Tim Urban's favorite books

  • Originals

    Originals

    Originals

    Adam M. Grant
    Business & Economics
    3.94 (42,304)

    The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas-and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Give and Take and co-author of Option B"Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world."--Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point"Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the worl.

    Tim Urban

    Just finished AdamMGrant's new book, Originals, and enjoyed the shit out of it. Highly recommend

     — Source

  • Elon Musk

    Elon Musk

    Elon Musk

    Ashlee Vance
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.21 (287,416)

    Elon Musk is the most daring entrepreneur of our time There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk's relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy. In this lively, investigative account, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unprecedented look into the remarkable life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious businessman. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey from his difficult upbringing in South Africa to his ascent to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than fifty hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies and to paint a portrait of a complex man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation—all while making plenty of enemies along the way. In 1992, Elon Musk arrived in the United States as a ferociously driven immigrant bent on realizing his wildest dreams. Since then, Musk's roller-coaster life has brought him grave disappointments alongside massive successes. After being forced out of PayPal, fending off a life-threatening case of malaria, and dealing with the death of his infant son, Musk abandoned Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. He spent the next few years baffling his friends by blowing his entire fortune on rocket ships and electric cars. Cut to 2012, however, and Musk had mounted one of the greatest resurrections in business history: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity had enjoyed unparalleled success, and Musk's net worth soared to more than $5 billion. At a time when many American companies are more interested in chasing easy money than in taking bold risks on radical new technology, Musk stands out as the only businessman with enough dynamism and vision to tackle—and even revolutionize—three industries at once. Vance makes the case that Musk's success heralds a return to the original ambition and invention that made America an economic and intellectual powerhouse. Elon Musk is a brilliant, penetrating examination of what Musk's career means for a technology industry undergoing dramatic change and offers a taste of what could be an incredible century ahead.

    Tim Urban

    The Worlds Raddest Man

    May 7, 2015 — Source

  • TED Talks
    Tim Urban

    it's HUGELY helpful

    May 7, 2016 — Source

  • The Fountainhead

    The Fountainhead

    The Fountainhead

    Ayn Rand
    Fiction
    3.87 (305,403)

    The revolutionary literary vision that sowed the seeds of Objectivism, Ayn Rand's groundbreaking philosophy, and brought her immediate worldwide acclaim. This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite...of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy...and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. As fresh today as it was then, Rand’s provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress... “A writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly...This is the only novel of ideas written by an American woman that I can recall.”—The New York Times

    Tim Urban

    Ive personally only read The Fountainhead, so I have limited knowledge. But I absolutely loved the book.

     — Source

  • Tools of Titans

    Tools of Titans

    Tools of Titans

    Timothy Ferriss
    Business & Economics
    4.06 (36,480)

    "Fitness, money, and wisdom--here are the tools. Over the last two years ... Tim Ferriss has collected the routines and tools of world-class performers around the globe. Now, the distilled notebook of tips and tricks that helped him double his income, flexibility, happiness, and more is available as Tools of Titans"--Page 4 of cover.

    Tim Urban

    Just opened Tim Ferriss new book Tools of Titans and got stuck for a bunch of hours. Definitely worth checking out.

    Dec 10, 2016 — Source

  • Dream Teams

    Dream Teams

    Dream Teams

    Shane Snow
    Business & Economics

    Award-winning entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow reveals the counterintuitive reasons why so many partnerships and groups break down--and why some break through. The best teams are more than the sum of their parts, but why does collaboration so often fail to fulfill this promise? In Dream Teams, Snow takes us on an adventure through history, neuroscience, psychology, and business, exploring what separates groups that simply get by together from those that get better together. You'll learn: * How ragtag teams--from soccer clubs to startups to gangs of pirates--beat the odds throughout history. * Why DaimlerChrysler flopped while the Wu-Tang Clan succeeded, and the surprising factor behind most failed mergers, marriages, and partnerships. * What the Wright Brothers' daily arguments can teach us about group problem solving. * Pioneering women in law enforcement, unlikely civil rights collaborators, and underdog armies that did the incredible together. * The team players behind great social movements in history, and the science of becoming open-minded. Provocative and entertaining, Dream Teams is a landmark work that will change the way we think about people, progress, and collaboration.

    Tim Urban

    Shane Snow is an insanely interesting human. His newest book is out today. Very excited

    Jun 6, 2018 — Source

  • Option B
    Tim Urban

    AdamMGrant & sherylsandberg have teamed up to write a powerful book about a life skill we all need: resilience.

    Apr 25, 2017 — Source

  • Barking Up the Wrong Tree

    Barking Up the Wrong Tree

    Barking Up the Wrong Tree

    Eric Barker
    Business & Economics
    4.11 (12,637)

    Wall Street Journal Bestseller Much of the advice we’ve been told about achievement is logical, earnest…and downright wrong. In Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker reveals the extraordinary science behind what actually determines success and most importantly, how anyone can achieve it. You’ll learn: • Why valedictorians rarely become millionaires, and how your biggest weakness might actually be your greatest strength • Whether nice guys finish last and why the best lessons about cooperation come from gang members, pirates, and serial killers • Why trying to increase confidence fails and how Buddhist philosophy holds a superior solution • The secret ingredient to “grit” that Navy SEALs and disaster survivors leverage to keep going • How to find work-life balance using the strategy of Genghis Khan, the errors of Albert Einstein, and a little lesson from Spider-Man By looking at what separates the extremely successful from the rest of us, we learn what we can do to be more like them—and find out in some cases why it’s good that we aren’t. Barking Up the Wrong Tree draws on startling statistics and surprising anecdotes to help you understand what works and what doesn’t so you can stop guessing at success and start living the life you want.

    Tim Urban

    I got this book a few weeks ago and raced through it. A mountain of scientific research on success distilled into a quick, enjoyable read.

    May 18, 2017 — Source

  • The Uninhabitable Earth

    The Uninhabitable Earth

    The Uninhabitable Earth

    David Wallace-Wells
    4.05 (19,611)

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon."--Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon With a new afterword It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible--food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation. An "epoch-defining book" (The Guardian) and "this generation's Silent Spring" (The Washington Post), The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it--the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress. The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation--today's. Praise for The Uninhabitable Earth "The Uninhabitable Earth is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet."--Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times "Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells's outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too."--The Economist "Potent and evocative. . . . Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change. . . . He avoids the 'eerily banal language of climatology' in favor of lush, rolling prose."--Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times "The book has potential to be this generation's Silent Spring."--The Washington Post "The Uninhabitable Earth, which has become a best seller, taps into the underlying emotion of the day: fear. . . . I encourage people to read this book."--Alan Weisman, The New York Review of Books

    Tim Urban

    I hope lots of people read/discuss/debate. Would love to hear what WBW readers think about the book's ideas.

     — Source

  • Atomic Habits

    Atomic Habits

    Atomic Habits

    James Clear
    Business & Economics
    4.36 (231,313)

    James Clear presents strategies to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that help lead to an improved life.

    Tim Urban

    I'd attribute about 60% of my good habits to his blog and this book is rapidly filling in the other 40%. At least my bad habits are my own original creation.

     — Source

  • Hit Makers

    Hit Makers

    Hit Makers

    Derek Thompson
    Social Science
    3.93 (5,160)

    "[The author] uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives ... [and] takes readers on a tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and investigates the most valuable currency of the twenty-first, people's attention"--

    Tim Urban

    Every time I talk to Derek Thompson I can't stop taking my phone out to jot down insights that pop up in the convo. His book has the same effect.

    Feb 8, 2017 — Source

  • Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    James Barrat
    Computers
    3.74 (3,031)

    A Huffington Post Definitive Tech Book of 2013 In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving AI's Holy Grail--human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine. Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat's Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?

    Tim Urban

    Working on Part 2 now and buried in your book, which I think is the best overall resource on AI.

    Jan 29, 2015 — Source

  • The Biggest Bluff

    The Biggest Bluff

    The Biggest Bluff

    Maria Konnikova
    Business & Economics
    4.10 (8,036)

    And she certainly brought something to the table, including a PhD in psychology and an acclaimed and growing body of work on human behavior and how to hack it. So Seidel was in, and soon she was down the rabbit hole with him, into the wild, fiercely competitive, overwhelmingly masculine world of high-stakes Texas Hold'em, their initial end point the following year's World Series of Poker. But then something extraordinary happened. Under Seidel's guidance, Konnikova did have many epiphanies about life that derived from her new pursuit, including how to better read, not just her opponents but far more importantly herself; how to identify what tilted her into an emotional state that got in the way of good decisions; and how to get to a place where she could accept luck for what it was, and what it wasn't. But she also began to win. And win. In a little over a year, she began making earnest money from tournaments, ultimately totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. .

    Tim Urban

    Excited to read Maria Konnikova's latest. One of the most insightful and best storytellers around.

     — Source

  • The Three-Body Problem

    The Three-Body Problem

    The Three-Body Problem

    Cixin Liu
    Fiction
    4.06 (182,328)

    Soon to be a Netflix Original Series! “War of the Worlds for the 21st century.” – Wall Street Journal The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin. Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision. The Three-Body Problem Series The Three-Body Problem The Dark Forest Death's End Other Books Ball Lightning Supernova Era To Hold Up The Sky (forthcoming) At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

    Tim Urban

    The Three Body Problem trilogy rocked my existence for a few months last year.

     — Source

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

    Mark Manson
    Self-Help
    3.92 (657,076)

    #1 New York Times Bestseller Over 1 million copies sold In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

    Tim Urban

    Excited to read Mark Manson's new book. He's an awesome writer.

    Sep 15, 2016 — Source

View similar people