My Library

Inspired by Patrick Collison, this page is an incomplete catalogue of my (physical) books. My rate of book-buying dramatically exceeds my rate of book-reading, but it shouldn’t exceed my rate of book-indexing, so hopefully this catalogue will be complete soon eventually.

To make it easier to browse, I’ve split this page by category:

Books in green are very good and recommended. Books in red are life-changing: I saw the world differently after reading them.

🔬 Science & Mathematics

The first Martin Gardner book I ever read; along with a (sadly lost) copy of Yakov Perelman’s Mathematics Can Be Fun, the beginning of a life-long interest in words, numbers, puzzles and games.

Cosmos (both book and TV series) was formative for me in so many ways: science, history, humanism.

Fun story: when I was 13 years old, my family lived in Kuwait. We were there when Saddam Hussein’s army invaded in 1990. We spent two months living in occupied territory, before escaping via bus caravan through the desert, three days in the hold of a cargo ship, and airlift from Dubai.

When we escaped, we had to leave almost everything behind, carrying only what would fit into a backpack each. I had a much-loved collection of books that I had to abandon; my parents told me I could choose one book to keep.

I chose Cosmos.

What can I say about GEB that hasn’t been said by a thousand geeks before me? Nothing, so I won’t even try.

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🗿 History & Biography

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📔 Essays, Memoirs & Journalism

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🎼 Language & Music

This is a terrific book and one of the top 5 non-fiction books I’ve ever read. (My top 5 actually includes at least 25 books, but what can you do.)

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🧳 Travel, Adventure & Exploration

I have a minor obsession with collecting travel books. I doubt I’ll visit all or even a tenth of all the places I want to visit, but I can read about them…

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🎭 Fiction

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As of February 2020, I’ve catalogued 8 of 30 bookshelves in my house.