Avi Das

Home for my work, ideas and else.

Books I Read in 2018

General/Personal Development

  1. The art of living (Thich nhat hanh): This is the best Thich nhat hanh I’ve read, composing his philosophy on living an examined life into day to day practices.
  2. Thinking in systems, a primer (Donella Meadows): Really, really smart author, systems thinking should be a required course in college.
  3. Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Bell Hooks): Challenges a lot of assumptions, covering black woman’s involvement with race identity and feminism.
  4. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing (Daniel Pink): Dan Pink’s books are similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s, distilling behavioral psychology research into easy reads.
  5. The Essential Rumi (Jalal Al-Din Rumi): Lately I have started admiring how much Poetry can accomplish with so few words. There is something very calming about reading Rumi.
  6. Sex at dawn (Christopher Ryan‎, Cacilda Jethá): An incendiary/challenging investigation into human/primate sexuality, sweeping across history to construct the narrative, much like Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
  7. Deep work (Cal Newport): So good, anyone doing knowledge/creative work would be benefited by this classic.
  8. The life changing Manga of Tidying Up (Marie Kondo): I have been leaning towards minimalism, and Marie Kondo offers very actionable steps to cleaning up, and why doing this is related to the life we want to have.
  9. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi): There is strong evidence at this point that time spent in flow state, (an state of effortless concentration on a single task), can be correlated to contentment/happiness. I really liked the first part of the book but thought it could be much shorter.
  10. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brene Brown)
  11. So good they can’t ignore you (Cal Newport): Much like deep work, essential reading for those looking to improve their craft.
  12. How to change your mind (Michael Pollan): Eye-opening, challenging look at the resurgence of Psychedelics in mental health research.
  13. A life in parts (Bryan Cranston)


  1. Radical Candor (Kim Scott)
  2. The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win (Gene Kim) A curiously engaging fiction on DevOps and executive level politics in a large tech company.
  3. Designing data intensive applications (Martin Kleppmann): One I will be re-reading many times.
  4. The master algorithm (Pedro Domingos): An inspiring call to action and possibility of general artificial intelligence.
  5. The manager’s path (Camille Fournier)
  6. The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Chad Fowler)


  1. Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stability, Strength, and Speed (Jay Dicharry)
  2. Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance (Alex Hutchinson)
  3. North (Scott Jurek): Loved how personal this story was both for Jurek and his wife Jenny, alternating their narratives
  4. Again to Carthage (John L Parker): Amazing in certain parts, especially near the end where Cassidy runs Olympic trials, but too long and dragging for most of it.
  5. Running with the mind of meditation (Sakyong Mipham): What does a lifelong meditator who also ran the Boston marathon has to say about the sport?

In no particular order, mostly read while being on the NYC subway!