Readings

Books

Poor Charlie's Almanack by Charlie Munger

I deeply admire that Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet achieved great success through honest and ethical work. This book explores the wisdom and life heuristics of Charlie Munger through an entertaining selection of interviews, letters, and more.


The Machine That Changed the World by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roo

The Machine That Changed The World explores how Toyota emerged as an automotive leader in the early 90s through lean. Perhaps because the authors are academics, the book reads more like an extended research paper than business non-fiction (which is often plagued with dubious anecdotes and lessons). It offers a rigorous comparison of Japanese and European / American automotive companies. The reader is left with a visceral understanding of how shift in mindset creates compounding returns in quality and quantity of product. Furthermore, it illustrates the strategic advantage of organization culture that is difficult to reproduce.


Nike Culture: The Sign of the Swoosh by Robert Goldman

Goldman explores the relationship between people and symbols through Nike's advertising throughout the years. This book made me question the impact advertising has on shaping personal ambition, individual desire, and think about how symbols change over time.


How Cancer Works by Lauren Sompayrac

The topic of cancer appears frequently and unexpectedly in most peoples lives. Approximately 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer of any site at some point during their lifetime. I read this book during my research internship at the Icahn School of Medicine to get an overview of the pathology of cancer. Sompayrac makes this complicated topic approachable for any interested reader.


Peak by Anders Ericsson

Throughout late high school and early college I became fascinated by the question: what makes people good at what they do? What was a strong curiosity for me was the life's work for Ericsson — Malcolm Gladwell even made a career out of popularizing and misrepresenting some of his work. Ericsson's research changed the way I think about neuroplasticity, mental representations, and the nature of expertise.


The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner

Practicing Mind was my first exposure to mindfulness — a habit that eventually fueled my interest in meditation not too long after reading this book. One of the main ideas presented is "process over product." We live a significant portion of our lives in autopilot mode and when things don't go our way, many of us get frustrated or attribute our inabilities to factors that are outside of our control. Practicing Mind is a practical introduction to “present moment awareness” and “non-judgemental observation.”


A Guide to Screenwriting Success: Writing for Film and Television by Stephen V. Duncan

Film and television offer a curated glimpse into what it means to be another human. While this book offers great advice about writing screenplays, the book is more so about fictional story telling through characters. It gives the reader an appreciation for media content by providing a framework and vocabulary for decomposing screenplays. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in sketch comedy or trying to write compelling narratives.