64 Books Recommended By Nassim Taleb

American-Lebanese essayist

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese–American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analyst, whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty.

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

2. The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati

Young Giovanni Drogo arrives at the bleak border area of the Tartar Steppe where he is to take a short assignment at Fort Bastiani, an encampment manned by veteran soldiers who have grown old without seeing a trace of the enemy. As his length of service stretches from months into years, he continues to wait patiently for the enemy to advance across the desert. Despite, or because of, the fact that they tell him he is perfectly free to leave, he waits for one great and glorious endeavour.

Internationally acclaimed since its publication in 1945, The Tartar Steppe is a provocative and frightening tale of hope, longing and the terrible sorcery of the magnificent gesture.

3. What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul

4. A Guide To Econometrics by Peter E. Kennedy

5. The Statistical Mechanics of Financial Markets by Johannes Voit

6. Thinking and Deciding by Jonathan Baron

7. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

8. Models.Behaving.Badly.: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life by Emanuel Derman

Emanuel Derman was a quantitative analyst (Quant) at Goldman Sachs, one of the financial engineers whose mathematical models became crucial for Wall Street. The reliance investors put on such quantitative analysis was catastrophic for the economy, setting off the ongoing string of financial crises that began with the mortgage market in 2007 and continues through today. Here Derman looks at why people — bankers in particular — still put so much faith in these models, and why it’s a terrible mistake to do so. Though financial models imitate the style of physics and employ the language of mathematics, ultimately they deal with human beings. There is a fundamental difference between the aims and potential achievements of physics and those of finance. In physics, theories aim for a description of reality; in finance, at best, models can shoot only for a simplistic and very limited approximation to it. When we make a model involving human beings, we are trying to force the ugly stepsister’s foot into Cinderella’s pretty glass slipper. It doesn’t fit without cutting off some of the essential parts.

9. No Bull: My Life in and Out of Markets by Michael Steinhardt

10. The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century by Robert J. Shiller

11. Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts by Terry Burnham

12. Bull!: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982–2004 by Maggie Mahar

13. Consciousness — An Introduction by Susan Blackmore

14. The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz

15. The (Mis)Behavior of Markets by Benoît B. Mandelbrot

16. Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease by Gary Taubes

17. The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War by Graham Robb

While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language.Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn how France was explored, charted, and colonized, and how the imperial influence of Paris was gradually extended throughout a kingdom of isolated towns and villages.The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. Above all, it shows how much of France-past and present-remains to be discovered.

18. Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs by Morton A. Meyers

19. Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger by Peter Bevelin

20. Information: The New Language of Science by Hans Christian Von Baeyer

21. The Opposing Shore by Julien Gracq

22. Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban

We’re all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind. Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind’s design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don’t always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves. This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a “self” with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no “I”. Instead, each of us is a contentious “we” — a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world.

23. The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger as Your Brain Grows Older by Elkhonon Goldberg

24. Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself by Sheila Bair

25. Statistical Models: Theory and Practice by David A. Freedman

26. A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes by Peter Bevelin

A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes is a book for those who want to improve their thinking. It is a practical and enjoyable book that tells in a short-easy-to-read way about what we all can learn from Sherlock Holmes. Peter Bevelin has distilled Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes into bite-sized principles and key quotes. This book will appeal to both Sherlock fans as well as those who want to think better. It contains useful and timeless methods and questions applicable to a variety of important issues in life and business. We could all benefit from ‘A few lessons from Sherlock Holmes’.

27. The Kelly Capital Growth Investment Criterion: Theory and Practice by Leonard C. Maclean

28. Modelling Extremal Events: for Insurance and Finance by Paul Embrechts

29. The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly

30. Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure by Cédric Villani

“This man could plainly do for mathematics what Brian Cox has done for physics” — Sunday Times

How does a genius see the world? Where and how does inspiration strike?

Cedric Villani takes us on a mesmerising adventure as he wrestles with the Boltzmann equation — a new theorem that will eventually win him the most coveted prize in mathematics and a place in the mathematical history books. Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness.

His story is one of courage and partnership, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair. Of ordinary family life blurring with the abstract world of mathematical physics, of theories and equations that haunt your dreams and seeking the elusive inspiration found only in a locked, darkened room.

Blending science with history, biography with myth, Villani conjures up an inimitable cast: the omnipresent Einstein, mad genius Kurt Godel, and Villani’s personal hero, John Nash.

31. Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart

32. Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences by Jon Elster

33. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust by John Coates

34. Probability Theory by S.R.S. Varadhan

35. Mathematics: Its Content, Methods and Meaning by A.D. Aleksandrov

36. Probability, Random Variables and Stochastic Processes with Errata Sheet by Athanasios Papoulis

37. The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal by James Franklin

38. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

39. The Crocodile by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

40. The Secret of Fatima (Father Kevin Thrall #1) by Peter J. Tanous

41. Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People by Stephen Wolfram

42. Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos by Hardeep Singh Puri

43. Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious by Timothy D. Wilson

44. Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems by Didier Sornette

45. The Mind Doesnt Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology by Jerry A. Fodor

46. Mapping the Mind by Rita Carter

47. Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals by John N. Gray

48. The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy by Colin McGinn

49. I Think, Therefore I Laugh: The Flip Side of Philosophy by John Allen Paulos

50. A History of the Mind: Evolution and the Birth of Consciousness by Nicholas Humphrey

51. Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World by Robert Nozick

52. Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper by Bryan Magee

53. Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition by Umberto Eco

54. Intellectual Life in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to Margaret Gibson by Lesley M. Smith

55. The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance by Anthony Gottlieb

56. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity by Michael Marmot

57. Social Cognition by Ziva Kunda

58. How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality by Per Bak

59. The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith

60. Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences: Chaos, Fractals, Selforganization and Disorder: Concepts and Tools by Didier Sornette

61. Financial Derivatives: Pricing, Applications, and Mathematics by Jamil Baz

62. The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition by Norman Russell

63. Free The Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With The Paleo Diet by Richard Nikoley

64. Body by Science: A Research-Based Program for Strength Training, Body Building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week by John Little

65. Modern Aramaic Assyrinan/Syriac: Swadaya-english / Turyo-english / English-swadaya-turoy: Dicitonary and Phrasebook by Nicholas Awde


  1. Book Recommendations from Nassim Taleb
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/72773.Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb_Book_Recommendations
  3. Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/5029660970
  4. https://www.flickr.com/photos/morrissey/5876853477
  5. Subtitle text: Wikipedia

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