2017 Book Recommendations:

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies: The physics behind biology, cities, economics and companies. Do they grow, scale and die by the same math equations? New insights that are enlightening and delightful.

Lying : One of my favorite one hour reads about intellectual honesty. I wish more people were this honest!

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst: Among the best insights into our brain and behavior. A top of the charts for me for this year, along with Scale.

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow: Not that I agree with all of it, but it is still mind-bending speculation about our future as a follow-up to a previous favorite, Sapiens. It’s directionally right.

Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders: Brand building for entrepreneurs trying to upset the incumbents. One of the few “how to” books I enjoyed.

The Brand Flip: Why customers now run companies and how to profit from it (Voices That Matter): Wish all books maximized learning per hour of reading time. A very well done book on branding and new brand values. It will be the death of many incumbents.

Dunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave: Fun read about our biases and how our brain functions.

Case Against Sugar : Not surprising but explicit description of the American psych on sugar and fat by the sugar industry. I would not have believed this much influence is possible.

Your Brain On Music: The. Science of a Human Obsession: Fascinating though older book.

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion: Surprising, but will feel very obvious to the rationalists. A good case against too much empathy.

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld: Fun though older book.

From Bacteria to Back and Back: The Evolution of Minds: Another of my favorites this year. Long but worth every page.

The Last Days of Night: I don’t read fiction, but this almost historical fiction is fun especially for Silicon Valley types.

Astrophysics for people in a hurry: Great, very quick overview of astrophysics. Easily accessible.

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World: If you want speculation about what the master AI might need (one view). For a slightly more technical read, I’d suggest Ian Goodfellows Deep Learning.

Mindfulness in Plain English : Easy access to meditation

Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made: Not very far from the truth on the financial services industry though the authors biases come through. Not all correct (in my view), but still worth reading.