Best Books of 2018

Well, it’s that time of the year and I happen to be a sucker for a good end of year list. In an attempt to give back to the WWW, for all those great end of year lists, here it goes. My top 3 for the year is…

#1 Tribe of Mentors – Tim Ferris

This is not a book to read for style, prose etc. It’s a very pragmatic attempt to capture learnings from highly successful people in various fields (business, tech, sports etc.). It leverages Tim Ferris’ access to all these people and asks the same questions to all these folks. It also acts as a good reference book and an introduction to various really interesting people. Last note, it’s quite impressive how Tim Ferris has managed to hack how to get a book to be a NYT best seller. Definitely worth checking out.

#2 How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer – Sarah Bakewell

For Montaigne fans this must be the best news of the year (assuming you are getting more excited about book launches than having kids, promotions and things like – what are you a mere mortal?). For people who don’t know much about Montaigne, this one is a hidden gem and a great find on my part. It goes into the mind of the person who started the whole personal essays genre, had a near death experience, incorporated that into his life, was active in practical life but even more active in producing timeless work. Great reminder to what makes someone’s legacy somewhat more long term. Reminded me of that great Benjamin Franklin quote: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”. This was a guy who gave a good shot at “doing something worth writing about” but definitely nailed the “write something worth reading about” part.

#3 Skin in the Game – Nassim Nicolas Taleb

Another great piece from Nassim Taleb as part of his Incerto series. All books in this set is worth reading. Skin in the Game just happens to be the latest one. It explores the concept of risk taking and specifically how the risk taking should be couple of with the ownership of that said risk. While it sounds somewhat esoteric, the book connects it to reality. From the reasons behind the 2008 financial crisis to how to pick a financial adviser it (again) explains what drives some of the major modern events and also gives a really good framework around how to take certain personal decisions.

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