Library of Worldly Wisdom

Welcome to my online library, a curation of all the books that I have read or am reading. I’ve categorised my reading list into six buckets of practical worldly wisdom: numeracy, human nature, history, natural science, business and second-level thinking and ordered my books within them based on their influence upon me. I’ve also added seminal papers, articles, essays and letters that have that have deeply influenced me.

CURRENTLY READING: Cowen T. & Gross D. (2022) Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World

PREVIOUSLY READ: Deutsch D. (2012) The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

Worldly wisdom

Jump to books, papers, articles and essays by category of worldly wisdom:


The ability to understand and think in numbers and properly quantify. This would include a basic understanding of statistics and its limitations, of probability thinking and its limitations, and basic numerical and quantitative thinking applied to the real world.”

Taleb N. N. (2007) Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Taleb N. N. (2010) The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Spitznagel, M (2013) The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World

West G. (2018) Scale: The Universal Laws of Life and Death in Organisms, Cities and Companies

Bernstein P. L. (1998) Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk 

Papers, articles, essays & letters:

Housel M. (June 21, 2018) Tails, You Win

Dixon C. (June 7, 2015) The Babe Ruth Effect in Venture Capital

Human nature

The ability to understand the true nature of the people around you, and of yourself, with heavy consideration given to human psychology.”

Kahneman D. (2012) Thinking Fast & Slow

Cialdini R. (2007) Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Tetlock P. (2016) Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Carnegie D. (originally published 1936) How to Win Friends & Influence People

Berger J. G. (2013) Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World

Berger J. G. (2016) Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders

Kegan R. & Lahey L. (2016) An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

Clarke A. (2016) Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind

Emerson B. & Lewis K. (2019) Navigating Polarities: Using Both/And Thinking to Lead Transformation

Lee G. (2003) Leadership Coaching: From Personal Insights to Organisational Performance

Kegan R. (1998) In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life

Storr A. (1997) Solitude

Coates J. (2013) The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind

Klein G. (2004) The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work

Murphy Paul A. (2005) The Cult of Personality Testing: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves

Syed M. (2019) Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking

Livingston R. (2021) The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations

Senge P. (2006) The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization

Grossman D. (2013) On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace

Johnson S. (2011) Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships

Pfeffer, J (2015) Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time

McChrystal S. (2015) Team of Teams: New Rules for Engagement in a Complex World

Syed M. (2016) Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains & the Secrets of High Performance

Whitmore J. (first published 2009) Coaching for Performance: The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership

Downey M. (2003) Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach’s Coach

Helgesen S. & Goldsmith M. (2019) How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back

Henrich J. (2015) The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter

Neill H. B. (1954) The Art of Contrary Thinking

O’Brien J. (2020) How Not To Be Wrong: The Art Of Changing Your Mind

Kegan R. & Lahey L. (2009) Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization

Eurich T. (2018) Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think

Bungay Stanier M. (2016) The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

Gallway T. (1974) The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

Waitzkin J. (2008) The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

Paul J. & Moynihan B. (2013) What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

Schulz K. (2010) Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error 

Dweck D. (2017) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success 

Stulberg S. (2017) Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success 

Frankl V. (first published 1962) Man’s Search for Meaning

Heller R. & Levine A. (2012) Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love

Schein E. (2009) Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help (Humble Leadership)

Ellis K. & Boston R. (2019) Upgrade: Building your capacity for complexity

Green R. (2012) Mastery

Kay, J. & King, M. (2020) Radical Uncertainty: Decision-making for an unknowable future

Goleman D. Working with Emotional Intelligence

Headlee C. (2017) We Need To Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter

Berger W. (2016) A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Willink J. & Babin L. (2015) Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win

Berne E. (1964) Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships

Papers, articles, essays & letters:

Thomson H. S. (April 22, 1958) Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life

Deresiewicz W. (March 1, 2010) Solitude and Leadership – If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts

Foster Wallace D. (2005) This is Water

Munger C. (1994) A Lesson on Elementary Worldly Wisdom As It Relates To Investment Management & Business

Munger C. (unknown) The Revised Psychology of Human Misjudgment

Read L. E. (unknown) I, Pencil

Asimov, I (1959) How Do People Get New Ideas?

Duncan G. (unknown) What’s going on here, with this human?

Duncan G. (unknown) The Playing Field


“The knowledge of what’s come before you in the world.”

Harari Y. N. (2015) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Graeber D. (2014) Debt : The First 5000 Years

Mukherjee S. (2011) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Brief Biography of Cancer 

Gertner J. (2012) The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

Greenspan A. & Wooldridge A. (2018) Capitalism in America: A History

Goldstein A. (2018) Janesville: An American Story 

Natural Science

“An understanding of the physical world around us.”

Waldrop M. M. (1993) Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order & Chaos

Smil V. (2021) Grand Transitions: How the Modern World Was Made

Quammen D. (2007) The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin & the Making of His Theory of Evolution 

Hawking S. (2011) Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

Papers, articles, essays & letters:

von Hayek F. (December 11, 1974) The Pretence of Knowledge – lecture to the memory of Alfred Nobel

Meadows D. (unknown) Dancing With Systems

Cook R. (unknown) How Complex Systems Fail (Being a Short Treatise on the Nature of Failure; How Failure is Evaluated; How Failure is Attributed to Proximate Cause; and the Resulting New Understanding of Patient Safety)

Galland D. (February 24, 2012) Complexity Theory, Sand Piles, and Financial Crises


“An understanding of commerce and finance, concepts we must all regularly deal with unless we plan to live in a monastery.”

Chouinard Y. (2006) Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

Grove A. (1995) High Output Management 

Maister D. (2001) The Trusted Advisor

Cohen W. A. (2018) Consulting Drucker: Principles & Lessons from the World’s Leading Management Consultant

Schmidt E., Rosenberg J. & Eagle A. (2019) Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell

Christensen C. (originally published 1997) The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail 

Grove A. (1996) Only The Paranoid Survive 

Rumelt R. (2011) Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference & why it matters

Ries E. (2011) The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

Thiel T. (2014) Zero to One: Notes on Startup, or How to Build The Future

Bock L. (2016) Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

McCord P. (2017) Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Gailbraith J. K. (1994) A Short History of Financial Euphoria 

Dalio R. (2017) Principles: Life & Work 

Knight P. (2018) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike 

Thorp E. O. (2017) A Man for All Markets

Ogilvy D. (2007) Ogilvy on Advertising 

Westlake S. & Haskel J. (2017) Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy

Azar A. (2021) Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It

Denning S. (2018) The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done

Martin R. L. (2009) The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking

Horowitz B. (2014) The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers 

Palmer K. & Blake D. (2018) The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete & Succeed 

Tenelius K. & Gill L. (2020) Moose Heads on the Table

Papers, articles, essays & letters:

Arthur W. B. (1996) Increasing Returns and the New World of Business

Buffet W. E. (May 17, 1984) The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville

Kelly K. (2008) 1,000 True Fans

Bond G. (June 18, 2020) Why are CEOs failing software engineers?

Second-level thinking

The ability to think beyond the ‘first step’ and think through consequences. And then what?”

Coram R. (2004) Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War 

Bevelin P. (2007) Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Marks H. (2007) The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor 

Heath C. & Heath D. (2013) Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work 

Papers, articles, essays & letters:

Marks H. (September 7, 2006) Dare to Be Great

Kaufman P. (April 6, 2018) The Multidisciplinary Approach to Thinking

Soros G. (October 26, 2009) General Theory of Reflexivity

Graham P. (December 2014) How You Know

Mauboussin M. J. & Callahan D. (2015) Sharpening Your Forecasting Skills – Foresight Is a Measurable Skill That You Can Cultivate

Zeckhauser R. J. (Capitalism and Society, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Article 5, 2006) Investing in the Unknown and Unknowable

Buffet W. (May 17, 1984) The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville