Looking for a good read?

Here are my recent discoveries

Somi András | October 30, 2017

I had a pledge in July to read as much as I can besides my studies and other activities. More precisely, I aimed for one book per week, ’serious’ and entertaining ones inlcuded. It’s been almost 4 months now, so I assessed where I stand with this plan.

It turns out I scored around 70% on my goal, as I fully read 12 books in about 17 weeks. That translates to roughly one book in 10 days on average, not counting the ones I haven’t finished yet or completely abandoned. It’s not that far from my initial target, so I’ll just try to keep the pace.

It’s much more important that I found some true gems that I would happily recommend to anyone. I was lucky to pick great books in investments and data, and much less lucky with sci-fi and fantasy books for leisure time. The outlier is Never Split the Difference, which ended up as one of my favourites this summer. It’s a practical eye-opener on key elements of negotiations in our everyday life.

The full list

So here’s my full list from the past 4 months. I won’t review the books, but feel free to ask about any of them, or let me know, what do you think about the ones you already read.

(The scoring is completely subjective on a scale from 1 to 10. It reflects how satisfied I was with the book in general, taking into account the relevance, the novelty of the ideas, readability, plot, style, etc. 8 or above means I enjoyed and recommend it, less than 5 means it is not worth the time. With the trilogies I followed this logic: if I ended up reading the sequel, the book scores at least 5, even if I lost interest or was utterly disappointed later.)


Title Author Topic Score
What Works on Wall Street: The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time James O’Shaughnessy investments 9
Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing: The Way Smart Money Invests Today Andrew L. Berkin, Larry E. Swedroe investments 10
Fortune’s Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street investments William Poundstone investments  8
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are Seth Stephens-Davidowitz data science 9
The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction Nate Silver data science
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It Christopher Voss negotiation skills 10
Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger Stephen King fantasy 6
The Fifth Season: The Broken Earth, Book 1 N. K. Jemisin fantasy 6
The Obelisk Gate: The Broken Earth, Book 2 N. K. Jemisin fantasy 4
Annihilation: The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 Jeff VanderMeer sci-fi 6
Authority: The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 2 Jeff VanderMeer sci-fi 5
Acceptance: The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 3 Jeff VanderMeer sci-fi 3

Paused, but to be continued

Title Author Topic Score
Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahnemann psychology   7
The Data Science Handbook: Advice and Insights from 25 Amazing Data Scientists Carl Shan, William Chen, Henry Wang, Max Song  data science  7

Completely abandoned

Title Author Topic Score
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Life, The Universe and Everything) 3
Header photo by Thomas Kelley/ Unsplash