This list started in 2015 as a way of keeping track of what I had read. Starting in March 2019, I changed the test for inclusion from an entire book, i.e. something bound in print form as one volume, to an entire work (something longer than a normal essay or short story), which is less strict and more indicative of what’s actually bouncing around in my head.

For example, Prometheus Bound is a complete work, thus included when I read it. However, I read it from a volume entitled Aeschylus I, which also included some other tragedies I did not read at the time, meaning by the original test, it would belong on this list. However, Prometheus Bound is a great work, sparks a lot of thinking, and should be on included on any list of my intellectual inputs.


  1. Oedipus the King by Sophocles
  2. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner
  3. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  4. The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss
  5. The Brothers Karamazov by Frederick Doystoyevsky
  6. Antigone by Sophocles
  7. Oedipus the King by Sophocles
  8. Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
  9. How to Take Smart Notes by Sonke Ahrens
  10. Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
  11. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  12. Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
  13. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
  14. The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
  15. Death’s End by Cixin Liu


  1. The Discovery of France by Graham Robb
  2. The Iliad by Homer
  3. Work on Purpose by Lara Galinsky, with Kelly Nuxoll
  4. Middlemarch by George Elliot
  5. The Odyssey by Homer
  6. Manual for Discussion Leaders by Mortimer J. Adler
  7. Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
  8. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  9. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  10. Agamemnon by Aeschylus
  11. The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus
  12. The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss
  13. The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
  14. Hippolytus by Euripides
  15. Medea by Euripides
  16. The Children of Heracles by Euripides
  17. Alcestis by Euripides
  18. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
  19. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  20. An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis
  21. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  22. Operation Columba: The Secret Pigeon Service by Corera
  23. Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick
  24. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  25. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
  26. A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
  27. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham
  28. Anthem by Ayn Rand
  29. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  30. Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  31. Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  32. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  33. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay
  34. Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall
  35. Girl in the Woods: A Memoir by Aspen Matis
  36. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  37. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
  38. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss


  1. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  2. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
  3. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
  4. Mastery by Robert Green
  5. Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday
  6. The Confusion by Neal Stephenson
  7. On Love by Alain de Botton
  8. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz
  9. The System of the World by Neal Stephenson
  10. A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
  11. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon


  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. The Independent Consulting Manual
  3. The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms by Phillip Morgan
  4. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
  5. Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson
  6. Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse
  7. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  8. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
  9. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  10. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
  11. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  12. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
  13. Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram
  14. Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
  15. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
  16. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  17. Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
  18. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  19. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
  20. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
  21. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  22. Dune by Frank Herbert
  23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  24. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  25. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
  26. A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
  27. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  28. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
  29. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  30. The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss

Along with these book-length essay collections:

  1. The Art of Refactored Perception on Ribbonfarm
  2. Towards an Appreciative View of Technology on Ribbonfarm
  3. Getting Ahead, Getting Along, Getting Away on Ribbonfarm
  4. The Mysteries of Money on Ribbonfarm
  5. The Gervais Principle on Ribbonfarm
  6. Breaking Smart, Season 1


  1. The Martian by Andy Weir (read this twice)
  2. The Paleo Manifesto by John Duran
  3. Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb
  4. Mate by Tucker Max & Geoffrey Miller
  5. The Flinch by Julien Smith
  6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  7. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré
  8. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
  9. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
  10. Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
  11. The Bed of Procustes by Nassim Taleb
  12. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J. K. Rowling
  14. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
  15. A Village Life by Louise Glück
  16. Antifragile by Nassim Taleb (read it again)
  17. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  18. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  19. The End of Jobs by Taylor Pearson
  20. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
  21. Letters from a Stoic by Seneca


  1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  2. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  3. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  5. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  6. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  7. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
  8. How to be Remarkable by Colin Wright
  9. Iceland India Interstate by Colin Wright
  10. How to Travel Full-Time by Colin Wright
  11. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
  12. Real Powers: Part One by Colin Wright
  13. Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller
  14. Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
  15. It Will Be Exhilarating by Studio Neat
  16. Particles by Shawn Mihalik
  17. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
  18. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  19. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  20. Better than College by Blake Boles
  21. Professional Web Design by Smashing Magazine
  22. Getting Real by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hanson, Matthew Linderman
  23. Gold by Isaac Asimov
  24. What is Code? by Paul Ford
  25. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  26. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  27. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  28. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  29. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  30. The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
  31. Life on Foot: A Walk Across America by Nate Damm
  32. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
  33. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by  Robert M. Pirsig
  34. Worm by Wildbow
  35. Execute by Drew Wilson & Josh Long
  36. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  37. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  38. Breaking the Time Barrier by Mike McDerment & Donald Cowper
  39. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  40. Born to Run by Chris McDougall
  41. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  42. Choose Yourself by James Altucher
  43. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  44. Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh
  45. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  46. Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke
  47. The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
  48. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  49. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  50. 1984 by George Orwell
  51. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
  52. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau