By Hector's Reading List

The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel

Kati Marton

£10.99 £10.44

The story of Angela Merkel. She’s unique in global politics in the last two decades- a scientist amongst performers. A remarkable story about the remarkable Chancellor.

The Man from the Future: The Visionary Life of John von Neumann

Ananyo Bhattacharya

£10.99 £10.44

The life of John Von Neumann. Probably the greatest mind of the 20th century. 70 years later his work is still the cornerstone of everything from Computing to Game Theory to Genetics. A remarkable character and a wonderful book

Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy

Henry Kissinger

£25.00 £23.75

A wonderful book. Tracing six leaders great Kissinger crossed paths with in the 2nd half of the 20th century. What’s all the more remarkable is he wrote this book aged 99.

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future

David Attenborough

£9.99 £9.49

Amazing. Not sure I’ve read a more inspiring, or alarming, book. I’d urge anyone & everyone to read it.

On War by Carl von Clausewitz illustrated edition

Carl von Clausewitz


A slog at times, I’ll be honest. Lots of details to wade through. But also brilliant. The quality of insight is top class if you look hard enough.

The Dealmaker: Lessons from a Life in Private Equity

Guy Hands

£10.99 £10.44

A remarkably frank autobiography. I can imagine Hands is a controversial character to many. But it’s very enjoyable read. And I learnt a lot about the thrilling world of private equity.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

£9.99 £9.49

Such a wonderful book. Gripping to the very end. The last page or so is quite something. Beautifully written.

Bolivar: The Epic Life of the Man Who Liberated South America

Marie Arana

£14.99 £14.24

A wonderful book. Bolivar liberated seven countries in South America. Quite the story and brilliantly written. Thrilling.

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence

Dr Anna Lembke

£20.00 £19.00

Lembke is one of the world’s leading expert on addiction. Extremely insightful book. We all have addictions. Awareness is the first step to curing them.

The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor

Eddie Jaku

£8.99 £8.54

Jaku survived Auschwitz and now, a Centurian, considers himself the happiest man on earth. A harrowing account of the holocaust. Incredibly thought provoking.

Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament

Michael A. Singer

£14.99 £14.24

Excellent. Up there with Awareness by Anthony De Mello. I feel a little more enlightened after reading. TLDR: Surrender.

The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption

Sebastian Mallaby

£25.00 £23.75

The history of Venture Capital. Much more exciting than it sounds- I promise. Great book. Engaging.

The Art of War

Tzu Sun

£6.99 £6.64

An easy-to-read translation. Relevant not just for those waging war but also those doing difficult things. All you need to know: To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.

Good Sugar Bad Sugar: Eat yourself free from sugar and carb addiction

Allen Carr and John Dicey

£8.99 £8.54

So good. I’ve ready many books on diet, this one is the best and simplest. Allen Carr was a genius. It’s shame his books are less talked about these days.

Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga

Sylvain Tesson

£10.99 £10.44

A beautiful book. Tesson spent 6 months in a cabin in Siberia, and documented everyday. It’s a unique window into the human experience. A calming read (a side from his vast vodka consumption).

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

Gino Wickman

£12.99 £12.34

I’ve been recommended this a few times. Very framework-y but good. Gave me lots to ponder on organisational structure etc. Would recommend.

Retreat: The Risks and Rewards of Stepping Back from the World

Nat Segnit

£9.99 £9.49

Retreat and retreats have been a growing theme in my life. This really gets into the details of why we seek retreat, and what retreat we seek. Enlightening.

Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour

Michael Lewis

£9.99 £9.49

So good. Love everything Michael Lewis writes. No one cuts through the noise quite like him. He wrote the Big Short about banks failing, this one’s about countries failing.

The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't

Julia Galef

£14.99 £14.24

I was initially put off by the name but it’s a fantastic book. The scout mindset in question is looking for the truth rather than protecting your beliefs. The Icelandic investment bankers could have benefited.

Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

Thich Nhat Hanh

£12.99 £12.34

A humbling read. We need silence. A moment alone with our thoughts. So hard to find these days but always available.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Greg McKeown

£10.99 £10.44

Reread this. It does what it says on the tin but so on the money. Highly recommended. It’s always a useful reminder. Chapter 3 is called: The unimportance of nearly everything. That’s it. Internalise that and you’re sorted.


Anthony DeMello

£10.99 £10.44

I’ve probably read this book more times than any other. Such a joy. I feel a little more enlightened with every read.

Napoleon: A Life in Gardens and Shadows

Ruth Scurr

£10.99 £10.44

A Napoleon biography through the lens of the many gardens throughout his life. Wonderful and revealing. A very different angle to the Andrew Roberts biography.

Reclaim Your Time Off: The 3-step Solution to Overworking

Fab Giovanetti

£10.99 £10.44

Very good. I’m usually not a fan of framework-y books but took a lot of value from this. TLDR- do less better.

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

£10.99 £10.44

Jesus. Unbelievable bleak. But an incredible book. It follows the life of four friends in New York over 30 years. Not for the faint hearted.

Why We Read

£8.99 £8.54

70 authors on why they read. I find reading about reading incredibly soothing. Interesting to see so many different perspectives.

The Buddha of Suburbia

Hanif Kureishi

£9.99 £9.49

Hilarious. About a boy coming of age in South London in the 70s with an Indian father and English mother. Eccentric but very amusing.

The Lonely Century: A Call to Reconnect

Noreena Hertz

£9.99 £9.49

Wonderful. We’re more connected but lonelier than ever. It’s little talked about but an important topic. Is this just the next step for humanity? I hope not.

Only The Paranoid Survive

Andrew Grove

£9.99 £9.49

A classic. Silicon Valley’s finest shares what it takes to endure. I used to see paranoia as a negative but now I see it as simply good business. Highly recommended to anyone running a company.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell

£6.99 £6.64

Such a wonderful read. It’s a memoir of Orwell living in poverty in Paris and London. Incredibly humbling and illuminating.

We Need to Talk About Putin: How the West gets him wrong

Mark Galeotti

£9.99 £9.49

Excellent. A different perspective on Putin. The West see him as an all powerful villain- a master strategist. That’s not it at all. Putin play judo not chess. Judo is about seizing opportunities rather than grand strategy. It’s a wonderful book.

Young Stalin

Simon Sebag Montefiore

£12.99 £12.08

A wonderful book. How Stalin became Stalin. The shadowy leader of the Soviet Union in WWII. His reign was bloody and terrible. A true villain of the 20th century. But he was a product of his upbringing. Abused by an alcoholic father. Embroiled in daily warfare on the streets of his hometown. It’s hardly a surprise he developed such disdain for human life. It doesn’t make his actions any less terrible. But who am I to judge him from my sheltered upbringing?

The Road Less Travelled

M. Scott Peck

£9.99 £9.49

On psychology, spirituality, and how they related. A unique perspective and profound in places. Excellent food for thought.


Stefan Zweig

£10.00 £9.50

A biography of a 16th century French essayist. Yes, I’m aware how pretentious that sounds. Please accept my sincerest apologies. It is, however, a great book & just what I needed to read. Montaigne locked himself in a tower, aged 38, to read and ponder. He stayed there for 10 years! He eventually concluded that everything is relative and one can’t just retreat from the world. Perhaps I’ll stick around a little longer.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Walter Isaacson

£14.99 £14.24

My second time reading this. SUCH a wonderful book. Franklin sounds like a great guy. One who didn’t take life too seriously. A rare thing. This won’t be my last time reading it.

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Global Politics

Tim Marshall

£9.99 £9.49

So good. Can’t believe I didn’t read this earlier. All you need to know about how countries interact.

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram - Winner of the FT Business Book of the Year Award

Sarah Frier

£9.99 £9.49

The instagram story. Crazy. Such a great look into where society is going. A hilarious look at the real Mark Zuckerberg.

Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal

Nick Bilton

£12.99 £12.34

The twitter story. Thrillinggg. Reads like fiction. It’s basically just about the warring founders. Spoiler: Jack Dorsey wins. Machiavellian to a tee. Another literary appearance for Zuck.

The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World

Tim Marshall

£9.99 £9.49

A cracker. Right up my street, as was his first book. Spain, Ethiopia, and the UK are among the featured. I feel I know the world a little better.

The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better

Will Storr

£9.99 £9.49

A wonderful book. I’m not a great storyteller. But I’d love to get better. This book is a good start.

Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Absolutely Everything

Jordan Ellenberg

£20.00 £19.00

A great read. It may be a book on Geometry but he still had me laughing out load. He’s a great writer. This covers everything from AI to elections. I’d also highly recommend his book How not to be Wrong- a book on statistic.

This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality

Peter Pomerantsev

£9.99 £9.49

Fake news and propaganda. From Trump, to Putin, to the Philippines. Is anything truly objective these days? I’m not so sure.

The Founders: Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and the Company that Made the Modern Internet

Jimmy Soni

£18.98 £18.03

So good. This is the story of Paypal. There hasn’t been anything quite like them since. Remarkable characters who have gone onto shape the world of today. Highly recommended.

Fall: Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2021

John Preston

£9.99 £9.49

Reads like fiction. An unbelievable story about the newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell. The book starts with him floating, dead, next to his super yacht, and does not slow down there after. An incredibly talent and flawed in equal measures.

Entangled Life: The phenomenal Sunday Times bestseller exploring how fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futur

Merlin Sheldrake

£10.99 £10.44

Crazy. We understand so little about how the world works. This book an example. All about fungus. It plays a far bigger part in this world than one might think.

To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History

Lawrence Levy

£9.99 £9.49

A memoir from “Steve Jobs’ man” at Pixar in their lead up to the IPO. Jobs is famous for the iPhone but less known is his part in bringing Woody and Buzz lightyear to the world. A wonderful story.

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

Stephen Fry

£9.99 £9.49

A whistle stop tour of Greek myths. Someone told he writes like he talks. He really does. A pleasure to read.


Laura Hillenbrand

£9.99 £9.49

An amazing book. It tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian who spent two years as a POW in Japan during the second world war. A humbling read.

Flash Boys

Michael Lewis

£10.99 £10.44

Such a cracker. I love anything by Michael Lewis, this one did not disappoint. We’re living in a complex world. All is not as it seems.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Mitch Albom

£8.99 £8.54

A wonderful book. A fable about how connected we all are. Beautiful written and an enlightening read.

The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life

Edith Eger

£14.99 £14.24

Eger survived Auschwitz. This is everything she’s learnt about the human condition from that and a life as a psychologist since. A wonderful book. The message is very much that all our problems are are caused by our own mind. She makes a compelling case. I’m sold.

Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors

Matt Parker

£9.99 £9.49

A comedy of maths errors. Hilarious. Parker is remarkably wry and witty which makes for a wonderful read. Enlightening too.

Churchill: Walking with Destiny

Andrew Roberts

£18.98 £18.03

So good. It’s a slog but well worth. What stood out is just how flawed Churchill was (aren’t we all). He got many many things wrong but got a big one right and it save Great Britain. A remarkable character.

The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets From the World's Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Misch

Michael Schein

£20.99 £19.94

A fun read. Hype plays a big part in the world around us. Well worth understanding.

First Steps: How Walking Upright Made Us Human

Jeremy DeSilva

£20.00 £19.00

The book I’ve been waiting for. DeSilva is a paleoanthropologist so much of the book is about bones. Fascinating and an enjoyable read.

The Voltage Effect

John A List

£16.98 £16.13

How ideas and companies scale, and why some don’t. Really good. List was formally Chief Economist at Uber so he’s had more exposure to this than most.

Animal Farm

£6.99 £6.64

So good. First time reading it. To publish it when he did (1945) was prescient to say the least. Bravo.

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

Maryanne Wolf

£9.99 £9.49

The science of reading. It’s such an underrated activity. A wonderful book. It talks in depth about dyslexia. Super interesting. I’m a recovering dyslexic so this was comforting.

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