A post about summer reading on Hacker News inspired us to put a list together for 2018. Here’s what we’ve been reading.



The Years of Lyndon Johnson

The Years of Lyndon Johnson

“As in many of the best books of history I’ve read, the author (Caro) makes an argument larger than LBJ and tells a story that can’t be encompassed by any one person or sequence of events. His writing is some of the best I’ve read. His analysis of the man, his time, and the structure of power shifted the way I look at the world.” – Aaron Harris


H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk

“A powerful memoir about loss, grief, and the fluidity of sanity, obsession, and madness. Macdonald’s descriptions of the world and of her mind blur the line between poetry and prose.” – Aaron Harris


The Three Body Problem

The Three Body Problem

“The first book in a science fiction trilogy about a group of scientists who have given up on humanity and look to alien civilization to redefine human life on earth.” – Cadran Cowansage


Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Sower

“A two-book science fiction series about the collapse of society and one woman’s journey to survive and spread her new belief system.” – Cadran Cowansage


Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake

“A novel about a post-apocalyptic world where a man must coexist with genetically-engineered humans as he recounts the story of how the world imploded.” – Cadran Cowansage


Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet

taming the sun

“Solar is very clearly our next major source of energy. The problem with solar is that it’s only sunny during the day and not every day. Without the right policies in place and cheap energy storage we phase a risk that solar growth will very soon tap out.” – Gustaf Alstromer


Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World

Clean Meat

“Science have already proven we can grow all kinds of animal protein in labs. This book is the founding story of a revolution that will how we eat and the planet forever.” – Gustaf Alstromer


High Growth Handbook

High Growth Handbook

“Elad Gil is maybe the most successful recent angel investor in Silicon Valley and have written the best blog for startup founders and I’ve been a follower of his writing since the beginning.” – Gustaf Alstromer


The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven

“Ursula LeGuin’s early scifi novel that succinctly explores the morality of absolute power, and the relation between our personal power and sense of responsibility for others. The setting is a drama between therapist and patient that begins to affect reality in strange ways.” – Joe Betts-Lacroix


The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook

“An intimate portrayal of the interior experience of a woman. Almost certainly autobiographical to some degree, it is a joy to follow her brilliant mind, and torturous to feel the conflicts between her wants and the realities of what she can have, both in her relationships and her political idealism.” – Joe Betts-Lacroix


The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

“A pragmatic little book on how to handle interactions with people who have narcissistic personality disorder, a DSM-V classification fitting about 1% of the population. Useful even if all you learn from it is how to spot them.” – Joe Betts-Lacroix


The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past)

“Book 2 of The Three Body Problem is great! I love the concept of a ‘wallfacer’ who has to solve a complex multi-year problem entirely in their own mind. First book was ok but long and confusing.” – Eric Migicovsky


Radiolab: Border Trilogy

Radiolab

“Features Jason De Leon’s book, Land of Open Graves. Does a really great job walking through how the US/Mexico border/immigration policies came to be the way they are now. Very moving podcast episode broken into three parts.” – Adele Gower


The Untethered Soul

The Untethered Soul

“This book does a nice job of repackaging Eastern philosophy concepts in words that appeal to the hyperational Westerner mindset.” – Daniel Gross


Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Endure

“If you like any form of endurance cardio, this book will be like crack candy for you. Warning: it’s fairly Gladwellian in style, which some may find displeasing.” – Daniel Gross


Finite and Infinite Games

Finite and Infinite Games

“It’s hard to rationally explain the benefits of this book, but I find that many who read it really enjoy it. It gets you in the mode of thinking long term. And it provides a powerful shared language with those who read it (‘play the infinite game’).” – Daniel Gross


The House of Getty

The House of Getty

“Like all American titans, John Paul Getty is a mixed bag. He’s by no means perfect, but he was an undeniable empire builder. If you enjoyed reading about JP Morgan or John Rockefeller, you’ll enjoy this one as well.” – Daniel Gross


Lost in Shangri La

“An awesome page turner based on a true story.” – Daniel Gross


Startup by Gimlet

Startup

“It is interesting to hear someone from no experience break into this small cottage industry of Venture Capital in Silicon Valley. Note: I’m a small LP in Backstage.” – Holly Liu


Dollars and Sense

Dollars and Sense

“Interesting book on how we make financial decisions that are far from rationale. Why we will walk an extra mile to save $4 on coffee but not even flinch when we lose $50 at the casinos.” – Holly Liu


The Help

“This is just a great summer favorite read from a while ago, told in a time where racial lines looked different, from the eyes of two perspectives with destinies that intertwine more than they know as they help each other tell their stories.” – Holly Liu


Eat Sleep Poop

Eat Sleep Poop

“Great infant book for first time parents. Written by a doctor after having kids so provides well balanced practical advice.” – Michael Seibel


Ready Player One

Ready Player One

“This is the VR dream I had as a kid – taken to the next step.” – Michael Seibel


Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency

Powerhouse

“An interesting history of the largest talent agency in the world.” – Michael Seibel


The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

The Undoing Project

“The book is the story of the collaboration between Danny Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winning psychologist and author with Amos Tversky – and the extraordinary way they forced economists to completely rethink how human beings actually make decisions.” – Geoff Ralston


Mind of Napoleon: A Selection of His Written and Spoken Words

Mind of Napoleon

“An incredible primary-source portrait on a brilliant (but obviously deeply flawed) individual. Broadly applicable thoughts.” – Sam Altman


Man’s Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

“I first read this book years ago but it didn’t really resonate with me at the time. Last year, feeling somewhat despondent about the state of the world, I read the book again and found it to be tremendously helpful, the most important book I read all year.” – Paul Buchheit


This is Water

“David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech at Kenyon College. Transcript here. A helpful reminder on the importance of monitoring your thoughts.” – Craig Cannon


How to Change Your Mind

How to Change Your Mind

“There’s been a wave of new writing and research on psychedelics since we released the podcast with Rosalind Watts on Psilocybin therapy. Pollan applies a healthy dose of science to a subject that’s often only described in woo-woo California terms.” – Craig Cannon


Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog

“One of my favorite reads in a long time. Captivating story that takes you play-by-play in Nike’s ascension from a 22 year old’s unfleshed idea to a huge national brand. Great portrayal of how far grit, relentlessness, and creativity can get you.” – Matt Bogrand