My Reading List For 2023

My Reading List For 2023

January 4th, 2024  |  Published in Books, Personal

The following is a list of books I read this year, seventy in total. This year I spent some time re-reading a number of books I have loved from the past. If don’t include these my top books might be the following:

  • The Paranoid Style in American Politics – Richard Hofstadter
  • Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman
  • How To Think Like A Roman Emperor – Donald Robertson
  • Notes From Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  • The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  • A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf


Hamlet – William Shakespeare

This time, perhaps due to my age, I am way more unsympathetic to Hamlet. And Ophelia seems much more tragic.

This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book has been on my list of books to read for 20 years. The two most interesting aspects of reading this book are first that it is semi-autobiographical. You can almost see a young F. Scott talking to these people and scenes at school actually happening. Second, you get to see the beginning of his writing style.

Thinking in Bets – Annie Duke

So I knew about Annie Duke from poker and was really pleased to learn that an enormous chunk of this stems from her love of cognitive-behavioral decision science.

The Rum Diary – Hunter S. Thompson

Like F. Scott’s This Side of Paradise, reading one of Hunter S. Thompson’s first forays into writing was interesting. All the elements are there, but not quite up to what you’d expect.

Stillness Is The Key – Ryan Holiday

Always good to read Ryan Holiday. The only downside to an otherwise good book was his thoughts on a higher power.

The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

I am trying to incorporate other forms of reading (such as poetry and plays) that I would not normally read. You can never go wrong with Oscar Wilde. Every other line is like a famous quote from Wilde.

Art of War – Sun Tzu

This book has been on my list of books to read for 20 years. It is one of those books people (I think) like to quote from but have never read. Perhaps it is because I am not in danger of becoming a general, have no real adversaries, or it could simply be the translation; I was not too fond of it. In its proper context, it is extraordinary that this is the first time some of these strategies were written, but in modern times they read a bit like obvious truisms.

Profit Over People – Noam Chomsky

It had been a while since I had read any Chomsky and it’s always great to read thing you may have missed.

Dear Reader – Michael Malice

Michael Malice wrote the book using a combination of books about Kim Jong Il. It is one part hilarious and one part tragic.

Macbeth – William Shakespeare

I was trying to read at least one play by Shakespeare a month. Machbeth, was interesting in that I thought I had read it before but, wasn’t really sure until maybe the end.

The Greatest Empire ‘A Life of Seneca’ – Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson does a masters class in the life of Seneca. Perhaps my favorite stoic.

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius

I am trying to reread some books that I enjoyed before and Meditations is a great choice.

Tristessa – Jack Kerouac

I was interested in starting to read some of the beat writers and there are a couple of Kerouac books I wanted to read. This was about his travels down to Mexico and hanging out with Tristessa. Not my favorite.

Zen Poems – Misc

I have also been trying to read more poetry and this is a great collection of old Zen poets.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

This has been on my list to read for a long time. Sylvia Plath is an amazing writer. The story is I believe semi-autobiographical.

Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare

Et tu, Brute!

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

Another book that I hadn’t read in almost 20 years. I like that there is almost this entire new language that you have to learn to read the book.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold – John le Carre

I don’t really read too much in this genre but, John le Carre is great. I then re-watched the movie too which is also amazing. This and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy are all great.

Against Empathy – Paul Bloom

Came across this book after hearing a podcast with Sam Harris. Paul Bloom lays out a compelling case on how empathy clouds ones judgement.

Open Satellite Datasets 1-3 – KAIINOS

These books were for school. A great overview of the Landsat, Sentinel and MODIS satellites.

Tractus Logico-Philosophicus – Ludwig Wittenstein

I was worried that I wouldn’t understand a lot of what is in the Tractus but, surprisingly it is fairly easy to read and follow along.

Alice’s Adventure In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

I had never read it before. Was trying to read it to my kids but, they were not as in to it as I was.

The Doors of Perception – Aldous Huxley

I have never read any of Huxley before and I now know why the band The Doors are named what they are. I imagine this is a lot like reading the Electric Cool Aide Acid Test.

Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzsche

I wanted to read more Nietzsche this year. I have read parts of Beyond Good and Evil before is a collection but, the book stands by itself wonderfully. Probably my favorite of his works so far.

Lives Of The Stoics – Ryan Holiday

A great overview of the lives of various stoics. Lots of great life lessons there.

Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare

A love story / triangle of sorts. Not my favorite.

Jazz Poems – Misc.

Another great collection of poems. Some very reminiscent of beat writings.

The Paranoid Style in American Politics – Richard Hofstadter

Richard Hofstadter is probably my favorite historian. The Paranoid Style literally reads like this could have come out of American politics in the last 8 years.

Letters From A Stoic – Seneca

Probably my favorite of the stoic texts. Great stuff, easy to read and the humor is still amazing.

Naked Lunch – William S. Burroughs

So I tried reading this when I was younger and I don’t think I got too far. But, an absolute classic.

The Communication Book – Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler

Kind of a nice short book covering a variety of communication methods and strategies.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck Journal – Mark Manson

I loved the The Subtle Art and I journal everyday. So I read through this book to see if there were any good ideas in it. It’s more of a get your life on track kind of approach.

The Decision Book – Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler

Like the communications book this one covers a variety of strategies for making decisions.

Measure For Measure – William Shakespeare

Still making my way through all of the plays. Measure For Measure was pretty good.

Fuck Feelings – Michale Bennett and Sarah Bennett

So where to start. This and another book I will talk about later are part of this new semi-stoic fuck your feeling easy self help book genre. Outside of Mark Manson, I don’t think anybody does it well.

The Real Frank Zappa – Frank Zappa

I read this as a kid and it still is amazing. In part because Zappa is amazing.

The Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl

Pretty much required reading. Deep and profound.

How To Be A Stoic – Massimo Pigliucci

It’s a highly regarded book on stoicism but, for me it missed.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism – Oscar Wilde

I actually really like Oscar Wilde. I thought that this book would be an interesting insight in to an artists view of his political convictions but, I feel like in some ways I was expecting more.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare

Even though I knew some of the words to this play I feel like this is one that would be better to be seen visually than to read.

The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli

I feel like this is a book that a lot of people talk about but, perhaps few have read. Clearly a classic but, probably reads a bit different than what its reputation has.

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf

So I think I had this view of Virginia Wolf in my head that I did not like. But, I am really glad that I read this book because it is lovely.

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin – Charles Darwin

This was really great and Charles Darwin is delightfully nerdy.

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol – Andy Warhol

This is actually a fairly strange book in a good way. Will it give you any new insights in to Andy Warhol… probably not.

A Happy Death – Albert Camus

Another great book by Camus. I don’t always like the philosophy through novel approach but Camus is always great.

Calm The Fuck Down – Sarah Knight

So this was the other book I was talking about. It didn’t resonate with me.

A Drift – Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway is great. A Drift is the story of America in a 100 charts.

The Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew is actually a fairly good play and fairly funny.

Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday

Another great book by Ryan Holiday. Can be summed up by this one quote really. “Those who have subdued their ego understand that it doesn’t degrade you when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.”

A Woman of No Importance – Oscar Wilde

A funny great play by Wilde.

Courage Under Fire – James Stockdale

A book about Stockdale’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Very much in line with The Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

My Inventions: An Autobiography – Nikola Tesla

Oddly I don’t know a lot about Tesla but, this was an overview of what he thought his greatest contributions were. Scattered with a bit of autobiographical notes.

The Algebra of Happiness – Scott Galloway

Like A Drift this looks at a number of factors that contribute to your happiness.

The Will To Power – Fredrich Nietzsche

So Will To Power was in part a collection of his writings after his final mental break down. This did not resonate with me as some of his other works.

Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

I have read parts of this over the years but, I have never finished it. It is an absolutely devastating critique of the mass media.

The Go-Giver – Bob Burg and John David Mann

The Go-Giver could be summed up as five rules of how not to be an asshole.

The Sonnets – William Shakespeare

There are some pretty great sonnets in the collection. …I guess obviously.

Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwell

Down and Out is Orwell’s’ account of scrapping by in the restaurants of Paris and the poor houses in London.

Post Office – Charles Bukowski

My first Bukowski book and I loved it.

The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

Think it had been about 20 years are so since I read this. Feel like it is much more depressing this time around.

A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift


Discipline Is Destiny – Ryan Holiday

I feel like this would be a great book to re-read every once in a while.

Ask The Dust – John Fante

Maybe the classic American novel.

Notes From Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky

I wasn’t expecting to like this much as I did. Probably my favorite out of the three Dostoevsky books I’ve read.

The Stoic Challenge – William B. Irvine

This was kind of a miss for me too.

On Providence – Seneca

A great series of dialogs from Seneca.

The Symposium – Plato

This was kind of a fairly weird book for me. In part I think due to the fact that I don’t normally read Greek philosophy.

King Lear – William Shakespeare

King Lear was pretty good. Kind of a strange start that I don’t think really translates all that well to my modern sensibilities.

Post Corona – Scott Galloway

An interesting study in to potential opportunities when crisis happens.

How To Think Like A Roman Emperor – Donald Robertson

Outside of the original texts, this might be one of the better stoic books.

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