Benjamin Anderson

Books

My bookshelf, with some quick takeaways.

The below list is a culmination of the books I’ve read over the course of 2020, plus 1-2 scentences of my highest level takeaway from reading each book.

If you’d like to check out a more comprehensive summary of takaways from each book, you can check out the Page Crimps posts on my newsletter.

2020 #

BookTakeaway
ScaleThe patterns that exist from micro to macro are often the same.
FactfulnessThe world isn’t as bad as you’ve been led to believe.
Wild RideMeteoric rises require astronomical energy to propel them.
Shadow DanceAcknowledge and take pride in the ability to overcome a dark side rather than pretend it doesn’t exist.
Surely You’re Joking Mr. FeynmenCuriosity pays dividends.
Creativity on DemandCreativity is an improvable skill.
Guns, Germs and SteelSmall advantages in the early stages of development lead to large advantages in later stages.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Shadow cannot be suppressed.
One TasteThere’s a place you can get to beyond the present, where you perceive the totality of the present.
The Origin and History of ConsciousnessThere are consistent patterns that reflect the nature of consciousness across the religious texts of history that can teach valuable lessons.
127 HoursTry the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing. Endurance with a stoic mindset pays off.
The Italian SummerThere’s no guilt in earned pleasure.
The Brain that Changes ItselfOur brains are adaptable to maximize the ROI of our experience.
The Jefferson BibleThere are moral truths that exist in the Bible. Religious or not, it’s not worth throwing the baby our with the bathwater.
1984Complacency at scale will lead to amorphous existence devoid of truth.
The War of ArtIt takes discipline to be a successful artist, in any domain.
The StrangerIf you are complacent to the whims of the world around you, you will deserve whatever it brings you.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceThe process of defining quality, otherwise known as ’the journey’ is the most virtuous and powerful thing a human being is capable of.
Finite and Infinite GamesSome games you play to win, but the more fun games are the ones you play to prolong.
Crime and PunishmentLiving a nihilist doesn’t net you any return comparable to subscribing to a mode of meaning.
The HobbitYou experience adventure as much as it experiences you.
Bhagavad Gita As It IsMorality, faith and religion are practices of intuition.
The Three Body ProblemComplexity can’t be solved, it can only be simplified.
Seven Pillars of WisdomAn incredible experience can take place over any stretch of time, but one on a longer stretch is made up of a myriad of smaller experiences of comparable value.
Candide and Selected StoriesThe same negative social norms that plague us now, plagued us in the past, their amplification has only increased. The right behaviors are generally common sense.
The OdysseyIf you choose the right objectives, the universe will conspire with you to achieve them. Otherwise, it will conspire to send you in the right direction, often through struggle.

Want More of a summary? Check out the posts marked ‘Page Crimps’ on my newsletter.