Weekly Non-Fiction Reading List 4.12.21
This week I read 10 fantastic books from some great authors, and I’m now at 115 books read for the year! This week, I discovered one of my new favorite books on psychology as well as incredible book about social media and polarization. Over the weekend, I decided to do a little crypto bootcamp and read a few books on crypto currencies, the block chain, and more. Enjoy!
Each of the links to the books are affiliate links, so if you use my link to purchase any of these books, some comes back to support what I do (and it also helps fund my reading habit).
I absolutely loved A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Malkiel, so I decided to check this book out. I hadn’t read any of Ellis’ books, but after finishing this book, I definitely want to. This book is one that I can see revisiting once a year for reminders about smart investment strategies. I think the best thing about Malkiel’s writing is that he knows that some readers are going to make dumb decisions, so he gives advice on how to be dumb in the safest way possible. This was a short read with a ton of value, and I hope every investor reads it.
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
Many people don’t realize it, but there is a lot of misinformation about the effects of social media when it comes to how it affects polarization via tribalism and fake news. It wasn’t until recently that researchers like Chris Bail actually put in the work to research this topic, and it’s all in this incredible book. I read a lot of books, and usually it takes me a week or two to get through each book, but this one had me hooked. I binged this entire book within 24 hours of it’s launch.
Books like these are extremely important during times where we’re extremely divided and find it difficult to have conversations about social issues and/or politics. Chris Bail and his team were curious if social media made people more extreme in their political views and how it affects moderates. They did a bunch of really interesting studies and even created their own app. The results are surprising because they debunk what you see from mainstream media or in documentaries like The Social Dilemma. Not only that, but Bail provides a bunch of practical solutions for how we can use social media in a better way.
Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein
Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think by George Lakoff
Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think by Tasha Eurich
What a fantastic book. If you asked anyone if they’re self-aware, they’d say that they are (and yes, that includes you and I as well). The reality is that most people aren’t self-aware, and it causes a lot of issues in our lives. Whether it’s personal or professional relationships, we cause a lot of our own misery due to our lack of self-awareness. In this book, Tasha Eurich does an incredible job getting to the root causes of why we don’t see ourselves the same way that others do, but more importantly, she has a ton of solutions. I like this book because it’s focused on fixing ourselves rather than trying to fix others. But, in the last chapter, she gives some practical tips for dealing with delusional people and whether or not they’re a lost cause.
Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan
The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber
Mastering the Basics of Blockchain: The Only Guide You’ll Need to Understand How Bitcoin (BTC) Technology and Other Cryptocurrencies Will Dominate the 21st Century: For Everyone Including Beginners by Zackary Huff
I’m a new investor, and everyone said I need to put at LEAST 1% of my investments into crypto. I’m the type of investor who only likes to invest in things I understand, but I took the plunge and invested in crypto. I’ve made some profit already, but I really want to understand the space, so I grabbed this book. I read some reviews, and they said this book covers all the basics you need to know. It’s a short read, and I binged it in one sitting, and I will say that I have a much better understanding of the blockchain, and how the whole ecosystem of crypto works. If you’re new to the crypto space, I recommend this book.
Ethereum: Complete Guide to Understanding Ethereum, Blockchain, Smart Contracts, ICOs, and Decentralized Apps. Includes guides on buying Ether, Cryptocurrencies and Investing in ICOs by Mark Gates
I wanted to learn more about Ethereum since it’s the second-most valuable coin out there. This book was short and answered a lot of questions. I have a better understand of what ETH is, why people use it and how it’s valued. I mainly wanted to learn about smart contracts, and the book had a few sections that covered this topic. I also appreciated how the book covered the pros and cons of this coin.
This was a great, short book discussing the capabilities of Ethereum. It dives into the history of ETH, what the pros and cons are, and a bunch more.
This is by far my new favorite book in the niche of books that explain how flawed studies can get a lot of attention. I’ve never read or listened to any of Singal’s work, but I’ve been anticipating this book for months now based on some of the things I’ve seen from him on Twitter. Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. No review I do of this book would do it justice, but I do think I’ve pinned down why I believe this book stands out above the rest.
Most books in this niche debunk popular psychology studies like the power pose, the IAT, nudging, and others. But when they do so, they just point out the flaws and that’s about it. Jesse Singal approaches each chapter in a very nuanced way and explains how each study could be improved upon, and he tries to give researchers the benefit of the doubt. My favorite thing about the book is that you can tell that Jesse fully acknowledges that many systems in our world negatively affect minority communities and those who are struggling financially. You can feel that Jesse wants to educate people about these flawed studies so we can focus our attention to the root causes of these issues and find better solutions.
Science Fictions: Exposing Fraud, Bias, Negligence and Hype in Science by Stuart Ritchie
Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World by Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West
Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills by Steven Novella
Brain Blunders: Uncover Everyday Illusions and Fallacies, Defeat Your Flawed Thinking Habits, And Think Smarter (Or Just Less Stupidly) (Understand Your Brain Better Book 1) by Peter Hollins
I always try to keep a book or two in rotation that reminds me of all of the ways we experience flawed thinking. This was a short book and covered about five or six main topics. It covered a few studies I haven’t read about from other books, so that’s definitely a plus since I’ve read so many of these.
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win by Maria Konnikova
The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes by David Robson
Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World (The MIT Press) by Meredith Broussard
Usually, I have absolutely no interest in books about AI. The ones I come across are usually about how the computers are going to take over the world and why we all need to fear for our lives. Recently, I watched the amazing Netflix documentary Coded Bias, and I was introduced to Meredith Broussard and some other great authors. Even if the computers aren’t going to take over the world, AI is causing a lot of social issues that many people don’t realize, and that’s why I decided to grab a copy of this book.
Broussard did an incredible job breaking down complex topics such as how coding works and the limits of AI. I’ve been a computer nerd my whole life, but coding is a topic that always loses me. Broussard builds off of her explanation of AI and coding to discuss the issues we’re seeing with AI in schools, search engines, and autonomous driving. I learned a ton and really enjoyed this book. Dare I say that this book may have even made me want give some other books on AI a chance? Maybe.
My only critique of the book is that chapter 10 has a great story about Meredith on a “startup bus”, but it seemed really out of place in the book. Other than that, I highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about social issues and wants to learn about how tech is affecting the way we live.
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
This was a decent book about indexing. I hadn’t read any of the books from Ellis but was introduced to him in his book Elements of Investing with Burton Malkiel. The first half of this book is sort of a memoir of Ellis’ journey through becoming an investor and learning why index funds are so beneficial. The second half is some short chapters on the benefits of index investing. As someone who reads a ton of books on this subject, there wasn’t a lot of new value, but it was still worth the read as a reminder of the basics.
The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor by Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis
The Behaviour Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards
The Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get On with Your Life by Bill Schultheis
If you need help with your mental health, I highly recommend the service I use, BetterHelp. They’re an affordable online therapy service, and by using this affiliate link, you help support The Rewired Soul.