These Are The Books You Should Read Before You Die

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Hitch 22

Hitch 22 Book Cover
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens – too date – is one of the biggest influences on my life.

His memoir terrifically lives up to the standard of prose that his youtube fans have come to expect.

Hitch truly led an amazing life and his memoir’s document his role in seemingly every pivotal political event throughout the world since the 60’s.

He was an amazing man and we are lucky to be able to read in his own words just how his life unfolded.

Barbarian Days

Barbarian Days Book Cover
William Finnegan

My friend Ben Goffin recommended me Barbarian Days after he said it was the most engaging book he had ever read.

Bill’s memoir’s recount so much more than surfing and good swells.

South Africa, the apartheid, girls, booze, vagabonding, surfing, the book is an inspiring boy to man journey.

Bill Finnegan is a writer with the New Yorker magazine which is evident through his engaging writing.

Boy & Going Solo

Boy & Going Solo Book Cover
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl

In the extremely vivid and larger than life prose which drove much of his literary legacy, Dahl led of the most adventurous life stories you’ve ever read.

Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog Book Cover
Phil Knight

So much more than a business book and so much more than a sports book.

Phil Knight and his industry defining company Nike offers the read an inspirational story.

The book frames Knight’s experiences with Nike up until the day the company went public – so the good old days.

I found myself quite emotional as the book came to a conclusion and still to this day think about some of stories that make up this memoir.

Surely Your Joking Mr. Feynman!

Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman Book Cover
Richard Feynman

An ode to one of the most curious thinkers of our history.

Richard Feynman was a superior physicist and mathematician who – among many other things – was a central figure in the Manhatten project and WWII.

The book spans the authors insatiable thirst for learning and the funny and weird situations they leave him in.


The Open Veins of Latin America

Open Veins Of Latin America Book Cover
Eduardo Galeano

If you are going to visit, or have an in interest in Latin America – despite your political leaning – reading this book will enrich your experience.

This book recounts the historied exploitation of Latin America between the 15th century until its publication.

While this is a historical account, it does not read like one. The book flows with ease with help from Galeano’s flair and passion. He connects one exploit into another and does not confuse the reader with distracting over-information.

A word of warning ! — This book is written from a clearly biased left wing perspective don’t let that stop you from trying this book.

Fooled By Randomness

Fooled By Randomness Book Cover
Nassim Taleb

This is one of those books whose central idea has the power to fundamentally change the way you think. Life is dictated by random events whether you like it or not. Do not become a fool of randomness.

Nassim Taleb is a favourite of mine. You will see all of his work on the Incerto summarised detail here. As well as a video on this book here.

Genghis Khan & The Making Of The Modern World

Genghis Khan Book Cover
Jack Weatherford

This book offers so much more than just a history of one humanities most fascinating figures.

The Mongols were a incredible culture who were uniquely amazing athletes and survivors.

The historical significance of Genghis Khan and his Mongol armies cannot be understated and this book does a magnificent job at highlighting just how influential on the world as we currently experience it the Mongols were.


Freakonomics Book Cover
Stephen Levitt & Dunbar

Anyone interested in human behaviour, culture or statistics will find this book fascinating. Anyone interested in Economics will find this book invaluable.

The authors take seemingly uncorrelated phenomenon and then draw a line between them exposing tons of entertaining and insightful conclusions along the way.


Storyworthy Book Cover
Matthew Dicks

Everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone knows how to tell it.

Mathew Dicks makes you realise that every single day you experience something that is worth retelling.

No matter who you are, the ability to communicate is the the most transferable skill that you can endow yourself with.

This book will teach you how to tell good stories. It’s that simple.


Mans Search For Meaning


The Count Of Monte Cristo

The Count Of Monte Cristo Book Cover
Alexandre Dumas

This is my favourite book of all time.

The tale told within the pages of this book is one of the greatest adventure stories ever penned.

This is a long book, and can feel intimidating to tackle. But just start it and let the pages turn and flow like melting wax.

This book was written in the 1800’s before TV and movies. So all of the emotion and brilliance that we typically rely on familiar images for is not available. Therefore Dumas and the writing conveys a different emotion then you are used to, making this a classic. It’s magical.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist Book Cover
Paulo Coelho

This funny little book has apparently sold over 65 million copies.

It is a short, afternoon read that has the potential to transport your state of mind of vision of the future completely.

The Alchemist is an adventurous little narrative that follows the journey of a man from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure.

I leave the rest to you.


1984 Book Cover
George Orwell

You have certainly heard of this and also likely read it. If you havn’t read it, and have an interest in politics or culture. Read it.

Orwell and 1984 have melded themselves into pop culture. Wrongspeak, Big Brother and so much more, Orwell devastates communism, socialism and totalitarianism all at once.


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