Peter Attia's favorite books

  • The Talent Code

    The Talent Code

    Daniel Coyle
    Greatest Isn't Born, It's Grown, Here's how
    Psychology

    This book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism. Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world's talent hotbeds, author Coyle identifies the three key elementsthat will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.--From publisher description.

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    the books I’ve read the most

     — Source

  • This Is Water

    This Is Water

    David Foster Wallace
    Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
    Self-Help

    In this rare peak into the personal life of the author of numerous bestselling novels, gain an understanding of David Foster Wallace and how he became the man that he was. Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in This is Water. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading.

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    I’ve listened more than 100 times to the audio each time learning something

    Apr 20, 2019 — Source

  • Solve for Happy

    Solve for Happy

    Mo Gawdat
    Engineer Your Path to Joy
    Self-Help

    In this “powerful personal story woven with a rich analysis of what we all seek” (Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google), Mo Gawdat, Chief Business Officer at Google’s [X], applies his superior logic and problem solving skills to understand how the brain processes joy and sadness—and then he solves for happy. In 2001 Mo Gawdat realized that despite his incredible success, he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would: examining all the provable facts and scrupulously applying logic. Eventually, his countless hours of research and science proved successful, and he discovered the equation for permanent happiness. Thirteen years later, Mo’s algorithm would be put to the ultimate test. After the sudden death of his son, Ali, Mo and his family turned to his equation—and it saved them from despair. In dealing with the horrible loss, Mo found his mission: he would pull off the type of “moonshot” goal that he and his colleagues were always aiming for—he would share his equation with the world and help as many people as possible become happier. In Solve for Happy Mo questions some of the most fundamental aspects of our existence, shares the underlying reasons for suffering, and plots out a step-by-step process for achieving lifelong happiness and enduring contentment. He shows us how to view life through a clear lens, teaching us how to dispel the illusions that cloud our thinking; overcome the brain’s blind spots; and embrace five ultimate truths. No matter what obstacles we face, what burdens we bear, what trials we’ve experienced, we can all be content with our present situation and optimistic about the future.

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    Solve for Happy is probably in the number two spot

    Dec 13, 2018 — Source

  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman

    The book I’ve recommended most is Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman

     — Source

  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

    just an amazing book on the psychology of cognitive dissonance.

    Dec 13, 2018 — Source

  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull

    Richard Bach
    A Story
    Fables

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the most celebrated inspirational fable of our time, tells the story of a bird determined to be more than ordinary. This bestselling modern classic, reissued with a beautiful new cover design, is a story for people who want to follow their dreams and make their own rules and has inspired people for decades. `Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight how to get from shore to food and back again,' writes author Richard Bach in this allegory about a unique bird named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. `For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight.' Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes this story soar. This bestselling modern classic is a fable about seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe or neighbourhood finds your ambition threatening (at one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock). By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan learns the meaning of love and kindness and gets the ultimate payoff transcendence. The dreamy illustrations by Russell Munson provide just the right illustrations for this spirituality classic that has inspired thousands of readers to follow their own path in life and so fulfill their true potential.

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    I’d encourage [young people] to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull

     — Source

  • I Don't Want to Talk About It

    I Don't Want to Talk About It

    Terrence Real
    Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
    Self-Help

    A revolutionary and hopeful look at depression as a silent epidemic in men that manifests as workaholism, alcoholism, rage, difficulty with intimacy, and abusive behavior by the cofounder of Harvard’s Gender Research Project. Twenty years of experience treating men and their families has convinced psychotherapist Terrence Real that depression is a silent epidemic in men—that men hide their condition from family, friends, and themselves to avoid the stigma of depression’s “un-manliness.” Problems that we think of as typically male—difficulty with intimacy, workaholism, alcoholism, abusive behavior, and rage—are really attempts to escape depression. And these escape attempts only hurt the people men love and pass their condition on to their children. This groundbreaking book is the “pathway out of darkness” that these men and their families seek. Real reveals how men can unearth their pain, heal themselves, restore relationships, and break the legacy of abuse. He mixes penetrating analysis with compelling tales of his patients and even his own experiences with depression as the son of a violent, depressed father and the father of two young sons.

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    I’m moved to share one of the most important books I’ve read, reread, and gifted to many friends.

    Jun 8, 2018 — Source

  • The Transformed Cell: Unlocking the Mysteries of Cancer

    the books I’ve read the most

     — Source

  • How to Change Your Mind

    How to Change Your Mind

    Michael Pollan
    What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
    Body
    Mind & Spirit

    New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018 A New York Times Notable Book The #1 New York Times bestseller. A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs--and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research. A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan's "mental travelogue" is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.

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    You should definitely read Pollan’s book as well.

    Jul 2, 2018 — Source

  • 10% Happier

    10% Happier

    Dan Harris
    How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story
    Self-Help

    #1 New York Times Bestseller Winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir "An enormously smart, clear-eyed, brave-hearted, and quite personal look at the benefits of meditation." —Elizabeth Gilbert Nightline anchor Dan Harrisembarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable. After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. Finally, Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

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    loved the book, and I read it.

    Dec 18, 2014 — Source

  • Forgive and Remember

    Books that had the single biggest impact on Attia's life

     — Source

  • Being Wrong

    Being Wrong

    Kathryn Schulz
    Adventures in the Margin of Error
    Philosophy

    Explains what it means to be right or wrong and why it matters so much to people, arguing that the tendency to make mistakes is an essential part of human intelligence.

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    Book humanity needs right now

     — Source

  • Dancing Naked in the Mind Field

    Dancing Naked in the Mind Field

    Kary Mullis
    Biography & Autobiography

    Here is a multidimensional playland of ideas from the world's most eccentric Nobel-Prize winning scientist. Kary Mullis is legendary for his invention of PCR, which redefined the world of DNA, genetics, and forensic science. He is also a surfer, a veteran of Berkeley in the sixties, and perhaps the only Nobel laureate to describe a possible encounter with aliens. A scientist of boundless curiosity, he refuses to accept any proposition based on secondhand or hearsay evidence, and always looks for the "money trail" when scientists make announcements. Mullis writes with passion and humor about a wide range of topics: from global warming to the O. J. Simpson trial, from poisonous spiders to HIV, from scientific method to astrology. Dancing Naked in the Mind Field challenges us to question the authority of scientific dogma even as it reveals the workings of an uncannily original scientific mind.

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    Biographies of people who have ‘built skyscrapers’ (my term)

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  • Altered Traits

    a great book

    Dec 13, 2018 — Source

  • On Confidence

    On Confidence

    The School of Life
    Conduct of life

    A thought-provoking essay that teaches us that confidence is not a gift from the gods, but a skill that can be learned.

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    I came across the book recently and was impressed.

    Aug 13, 2019 — Source

  • Becoming Steve Jobs

    Becoming Steve Jobs

    Brent Schlender,Rick Tetzeli
    The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader
    Biography & Autobiography

    Now in paperback, the #1 New York Times bestselling biography of how Steve Jobs became the most visionary CEO in history. With a new foreword by Marc Andreessen and new afterword by the authors, Becoming Steve Jobs is a narrative on Jobs' evolution as a manager and leader, as an astute CEO, as a father, and as a visionary with an unparalled sense of what consumers wanted--before they knew what they wanted themselves. But he didn't start out with those skills. When he first left Apple in 1985 and struck out to form his own company, NeXT, he knew little about running a company, holding to a budget, or developing successful products. It was during his years in the wilderness, unsuccessfully launching NeXT and helping to revitalize Pixar, that he learned the skills that would make him so successful upon his return to Apple in 1996.

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    Biographies of people who have ‘built skyscrapers’ (my term)

     — Source

  • King of Hearts

    King of Hearts

    G. Wayne Miller
    The True Story of the Maverick Who Pioneered Open Heart Surgery
    Biography & Autobiography

    Few of the great stories of medicine are as palpably dramatic as the invention of open-heart surgery, yet, until now, no journalist has ever brought all of the thrilling specifics of this triumph to life. This is the story of the surgeon many call the father of open-heart surgery, Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, who, along with colleagues at University Hospital in Minneapolis and a small band of pioneers elsewhere, accomplished what many experts considered to be an impossible feat: He opened the heart, repaired fatal defects, and made the miraculous routine. Acclaimed author G. Wayne Miller draws on archival research and exclusive interviews with Lillehei and legendary pioneers such as Michael DeBakey and Christiaan Barnard, taking readers into the lives of these doctors and their patients as they progress toward their landmark achievement. In the tradition of works by Richard Rhodes and Tracy Kidder, King of Hearts tells the story of an important and gripping piece of forgotten science history.

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    Biographies of people who have ‘built skyscrapers’ (my term)

     — Source

  • The Double Helix

    The Double Helix

    James D. Watson Ph.D.
    Bible

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    Biographies of people who have ‘built skyscrapers’ (my term)

     — Source

  • The Four Agreements

    The Four Agreements

    Don Miguel Ruiz
    Featuring the Four Agreements; The Mastery of Love; The Voice of Knowledge
    Family & Relationships

    A three volume set identifies four self-limiting beliefs that impede one's experience of freedom, true happiness, and love; looks at the fear-based assumptions that undermine love; and urges readers to restore joy in living by not believing in lies.

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    I’m usually reading something to make me better. The current book is The Four Agreements

    Jul 10, 2017 — Source

  • The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon

    Biographies of people who have ‘built skyscrapers’ (my term)

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  • The Rommel Papers

    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • Good Calories, Bad Calories

    Good Calories, Bad Calories

    Gary Taubes
    Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health
    Health & Fitness

    Argues that refined carbohydrates are the cause of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer; that overeating and sedentary behavior are side effects of increased insulin; and that removing these carbohydrates from one's diet is the only way to lose weight.

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    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • The Corner

    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • Atlas of Atherosclerosis Progression and Regression

    Atlas of Atherosclerosis Progression and Regression

    Herbert C. Stary
    Medical

    Completely revised and updated, the Second Edition of the Atlas of Atherosclerosis Progression and Regression contains new material and new illustrations from Dr. Stary's groundbreaking work in the field of atherosclerosis diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Over 100 photographs show arterial and lesion structure and individual components in unprecedented detail. These images allow you to compare and contrast healthy arteries with those developing and regressing lesions. They illustrate the successive steps in the natural history of human atherosclerotic disease from the microscopically visible, lipid-filled macrophages in susceptible locations of arteries to lesion forms that produce clinical symptoms. The book provides an up-to-date, pathology-based framework of morphologies of atherosclerotic vascular lesions that serves as a basis for correlation with morphologies determined by a variety of clinical imaging techniques. Demonstrating the evolution of arterial lesions form the clinically silent to the clinically relevant, An Atlas of Atherosclerosis Progression and Regression is a teaching aid and diagnostic tool for recognizing changes in lesion progression, stabilization, or regression. About the author: Dr. Stary is Professor of Pathology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He came to New Orleans via the Departments of Pathology of the McGill (Montreal) and Yale (New Haven) Medical Schools. For 7 years, Dr. Stary also served as chairman of the American Heart Association's Committee on Vascular Lesions.

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    You don’t understand atherosclerosis until you’ve studied this book.

    Jul 4, 2018 — Source

  • Sapiens

    Sapiens

    Yuval Noah Harari
    A Brief History of Humankind
    Science

    New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

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    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • King of the World

    King of the World

    David Remnick
    Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
    Biography & Autobiography

    Explores the transformation of a young boxer into an internationally renowned athlete, mythic hero, American icon, and central figure in the twentieth century's social, cultural, and racial conflicts

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    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • The President’s Club

    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things

    The Hard Thing About Hard Things

    Ben Horowitz
    Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    Business & Economics

    Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.

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    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • Where Men Win Glory

    Where Men Win Glory

    Jon Krakauer
    The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
    Biography & Autobiography

    Traces the controversial story of NFL player and army soldier Pat Tillman, describing the military's efforts to hide the truth about his death by friendly fire, in an account that draws on Tillman's journals and letters as well as interviews with family members and fellow soldiers. Reprint. A best-selling book.

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    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • The Emperor of All Maladies

    The Emperor of All Maladies

    Siddhartha Mukherjee
    A Biography of Cancer
    History

    An assessment of cancer addresses both the courageous battles against the disease and the misperceptions and hubris that have compromised modern understandings, providing coverage of such topics as ancient-world surgeries and the development of present-day treatments. Reprint. Best-selling winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Includes reading-group guide.

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    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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  • Charlotte’s Web

    Sitting in the back of the beat up old station wagon reading

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  • The Most Important Thing

    Books that would make to Attia's reading list

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