Tian's Book Rankings

7671 2018-12-22 00:04

These are non-exhaustive rankings of books that I recommend. They are updated from time to time.

Life Changing

  1. Principles: Life and Work - by Ray Dalio
  2. How The Economic Machine Works - by Ray Dalio
  3. The Road Less Travelled - by Scott Peck
  4. The Black Swan - by Nassim Taleb
  5. 1984 - by George Orwell
  6. Goethe’s Faust - by Goethe
  7. Outlier - by Malcolm Gladwell
  8. Thank you for arguing - by Jay Heinrichs

Influencing Opinions

  1. The Attention Merchants - by Tim Wu
  2. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - by Yuval Noah Harari
  3. Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm - by Christan Madsbjerg

Psychology: Understanding self and people

  1. Thinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel Kahneman
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People - by Dale Carnegie
  3. Mean Genes - by Terry Burnham

Developing visions and strategies

  1. Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work - by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
  2. Good strategy bad strategy - by Richard Rumelt

Empowering us (= self + people + organizations)

  1. Friend & Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both - by Adam Galinsky
  2. Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t - by Jeffery Pfeffer
  3. High Output Management - by Andy Grove
  4. The Dictator’s Handbook - by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
  5. The Culture Code - by Daniel Coyle

Running a startup

  1. Zero to One - by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
  2. Crossing the Chasm - by Geoffrey Moore

Building software to serve people

Note: Engineering slides, blogs, videos, papers are far more effective than books.

  1. Code Complete - by Steve McConnell
  2. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture - by Martin Fowler
  3. The Practice of Cloud System Administration - by Thomas Limoncelli
  4. Clean Architecture - by Martin Fowler
  5. Cloud Design Patterns - by Microsoft Azure

Extensive Reading (Subscription)


  • The Atlantic
  • HBR
  • Economist
  • Pocket


  • Wang Xing’s Fanfou
  • Ranyifeng’s Blog
  • Dedao App (grateful to be Wan Weigang’s reader since 2009)
  • Juejin App

Way of Thinking

  1. Socratic method - learned from Analects
  2. Synthesize - learned from Ray Dalio
  3. System Thinking - learned from Computer Systems
  4. Metacognition: thinking about your own thinking - learned from Daniel Kahneman
  5. Probability, statistics, luck, and risk management - learned from Nassim Taleb
  6. Optionality - learned from Nassim Taleb
  7. Critical Thinking - learned from Xiaolai
  8. Model Thinking - learned from Scott Page


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