Cory's Reading List
Currently Reading/Wish List
The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) (Collins Business Essentials)
The Pale King
Like with DFW's other novel, Infinite Jest, The Pale King is a novel I read and then had no fucking clue what happened when I reached the end. SPOILERS AHEAD: He was basically shooting for writing a story about the lamest group of X-men ever conceived. The whole of the book describes life for various eccentric characters and goes deep into the rabbit hole of their habits and routines. It doesn't seem to have a direction until you read the notes at the end where he plans to set up some sort of coup d'etat of the IRS service where automation ends up replacing live personnel. Several members of the live worker faction are scouting people who would be exceptionally talented at auditing tax returns to present an argument to upper management to prevent this. The key, according to DFW, is the ability to immerse oneself in work no matter how boring. Also once you read the end notes it becomes clear that as long as the existing material is, it only appears to be, like, one third of the intended length. Crazy
Added on December 21, 2020 5:40 PM
Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation
This was a really hard read. It took me literally years to sit down and concentrate on this. I needed a computer or phone in hand to google a lot of stuff, but this book is really educational. It's surprising how timeless stocks and finance is and really gives context to TYOOL 2020. I recommend reading this for giving historical examples to attach to concepts from the 4 Pillars of Investing. Also it's pretty fucking nuts reading about all the fraud and stock manipulation tactics that were done in the past and how tame things are today in comparison. Reading about the great depression (1930's) was also very enlightening. It's too bad this was written in 1998 because I'm interesting in what the author would say about the Great Recession and now.
Added on July 10, 2020 9:07 PM
I found this on a table at work that said "FREE". I think the concept of the book is nice. There's definitely something to being a "rebel", in that some people are content with being office drones and others want to blaze their own path. And going down one option vs the other doesn't happen by accident. All leaders consciously work towards it over lifetimes. I don't think the book had any particularly actionable tips, but the stories and anecdotes were very inspiring.
Added on January 27, 2020 12:52 AM
'"Masamune-kun''s Revenge Vol. 1"'
I feel weird putting a manga down, but for one reason or another, it's one of the few mangas that I decided to buy. I really like the characters and dynamics that happen in this manga. The plot twists and drama is well developed and deals with interesting themes, although it does get kind of fucky at the end, where it seems like there was some editor interference or something. Oh well, I still really liked it. It's so bittersweet. ;_;
Added on December 19, 2019 1:26 AM
This book is simply a pile of shit; a real turd. It makes it even more obvious after reading The Lean Startup. While that book uses data, examples from experience, and case studies to capture starting a company in the framework of the scientific method, this book is a mish mash of click bait-y tripe. The front and back jackets are covered in sensational words and phrases, which already turned me off. Then I opened the book and it's like the discourse just doesn't move past the introductory paragraph. I realized about a third into it that the entire thing is going to be marketing blog posts in book form. Seriously, each chapter is like 1-2 pages long and follows this formula: "Don't do [this thing that everybody does]. Do the exact opposite. That's what we do. Because why not???" There's no real analysis going on. I'm sure 37signals is a great place to work and are super productive but it's clear they have no clue how their success works. I'm giving anything they make a wide berth. PS: Ruby on rails fucking sucks
Added on December 15, 2019 2:19 AM
The Lean Startup
I was freaking out in one of the break rooms at work when I saw this on the bookshelf. It's an amazing book. Sometimes you come across a book so amazing it's usually the definitive intro for beginners to get into a new subject. For instance, wanna learn stocks? Read 4 pillars of investing by Bernstein. Wanna learn how to built things and start a company? Read this book. Ries breaks things down into a science and makes extremely useful observations out of complex scenarios. It's intuitive and revolutionary. I hope to need this advice someday.
Added on December 9, 2019 2:35 AM★
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
This is a surprisingly engrossing story about a race between Tarahumara and American ultramarathoners that frames a discussion of how running informs human evolution, culture, health, and lifestyles. It's a pleasant surprise.
Added on November 1, 2019 8:06 PM★
This is the most beautifully laid out book. It's for really new beginners though, but the later examples are pretty substantial.
Added on August 18, 2019 10:43 PM
Anger Management for Everyone
I had to read this because I started to hate my job and all my ideas don't make any money. It's a good book though with a lot of techniques that cover lifestyle changes, behavioral changes, and provides you with ways to manage anger. Not just anger but bitterness and over negativity too. To get the most out of the book requires picking a new strategies and following through on them until they become habit. I've been trying to keep a disciplined schedule and practice for these couple weeks and I think I can already feel results.
Added on April 8, 2019 3:47 PM
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
I didn't know that Theranos was so fucking crazy. Just from casually listening to the news I thought it was just some girl who bit off more than she could chew and then started lying. No, this is the Final Fantasy 7 house of silicon valley start ups. I was captivated by this guys book the whole way through. I thought 350 pages would be long but it flew by. Also the stereotype pairing of young girl engineer and creepy piece.of shit incompetent old guy is really common in Silicon Valley. It's the worst. I need to get out of here.
Added on January 19, 2019 7:54 PM★
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
This book is life anecdotes backed up with psychology for how to become an enlightened person. He also really likes the Bible. (Belief not necessary to enjoy the book). I think he has some interesting points but I disagree on a couple things, for instance when he says it's completely unreasonable to not want to have kids or that "striving the maximum good for most people" is specific enough to let you figure out what you should do in a day. I learned a lot of cool things about lobsters though.
Added on January 6, 2019 10:42 PM
Flowers for Algernon
Wow this is a really sad book. I never had to read this for school but I'm glad I read it now.
Added on November 21, 2018 5:17 PM★
Small Business For Dummies
I found this on a table at work and it was from 1998 which is funny because computers and the internet were super new back then. This is an overview for someone who has no clue how to start a business
Added on November 19, 2018 6:25 PM
Web Client Programming with Perl
This is a basic and outdated book but it's good for learning about perl and html request interactions. It's another textbook though so that was kind of boring to read.
Added on August 3, 2018 6:26 PM
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
This is a cool book about co-evolution of plants and people. There are some awesome facts in it.
Added on June 17, 2018 8:44 PM
This was ok. It gives me a super Neuromancer feel crossed with Idiocracy which is cool. The characters Hiro and Raven are cool too. It gets kind of fan fic -y with Hiro's samurai swords and Y.T.
Added on April 13, 2018 3:42 PM
The Prince and Other Writings (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Eh its ok. It made me more interested in Machiavelli's life and times but it also contains some interesting political stuff.
Added on March 22, 2018 6:51 PM
SystemVerilog for Verification: A Guide to Learning the Testbench Language Features
I had to read this for work. It's an okay book. :/
Added on February 21, 2018 7:51 PM
Why Programs Fail: A Guide to Systematic Debugging
This is a textbook. It's FUCKING BORING. But it picks up somewhat after Ch. 5 and has some really good ideas in it. I begrudgingly have to keep this book on my shelf.
Added on January 5, 2018 6:21 PM
Cory's favorite types of books...
Books are awesome
Slackers should totally read a lot of books. It sounds kind of counterintuitive, but actually it's quite useful. For instance, you can pretend to read a book on the beach and then accidentally on purpose fall asleep on the beach. A book can also be used to avoid talking to someone who would take a lot of effort to talk to. This is because the fact that you have a book open and grimacing at it makes it seem like you are working hard when in reality, you are thinking about ice cream. Sometimes if you are sitting in the right place, people will take a picture of you doing this, thinking you are famous and super smart.