For several years now I've followed three rules for buying and reading books.

  1. I don't spend more than a minute deciding if I want to buy a book. If I find anything about a book interesting - the title, the author, the subject, the description, a review - I buy it. I've found contemplating this decision to be a waste of time. Even a single idea or a beautifully worded sentence is usually worth the $10 or $20 a book costs.
  2. I've permitted myself to read multiple books at a time.
  3. I don't put any pressure on myself to finish a book. I can pick it up, skim it, start, stop, and sometimes never finish a book, with minimal guilt. (This is almost a requisite for rule #2.)

These rules mean that I have many books that I own but haven't read and may not read for a few years.

The list below is an evolving, random sample of the books I own. I've highlighted the ones I'm currently reading. I thought about identifying once I've read completely but that goes against rule #3. I think I may eventually include every book I own and perhaps highlight ones I've especially enjoyed.

  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind  (Shunryu Suzuki)
  • The Dance of Siva   (Ananda K Coomaraswamy)
  • Skin in the game   (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life   (William Finnegan)
  • Invitation to a Banquet - The Story of Chinese Food   (Fuchsia Dunlop)
  • Snow Crash  (Neal Stephenson)
  • A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction   (Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein)
  • The Architecture of Happiness   (Alain de Botton)
  • Sum - Forty tales from the afterlives   (David Eagleman)
  • Cannae 216 BC: Hannibal smashes Rome's Army   (Mark Healy)
  • Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!   (Richard P. Feynman)
  • Something incredibly wonderful happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the world he made up   (K.C. Cole)
  • Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life   (Rory Sutherland)
  • Lord Cornwallis is Dead: The Struggle for Democracy in the United States and India   (Nico Slate)
  • The Songs of Trees: Stories from nature's great connectors   (David George Haskell)
  • The Crisis of Islam   (Bernard Lewis)
  • From Beirut to Jerusalem   (Thomas Friedman)
  • Sex at Dawn: How we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships   (Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha)
  • How to be an antiracist   (Ibram X. Kendi)
  • Creative Selection: Inside Apple's design process during the golden age of Steve Jobs   (Ken Kocienda)
  • The Box: How the shipping container made the world smaller and the world economy bigger   (Marc Levinson)
  • Tools of Titans   (Tim Ferriss)
  • I will teach you to be rich   (Ramit Sethi)
  • Skin in the game   (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Antifragile: Things that gain from disaster   (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • The Gene   (Siddhartha Mukherjee)
  • Meditations   (Marcus Aurelius)
  • 1984   (George Orwell)
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American life   (Walter Isaacson)
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future   (Peter Theil with Blake Masters)
  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World   (David Epstein)
  • Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process   (John McPhee)
  • An Unorthodox Soldier: Peace and War and the Sandline Affair   (Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Spicer OBE)
  • Under and Alone: the true story of the undercover agent who infiltrated America's most violent motorcycle gang   (William Queen)
  • A field guide to getting lost   (Rebecca Solnit)
  • Devotions: The selected poems of Mary Oliver   (Mary Oliver)
  • The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea   (John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge)
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle   (Haruki Murakami)
  • We don't know ourselves: A personal history of modern Ireland   (Fintan O'Toole)