Books 2020–2023

I’m a few years behind in posting my book lists, and past few years a good amount of my book reading time shifted to other mediums. I have been rediscovering the joy of books so here’s what I read the past few years as a motivation to myself to pick it up more in 2024.


  1. The Gift by Hafiz
  2. I hope this reaches her in time by r.h. Sin
  3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
  4. Exhalation by Ted Chiang
  5. Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy
  6. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
  7. Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
  8. High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil
  9. The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov
  10. What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
  11. Gideon Falls 1: The Black Barn by Jeff Lemire
  12. Gideon Falls 2: Original Sins by Jeff Lemire
  13. Gideon Falls 3: Stations of the Cross by Jeff Lemire
  14. What if I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People by Vernā Myers
  15. The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor by Howard Marks
  16. Wool by Hugh Howey
  17. Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
  18. Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
  19. Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony de Mello
  20. How to Know Higher Worlds by Rudolf Steiner
  21. No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer


  1. Broken Stars by Ken Liu
  2. The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk
  3. Broadbandits by Om Malik
  4. How to be Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
  5. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
  6. Billionaire Wilderness by Justin Farrell
  7. Antarctica: What Everyone Needs to Know by David Day
  8. San Fransicko by Michael Shellenberger
  9. Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent by Gabrielle Walker
  10. At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft
  11. Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
  12. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  13. Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God by Will Durant


This year I ended up mostly reading AI and machine learning academic papers, attempting to “learn AI deeply” as I asked people at the State of the Word that year. Started a bunch of other books but these were the only two I finished.

  1. 4000 weeks by Oliver Burkeman
  2. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Guin


  1. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  2. Belong by Radha Agrawal
  3. Excellent Advice for Living by Kevin Kelly
  4. On That Note by Michael Wolff
  5. Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara
  6. Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman by Richard Feynman
  7. Permutation City by Greg Egan
  8. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
  9. Damn Good Advice by George Lois

All book years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020–2023.

6 thoughts on “Books 2020–2023

  1. I too finally entered the Earthsea world this year. The second book – The Tombs of Atuan – was my favorite in the series. Another highlight of the year for me was reading The Neverending Story in full. I never knew that the movie told only half the story.

    I should re-read some Asimov books… last time was in high school. Also Surely, You’re Joking Mr. Feynman! After the Siddhartha incident, I’m afraid to go back to my favorites, though.

    Adding Hafiz to my to-read list. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Some really interesting reads here. Did you listen to the AI interview on Steven Bartlett’s podcast with Mo Gawdat? He also wrote a book called ‘Scary Smart’ which might be of interest. A good one for the soul is ‘Covenant of Water’ by Abraham Verghese… my big 2023 read (40 hours on audible).

  3. Hi, Matt! Thanks for sharing these books–I’ve added several of them to my list!

    I’m curious about your 2022 deep dive into AI and machine learning. Do any particular readings stand out as your favorites? Did you also read AI/ML textbooks? Did you already have an understanding of AI/ML fundamentals, or did you pick much of that up from reading the academic papers?

    1. I didn’t log this reading in a way that would be easy to share, but I’ll keep that in mind for the future. I was mostly reading papers and following citations, with a ton of Googling to fill in gaps in my knowledge, and more recently using ChatGPT to explain things to me.