Books You Should Read

Here is a reading list lifted from a friend. I find it hard to organize my reading. – CH

I am Pilgrim
 – Terry Hayes

One of the better books I’ve read over the past few years, it’s the fictional story of a former high level US intelligence operative who while helping the NYPD with a murder mystery that quickly escalates into an international manhunt to solve a biological threat against the US.

Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom – Katherine Eban

An astounding investigation of the purported fraud perpetuated by Ranbaxy and others during the generic drug industry boom. The book focuses on the conundrum of cost effective medication vs. the effectiveness of regulators to eliminate industry bad behavior that has life threatening implications.  In my opinion, the accusations presented in the book are every bit as shocking as those presented in Bad Blood (story of Theranos).  

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams – Matthew Walker

For anyone whose chronically sleep deprived (like me) this book is worth reading and will change your perception on the importance of consistent quality sleep.

Railroader: The Unfiltered Genius and Controversy of Four-Time CEO Hunter Harrison – Howard Green

Fascinating story about the life of Hunter Harrison, an operational savant who during a half century career skillfully turned several publically traded railroads, Illinois Central, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific into highly efficient businesses.

The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts – Shane Parrish

I’m a big fan of Parrish’s Farnam Street blog and Charlie Munger’s mental models concepts, in this book Parrish walks through some of the best mental models to improve your decision making process when dealing with highly complex situations.

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey – Candice Millard

The true story behind TR’s little known journey through the amazon to map out a previously unexplored river that almost cost him his life.

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger – Greg Steinmetz

Fugger, who became the financier to the Hapsburg Empire,  was the most powerful banker of the Renaissance era and one of the most influential business men in history.

The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War – Ben Macintyre

This may be the best true spy book I’ve ever read. Macintyre chronicles the life of Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB spy who rose to the position of London Bureau Chief in the 1980s. Gordievsky’s intel was integral to MI6 in their strategy in dealing with Moscow particularly around the transition of power to Gorbachev and the extraordinary story of his extraction from Moscow once the Soviets became suspicious of his activities is almost too good to be true.

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence – Michael Pollan

A thought provoking book on the history of Psychedelics and how renewed scientific research is leading to the breakdown of long held misconceptions and their potential promise in treating mental illness.

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea – Marc Randolph

A true behind the scenes look on the story of Netflix. Randolph, who co-founded the company, takes the reader on an interesting journey explaining how evolved from a much doubted concept in the late 90’s, to surviving the carnage of the aftermath of the tech bubble. to ultimately evolving into the business it is today.