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Paul Graham

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Paul Graham is an English-born American computer scientist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and essayist. He is best known for his work on Lisp, his former startup Viaweb, co-founding the influential startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y Combinator, his blog, and Hacker News
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Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire
by James Wallace (Apr 15, 1992)
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Tags: sciencebiography
This biography chronicles William Gates' rise as the most powerful player in the computer industry--a man who has revolutionized the software industry with the incredible growth of his Microsoft company, that now threatens gigantic IBM. Reveals Gates' personal quirks and idiosyncrasies which helped fuel his fierce competitive spirit. Interviews Gat...
Born Red
A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution
by Gao Yuan (May 31, 1987)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: history
Born Red is an artistically wrought personal account, written very much from inside the experience, of the years 1966-1969, when the author was a young teenager at middle school. It was in the middle schools that much of the fury of the Cultural Revolution and Red Guard movement was spent, and Gao was caught up in very dramatic events, which he rec...
The Launch Pad
Inside Y Combinator
by Randall Stross (Sep 23, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businesstechnologyentrepreneurshipengineering
A behind-the-scenes look at how tomorrows hottest startups are being primed for greatness   Investment firm Y Combinator is the most sought-after home for startups in Silicon Valley. Twice a year, it funds dozens of just-founded startups and provides three months of guidance from Paul Graham, YCs impresario, and his partners. Receiving an offer fro...
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
by Robert A. Heinlein (Jul 30, 2018)
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Tags: fictionclassicpoliticsscience-fictionadventure
For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" (The Wall Street Journal).Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal res...
This book is also recommended by
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Richard Feynman
A Life in Science
by John Gribbin (Jun 30, 1997)
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Tags: biographysciencephysics
Few human beings have advanced science further than Richard Feynman. Even fewer scientists have made their work so profoundly human. Now this brilliant biography vividly illumines the immense achievement and all-encompassing humanity of the Nobel prizewinner who was arguably the first physicist of his generation, the most inspiring and influential ...
The Conquest of Gaul
by Jane P. Gardner (Feb 23, 1983)
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Barbarian Days
A Surfing Life
by William Finnegan (Apr 25, 2016)
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Tags: memoirtravelbiographyadventure
“Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery. . . . a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.” —Sports IllustratedBarbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing ...
This book is also recommended by
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The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
by Jane Austen (Feb 04, 2005)
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Tags: fictionclassiccontemporary
Sense and SensibilityPride and PrejudiceMansfield ParkEmmaNorthanger AbbeyPersuasionLady SusanJane Austen is without question, one of England's most enduring and skilled novelists. With her wit, social precision, and unerring ability to create some of literature's most charismatic and believable heroines, she mesmerises her readers as much today as...
A Sense of Where You Are
by John McPhee (Jun 29, 1999)
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Tags: politicsbiographysciencehistory
When John McPhee met Bill Bradley, both were at the beginning of their careers. A Sense of Where You Are, McPhee's first book, is about Bradley when he was the best basketball player Princeton had ever seen. McPhee delineates for the reader the training and techniques that made Bradley the extraordinary athlete he was, and this part of the book is ...
This book is also recommended by
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Albert Einstein
Creator and Rebel
by Banesh (with the Collaboration of Helen Dukas) Hoffmann (Dec 31, 1974)
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This beautifully written illustrated memoir is a testament to the indomitable spirit that pervaded the life & work of Albert Einstein. Unlike lengthy biographies that often founder in trivia, the book paints a coherent picture in broad strokes to capture for the lay reader the essence of the man & his science. Helen Dukas, Einstein's secretary for ...
The Quest for El Cid
by Richard Fletcher (Jun 19, 1991)
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Tags: history
Rodrigo Diaz, the legendary warrior-knight of eleventh-century Castile known as El Cid, is remembered today as the Christian hero of the Spanish crusade who waged wars of re-conquest for the triumph of the Cross over the Crescent. He is still honored in Spain as a national hero for liberating the fatherland from the occupying Moors. Yet, as Richard...
Medieval Technology and Social Change
by Lynn White (Dec 30, 1966)
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Tags: religionbiographyhistory
In Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White considers the effects of technological innovation on the societies of medieval Europe: the slow collapse of feudalism with the development of machines and tools that introduced factories in place of cottage industries, and the development of the manorial system with the introduction of new kinds ...
The Double Helix
A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
by James D. Watson Ph.D. (Jun 11, 2001)
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Tags: healthhistoryunited-statesbiologysciencephilosophyreference
The classic personal account of Watson and Crick’s groundbreaking discovery of the structure of DNA, now with an introduction by Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind.By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only...
This book is also recommended by
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Wing Leader
by J. E. Johnson (Apr 30, 1992)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: history
Johnnie Johnson joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1939 as a week-end flier, and finished the war as the top-scoring Allied fighter pilot with 38 confirmed victories. WING LEADER is his account of the Battle of Britain, of the bitter fighting over Dieppe, and of the final battle across the skies of France and over the Rhine when, as a ...
Life in the English Country House
A Social and Architectural History
by Mark Girouard (Sep 09, 1978)
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Tags: historysociology
The English country house has flourished over the centuries because of its ability to adapt to the changes in English society. This book is an account of the ways in which the upper-class life style were reflected in the houses in which the wealthy and powerful lived. First published in 1978, this is a history of the English country house from the ...
The German Generals Talk
by Basil H. Liddell Hart (Aug 31, 1971)
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Tags: history
The German Generals who survived Hitler's Reich talk over World War II with Capt. Liddell Hart, noted British miltary strategist and writer. They speak as professional soldiers to a man they know and respect. For the first time, answers are revealed to many questions raised during the war. Was Hitler the genius of strategy he seemed to be at first?...
Making of Europe
Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950-1350
by Robert Bartlett (Sep 28, 1994)
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Tags: history
A wave of internal conquest, settlement and economic growth took place in Europe during the High Middle Ages, which transformed it from a world of small separate communities into a network of powerful kingdoms with distinctive cultures. In this vivid and provocative book Robert Bartlett vividly shows how Europe was itself a product of colonization,...
The Government of the Tongue
On The Power and Proper use of the Spoken Word
by Richard Allestree (Jan 11, 2014)
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Tags: spiritualreligion
The Government of the Tongue has ever been justly reputed one of the most important parts of human Regiment. The Philosopher and the Divine equally attest this: and Solomon (who was both) gives his suffrage also; the persuasions to, and encomiums of it, taking up a considerable part of his book of Proverbs. The Contents Section 1. Of the Use of Spe...
The Hobbit
by J.R.R. Tolkien (Aug 14, 2002)
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Tags: fictionclassicreferencefantasyteen
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was fir...
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The Startup Way
How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth
by Eric Ries (Oct 16, 2017)
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Tags: businessmanagemententrepreneurship
Entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Lean Startup Eric Ries reveals how entrepreneurial principles can be used by businesses ranging from established companies to early-stage startups to grow revenues, drive innovation, and emerge as truly modern organizations poised to take advantage of the enormous opportunities of the 21st century. In The...
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Watterson (Nov 12, 2012)
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Tags: fictionhistorical-fictionbiography
Join Calvin and Hobbes on all their adventures in this four-volume collection of every comic strip from the comic strips eleven year history (1985 to1996).Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in mo...
The Iliad
by Homer (Mar 02, 2020)
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This book is also recommended by
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A Mathematician's Apology
by G. H. Hardy (Mar 25, 2012)
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Tags: memoirhistorymath
G. H. Hardy was one of this century's finest mathematical thinkers, renowned among his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician the purest of the pure'. He was also, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to talk about anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940, offers a brilliant and engaging account of mathe...
Moab Is My Washpot
by Stephen Fry (Nov 10, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biographymemoirhumor
A number one bestseller in Britain, Stephen Fry's astonishingly frank, funny, wise memoir is the book that his fans everywhere have been waiting for. Since his PBS television debut in the Blackadder series, the American profile of this multitalented writer, actor and comedian has grown steadily, especially in the wake of his title role in the film ...
How to Be Topp
by Ronald Searle (Apr 30, 1995)
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All skools make some sort at teaching the pupils things and the headmaster pin up a huge timetable of lessons ect. which make the heart sink when you look at it.Nigel Molesworth is back, this time taking the tinies in hand and showing that they can survive the first term - as long as you avoid the prefects and show all due respect to Molesworth 1. ...
The Black Riders
by Violet Needham (Dec 31, 1945)
Carbonel
The King of the Cats (Nyrb Kids)
by Barbara Sleigh (Aug 06, 2018)
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Rosemary’s plan to clean houses during her summer break and surprise her mother with the money hits a snag when an old lady at the market talks her into buying a second-rate broom and a cat she can’t even afford to keep. But appearances can be deceiving. Some old ladies are witches, some brooms can fly, and some ordinary-looking cats are Princes of...
Sea Flight
A Fleet Air Arm Pilot's Story
by Hugh Popham (Jun 14, 2010)
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Tags: biographymemoirhistoryunited-states
Hugh Popham joined the Fleet Air Arm in the summer of 1940 and was soon in training as a pilot at HMS Vincent and then HMS Yeovilton. His wartime career as a naval pilot took him to the far corners of the world, notably to the Indian Ocean where he had to contend against the Japanese Navy. Popham's story is one of a naval fighter pilot having to do...
Moorish Spain
by Richard Fletcher (May 04, 2006)
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Tags: history
Beginning in the year 711 and continuing for nearly a thousand years, the Islamic presence survived in Spain, at times flourishing, and at other times dwindling into warring fiefdoms. But the culture and science thereby brought to Spain, including long-buried knowledge from Greece, largely forgotten during Europes Dark Ages, was to have an enduring...
The Kings Depart
The Tragedy of Germany
by Richard M Watt (Dec 31, 2000)
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Tags: history
The Kings Depart is the definitive story of a brief, pivotal moment in human history when the course and shape of the twentieth century might have been altered. Author Richard M. Watt begins with the defeat of the Kaiser in 1918 and the convention of the Versailles conference, where Europe was to be remade. This was the time when the victorious All...
The Ancient City
Life in Classical Athens and Rome
by Peter Connolly (May 17, 2000)
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Tags: scienceteen
In this superbly illustrated volume, Athens and Rome, the two greatest cities of antiquity, spring to life under the masterful pen of Peter Connolly. All the historical and archaelogical evidence has been seamlessly pieced together to reconstruct the architectural wonders of these mighty civilizations. Re creating public buildings, religious temple...
Wheels for the World
Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress
by Douglas Brinkley (Apr 27, 2003)
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Autobiographies
by Charles Darwin (Mar 21, 2020)
An Autobiography
and Other Writings (Oxford World's Classics)
by Anthony Trollope (Jul 31, 2016)
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Tags: biographyfiction
'I hated the office. I hated my work...the only career in life within my reach was that of an author.' The only autobiography by a major Victorian novelist, Trollope's account offers a fascinating insight into his literary life and opinions. After a miserable childhood and misspent youth, Trollope turned his life around at the age of twenty-six. By...
The Man Who Knew Infinity
A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
by Robert Kanigel (Apr 25, 2016)
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Tags: biographyunited-statessciencehistorymath
Soon to be a major motion picture, the story of one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled, between a young unschooled Indian prodigy and a great English mathematician.In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had abo...
An Autobiography of Anthony Trollope
by Anthony Trollope (Nov 04, 2015)
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Tags: fictionhistorical-fiction
This letter was dated 30th April, 1876. I will give here as much of it as concerns the public: "I wish you to accept as a gift from me, given you now, the accompanying pages which contain a memoir of my life. My intention is that they shall be published after my death, and be edited by you. But I leave it altogether to your discretion whether to pu...
Fillets of Plaice
by Gerald Durrell (Mar 31, 2008)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: memoirbiographytravel
For fans of the PBS Masterpiece Theater series, The Durrells in Corfu--here's what happened next! After leaving the island of Corfu, Durrell, his mother, his brother Leslie and their Greek maid Maria Kondos moved back to Britain in 1939. It was difficult to find work, especially for a home-schooled boy, but Durrell managed to land a job as a helper...
My Family and Other Animals
by Gerald Durrell (Jun 28, 2004)
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Tags: memoirsciencebiographytravelhistory
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the island but ended up as a delightful account of Durrells familys experien...
Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids
Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think
by Bryan Caplan (May 07, 2012)
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Tags: parenting
In Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, contrarian economist Bryan Caplan argues that we've needlessly turned parenting into an unpleasant chore, and don't know the real plusses and minuses of having kids. Parents today spend more time investing in their kids than ever, but twin and adoption research shows that upbringing is much less important than ...
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A Story Lately Told
Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York
by Anjelica Huston (Oct 13, 2014)
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Tags: biographymemoirhumor
Anjelica Hustons gorgeously written (O, The Oprah Magazine) memoir is an elegant, funny, and frequently haunting reminiscence of the first two decades of her lifeA classic (Vanity Fair).In her first, dazzling memoir, Anjelica Huston shares the story of her deeply unconventional early lifeher enchanted childhood in Ireland, living with her glamorous...
Land of Promise
An Economic History of the United States
by Michael Lind (Apr 08, 2013)
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Tags: economicshistoryunited-states
A sweeping and original work of economic history by Michael Lind, one of Americas leading intellectuals, Land of Promise recounts the epic story of Americas rise to become the worlds dominant economy. As ideological free marketers continue to square off against Keynesians in Congress and the press, economic policy remains at the center of political...
To Explain the World
The Discovery of Modern Science
by Steven Weinberg (Feb 08, 2016)
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Tags: humorsciencehistoryunited-statesphilosophy
A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg—a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us a...
Towns, Villages and Countryside of Celtic Europe
by Francoise Audouze (Feb 21, 1992)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: history
"[The authors] have penned a celebration of settlement archaeology for the 1990s. The book is written in a lively and engaging style, which is a tribute both to the authors and to the translator, and it maintains a clear, concise, and thorough analytical organization. This volume should serve as a beacon for future research on the promising horizon...
Why the Allies Won
by Richard Overy (Mar 31, 1996)
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Tags: historyengineering
Having won an unprecedented series of victories and acquired huge new territories in 1942, Germany and Japan seemed poised to dominate most of the world. A year later both empires were reeling back in the face of Allied assaults. The rapid turnaround, King's College history professor Richard Overy writes, came about largely as a result of technolog...
Kelly
More Than My Share of It All
by Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson (Dec 16, 1989)
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Tags: united-statesbiographyhistoryengineeringtechnology
Clarence L. Kelly Johnson led the design of such crucial aircraft as the P-38 and Constellation, but he will be more remembered for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes. His extraordinary leadership of the Lockheed Skunk Works cemented his reputation as a legendary figure in American aerospace management.
Clocks and Culture
1300-1700 (Norton Library)
by Carlo M. Cipolla (Aug 16, 2003)
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Tags: historyengineeringtechnologyphysics
How did a time-keeping device affect the growth of crafts guilds and the scientific research that led to the Industrial Revolution? Clocks and Culture is a brief history of the changes wrought by and on Europe over four hundred years due to technological advances in timekeeping and the rise of a time-aware culture. In his introduction, Anthony Graf...
Guns, Sails, and Empires
Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400- 1700
by Caro M. Cipolla (May 31, 1985)
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So thoroughly do we assume the military and political superiority of the Western world that we forget that throughout the Middle Ages Europe was weak, vulnerable, besieged, and almost always on the defensive. This original work explains how Europe managed to become the dominant player on the world stage for four glorious centuries, effecting one of...
Flying Start
by Hugh Dundas (Jul 11, 2011)
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Marriage
by Susan Ferrier (Apr 29, 2019)
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Tags: fictionclassichistoryromanceteen
Susan Ferrier sold more copies of her novels than her contemporary, Jane Austen.Sir Walter Scott declared her his equal. Why, then has she been lost to history? On the 200th anniversary of this sharply observed, comic novel, it is time to rediscover her brilliance.'What have you to do with a heart?What has anybody to do with a heart when their esta...
No Easy Day
The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden
by Mark Owen (May 05, 2014)
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Tags: biographyhistoryunited-states
The #1 New York Times bestselling first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy SEAL who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moments.From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osa...
Confessions
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Jun 01, 1992)
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Tags: historybiographyfiction
Rousseau's ideas have influenced almost every major political development of the last two hundred years, and are crucial to an understanding of phenomena as diverse as the French Revolution, modern educational theory, and the contemporary environmental movement. This is reason enough to draw attention to his startlingly alive autobiography. But the...
Very Good, Jeeves
by P. G. Wodehouse (May 31, 1980)
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Tags: fictionmystery
Jeeves is not only the tireless servant to the feckless Bertie Wooster, but savior to a good number of others. Here, Jeeves helps Bingo Little in the affair of the marooned cabinet minister; Sippy Sipperly when he's persecuted by his former headmaster; Tuppy Glossop in his foolhardy pursuit of opera singer Cora Bellinger; and Bertie's fat Uncle Geo...
Tags: children
A story of visiting the bookshop for the first time from the multi-award-winning Lucy Cousins. Maisy goes to the bookshop to buy a new book, and she also wants to get one as a present for her friend Tallulah. Titles in this Set Includes Maisy goes to Bookshop, Maisy Goes by Plane, Maisy Sports Day, Maisy Plays Football, Maisy Goes To The Cinema, Ma...
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Tales of a Consulting Detective
by Arthur Conan Doyle (Nov 07, 2017)
The Original Illustrated 'Strand' Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sep 04, 2001)
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Tags: fictioncontemporarymystery
It is more than a century since the ascetic, gaunt and enigmatic detective, Sherlock Holmes, made his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet. From 1891, beginning with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the now legendary and pioneering Strand Magazine began serialising Arthur Conan Doyle's matchless tales of detection, featuring the incomparable sl...
The Lord of the Rings
50th Anniversary, One Vol. Edition
by J.R.R. Tolkien (Dec 31, 2004)
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Tags: fictionclassicfantasy
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it ...
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The Fry Chronicles
An Autobiography
by Stephen Fry (Jan 18, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: artbiographymemoirhumor
This is the engrossing, hilarious, and utterly compelling story of how the Stephen the world knows (or thinks it knows) found his way. Tales of champagne, love, and conspicuous consumption jostle with insights into Broadway and TV stardom. A feat of trademark wit and verbal brilliance, this is a book unafraid of confronting the chasm that separates...
To Conquer the Air
The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
by James Tobin (May 02, 2004)
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The Oxford History of Britain
Volume 1
by Peter Salway (Dec 09, 1992)
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Tags: historyphilosophy
The Oxford History of Britain traces the story of Britain and its peoples from Roman times to the present day in five compact volumes. The dramatic narrative also explores the relationship between political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of history to provide a vivid and sometimes surprising picture of turmoil and change, which can be seen...
With the Old Breed
At Peleliu and Okinawa
by E.B. Sledge (Sep 24, 2007)
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Tags: biographymemoirhistoryunited-statesreference
Eugene B. Sledge was part of the war's famous 1st Marine Division - 3d Battalion, 5th Marines. Based on notes that Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and intense frankness the experience of a Marine in the fierce Pacific Theatre. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life...
In The Plex
How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
by Steven Levy (Apr 11, 2011)
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Tags: memoirbusinessbiographytechnology
Written with full cooperation from top management, including cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, this is the inside story behind Google, the most successful and most admired technology company of our time, told by one of our best technology writers.Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that h...
Mohammed and Charlemagne
by Henri Pirenne (May 03, 2017)
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Tags: history
2017 Reprint of 1939 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition software. Henri Pirenne's classic history of Europe between the fifth and ninth centuries, Mohammed and Charlemagne, although published on the eve of the Second World War, remains an important work to this day. His famous summary said, "Wit...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
by Benjamin Franklin (Feb 02, 2017)
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Tags: biographyunited-statesfictionhistory
Unabridged student-sized 8.5-x11- value reproduction of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin . This classic is a must read because Franklin writes as if the reader is right there with him, relating his story, feeling his success and his pains.The writing is an honest self-evaluation of the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence and nego...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
This book is also recommended by
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The Gallic Wars
by Julius Caesar (Mar 20, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biographymemoirfictionclassic
"Gaul is divided into three parts."" Originally composed for propaganda purposes, Julius Caesar's war diary is one of the earliest examples of a military science manual, detailing arms technology, tactical maneuvers, battlefield politics, espionage, intelligence and even the role played by luck in ground and sea campaigns.Nine years of fighting is ...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
The Art of War in the Middle Ages
by Charles Oman (Jan 09, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: history
Master-historian Charles Oman tells the story of the evolution of military combat from the end of the Roman Empire through the Dark Ages and into the Middle Ages. Oman's beautiful prose captures the tactically complexity and the emotional horror of war in the Middle Ages. Richly illustrated throughout to enhance the reading experience. Contents in...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: Here are the most exciting ones I can think of.     source
The Golden Trade of the Moors
West African Kingdoms in the Fourteenth Century
by E. W. Bovill (Jul 17, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businesshistoryunited-states
"This book is the liveliest account of African history ever written, covering over [one] thousand years of trans-Saharan trade. "Finely written and researched. ... This edition will no doubt whet the appetites of a fresh generation of scholars and students for greater knowledge of parts of Africa still surprisingly little-known to the outside world...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
Lives of the Artists
by Giorgio Vasari (Dec 31, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: artbiography
Packed with facts, attributions, and entertaining anecdotes about his contemporaries, Vasari's collection of biographical accounts also presents a highly influential theory of the development of Renaissance art.Beginning with Cimabue and Giotto, who represent the infancy of art, Vasari considers the period of youthful vigour, shaped by Donatello, B...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
Mathematician's Delight
by W. W. Sawyer (Oct 18, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
"Recommended with confidence" by The Times Literary Supplement, this lively survey starts with simple arithmetic and algebra and proceeds by gradual steps through graphs, logarithms, and trigonometry to calculus and the world of numbers. Generations of readers have found it the ideal introduction to mathematics, offering accessible explanations of ...
Paul Graham
One of the best books I can think of to learn what math is really about.     source
Paul Graham
I've read Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade and the Conquest of Constantinople at least two times, maybe three.     source
Founders at Work
Stories of Startups' Early Days
by Jessica Livingston (Jan 25, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: technologyentrepreneurshipeconomicsbusinessengineeringdesign
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now. What was it like when they were just a couple friends with an idea? Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lo...
Paul Graham
Probably the single most valuable book a startup founder could read.     source
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Alexis OhanianLeah Solivan
The Old Way
A Story of the First People
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (Oct 16, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biographymemoirsociology
One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots--and the roots of life as we know it.When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as hu...
Paul Graham
If you want to learn more about hunter gatherers I strongly recommend The Old Way.     source
My Forty Years with Ford
by Charles E Sorensen (Jan 08, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: united-statesbiographymemoirbusinesseconomicshistory
In My Forty Years with Ford, Charles Sorensen-sometimes known as "Henry Ford's man," sometimes as "Cast-iron Charlie"-tells his own story, and it is as challenging as it is historic. He emerges as a man who was not only one of the great production geniuses of the world but also a man who called the plays as he saw them. He was the only man who was...
Paul Graham
The best source of information about startups is probably not business books, but histories of particular startups and industries. The most famous is Tracy Kidder's Soul of a New Machine, but there are many good books of this type. I particularly liked Sorensen's My Forty Years with Ford.     source
The World We Have Lost
Further Explored
by Peter Laslett (Nov 10, 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historyreference
The World We Have Lost is a seminal work in the study of family and class, kinship and community in England after the Middle Ages and before the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. The book explores the size and structure of families in pre-industrial England, the number and position of servants, the elite minority of gentry, rates ...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
Benjamin Franklin
An American Life
by Walter Isaacson (Jun 30, 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: united-statesbiographypoliticssciencehistoryreference
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative tha...
Paul Graham
The one book we encourage startup founders to read is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. It's critically important for anyone in business. Try to get a used copy printed before the 1960s; after Carnegie died, the book continued to be "updated" by a committee, and the changes were not for the better. I'd also recommend Franklin's Autobiography.     source
This book is also recommended by
Ed ZschauElon MuskGeorge Raveling
The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History
Revised Edition
by Colin McEvedy (May 26, 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: Here are the most exciting ones I can think of.     source
Euclid's Elements
by Euclid (Dec 31, 2001)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historymath
Green Lion Press has prepared a new one-volume edition of T.L. Heath's translation of the thirteen books of Euclid's Elements. In keeping with Green Lion's design commitment, diagrams have been placed on every spread for convenient reference while working through the proofs; running heads on every page indicate both Euclid's book number and proposi...
Paul Graham
One of the best books I can think of to learn what math is really about.     source
The Soul of A New Machine
by Tracy Kidder (May 31, 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencebiographybusinesstechnologyhistoryunited-statesengineering
The computer revolution brought with it new methods of getting work done—just look at today's news for reports of hard-driven, highly-motivated young software and online commerce developers who sacrifice evenings and weekends to meet impossible deadlines. Tracy Kidder got a preview of this world in the late 1970s when he observed the engineers of D...
Paul Graham
The best source of information about startups is probably not business books, but histories of particular startups and industries. The most famous is Tracy Kidder's Soul of a New Machine, but there are many good books of this type. I particularly liked Sorensen's My Forty Years with Ford.     source
How to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie (Sep 30, 1998)
Goodreads Rating
You can go after the job you wantand get it! You can take the job you haveand improve it! You can take any situationand make it work for you!Dale Carnegies rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, Ho...
Paul Graham
The one book we encourage startup founders to read is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. It's critically important for anyone in business. Try to get a used copy printed before the 1960s; after Carnegie died, the book continued to be "updated" by a committee, and the changes were not for the better.      source
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
by Harold Abelson (Aug 31, 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: scienceprogramming
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs has had a dramatic impact on computer science curricula over the past decade. This long-awaited revision contains changes throughout the text. There are new implementations of most of the major programming systems in the book, including the interpreters and compilers, and the authors have incorporat...
Paul Graham
This is one of the great classics of computer science. I bought my first copy 15 years ago, and I still don't feel I have learned everything the book has to teach.     source
This book is also recommended by
Max LevchinPatrick Collison
The Copernican Revolution
Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought
by Thomas S. Kuhn (Dec 31, 1991)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historysciencephilosophyphysics
For scientist and layman alike this book provides vivid evidence that the Copernican Revolution has by no means lost its significance today. Few episodes in the development of scientific theory show so clearly how the solution to a highly technical problem can alter our basic thought processes and attitudes. Understanding the processes which underl...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
The Fall of Constantinople 1453
by Steven Runciman (Nov 29, 1990)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historyreference
This classic account shows how the fall of Constantinople in May 1453, after a siege of several weeks, came as a bitter shock to Western Christendom. The city's plight had been neglected, and negligible help was sent in this crisis. To the Turks, victory not only brought a new imperial capital, but guaranteed that their empire would last. To the Gr...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
The Harmless People
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (Oct 22, 1989)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historyscience
A study of primitive people which, for beauty of...style and concept, would be hard to match." -- The New York Times Book ReviewIn the 1950s Elizabeth Marshall Thomas became one of the first Westerners to live with the Bushmen of the Kalahari desert in Botswana and South-West Africa. Her account of these nomadic hunter-gatherers, whose way of life ...
Paul Graham
If you want to learn more about hunter gatherers I strongly recommend The Harmless People.     source
The Extension of Man
A History of Physics before the Quantum
by J. D. Bernal (Apr 14, 1972)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historysciencephilosophymath
The late J. D. Bernal's lectures given to first-year students in physics at Birkbeck College, University of London, are presented here in their entirety, tracing the history of physics up to the end of the classical era at the end of 19th century, just before the discoveries of the subatom and relatively were made. In view of the prestige and profu...
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: Here are the most exciting ones I can think of.     source
Civilisation
a personal view
by Kenneth Clark (Dec 31, 1969)
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source
Paul Graham
Q: What should I read to learn more about history? PG: The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through. Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:     source