This is a short summary of each book I have recently read. I was finding that after reading a book I would quickly forget the lessons and tips I had learned from it; What a waste! Now as I read, I highlight important lines and note topics that I can implement in my everyday life. You can click through to see my notes on most books. Sometimes they are detailed and sometimes not so much. This page will constantly update as I read more so feel free to check back.
Last Updated: January 2022
Mycelium Running – by Paul Stamets
ISBN: 1580085792 READ: Reading…
Meditations – by Marcus Aurelias (Robin Waterfield)
ISBN: 1541673859 READ: Reading…
Food of the Gods – by Terence McKenna
ISBN: 0553371304 READ: Reading…
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art – by James Nestor
ISBN: 0735213615 READ: Reading…
How To Live – By Derek Sivers
ISBN: n/a READ: Reading…
Project Hail Mary – By Andy Weir
ISBN: 0593135202 READ: January 2022
Amazing follow up novel after “The Martian.” Very similar in some aspects (science heavy) but also very dissimilar in others (fantasy). This is probably the fastest I have read a book in at least 5 years.
Sum – by David Eagleman
ISBN: 0143172158 READ: August 2021
Very interesting format, with very interesting out-of-the-box stories. Its a collection of short stories about what happens after you die. A great book to pick up for 5 minutes to rad and then do some introspection. Most (not all) of the chapters really brings up opportunity for deep thought and personal growth. It’s funny how stories about death can help you learn how to be alive.
Hell Yeah or No – by Derek Sivers
ISBN: n/a READ: May 2021
A book about a way to live your life. What’s worth doing? Only you can answer that, once you have your priorities set. Learn to say NO to things you are not 100% interested in. Time is valuable. Beautifully written in short digestible tidbits. This is a book you buy in large quantity to give as gifts. Couldn’t recommend more.
The Power of Now – by Eckhart Tolle
ISBN: 1577314808 READ: January 2021
After reading “A New Earth” I was left wanting more insight from Tolle as it really struck a chord for me. I had tried to read “The Power of Now” long ago but I wasn’t developed spiritually enough to “get it” so I decided now would be a good time to try again. This time, the message was much more clear, although after reading “A New Earth” I don’t feel I gained many new revelations. If I was to recommend reading one of the two, I would definitely choose “A New Earth” as it’s lessons are much more clear and concise.
Stillness is the Key – by Ryan Holiday
ISBN: 0525538585 READ: October 2020
Another book by Ryan Holiday that absolutely nails the punchline. I have been studying conciousness recently and this was the perfect next step in my learning. While other literature I have read on the subject is somewhat esoteric, this nails home all the points with concrete examples from leaders in the conciousness space in standard Holiday format. The best part is the actionable items that are written for the 21st century; based on research from the best thought leaders throughout history.
A New Earth – by Eckhart Tolle
ISBN: 9780452289963 READ: September 2020
A book I am truly greatful to the author for writing. This piece has shaped the way I look at life issues in a way that no other has. I am glad I read this book at my age so I can work on living how Echkart describes (without Ego) throughout the rest of my life. It is pefectly paired with the podcast by Oprah and Echhart where they break down each chapter in the book even further. I will be reading this one again.
Awareness – by Anthony De Mello
ISBN: 0385249373 READ: May 2020
This book is a good dip into changing the way you think and perceive the world. If you can get past the heavy Christianity content and look at the meaning of everything De Mello says there is a lot of knowledge to be gained. This is the first step into living life how it is mean’t to be lived; aware and in the moment.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics – by Dan Harris
ISBN: 0399588949 READ: DNF
The Toll – by Neal Shusterman
ISBN: 1481497073 READ: April 2020
The Toll the AGI has taken on humanity.
Thunderhead – by Neal Shusterman
ISBN: 1442472456 READ: March 2020
The Thunderhead is the AGI
Scythe – by Neal Shusterman
ISBN: 1442472421 READ: March 2020
Awesome book set in the far future where AGI has solved the world’s problems… except for how to handle population.
The Woman in the Window – by A.J. Finn
ISBN: 0062791451 READ: February 2020
A cool psychological thriller about a woman with agoraphobia. My first fiction read in some time.
How To Change Your Mind – by Michael Pollan
ISBN: 9781594204227 READ: September 2019
One of the best books of the decade. It is the perfect mix of history, current science, first person reports, and where the field of psychopharmacology is going in the future. Cleverly titled, this book goes deep on psychedelic compounds such a psilocybin, LSD and MDMA and their place in today’s society. It is truly a renaissance.
Why We Sleep – by Matthew Walker, PhD.
ISBN: 1501144316 READ: August 2019
A very dense read about where the science on sleep is today, written by a PhD doing some of the big research himself. Walker works to shift the societal norm that employs people to sleep less, so they can produce more, and backs it up with facts and data from recent studies. I had always known sleep to be very important, but this book really brings to light how truly beneficial and necessary sleep is to humans. By the end of the book it makes one want to change their sleep habits to gain new super powers.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – by Mark Manson
ISBN: 0062641549 READ: September 2018
A good starter book for those coming to the world of non-fiction reading for self betterment. I didn’t find this one said anything novel compared to all the other books I have read below, but I did appreciate the humour used throughout. It is a light read and has some solid concepts that would be beneficial to people who haven’t read much from the same genre.
Conspiracy – by Ryan Holiday
ISBN: 0783118457 READ: May 2018
A very interesting read about a modern day conspiracy carried out by a Silicon Valley billionaire against Gawker; a media outlet with seemingly no moral compass. This book is an inside look at a scheme that was hidden in the shadows for many years that ended up in the destruction of a huge media conglomerate. It is cool to see how the conspirators used many of the tactics from Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power” to accomplish their goal. I’d recommend this to anyone who doesn’t believe that secret plots can be carried out in today’s information age.
Principles – by Ray Dalio
ISBN: 1501124021 READ: February 2018
I hyped this book up a lot in my mind because it is by someone I really admire who has been quite private for a long time. Though I did enjoy parts of the it, it seemed to drag after a while and had a ton of repetition. The first part is Ray’ life principles which I enjoyed and got a decent amount out of, and the second part is his principles he used to run his hedge fund. The second part seems very useful to someone starting or running a company, but I’m not there just yet, so it was very difficult to find principles that applied to me. I’d recommend this to an upcoming startup CEO or someone in a management position, but if you aren’t there in life, I’d say the first half is valuable, and you can skip the second half.
The Daily Stoic – by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
ISBN: 1202221777 READ: December 2017
This book was a part of my daily routine for a full year. One page a day that contains a quote from a Stoic philosopher and a quick meditation on how it can be useful in today’s society. I really looked forward to reading each day and then trying to apply the daily lesson in my life that day. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to better their life and I will continue to re-read this every year as a reminder.
Deep Work – by Cal Newport
ISBN: 1455586692 READ: November 2017
This is the best book I have read all year. Written by a computer science professor and productivity guru, many of the examples and case studies are extremely relateable for me. The book explains how being focused and pushing yourself to your intellectual maximums is a skill that is highly sought after in today’s economy all the while it is becoming more and more rare. This leaves the doors open for deep workers to be highly successful. Packed with actionable strategies, Deep Work has made me want to change how I work on tasks to favour long stretches of uninterrupted, deep thinking.
Awaken the Giant Within – by Tony Robbins
ISBN: 0671791540 READ: Up Next
Put on hold…
Thinking Fast and Slow – by Daniel Kahneman
ISBN: 0385676530 READ: Up Next
Put on hold…
The Keys – by DJ Khaled
ISBN: 0451497570 READ: October 2017
After his Snapchat stories go viral, DJ Khaled decided to write a book. A book that I’m happy I only payed a dollar for. The book seems like a direct transcription of his snapchat, which I actually do enjoy is small doses. Khaled is a very positive person with a great work ethic and that is something to admire and to strive toward. Unfortunately the book is just repetition of all his positive catch phrases with very little actionable items. I’d recommend this book to people who love him on social media and also don’t like reading real books.
Sapiens – by Yuval Noah Harari
ISBN: 0771038518 READ: September 2017
A very broad book that hits a huge amount topics on the timeline of homo sapiens; ranging from the time we shared the earth with the Neanderthals, to today when we can sequence our DNA for under $100. Its a really interesting read and Harari makes it fun to learn about the history of how humans came to be and grow. Sapiens makes reading about history GREAT again! Would recommend this book to any type of person looking for a cool nonfiction read.
Unshakeable – by Tony Robbins
ISBN: 1501164589 READ: June 2017
A quick but deep read into investing, and the psychology you need to adopt to be financially successful. It is basically an abridged version of his last book “MONEY: Master The Game” This book is much easier to digest and you get the core concepts in a smaller footprint. I will be recommending this book to my friends who are just starting investing so they can get into the right mindset to succeed.
2017 Civic Sedan Owners Guide
ISBN: N/A READ: May 2017
One of the few times that I actually RTFM
Tools of Titans – by Tim Ferriss
ISBN: 1328683788 READ: April 2017
Quite honestly the book I have been looking for, my whole life. It’s an insanely vast collection of life tips and ways of thinking about the world from some of the top performers on earth coming from hundreds of different fields. ToT is jam packed with tactics that are broken down into the categories, Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise, for inspiration for whatever problems you are facing. It’s a long one, so buckle up. I will be circling back and referring to this book many times throughout my life.
The Inevitable – by Kevin Kelly
ISBN: 0525428089 READ: January 2017
A quick look into what the future might have in store for us, and how technology will shape our lives. Kelly explains all that is possible today, as well as makes many predictions based on global trends that he believes are inevitable. A pretty interesting read that mostly kept my attention.
Genuino Projects Book
ISBN: N/A READ: December 2016
This is a book full of projects to teach you the basics of electrical engineering using an Arduino/Genuino chip. There were only a few projects that were genuinely cool but the book did a good job of teaching you about all of the components that came in the Starter Kit. Much of the book was explaining how to write code to control I/O which I didn’t get much out of because it was very basic programming. I would recommend to anyone who wants to get their feet wet with micro controllers and beginner coding.
Sane New World – by Ruby Wax
ISBN: 1444755730 READ: November 2016
An insider’s look at how a “crazy” mind works compared to a “normal” one and how everyone can have experiences from both sides of the spectrum. There are quite a few tidbits of good information on mindfulness and meditation scattered throughout, although sometimes its hard to get it through all of the fluffy personal experience stories. I enjoyed the scientific sections on neuroplasticity, and how we can physically alter our brains with the techniques described within. I’d recommend this to mindfulness beginners who want an easy, humorous read on the benefits of it.
The Moral Landscape – by Sam Harris
ISBN: 143917122X READ: DNF
Ego is the Enemy – by Ryan Holiday
ISBN: 1591847818 READ: September 2016
Ego is not your Amigo: the book. A great read that prompts you to do some real introspective work on your reasons for doing the things that you do. Holiday shows how one must battle his ego throughout all stages on life because ego hides what is real, and prevents you from accomplishing your goals. The biggest lesson is to forget yourself and your story so you can focus on your work.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – by J.K. Rowling
ISBN: 1338099132 READ: August 2016
A decent story with a very nostalgic feel. Rowling caters to the HP fans who love the magic of the original books by bringing back many of the same charms and spells; so much so that it sometimes feels cheesy and redundant. Keeping in mind that it is written as a screenplay, the plot kept my attention enough to finish reading it but I was disappointed by the overall lack of depth. Read it if you are a Potter fan but steer clear if you are looking for a brand new thrilling story about the wizarding world.
Nanotechnology For Dummies – by Earl Boysen and Richard Booker
ISBN: 0470891912 READ: July 2016
Packed with info about hundreds of topics and subtopics on Nanotechnology. I found it a little hard to get through. The middle especially felt like it dragged and many of the topics were repeated throughout the book. The book was mostly an overview of the topic and did not go deep into how nanotech really works. I would recommend for someone who is looking for a broad understanding about how nano is/will be impacting our lives… Spoiler: Its impacting us in any way you can think of.
Show Your Work! – by Austin Kleon
ISBN: 076117897X READ: June 2016
A quick and interesting read about how to get your work discovered in the modern era. Nothing groundbreaking in the book and I found that much of it is common sense although there are quite a few inspiring and uplifting quotes throughout. It seems to be geared at people whose ‘work’ is in the realm of art and not science. Bottom line: easy read, and can be very thought provoking.
Waking Up – by Sam Harris
ISBN: 1451639619 READ: May 2016
A fabulous read about practicing spirituality using tried and true science, all while staying away from of the realm of fiction. Harris spends little time debunking the myths of current world religions and instead, goes deep into ways to get the most out of known methods of meditation and mindfulness. This book really opened my eyes to the possibility of different forms of consciousness achievable by the human brain and why one should seek them out. Highly recommended read.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen Covey
ISBN: 1451639619 READ: April 2016
A good read, with a well thought out and meticulous approach to living a better life. This is not a tips and tricks book as I had originally thought. It is about going deep into the human psyche and changing your perception of the world so that you can overcome challenges by thinking differently. I found it a little longer than necessary believe reading a summarized version would yield the same positive results.
Moonwalking with Einstein – by Joshua Foer
ISBN: 9780143120537 READ: April 2016
One of my favourite books of the year. Foer went from covering the World Memory Championship as a journalist to competing in the peculiar event a year later. This book is a great story about how the seemingly supernatural ability to memorize a deck of cards in under 2 minutes, or memorize 1000 binary digits in 5 minutes may lie dormant in all of us. I was left beaming with excitement thinking about how truly amazing the human mind is and all of the great feats it can accomplish.
The 4-Hour Chef – by Tim Ferriss
ISBN: 0547884591 READ: Up Next
Put on hold…
The Prince – by Niccolò Machiavelli
ISBN: 0486272745 READ: March 2016
A classic primary source for how to acquire and maintain power in any facet of life. Published in 1532, Machiavelli writes a book for his Prince containing a wealth of knowledge he has gained from studying the rise and fall of Princedoms in his era and the times before him. Many of the lessons of human nature described in this book are directly relatable to life today. This truly is a book that has withstood the test of time.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich – by Ramit Sethi
ISBN: 0761147489 READ: February 2016
This is the perfect book for a 20 something like myself to learn the basics of personal finance. It really nails down the fundamental strategies of how to manage your money so you can have the means to do what you want later in life. Although it is written from an American point of view, some quick google searches can help you quickly translate terms such as 401k(RRSP) and Roth IRA (TFSA) so that you can get the most from this funny and informative book.
Elon Musk – by Ashlee Vance
ISBN: 0062301233 READ: January 2016
Elon Musk is a boss. The book examines the life of a hard ass that gets shit done at any cost. Truly inspiring stories of the inception of some of the most revolutionary companies of our time, Tesla and SpaceX. If you are ever feeling like an overachiever and want to be brought down a couple notches, read this book.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – by Douglas Adams
ISBN: 0330508539 READ: December 2015
I figured after 23 years of being a geek I might as well read the geek handbook. Although not my favourite fiction book, I can definitely see the appeal as Adams is masterful at crafting mind twisting concepts that could have a base in reality. After reading I now understand lots of “inside” jokes that professors have said over the years.
The Charisma Myth – by Olivia Fox Cabane
ISBN: 1591845947 READ: November 2015
Really nails home that Charisma is a teachable, learn-able skill. You are guided with detailed instructions on how to become the next Steve Jobs, or at least close to it. I have more highlights in this book than any other because every page feels like a goldmine of information.
Gullivers Travels – by Jonathan Swift
ISBN: 1493753339 READ: October 2015
A short story about why its better to just live with the horses. Entertaining from beginning to end.
The Tipping Point – by Malcolm Gladwell
ISBN: 0316346624 READ: October 2015
There is a point in time in which an idea or a product “tips” from the small time to the big time. Many case studies of what can cause an idea to blow up at an exponential rate. This is for the entrepreneur/marketer that wants their product or service to be seen by millions of people and it explains the way of thinking to do it.
Mate – by Tucker Max & Geoffrey Miller
ISBN: 0316375365 READ: September 2015
I have always been a Tucker Max fan. I was pretty stoked when I heard he was coming out with a new book and even more so when I realized what it was about. Using current research from the perspective of an evolutionary physiologist, Max and Miller look at one of the most confusing topics of all time: women. It is full of actionable steps to become more attractive to females that truly makes Darwinian sense.
Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman – by Richard Feynman
ISBN: 0393316041 READ: August 2015
A fantastic book about the adventures of one of my favorite people in the world. It is a collection of outrageous stories that happened to Feynman throughout his life. His anecdotes are so entertaining, as well as they contagiously make the reader see the world in the same way that he does; through science. I could not put this one down.
Influence – by Robert Cialdini
ISBN: 006124189X READ: July 2015
The best book I have ever read about social psychology. It is a book about why people say yes, filled with techniques to make your chances of getting what you want much greater. Learn to be a skilled persuader, or in my case especially, learn to defend against them. The principals in the book will help you shape your conversations so that you can lead a better life by influencing others.
The Wealthy Barber Returns – by David Chilton
ISBN: 0968394744 READ: July 2015
A true gem about personal finance from a Canadian perspective. Nothing groundbreaking about the content, just a solid base for anyone looking for a smart and safe way to invest. Chilton is a very entertaining writer and makes managing money seem easy and reachable. Not to mention there are some great Toronto Maple Leaf jokes scattered throughout.
What Every BODY is Saying – by Joe Navarro
ISBN: 0061438294 READ: June 2015
Must read from the mind of an ex-FBI detective that was able to perceive deception from criminals in interrogation by monitoring the nonverbal communication of their bodies. Navarro shares stories about how he is able to speed read people and then makes that knowledge usable in everyday life. He goes through every part of the body detailing what to look for and then decodes what each behavior could mean.
The Art of War – by Sun Tzu
ISBN: 0486425576 READ: May 2015
Short book on war strategies of the distant past. The strategies outlined are written for warfare, but the tactics used back then can be directly related to our culture of office competition in western society.
Tomorrowland – by Steven Kotler
ISBN: 0544456211 READ: May 2015
Stories about all different kinds of cutting edge technologies that will be impacting our lives in the future. This is a “glass half full” approach on the future, with technology paving the path to a better life. This book will change the minds of all the people who are pessimistic about the future through real life case studies and inventions aimed at a better tomorrow.
The War of Art – by Steven Pressfield
ISBN: 1936891026 READ: April 2015
A super quick and fun read about “resistance,” the poison in your mind that stops you from achieving your goals or reaching your full potential. I think about this book anytime I want to accomplish something but I start making excuses as to why I can’t. Crush resistance to live a better life.
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age – by Dale Carnegie (adapted)
ISBN: 1451612591 READ: April 2015
A modern take on the timeless classic. Basically a big book on how to get people to like you by how you choose interact with them. The original was what first got me interested in social psychology years ago. Although I do feel this adaptation to include communication by technology was unnecessary as the principles are the same. I would recommend the original over this one.
The 48 Laws of Power – by Robert Greene
ISBN: 0140280197 READ: March 2015
A diabolical book that is Machiavellian in nature. Teaches about the lengths that people will go to in order to achieve and keep power. Its a look into the history of the most powerful people of their times and how they accomplished their goals by any means necessary. Greene outlines the laws they they used in history and how they can still be applied in today’s world.
The Magic of Thinking Big – by David J. Schwartz
ISBN: 0671646788 READ: February 2015
This is a book that I will be re-reading multiple times throughout my life. It changes the way one thinks and the processes that people follow to make decisions. You are what you think; if you believe you can succeed you most certainly will. Small changes in attitude can stretch your mind to be able to accomplish more every day. I recommend this book to anyone in need of motivation.
The Art of Learning – by Josh Waitzkin
ISBN: 0743277465 READ: February 2015
A deep dive into the life of a chess prodigy. Waitzkin is the master of complete mastery. This book is about how he was able to become a top performer in multiple disciplines. It shows the deep thinking needed to move from being very good at a certain skill to being world class at it.
MONEY: Master the Game – by Tony Robbins
ISBN: 1476757801 READ: January 2015
This is the book that ignited my passion of personal finance, although it is about much more than boring dollar and cent strategies. It gets you thinking about where you want to be in life financially as well as the quality of life and happiness you want to achieve. It paints money as the vehicle to a better life instead of the end goal. There are actionable steps that you can take after you decide what type of life you want to lead in the future.