Updated on Sat 26 December 2015

books

In no particular order, here are some great books I think everybody should read at least once in their life.

Non-Fiction

This book serves as a great introduction to Stoic philosophy, giving you a guide on how to live your life. For other approaches to the same topic or further reading, I recommend A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joycache and Meditationscache by Marcus Aurelius.

While the title sounds like hyperbole, this book is actually great to help you get rid of all the things you've accumulated over the years that you don't really need any more, but that are still around somehow. You'll be surprised at how much you'll get rid of, and how transformed your flat/house suddenly feels.

Gives you an idea what Google looks like on the inside, and how you can use that to improve the company you work in. Recommended for everyone who has never worked at Google.

  • Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman!

  • Influence, Robert Cialdini

Fiction

  • Cyteen

  • The Long War

  • The Windup Girl

  • The Quantum Thief

  • The Last Ringbearer

A great alternative view of Lord of the Rings, from the point of view of an Orc. Mordor is an advanced scientific society, while the elves are the imperialist oppressors.

  • Halting State, Charles Stross.

  • Daemon and Freedom, Daniel Suarez

  • Ender's Game

  • Life of Pi

  • Cryptonomicon

  • Permutation City

  • A Deepness in the Sky

  • Stranger in a Strange Land

  • Blindsight

  • Starship Troopers

  • The Diamond Age

  • Catch-22

  • Flowers for Algernon

  • The Three-Body Problem

Innovative Chinese SciFi.

  • Seveneves

  • The Martian

  • Shantaram

  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

  • Dune

  • House of Suns

  • The Player of Games, Ian M. Banks

as well as all the other Culture books

  • Snow Crash

Textbooks

I've recently decided to further my understanding of the hard sciences, primarily biology and physics for now. Less Wrong has a very good post on The Best Textbooks on Every Subjectcache, but unfortunately it mostly covers mathematics, cognitive science and philosophy. Thus it set out to put together my own list, hopefully contributing it back once I have sufficient confidence about my choices.

Physics

My favorite introduction physics so far are definitely The Feynman Lectures on Physicscache, available for free online. While the lectures are quite old at this point - originally published 1964 - the parts about classical physics are of course still accurate today.

There is also the excellent sequence of video lectures, The Theoretical Minimummcache, that I can't leave unmentioned here.

For a comprehensive selection of all books you need for both undergraduate and graduate Physics, see So You Want To Learn Physics...cache by Susan J. Fowler, an excellent list.

QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Mattercache (by Feynman) is also a great read.

Biology

For molecular biology, The Processes of Life: An Introduction to Molecular Biologycache has been recommended to me. I will update once I've actually read it.

/r/biology also recommends Molecular Biology of the Cell and Molecular Biology of the Genecache, though so far I've read neither of those two. Genomes 3cache recommended by a Googler.

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