I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

It would be great if we could pinpoint the inputs responsible for what we know and believe.

At best, we forget most of what influences us. However, some influences are like babies: you know exactly where they come from.

When I was 18, I read that Warren Buffett read The Intelligent Investor when he was 18. I figured if I wanted to become a billionaire, then I better do that, too. #twins

Buffett led me to Charlie Munger and Munger led me to everything else. I have learned a lot since then, but I feel like I know less now than I did at 18, when I knew everything. I am still at least a few rate cuts away from a billion dollars, but I have been enjoying the journey.

The curated lists below are designed to save you time and serve as an easy reference for me. I like reading other people’s lists and have procrastinated creating a favorites page because I wanted it to be perfect. Like all creators, I realized that as long as that remains the goal, it would never be finished. Thanks to the digital age, I can have my cake and eat it, too. I will periodically update this page.

These are non-exhaustive lists for several reasons:

  • I may have already written about it (see 10 Books & 5 Essays to Read Before 30).
  • Some recommendations are on enough lists already (hopefully you have already read them).
  • If you are interested in something specific, like value investing, then you can find hundreds of book lists and resources for that specifically.

Mental Models

Samir Patel is my friend, founder of Askeladden Capital, and the smartest person I know. No one has influenced my thinking and the books I own more than he has (we have similar tastes, with notable exceptions like Taleb and Pirsig). I avoid writing something when someone has already said it better than I could. Samir has done that, so instead of recreating the wheel, I will often reference his Latticework of Mental Models (I recommend bookmarking it).


One thing I look for in content is the ratio of time it took to create it to the amount of time it takes to consume it. In the recommendations below, that ratio is remarkable. Most of these took the author a majority of his life to create.


  • Farnam Street Required reading and resource.
  • Paul Graham Communicates as clearly as Richard Feynman, which is one of the highest compliments I can give someone.
  • 25iq Tren Griffin’s business, tech, and investing blog “A Dozen Things I Learned from…”
  • Slate Star Codex Hard to classify, but Scott Alexander is an exceptional writer and thinker. I discovered his work by stumbling across his book review of Seeing Like a State, which is better than the book. Start with the book review or Beware The Man Of One Study and The Categories Were Made For Man, Not Man For The Categories.
  • Ribbonfarm Venkatesh Rao does not fit into a box. At times, he can be too cerebral and abstract, but his essays on money, Whole Foods, and Premium Mediocre (links below) put him in the hall of fame.
  • Epicurean Dealmaker So much more than a pseudonymous investment banker. I wish he would return to writing. He is still active on Twitter.
  • Stratechery Ben Thompson — Business & Tech Strategy. Few people give away such thoughtful analysis for free.
  • Patrick Collison CEO & Co-Founder of Stripe. A thoughtful practitioner.
  • Marc Andreesen (Archive of best articles)

Essays, Speeches, Articles & Interviews



Finance & Investing


Undervalued resource. Where else can you get access to the thoughts of the smartest people in the world? The people below create original content and also link to great content.

  • Venkatesh Rao (@vgr)
  • Farooq Butt (@fmbutt)
  • D. Muthukrishnan (@dmuthuk)
  • Ben Hunt (@episolontheory)
  • The Epicurean Dealmaker (@epicureandeal)
  • Morgan Housel (@morganhousel)
  • Naval Ravikant (@naval)
  • David Merkel (@alephblog)
  • Ramp Capital (@RampCapitalLLC)