What I Read in 2018

2018-12-31 | 824 words

Without any unnecessary introductions, here is a list of books I read in 2018, chronologically:

  1. Online Marketing (collective authors) - a big nonsense. Rather than about knowledge, it’s about profiles of individual authors supported by a graph or some general statement like “the internet is penetrating all areas of life”.
  2. On the Loose (Robert Vlach) - a really thick book. It could have been a third of its size while maintaining the same amount of information. It was mostly boring, but I still made some useful notes from it. So I have mixed feelings about it.
  3. Closed for Winter (Jørn Lier Horst) - a good Norwegian detective story.
  4. Why A Students Work for C Students (Kiyosaki) - an advertisement for the author’s board game… but why not :)
  5. How I Escaped at 49 to Seek Freedom in the Soviet Union (Josef Bureš) - a young man idealized the USSR and communism, so he fled there. He was arrested, exiled to Siberia, where he found a wife and had a hard time getting back. It’s a real autobiographical story. It even intrigued me so much that I created a wiki page for the author.
  6. The Silverfish of the Third Reich (Charles Bukowski) - an interesting read, it can be read in about 13 minutes :)
  7. Assertiveness for Managers (Dagmar Lahnerová) - occasionally interesting tips on behavior patterns. Basically a good book, although in an unattractive cover.
  8. The Telling Room (Michael Paterniti) - the story of an American who traveled to Spain to write about a special homemade cheese.
  9. Deep Work (Cal Newport) - the book inspired me a lot. Especially in removing as many distracting influences as possible. My job as a programmer should be about immersing myself in development, not emailing :)
  10. Tools of Titans (Tim Ferris) - in reviews, people often write that the book disappointed them. It pleased me, I made a lot of notes. They were short profiles of Tim Ferris’ podcast guests, but they were packed with information.
  11. Anarcho-Capitalism (Urza) - I’m a fan of Urza and the book was readable. However, it is a utopia and just as unrealistic and non-functional as communism. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt if politics in the Czech Republic occasionally went in a direction other than left :)
  12. Building a State for 40,000,000 (J. A. Baťa) - the book is hard to come by, maybe only in PDF. Some ideas are surprisingly free, others are not. It’s just from a different time.
  13. Disrupted (Dan Lyons) - a fifty-year-old goes to work for a startup. On the one hand, it shows the ridiculousness of startup culture, but on the other hand, it also shows his own ridiculousness when he endlessly repeats that he has already achieved something in life and would prefer to appoint blacks and lesbians everywhere using quotas.
  14. Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari) - great, I’ll just list a few mind-blowing quotes:
    • Like equality, rights, and limited liability companies, freedom is an imaginary construct of human imagination. There is nothing like it in nature.
    • Internal consistency is just a sign of inadequate thinking, the absence of conflict.
  15. The 4-Hour Work Week (Tim Ferris) - there is no doubt that this book is revolutionary. I’ll list a few of my notes:
    • The fact that a task requires a lot of time does not mean that it is important.
    • Doing a non-important thing well does not change the fact that it is non-important.
  16. The Bielski Brothers (Peter Duffy) - again based on real events, about how three brothers saved thousands of Jews in Ukraine from the Nazis.
  17. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) - all leftists should read this. I have read two of the three volumes so far and it is great reading. It’s heartbreaking when one day I read about something in a dystopian book and the next day I hear about such things in the news.
  18. Business for Bohemians (Tom Hodgkinson) - hipster business, it didn’t interest me much.
  19. We Are Still at War - screwed up communists and Nazis. Comic book adaptations of real stories from the period of two totalitarian regimes, by various authors.
  20. Responsive Web Design (Martin Michálek) - a good book, I made a lot of notes. I would just criticize the inconsistency. Sometimes the author provides the code right away, and other times only very brief and general advice.
  21. Factfulness (the Rosling family) - unfortunately (fortunately) this book did not surprise me. Even before reading it, I knew that the world is much more positive than the general opinion. But the book supports it with evidence.
  22. The Pit and the Pendulum (Edgar Allan Poe) - great, sometimes less great and even philosophically boring stories. But I recommend it. It’s mostly a strange storytelling and someone dies out of nowhere at the end.
  23. Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker) - a book about sleep that is too professionally written. What are the dangers of its lack, etc. It’s heavy reading, but it’s fun.