Books I recommend.

I noticed that every two weeks or so someone asks me about good books to read. I’m always delighted about that questions: People still like books! The question “is there a YouTube Channel or Twitter account I should follow” is more awkward (Are people still using Twitter? Or are they using it as in ‘LinkedIn posts’?)

Here is the the current list of business books I usually draw from.


  • Observation and Discovery: The First and Last Freedom, published 1954 by 20th-century Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986) about the nature of the self and of belief, investigations into fear and desire. What initially feels a bit like rambling and repetition turns out to be an ingenious meditation to distract your filters and pre-existing judgements — stick with it and keep reading!
  • Communication and negotiation: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Marshall B. Rosenberg), also available as a good audiobook, read by the author, in a slightly different format that works better than an unabridged version of the book
  • Randomness and hindsight story-telling: Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Nassim Nicholas Taleb), an opinionated but fun and easy read on all the silly stories we tell ourselves about our or other people’s success and failure. Might be paired with Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (Daniel Kahneman, 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences)
  • Dynamics of society, people, companies, culture, mythology, and the Internet: Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (René Girard) desire is mimetic (all our desires are borrowed from other people); conflict originates in mimetic desire; the scapegoat mechanism is the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture; religion is necessary in human evolution to control the violence that can come from mimetic rivalry; ‘religion’ is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices (Hello Internet)

Venture Capital & Startups


Leadership and CEOs

  • Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin) I’ve read many books on leadership etc. from MIT, HBR, blogs, etc. This is the one book I can really recommend; despite the SEAL title – which initially made me pause, I’m not a very militant guy – it really captures the essence of great leaders I’ve met and was fortunate enough to work for; I also did not understand at all what ‘military leadership’ can mean before this book
  • Principles: Life and Work (Ray Dalio) do not skip the first 100+ pages of background and autobiography of Ray
  • Lying (Sam Harris)

Thoughts? Opinions? Comments? Corrections?