Books Worth Re-reading

List of the books I consider worth re-reading

“Any kind of important book should immediately be read twice, partly because one grasps the matter in its entirety the second time, and only really understands the beginning when the end is known; and partly because in reading it the second time one’s temper and mood are different so that one gets another impression; it may be that one sees the matter in another light.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Taking Schopenhauer to heart, below are the books that I have read at least twice. Adopting the concept of re-reading a book has been one of the most powerful changes I made in 2016.

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CoverTitleSummaryTagsPosted
My Life and Work by Henry Ford

Summary Henry Ford recounts his life and the business philosophy which helped him create one of the most innovative and dominant companies of all time. “The essence of my idea is that waste and greed block the delivery of true service. Both waste and greed are unnecessary. Waste is due largely to not understanding what one does, […]

, , , , Nov 20172017-11-06 16:21:26
Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton and John Huey

Summary Sam Walton recounts his background and Walmart’s path to retail dominance Key Takeaways Sam’s Rules for Building a Business Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don’t know if you’re born […]

, , , , , , , Oct 20172017-10-01 04:19:39
Why Don’t We Learn From History? by BH Liddell Hart

Summary Hart succinctly and engagingly describes why history is so important to study and, yet, why so few do Key Takeaways There is no panacea for peace that can be written out in a formula like a doctor’s prescription. But one can set down a series of practical points—elementary principles drawn from the sum of […]

, , , , Sep 20172017-09-04 17:21:58
Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War and God by Will Durant

Summary The personal, distilled wisdom and beliefs of Will Durant on life’s important topics. Answered clearly, simply and imperfectly Key Takeaways Man is always steeped in the ways and views of his youth and is almost constantly constitutionally incapable of understanding the changing world that assails him We love children because they are extensions of […]

, , , Apr 20172017-04-26 14:35:04
Chapters in My Life by Frederick Taylor Gates

Summary Frederick Taylor Gates, the senior business and philanthropic advisor to John D. Rockefeller, recounts his life story and interaction with JDR Key Takeaways Gates grew up in a relatively poor household but his parents were hard working and were never for want. Gates became a Baptist minister after graduating from Rochester and practiced for […]

, , , , , Mar 20172017-03-27 15:22:07
The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons From a Life in Coaching by Dean Smith

Summary A detailed overview of University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith’s philosophy. One of the best books on leadership I’ve yet come across Key Takeaways Smith gave his players the same 3 goals each year – play hard, play together, play smart as these were the only things each player had in their […]

, , , , , Feb 20172017-02-26 21:02:10
Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

A primer on problem solving on scales from local to global, how systems exist and react in the real world while acknowledging that all models are false although they help us simplify and at times make better predictions

, , , , Sep 20162016-09-26 19:01:41
The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

Will and Ariel Durant provide an unparalleled multi-disciplinary recount of history, covering major themes, events and people. This 100 page book is an incredible summary of their 10,000+ page series, The Story of Civilization.

, , , , Jul 20162016-07-29 14:31:32
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin

Through real life examples, many of them centered around Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Peter Bevelin helps the reader learn how to think better, make fewer poor decisions understand ourselves and others better. Discusses mental models, human fallibilities, heuristics, instincts, human psychology, biology and more.

, , , , , , , Jul 20162016-07-29 14:28:14
Buffett and Munger: A Study in Simplicity and Uncommon, Common Sense by Peter Bevelin

A very interesting dialogue between Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, the “librarian” and the “seeker” of knowledge. The dialogue discusses how to live a successful, happy and fulfilling life, what to avoid in life and in business and how to improve mental biases and heuristics in order to make better decisions

, , , , , , , Jul 20162016-07-29 14:26:41
Men and Rubber: The Story of Business by Harvey S. Firestone

Harvey Firestone discusses some of his background, philosophy and business practices which helped him build one of the most successful companies of the early 20th century

, , , , Jun 20162016-06-29 13:10:48
Plain Talk: Lessons From a Business Maverick by Ken Iverson

Ken Iverson took over Nucor when he was 39 and compounded the business at incredible rates for decades. On top of it, he did it in the steel industry which is not known for its attractive returns. Iverson lays out his management principles which center around employee trust and loyalty, decentralization, honesty, limited hierarchy and bureaucracy and aligning the employees and manager’s interest through partnership.

, , , , , , Mar 20162016-03-30 14:52:33
The Loyalty Effect by Frederick Reichheld

Reichheld lays out a very convincing argument for why creating an ecosystem which attracts and rewards loyal customers, employees and investors is the ultimate moat for any organization

, , , , , Mar 20162016-03-29 21:38:47
The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie by Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 in Scotland but immigrated to America when he was 13 and was able to rise to the highest echelons of society through his steel empire. He is one of the world’s great philanthropists and gave away the majority of his wealth before his death to several causes such as public libraries, world peace, improving the human condition and strengthening democracy.

, , , , , Feb 20162016-02-29 19:15:47
It’s Your Ship by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

Captain Abrashoff recounts his story and the leadership principles he used to turn around the USS Benfold, one of the worst performing ships in the navy. Believes these leadership principles to be universal and in today’s age, getting the most out of your people and helping them grow is more important than ever

, , , Jan 20162016-01-31 20:37:57
Leading by Alex Ferguson and Michael Moritz

Alex Ferguson managed Manchester United for 26 years and helped them achieve incredible success. This book is about what he has learned throughout his life about leadership

, , , , , Dec 20152015-12-04 15:58:36
The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

Great read on how to apply universal learning techniques to any endeavor. You must learn the fundamentals so thoroughly that they become ingrained, allowing the brain to fully focus on minute details which help separate you from the rest of the competition

, , , , Dec 20152015-12-04 15:54:36
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

Adams is the comic behind the Dilbert series and this book is his story about how he stumbled his way to success amid many failures. Goals are for losers, your brain isn’t magic – you can program it, most important metric to track is your personal energy, every skill you acquire doubles your chances of success, success is happiness + freedom, conquer shyness by being a huge phony (in a good way), fitness is the lever that moves the world, simplicity transforms the ordinary into the amazing

, , , , Nov 20152015-11-17 14:18:50
Deep Simplicity by John Gribbin

Gribbin explores our biological history to show how complexity can arise out of simplicity. Chaos leads to complexity which leads to life. The interesting things happen at the edge of complexity; in chaotic systems, minute differences in the initial conditions lead to huge differences in outcome

, , , Nov 20152015-11-17 13:39:15
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes

Jaynes argues that up until 2-4,000 years ago, men were not conscious but followed the voices of gods. As language and writing developed, consciousness began to emerge which then displaced these voices. On the surface it seems crazy but Jaynes does an incredible job of making it seem plausible

, , , Nov 20152015-11-17 13:37:38
It’s About TIME! by Jim Ball and Jennifer Kuchta

An excellent, simple and easy to read book on how to better manage your time and be much more productive

, , , Nov 20152015-11-17 13:07:22
Pebbles of Perception by Laurence Endersen

Enderson got inspiration from Poor Charlie’s Almanack – to understand the main principles in the big fields (law, psychology, business, engineering, physics, etc.) and understand the importance of good choices. This book is Endersen’s take on how to make good decisions

, , Nov 20152015-11-17 12:57:21
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

On his journey from Minnesota to Northern California, the narrator discusses quality and several other philosophical questions through examples and chautauquas. “To truly experience quality, one must both embrace and apply it as best fits the requirements of the situation.”

, , Nov 20152015-11-17 12:55:42
The Warrior Within: The Philosophies of Bruce Lee by John Little

Bruce Lee is much more than just one of the best martial artists of all time, he is a philosopher who sought to integrate his beliefs into everything he did. Lee outlines a framework in order to grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally by living in accordance with Tao, the way or nature.

, , , , , May 20152015-05-04 19:25:27
Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Peter Kaufman and Charlie Munger

A truly eye-opening book into the world and thought processes of Charlie Munger. He describes how and why he thinks the way he does, stresses the importance of learning the basics in the fundamental disciplines in order to avoid becoming “the man with a hammer who sees everything as a nail,” and how this has translated into the enormous success that is Berkshire Hathaway.

, , , , , , , , , May 20152015-05-04 19:07:52
Tao Teh Ching by Lao Tzu (Translated by John C.H. Wu)

This classic is a “series of insights into life and nature; it is suggestion rather than statement. It looks at what it means to follow the way of the Tao and how to go about doing so. Be humble, don’t strive, the weak are strong, be generous, be frugal, don’t force things are some of the many timeless tenets it advocates

, , , , , , , May 20152015-05-04 18:30:36
Essentialism by Greg McKeown

McKeown shows you how to get more done in less time and do it better. You must be very selective about what to focus on, eliminate everything else and learn how to emphatically but gracefully say no. Less but better

, , , , , May 20152015-05-04 18:22:14
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Summary In the most superficial summary possible, Edmond Dantes is wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit and spends his years in jail plotting his revenge. The story is filled with his comeback, the level of detail in his vengeful plans and wealth beyond all imagination. Even a lengthy summary cannot do this book […]

, , , Mar 20152015-03-12 16:02:41
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Robert Greene lays out 48 laws which will help you in you the mastery and conquest of your given field. He draws on historical examples of people who have observed or transgressed these laws as well as portions of fables and other short stories to help illustrate each law. A bit Machiavellian but better to be aware and not use than be taken advantage of due to ignorance

, , , , Mar 20152015-03-11 19:00:43
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb

Taleb describes that anything is antifragile as it gets better with chaos and disorder and improves with time whereas anything antifragile hates volatility. He lays out extremely convincing arguments for doing away with most predictions and trying to forecast into the future as this in reality handicaps us and doesn’t allow us to react to what is truly happening. His arguments are can and should be molded into every facet of your life and your decisions

, , , , , Mar 20152015-03-11 18:39:37
On the Shortness of Life by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca, a Stoic philosopher, offers his view on how to live successfully and happily (by being in the moment and not worrying about the past or future since there is nothing you can do about either), the importance of reason and morality and provides timeless wisdom which is just as relevant today as it was millennia ago.

, , , , Mar 20152015-03-11 15:22:29
Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca’s advice to his friend is still fantastic several thousand years later. Covers everything from his thoughts on crowds to acquiring wisdom.

, , , , Mar 20152015-03-11 15:19:58
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals by Robert Pirsig

Phaedrus, from The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, returns and ponders life’s essential elements as he sails down the Hudson River.

, , , Mar 20152015-03-10 18:59:14
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha is the story of the journey of a young man who experiences all the riches and desires any man can have but soon becomes bored with them. He strives for a life of simplicity, peace and wisdom and finds them in an unexpected place

, , , , Mar 20152015-03-06 16:14:23
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

Rob Chernow dives into the lives of one of the world’s most famous businessmen. John D. Rockefeller is often deified or vilified and it is because he draws out these extreme emotions in people that this biography is so appealing.

, , , , Mar 20152015-03-06 15:44:32
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

By following your heart, you will find treasures along the way and do what you are meant to do on this earth. A beautiful book with a powerful message

, , , Mar 20152015-03-01 23:43:58
The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Don Miguel Ruiz’s writing is so influential and powerful because of his ability to simply and beautifully convey his message. By following these 4 agreements, you can focus on the right things in life, gain perspective on issues and live a much happier, less stressful life.

, , , Feb 20152015-02-03 16:43:11
Mastery by Robert Greene

A must read. Robert Greene details masters of the past and present – people who are exceptional at what they do, what their processes are and what they have in common

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Feb 20152015-02-03 16:36:48