100 books like Fooled by Randomness

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

Here are 100 books that Fooled by Randomness fans have personally recommended if you like Fooled by Randomness. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Brad Schaeffer Author Of Life in the Pits: My Time as a Trader on the Rough-and-Tumble Exchange Floors

From my list on what makes commodities traders tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1989 with an LAS degree in communications and a knack for artwork, I had no idea what I wanted to do. That was until my brother pulled me from my low-paid art job in Chicago to work as a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I eventually became a trader on that same floor, as well as an oil and gas dealer in New York. Screaming and yelling in the trading pits while money moved back and forth with a shout and a hand signal I learned more about investing, trading, and human nature through osmosis than I ever could in an MBA course.

Brad's book list on what makes commodities traders tick

Brad Schaeffer Why did Brad love this book?

This fascinating read tells the story of the rise and then spectacular fall of the once celebrated hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management.

What made LTCM so attractive to Wall Street investors was its stable of "dream team" quants and financial minds, led by the laconic John Merriweather. Merriweather (featured in the opening Chapter of Liar's Poker) was a former Solomon Brothers bond-trading guru, who after leaving the firm amid a scandal managed to assemble a team of financial powerhouses that included two Nobel Laureates as well as a cadre of respected traders.

From 1993 to 1997 LTCM's returns were first-rate; the sky seemed the limit for this small band of supertraders, professors, and modelers who arrogantly considered themselves a cut above the rest of The Street.

But in 1998, it all came crashing down...and right quick. Having believed their financial models could accurately predict price action not just in…

By Roger Lowenstein,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked When Genius Failed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Picking up where Liar's Poker left off (literally, in the bond dealer's desks of Salomon Brothers) the story of Long-Term Capital Management is of a group of elite investors who believed they could beat the market and, like alchemists, create limitless wealth for themselves and their partners.

Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, Long-Term Captial Management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a…

Book cover of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sarah McArthur Author Of The AMA Handbook of Leadership

From my list on working together towards a bright future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong student of philosophy, leadership, and principled living. Having worked with great leaders of today and being an editor-in-chief of a leadership journal (Leader to Leader), I experience how their leadership continues the principles set forth in days long past, and I publish works by authors who are keeping these principles alive in their writing. I am grateful for the opportunity to recommend books that might help others as we grapple with how to be in the world today to create value for all.

Sarah's book list on working together towards a bright future

Sarah McArthur Why did Sarah love this book?

I'm not sure when I have learned more about humanity than with the books of Yuval Harari.

I recommend this book as it is the first of the series, and I could read it over and over and still not have captured everything that Yuval Harari explores and teaches us.

A great historian who uses history to explore our future, Yuval Harari is one whose books I read every chance I have.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Sapiens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…

Book cover of Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Kara Alaimo Author Of Over The Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls - And How We Can Take it Back

From my list on what it’s like to be a woman in this sexist, misogynistic world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a communication professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, a social media user, and a mom. After Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, I wrote an op-ed for CNN arguing that he’d won the election on social media, and I just never stopped writing. A few hundred op-eds and a book later, I’m still interested in what social media is doing to us all and the issues women are up against in our society. My book allowed me to explore how social media is impacting every single aspect of the lives of women and girls and exactly what we can do about it. I wrote it as a call to arms.

Kara's book list on what it’s like to be a woman in this sexist, misogynistic world

Kara Alaimo Why did Kara love this book?

The opening of this book about how public transport systems have been designed to get men where they need to go (to the city center for work) but not women where we often go (all over neighborhoods caring for people) just blew my mind.

I loved how Criado Perez challenges so many things we take for granted – like why you can go out with a client after work and expense your steak and drinks but not the babysitter you have to hire. Her explanations of how the world is basically designed for men helped me understand why the voice control system in my car never seems to understand me and why there’s always a line for the ladies’ room.

By Caroline Criado Perez,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Invisible Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2019 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Winner of the 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize

Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.

Celebrated feminist advocate…

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Gerard Pasterkamp Author Of Painted Science: The history of scientific discoveries, explorers and technological developments captured in painting

From my list on trying to explain basics in human behavior and decision making in a scientific manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scientist in the field of medicine, and I like to read books that provide a surprising insight into our thinking and decision-making with a scientific basis. It is special how we think we are acting rationally while much of our action is influenced by the environment and news that comes our way. Some of the books in my list provide special insights that are refreshing and hold a mirror up to us.

Gerard's book list on trying to explain basics in human behavior and decision making in a scientific manner

Gerard Pasterkamp Why did Gerard love this book?

Based on scientific arguments, this book shows how strongly incorrect drives are stuck in our brains, causing us to think that we are making a logical decision, while this is not the case.

The best example I tell everybody: Look at your attic that you want to clean out. You empty your cupboards, and almost always, a large part goes back into the cupboard because it is a waste. But if you are offered the same stuff for free, you usually don't want it.

The message of this example: Your brain finds it difficult to get rid of something you have, and it is a non-rational reaction that occurs in our fixed brain.

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

40 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…

Book cover of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

Donald Summers Author Of Scaling Altruism: A Proven Pathway for Accelerating Nonprofit Growth and Impact

From my list on essential reading for nonprofit leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent most of my adult life using entrepreneurial business practices and principles to redesign and transform nonprofits. From my very first nonprofit organizational acceleration, I was hooked. The wealth one receives from helping other people is so much richer and more satisfying than money–altruism is truly life's greatest pleasure. You know the movie The Sixth Sense where the little kid sees dead people everywhere? I am the same way, except everywhere I look, I see uncaptured opportunities for social impact. I live and breathe social impact strategy, governance, financing, evaluation, and change management. Because by fixing problems in those areas, organizations are able to do more to make the world a better place.  

Donald's book list on essential reading for nonprofit leaders

Donald Summers Why did Donald love this book?

Carefully read (and read again, and then read at least a third and fourth time) both books by Jim Collins. He's rightly famous for his masterful distillation of the core qualities and strategies of the world's most successful organizations.

Once you understand key concepts like "Getting the Right People on the Bus" and what your "20-mile March" really is, and you have the grit to keep trying to apply the concepts and work through mistakes and sticking points, you will be able to lead your organization to new heights of growth and impact, when so many other organizations struggle just to keep the lights on.

Note that his “Good to Great for the Social Sector'' misapplies his concepts to the non-profit and is best ignored. The texts above apply perfectly well to the nonprofit sector, and this attempt at re-interpreting his principles fails badly.

By Jim Collins,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Good to Great as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can a good company become a great one? If so, how?

After a five-year research project, Jim Collins concludes that good to great can and does happen. In this book, he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organisation to make the leap from good to great while other organisations remain only good. Rigorously supported by evidence, his findings are surprising - at times even shocking - to the modern mind.

Good to Great achieves a rare distinction: a management book full of vital ideas that reads as well as a fast-paced novel. It is widely regarded…

Book cover of Principles: Life and Work

Alex Shahidi Author Of Risk Parity: How to Invest for All Market Environments

From my list on commonly overlooked investing core principles.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a student of the markets and investing for 3 decades and a professional investment advisor overseeing billions of dollars for over 2 decades, I have discovered that most investment books and information lack real insight. Much of what I read and see is not thoughtful or deeply researched and merely a regurgitation of what everyone else is saying. I’ve learned that most of what is thought to be conventional thinking is remarkably poorly supported by independent, unbiased research. The books on my recommended list go beyond what you’d read in the average investment book to uncover truly insightful knowledge that I believe can help readers take their investment understanding to the next level. 

Alex's book list on commonly overlooked investing core principles

Alex Shahidi Why did Alex love this book?

I love this book because Ray is a master at building, evaluating, and improving systems and has taken the time to share his insights to help others do the same.

The principles he’s identified and described can simultaneously assist any investor to construct a better portfolio and any person to live a more successful and fulfilling life. This book offers a unique opportunity to learn from one of the most insightful people in history. 

By Ray Dalio,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Principles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Significant...The book is both instructive and surprisingly moving." -The New York Times

Ray Dalio, one of the world's most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he's developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business-and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in…

Book cover of The Selfish Gene

Dennis L. Krebs Author Of Survival of the Virtuous: How We Became a Moral Animal

From my list on how we became a moral animal.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I got into a lot of trouble. Many good-hearted people helped me. In part, this inspired me to become a clinical psychologist. When I was in graduate school at Harvard, I became disillusioned with clinical psychology and inspired to figure out why people are motivated to help others. During this process, a lecturer from the Biology Department, Robert Trivers, approached me and we exchanged drafts of papers we were writing. Trivers’ ideas caused me to see altruism and morality in an entirely different, and much more valid, way. In Survival of the Virtuous I demonstrate how psychological findings on altruism and morality can be gainfully interpreted from an evolutionary perspective.  

Dennis' book list on how we became a moral animal

Dennis L. Krebs Why did Dennis love this book?

More than thirty years ago, when I was conducting research on the psychology of altruism and moral development, a biologist recommended that I read The Selfish Gene

Reading Dawkins’ book caused me to change my theoretical orientation completely.  It enabled me to see that if I wanted to understand altruism and morality, I needed to understand how the genes that guide the construction of the mental mechanisms that cause us to help others evolved. 

Although the title of the book implies that we are selfish by nature, the contents explain how selfish genes can guide the development of unselfish animals.  

By Richard Dawkins,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Selfish Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages.

As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology
community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty…

Book cover of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

Victor Haghani Author Of The Missing Billionaires: A Guide to Better Financial Decisions

From my list on intelligent financial decision-making in less than 200 pages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have over four decades of experience working and innovating in the financial markets and have been a prolific contributor to academic and practitioner finance literature. I started my career at Salomon Brothers in 1984, where I became a managing director in the bond-arbitrage group, and in 1993 I was a co-founding partner of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. I founded Elm Wealth in 2011 to help clients, including my own family, manage and preserve their wealth with a thoughtful, research-based, and cost-effective approach that covers not just investment management but also broader decisions about wealth and finances.

Victor's book list on intelligent financial decision-making in less than 200 pages

Victor Haghani Why did Victor love this book?

I loved how this “Little Book" gets right to the point and explains why every investor should include low-cost index ETFs in their portfolios. This is a great guide for beginners and old hands alike. It is a book devoted to simplicity.

I loved Bogle’s “Cost Matters Hypothesis” which is simpler and more relevant than the also important “Efficient Markets Hypothesis” that is taught in Finance 101 classes. 

I felt this book empowered me to take control of my financial life. It’s a book I always recommend to people who are looking to improve their financial lives. I learned a lot from Vanguard founder John Bogle's 80+ years of experience and wisdom. Invest just 60 minutes in this book and reap a lifetime of informed, confident investing decisions.

By John C. Bogle,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Little Book of Common Sense Investing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The best-selling index investing "bible" offers new information and is updated to reflect the latest market data The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is the classic guide to getting smart about the market. Legendary mutual fund veteran John C. Bogle reveals his key to getting more out of investing: low-cost index funds. Bogle describes the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term: buy and hold, at very low cost, a mutual fund that tracks the S&P 500 Stock Index. Such an index portfolio is the only investment that guarantees your fair share of…

Book cover of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Manil Suri Author Of The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math

From my list on to make you fall in love with mathematics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a mathematics professor who ended up writing the internationally bestselling novel The Death of Vishnu (along with two follow-ups) and became better known as an author. For the past decade and a half, I’ve been using my storytelling skills to make mathematics more accessible (and enjoyable!) to a broad audience. Being a novelist has helped me look at mathematics in a new light, and realize the subject is not so much about the calculations feared by so many, but rather, about ideas. We can all enjoy such ideas, and thereby learn to understand, appreciate, and even love math. 

Manil's book list on to make you fall in love with mathematics

Manil Suri Why did Manil love this book?

A primary reason to love math is because of its usefulness. This book shows two sides of math’s applicability, since it is so ubiquitously used in various algorithms.

On the one hand, such usage can be good, because statistical inferences can make our life easier and enrich it. On the other, when these are not properly designed or monitored, it can lead to catastrophic consequences. Mathematics is a powerful force, as powerful as wind or fire, and needs to be harnessed just as carefully.

Cathy O’Neil’s message in this book spoke deeply to me, reminding me that I need to be always vigilant about the subject I love not being deployed carelessly.  

By Cathy O’Neil,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Weapons of Math Destruction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A manual for the 21st-century citizen... accessible, refreshingly critical, relevant and urgent' - Financial Times

'Fascinating and deeply disturbing' - Yuval Noah Harari, Guardian Books of the Year

In this New York Times bestseller, Cathy O'Neil, one of the first champions of algorithmic accountability, sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life -- and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives - where we go to school, whether we get a loan, how much we pay for insurance - are being made…

Book cover of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

Sima Dimitrijev, PhD Author Of Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

From my list on realistic knowledge and decision making.

Why am I passionate about this?

My core value is realistic education—learning from each other’s errors and successes, but with full awareness of the difference between the determined past and the uncertain future. We can benefit from uncertainty, which I’ve been doing for a living as an engineer, academic researcher, and inventor. I make use of knowledge and science as much as possible, but I also know that strategic decisions for the uncertain future require skepticism and thinking to deal with the differences in a new circumstance. With my core value, I am passionate about sharing insights and knowledge that our formal education does not provide.

Sima's book list on realistic knowledge and decision making

Sima Dimitrijev, PhD Why did Sima love this book?

Certainty is a black-or-white concept, either zero or hundred percent; uncertainty is something between zero and hundred percent, and this grayness is a difficult concept. In the context of dealing with uncertainty and making better decisions, I find Annie Duke’s use of poker in Thinking in Bets clever for two reasons: (1) People can engage with the concept that winning or losing in a poker game is neither exact science nor pure luck. (2) Given that poker games are so different from our everyday reality, there is no danger that people would expect decision recipes for dummies. 

By Annie Duke,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Thinking in Bets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal bestseller, now in paperback. Poker champion turned decision strategist Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions.

Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there's always information hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10%…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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