V for Vendetta written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd
  • Watchmen written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons, and colored by John Higgins

Writers from The New Yorker

  • Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll
  • Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life by Adam Gopnik
  • Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
  • The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

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