Books

I read a lot in my free time and in this section I would like to recommend the most interesting, inspiring or absorbing books I've read.

So many books, so little time.
— Frank Zappa

Non-fiction Books

Inspiration and Self-Development:

The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
Probably one of the most important books I’ve read. About living in and appreciating the present moment and weakening your ego. I will write in more depth on the general idea in a separate post.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brene Brown
The author presents her research on vulnerability as an encouragement to embrace ones vulnerability and imperfections, to live wholeheartedly and courageously. A wonderful, highly inspiring and powerful book.

Denial of Death - Ernest Becker
This book represents the culmination of the authors work on the question of human existence. The basic premise is that human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the acknowledgement of our own mortality. Brought me into a minor existential crises, really deep stuff.

Mans Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl
Description of the authors life as a Jew in a German concentration camp and his psychological and philosophical insights on that. About suffering and purpose - touching and powerful.

The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferris
A best-selling self-help book on lifestyle design opposed to traditional dull 9 to 5 jobs. Partly a bit extreme but still highly recommended.

Anxiety – Fritz Riemann
The author puts forward his idea of four fundamental opposing human anxieties. The book is a source of encouragement and instruction in the art of perceiving and accepting one's own anxieties.

Models: Attract Woman Through Honesty – Mark Manson
A book on love, relationships and seduction, how to be attractive not based on tricks or games but on honesty and self-development. Very mature and honest book - especially compared to the rest of the pickup industries reads. Opened my eyes in some ways.

Informative:

The Happiness Hypothesis - Jonathan Haidt
A psychological-philosophical persepctive on the big questions that gave me many answers that I've been wondering about. All at the same time, the book is scientifically brilliant, humanely elating, objective and humble in its style, easy to read/understand as well as incredibly dense with insights. Maybe my new favorite!

Why Nations Fail - Daron Acemoglu und James Robinson
A brilliant piece on the big questions that experts have wondered about for ages: why are some countries striving while others fail again and again. Their answer: institutions - but to really get it and learn about much of human history, read it yourself.

Eating Animals – Jonathan Safran Foer
This book is the result of a caring fathers investigation on food production in the developed world. Without trying to convert the reader, the author gives a comprehensive overview about meat production. Don't close their eyes from an inconvenient truth and read this.

Debt: The First 5000 Years – David Graeber
Analysis of the function of debt and money in human history and culture. Might not sound too interesting but it is full with insights you won’t expect.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain
Pretty interesting read on Introverts. I bet you didn’t know there are actually biological differences how intro- and extroverts process stimuli. Helped me to accept my introverted side in a world celebrating the extrovert. Partly a bit lengthy but still definitely worth a read.

The High Price of Materialism - Tim Kasser
An excellent and insightful examination of materialisms costs on our societies and a plea for change. Watch an excellent 5min summary here.

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahnemann
Summarises the Nobel Prized decades of research on human thinking, notably cognitive bias, prospect theory and happiness. “It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Daniel Kahneman’s contribution to the understanding of the way we think and choose”.

Memoirs:

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers - Loung Ung
I bet you have no idea about the horrors of Cambodian history that seems worse than Germans Nazi-history in some ways. This book describes the life of a Cambodian girl during the Khmer-Rouge rule in Cambodia from 1975-1979. A devastating and deeply touching story.

Fiction Books:

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Deeply, deeply touching tale set in Afghanistan. You can’t ask for more in a book. Probably my favorite novel. Seriously, read it!

The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
Set in the medievals and taking the perspective of all ranks while covering multiple generations - just epic. So captivating that you might finish this 1000-paged book in a week.

Fall of Giants (Part I of the Century Trilogy) - Ken Follett
As epic as Folletts book above, this trilogy is taking place during the First and Second World War and gives an in-depth perspective on peoples lives in the different countries and circumstances. Conveys the politics and causes behind peoples views and decisions better than any history textbook.