Book Summaries, Notes, and Lessons

On this page, you can find book summaries, notes, and main takeaways from books I’ve read, categorized by topic.

I include short snippets and ratings to give you an idea of what you might find interesting. To navigate to a specific book summary, click on any linked title.

The notes and summaries are meant to be concise, discussing high-level concepts and lessons. The goal is not to recreate the whole book, but rather the main takeaways and applications.

10/10
By Peter Drucker
“Working on the right things is what makes knowledge work effective.” Rating...
10/10
By Peter Thiel
“Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.” Rating: 1...
10/10
By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
“Find a judo solution, one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort. When good enou...
10/10
By Stephen Covey
A principle-centered, character-based, “inside-out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. The ultimate book on personal development, I re-read it from time to time.
9/10
By William Zinsser
On Writing Well by William Zinsser is the best book for learning how to improve your writing. The advice is both concise and practical. A must-read for anyone that writes regularly and wants to upgrade their writing skill.
9/10
By Dan Ariely
Explores the hidden forces that shape our decisions. Ariely proves that humans are not only irrational but predictably irrational. In other words: our irrationality happens again and again. A great book to improve your decision making so you can change the way you live for the better.
9/10
By Tim Ferriss
“The question you should be asking isn't, "What do I want?" or "What are my goals?"...
9/10
By Cal Newport
“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.” Rating: 9/10 Related...
9/10
By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi takes on the problem of how to live a happier life. A meaningful life is one where the person spends his time in a state of optimal experience called Flow. To live a great life, all your goals must be unified in a way that produces the maximum amount of flow. A hard read but one that will challenge your beliefs on happiness.
9/10
By Dale Carnegie
  “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with cr...
9/10
By Chip & Dan Heath
A book that seeks to demystify change. To make effective changes, you have to appeal to both sides of your brain: the elephant and the rider. To make change easier, you need to direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path. A great psychology book with actionable insights based on scientific facts. Highly recommended.
9/10
By James Clear
  “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to b...
9/10
By Eliyahu Goldratt
“So this is the goal: To make money by increasing net profit, while simultaneousl...
9/10
By Charles Duhigg
“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almos...
9/10
By Viktor Frankl
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ours...
9/10
By Mark Manson
“You cannot be a powerful and life-changing presence to some people without being a joke or an ...
9/10
By Ben Horowitz
In The Hard Things About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz shares his experience in managing startups and companies through both good and hard times. The book contains tips on how to manage employees, build relationships, and how to work as an effective CEO. A great read with many valuable lessons.
9/10
By Neil Postman
“People will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think” Rating: 9/1...
8/10
By Richard Feynman
“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have...
8/10
By Brian Tracy:
  “You cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat t...
8/10
By Nir Eyal
“All humans are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain, to seek hope and avoid f...
8/10
By Michael Pollan
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Rating: 8/10 Related: Food R...
8/10
By M. J. DeMarco
“Real money and momentum is created when an idea (potential speed) is matched with ...
8/10
By Scott Adams
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big is a narration of the life of Scott Adams, the cartoonist behind the wildly successful Dilbert comic. In the book, Adams shares his recipe for success and shows that even if the odds are stacked against you as they were for him, success is still attainable. An interesting and well-written book on the incredible life journey of one of the world’s most famous cartoonists.
8/10
By Neil Strauss
Rating: 8/10 Related: Models Read more on Amazon Get the full index of lessons her...
8/10
By Robert Pozen
“Success depends in large part on a proper mind-set: focusing on the results you pl...
8/10
By Ryan Holiday
“There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the ...
8/10
By Rolf Potts
A good primer on long-term travel. Contains actionable advice on all stages of a trip: before leaving, on the road, adjusting to long-term travel, and returning home. A must-read book if you want to take time off from your normal life to travel the world on your own terms.
8/10
By Mark Manson
“The problem isn’t that we don’t know how not to get punched in the face. The probl...
8/10
By Stephen King
On Writing by Stephen King is a great book about the art of writing and the tools of a writer. Less practical than On Writing Well, but packed with great stories. If you’re serious about writing, you should definitely read both.
8/10
By Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
“Believe in your Highlight: it is worth prioritizing over random disruption.” ...
8/10
By David Schwartz
“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, yo...
7/10
By Grant Cardone
 “As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and d...
7/10
By Michael Hyatt
“True productivity is about doing more of what is in your desire zone and less of e...
7/10
By Atul Gawande
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a book that champions the use of checklists as a tool for improved performance. Gawanda takes the reader through a journey that details how checklists work, the role they play, and why they are needed in surgical rooms, cockpits, construction sites, and even in company boardrooms.  A well-written text on the power of checklists.
7/10
By Simon Sinek
“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply prove...
7/10
By Leo Babauta
“Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done...
7/10
By Marie Kondo
“It’s not about what to discard, it’s what to keep.”  Rating: 7/10 Fi...
7/10
By Malcolm Gladwell
A book that explores the hidden forces behind successful people. Gladwell shows that as much as talent and hard work are responsible for many of the success stories that we see and hear, there is much more to success than meets the eye. A bit repetitive so you can skim some parts but overall great lessons.
7/10
By Malcolm Gladwell
“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” Rat...
7/10
By Hal Elrod
“Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life i...
7/10
By Chris Bailey
In The Productivity Project, Chris Bailey covers the best productivity tactics to get things done. Over the course of a year, Chris tested lots of tactics and condensed the list to the top 25. These will help you better manage your time, attention, and energy.
6/10
By Steven Schuster
“System thinking is being able to examine and analyze ourselves and things around u...
6/10
By Mark Manson
“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” Rating: 6/10 Finished: 0...
6/10
By Malcom Gladwell
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior cro...
6/10
By Greg Mckeown
“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.” Rating: 6/10 Finishe...
6/10
By Taylor Pearson
“While our first instinct is usually attempting to push harder, it’s more valuable ...
6/10
By Ryan Holiday
In Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday argues that often our problems are caused not by external factors but from our own ego. The book is divided into 3 parts: aspire, success, and failure. A good book on stoicism but lacks practical ways to fight the ego.
5/10
By Tynan
“New habits are things that you do, but old habits are things that you are.” ...
5/10
By Chris Bailey
“We are what we pay attention to, and almost nothing influences our productivity an...