Books 2021

The first photo shows the books I read in 2021. On the second one, the books that are waiting for me in 2022. Following the example of Gates and other big boys, I’ll also allow myself a little rewind here and rate each title further down in the article. What would you recommend adding to the waiting list?

How to win friends and influence people / Dale Carnegie

It’s interesting that the persuasion tactics Dale wrote and taught about back in the 1940s reappear in all the other authors with various variations (Chriss Voss and the book Never Compromise, for example). And that even after a hundred years people are unable to learn it.

Tao Teh Ching / Lao Tzu

A strangely calming and uplifting 2,000 year old spiritual teaching that is endlessly useful to draw from in today’s business, politics and everyday life. Definitely worth reading more than once.

Punk Business / James Watt

The founder of the now not-so-“mini” Brewdog brewery on the approach to business that has turned the craft beer producer into a cult. You’ll want to open a brewery after reading this.

The no rules rule / Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer

If you’re also wondering why HBO GO is such a bad app and Netflix is so sensational, this book has the answer. A culture of personal responsibility, freedom, talent concentration, extraordinary wages, and non-existent rules has made DVD rental an entertainment giant.

Buy Then Build / Walker Diebel

A practical guide to the A to Z of corporate acquisitions and purchases. What to look out for, how to calculate the price, how to finance it, what to do in the first days and months after the purchase, etc. A businessman’s guide to the acquisition galaxy.

History Has Begun / Bruno Macaes

The state of Euro-Atlantic civilization today, set in context with an extraportion of informed insight. The English was a little harder to crunch but the cadence of facts per page made up for it.

Homo Deus / Yuwal Noah Harari

I rank this on the same level as Sapiens. The author’s ability to piece together obvious facts, put them in context and present them in a meaningful way is genius. After reading it, I stopped eating meat and started tracking sleep.

The Savior / Andy Weir

My new favorite science fiction. Brutally readable and even more brutally clever. I devoured the whole thing in 5 days and feel like I could pass a PhD in astrophysics.

Freelance / Robert Vlach

Freelancer’s bible, which I wasn’t all that impressed with. Probably because of the author’s approach to business, which is too technical for me and calls for one unchanging career profile. Life is too short for that.

7 Laws / Miroslav Barta

I enjoy history presented this way more than I ever imagined in high school. The principles by which civilizations are born, grow and decline are counterintuitively quite reassuring. I probably enjoyed the part about the Vikings and the Egyptians the most.

Principles / Ray Dalio

The legendary investor wrote a blurb about his life and work principles that he follows every day. I was a little worried about the Slovakian because I couldn’t find it in English, but in the end I didn’t mind. I took a few principles from it.

The Immortality Key / Brian C. Muraresku

Wandering through antiquity and using the latest archaeological tools to find irrefutable evidence that much of ancient religion revolved around hallucinogens. I would have expected a bigger reaction, but I guess we’re numb.

Czech Ride / Vratislav Dostál

Actually not that surprising a read about Czech and Moravian godforsaken villages and their problems. I found it repetitive at the end.

Platform / Michel Houellebecq

My first encounter with Houellebecq and love it. I stopped halfway through, it wasn’t doing much for me.

Reward from Hell / Lansdale Brothers

A brisk breather. It’s clear from the first third where the plot is going to go, but once in a while you can sin with horror flicks.

The Three-Body Problem / Liu Qing-sin

Science fiction from a Chinese author with a brilliant idea about whether it’s right to try to contact alien civilizations, assuming the amount of matter in the universe is constant. I was surprised by the vivid depiction of the events of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The second book, Dark Forest, is stronger than the first, The Three-Body Problem.

On Freedom of Thought and Speech / John Stuart Mill

You’re not entitled to think you have an opinion unless you can publicly defend it. And it’s your duty to do so. According to many, Mill was the last man who knew everything there was to know about the world at the time. After that, everything became specialized.

Chronicle of the Demise of Europe / Vlastimil Vondruška

I am terribly fond of reading tendentious books from the other current of opinion. This was a purely anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-liberal post-apocalyptic work that helped me see the world from a slightly broader perspective.