18 Books From 2018

4 min readDec 17, 2018


Biblioteca Joanina at the University of Coimbra in Central Portugal (one of the world’s oldest universities)

AI superpowers - Kai-Fu Lee ✅ 11/18

This is a great read for anyone who is interested in AI. A strong historical and future perspective presented throughout the book. It is very bullish on China, which I agree with.

Fascism: A Warning - Madeleine Albright ✅ 11/18

Madeleine Albright is the first woman to serve as Secretary of State under Bill Clinton. A great personal tale of survival through her experiences of fleeing fascism from her native Czechoslovakia. Although claiming the book was in the works prior to President Trumps 2016 campaign, it does cover very topical thought provoking arguments for the political situations in the US and the UK amongst others. A great historical reflection on fascism and its consequences.

Utopia for Realists - Rutger Bregman ✅ 10/18

Again, very topical given the current debates of globalisation and immigration et al. Some good data points supporting the above as well as revisiting concepts such as universal basic income and the 15 hour workweek.

Bad Blood - John Carreyrou ✅ 09/18

The story of Theranos and what will likely not be the last we will hear of Elizabeth Holmes. A fantastic piece of investigative journalism.

Conspiracy - Ryan Holiday ✅ 09/18

Ryan Holiday presents a thesis on conspiracies and focuses heavily of Peter Thiel’s 10 year campaign to bring down Gawker Media by funding anonymous legal disputes against the publication. I struggled to find sympathy for Thiel in this story and do not quite agree with Holiday’s thesis — that being said, a real page turner nonetheless and a very interesting story.

Blitzed - Norman Ohler ✅ 09/18

The fascinating story of how much of the Third Reich and their supreme leader were on methamphetamine (that is not a typo). A very interesting insight into the pharmaceutical research conducted during the second world war in Nazi Germany.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century - Yuval Noah Harari ✅ 09/18

Loved Sapiens, and Homo Deus was a nice conceptual view into the future. 21 Lessons touches on the next 100 years and what we should come to expect from technology and societies evolution around that.

How to Change Your Mind - Michael Pollan ✅ 07/18

This is an amazing book about numerous unknown trials and testing that went on with psychedelics during the second half on the 20th century. Some amazing case studies and stories from the period about the potential upsides these drugs can have on society. A great introductory read for anyone interested in the sector.

12 Rules for Life - Jordan P Peterson ✅ 07/18

Covers all the big topics, phycology, religion, mythology, and abstract ethical principles. I am still on the fence with regards to J P Petersons books and essays, he is however, a very intriguing thinker whom gives some great conversation and thought provoking material.

Enlightenment Now - Stephen Pinker ✅ 06/18

Being a big fan of Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature and picked up his most recent book as soon as it came out. It does a very good job, in a more accessible way than his previous works, to give statistics and data around why we are living in the least violent and most prosperous times in humanity.

The Etymologicon - Mark Forsyth ✅ 6/18

Very witty and interesting book exploring the etymological links between words in the english language. An amusing read to have for a commute or journey.

In The Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson ✅ 5/18

Fascinating true story of the US ambassador to Germany during the rise of the Third Reich and the years preluding the second world war.

The Future of Professions - Richard and Daniel Susskind ✅ 5/18

I’ve enjoyed Richard Susskind’s and The Future of Professions is no exception. Collaborating with his son on this they both delve into careers in professional services and what they will look like in the years to come — prepare to re-skill.

Factfulness - Hans Rosling ✅ 04/18

This is “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley of 2018. A seriously good read and amazingly published by his son after his passing last year. Very similar to S Pinker in regards to it sharing statistics and data projecting optimism to the 21st century.

Capitalism Without Capital - Jonathan Haskel ✅ 03/18

This should be a subject at university immediately ensuing Econ 101 due to its great analysis of the intangible economy so many technologies are based upon today.

Skin in the Game - Nassim Nicholas Taleb ✅ 02/18

One of the most talked about books of the year, but maybe that is because I follow the ever provocative Nassim Taleb on Twitter. From the back cover of the book jacket: “The problem with Taleb is not that he’s an asshole. He is an asshole. The problem with Taleb is that he is right.” I recommend everyone read this. His other titles are pretty good too.

The Tao of Seneca - Seneca ✅ 02/18

Seneca the Younger was a Roman stoic philosopher. Recommended by a number of people and has a huge online following. There is definitely a lot of hype around stoicism at present, perhaps a good thing. This is an entry level read for anyone wanting to learn more about it.

Leonardo da Vinci- Walter Isaacson ✅ 01/18

The original renaissance man, a great insight into one of the best minds of the modern world. Key takeaways, be more curious — have you ever wondered what a woodpeckers tongue looks like?

I’ve started documenting my reading, an idea I got from Art Garfunkel. See my work in progress here.




I live in London and work with technology businesses via @annection