Christoph Schiessl's Blog

Bookshelf

I’ve started to track the books I’m reading in October 2014. Keeping this list is just an experiment for me and lacks any particular purpose. That being said, if your interests overlap with mine, you are very much invited to get in touch.

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People by G. Richard Shell

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People G. Richard Shell

As director of the renowned Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop, Professor G. Richard Shell has taught thousands of business leaders, administrators, and other professionals how to survive and thrive in the sometimes rough-and-tumble world of negotiation. His systematic, step-by-step approach comes to life in this book, which is available in over ten foreign editions and combines lively storytelling, proven tactics, and reliable insights gleaned from the latest negotiation research.

Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump

Trump: The Art of the Deal Donald J. Trump

“I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” – Donald J. Trump

Here is Trump in action – how he runs his organization and how he runs his life – as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated time-tested guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest accomplishments; he shatters myths; he names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker’s art. And throughout, Trump talks – really talks – about how he does it. Trump: The Art of the Deal is an unguarded look at the mind of a brilliant entrepreneur – the ultimate read for anyone interested in the man behind the spotlight.

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality Richard Dawkins

Magic takes many forms. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting that the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality - science.

Packed with inspiring explanations of space, time and evolution, laced with humour and clever thought experiments, The Magic of Reality explores a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena. What is stuff made of? How old is the universe? What causes tsunamis? Who was the first man, or woman? This is a page-turning, inspirational detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist too.

Richard Dawkins elucidates the wonders of the natural world to all ages with his inimitable clarity and exuberance in a text that will enlighten and inform for generations to come.

Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

What valuable company is nobody building?

The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them. It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there.

The Partner by John Grisham

The Partner John Grisham

They found him in a small town in Brazil, near the border with Paraguay. He had a new name, Danilo Silva, and his appearance had been changed by plastic surgery … from the No. 1 bestselling master legal thriller writer.

The search had taken four years. They’d chased him around the world, always just missing him. It had cost their clients $3.5 million. But so far none of them had complained.

The man they were about to kidnap had not always been called Danilo Silva. Before he had had another life, a life which ended in a car crash in February 1992. His gravestone lay in a cemetry in Biloxi, Mississippi. His name before his death was Patrick S. Lanigan. He had been a partner at an up-and-coming law firm. He had a pretty wife, a young daughter, and a bright future. Six weeks after his death, $90 million disappeared from the law firm.

It was then that his partners knew he was still alive, and the long pursuit had begun …

Silicon Valley: Was aus dem mächtigsten Tal der Welt auf uns zukommt by Christoph Keese

Silicon Valley: Was aus dem mächtigsten Tal der Welt auf uns zukommt Christoph Keese

Aus erster Hand berichtet Christoph Keese von den Innovationen im Silicon Valley und verbindet die vielen Facetten des digitalen Wandels zum großen Bild. Er traf Erfinder, Gründer, Wagniskapitalgeber und Professoren in Stanford und Berkeley – auf der Suche nach Erfolgsmustern und Treibern der boomenden Internetwirtschaft. Wie funktioniert dieses “Einfach tun, was sonst keiner wagt”? Warum fällt traditionellen Firmen die “disruptive Innovation” so schwer? Wächst uns Google über den Kopf? Was ist der Netzwerkeffekt? Schafft das Internet wirklich Geld, Banken, Einzelhandel, Zeitungen, Bücher und Verkehrsampeln ab? Was muss Deutschland unternehmen, um den Anschluss nicht zu verpassen?

Influx by Daniel Suarez

Influx Daniel Suarez

Physicist Jon Grady and his team have discovered a device that can reflect gravity – a triumph that will revolutionize the field of physics and change the future. But instead of acclaim, Grady’s lab is locked down by a covert organization known as the Bureau of Technology Control.

The bureau’s mission: suppress the truth of sudden technological progress and prevent the social upheaval it would trigger. Because the future is already here. And it’s rewards are only for a select few.

When Grady refuses to join the BTC, he’s thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison housing other doomed rebel intellects. Now, as the only hope to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age, Grady and his fellow prisoners must try to expose the secrets of an unimaginable enemy – one that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making.

Fear the Future (The Fear Saga Book 3) by Stephen Moss

Fear the Future (The Fear Saga Book 3) Stephen Moss

A predator hunts the skies over Earth. Its intent is peaceful, and its mission is essential, but it is the deadliest machine humanity has ever created.

Piloted by a six-year-old girl, the godlike Skalm guards the Districts of TASC. Her family is long dead. Her adopted father is a synthetic copy of an alien, her nanny an artificial mind, connected via subspace to every part of the globe, feeding the young girl information, finding prey to satiate her growing thirst.

But the young girl is but an innocent, a victim, one of millions the war has already claimed. Her innocence has been sacrificed by a man with singular purpose: a man who will stop at nothing in order to prepare earth for the coming conflict.

For the armada is approaching, its far off engines now bright as stars in the night sky. They mean to kill us. They have the power to do so. And as oblivion’s maw opens up to engulf us, we brace ourselves for battle.

We will fight to the last. Live or die, we will leave a scar upon our attackers that will last an age, even if we, ourselves, do not.

Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin

Case for Mars Robert Zubrin

Since the beginning of human history Mars has been an alluring dream – the stuff of legends, gods, and mystery. The planet most like ours, it has still been thought impossible to reach, let alone explore and inhabit.

Now with the advent of a revolutionary new plan, all this has changed. Leading space exploration authority Robert Zubrin has crafted a daring new blueprint, Mars Direct, presented here with illustrations, photographs, and engaging anecdotes.

The Case for Mars is not a vision for the far future or one that will cost us impossible billions. It explains step-by-step how we can use present-day technology to send humans to Mars within ten years; actually produce fuel and oxygen on the planet’s surface with Martian natural resources; how we can build bases and settlements; and how we can one day “terraform” Mars – a process that can alter the atmosphere of planets and pave the way for sustainable life.

Fear the Survivors (The Fear Saga Book 2) by Stephen Moss

Fear the Survivors (The Fear Saga Book 2) Stephen Moss

The earth lies shaken in the aftermath of a conspiracy. Some of the smartest minds on the planet have striven for and died in an effort to scour the skies of four vast alien satellites, but their success has brought a terrible vengeance down upon us.

While alien Agents stalk the earth, a team of exhausted scientists and military outcasts struggle to fight them amongst a planet on the brink. The brink of plague, the brink of war, and the brink of an invasion larger than they can possibly imagine.

But they have allies. Two of the alien Agents have forsaken their homes, their families, their very species to stop the greatest act of genocide any of them has ever known. John and Shahim have great abilities. They carry with them the knowledge we need to save humanity and take us into a new and marvelous age.

But Lana and the remaining enemy Agents are far from defeated. As they begin to reap havoc among the diseased and bereft, Neal, Ayala, and Barrett must find a way to achieve the impossible, by fair means or foul they must unite the world’s disparate nations. And they must do so quickly, for the Armada is fast approaching, and behind the great fires of their decelerating engines, the huge fleet is readying itself for war.

How to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil

How to Create a Mind Ray Kurzweil

How does the brain recognise images? Could computers drive? How is it possible for man-made programmes to beat the world’s best chess players? In this fascinating look into the human mind, Ray Kurzweil relates the advanced brain processes we take for granted in our everyday lives, our sense of self and intellect – and explains how artificial intelligence, once only the province of science fiction, is rapidly catching up. Effortlessly unravelling the complexity of his subject, unfolding such key areas as love, learning and logic, he shows how the building blocks for our future machines exist underneath. Kurzweil examines the radical possibilities of a world in which humans and intelligent machines could live side by side.

You Don't Know JS: Types & Grammar by Kyle Simpson

You Don’t Know JS: Types & Grammar Kyle Simpson

No matter how much experience you have with JavaScript, odds are you don’t fully understand the language. As part of the “You Don’t Know JS” series, this compact guide explores JavaScript types in greater depth than previous treatments by looking at type coercion problems, demonstrating why types work, and showing you how to take advantage of these features.

Like other books in this series, You Don’t Know JS: Types & Grammar dives into trickier parts of the language that many JavaScript programmers simply avoid or assume don’t exist (like types). Armed with this knowledge, you can achieve true JavaScript mastery.

Learning Google AdWords and Google Analytics by Benjamin Mangold

Learning Google AdWords and Google Analytics Benjamin Mangold

Master Google AdWords and Google Analytics to run successful digital campaigns. Learning Google AdWords and Google Analytics will show you how to succeed at online marketing and digital analytics, including:

  • Techniques and tips for using Google AdWords and Google Analytics
  • Creating, managing and optimizing search and display campaigns
  • Using digital analytics to measure and improve your website and marketing

Written by Google expert, Benjamin Mangold, this is the ‘go to’ book for individuals and organizations wanting to get the most out of their digital marketing campaigns.

You Don't Know JS: `this` & Object Prototypes by Kyle Simpson

You Don’t Know JS: this & Object Prototypes Kyle Simpson

No matter how much experience you have with JavaScript, odds are you don’t fully understand the language. This concise, in-depth guide takes you inside JavaScript’s this structure and object prototypes. You’ll learn how they work and why they’re integral to behavior delegation – a design pattern in which objects are linked, rather than cloned.

Like other books in the “You Don’t Know JS” series, this and Object Prototypes dives into trickier parts of the language that many JavaScript programmers simply avoid. Armed with this knowledge, you can become a true JavaScript master.

Marketing for Developers by Justin Jackson

Marketing for Developers Justin Jackson

It’s 1am, and you can’t sleep. You’ve been struck with a brilliant idea and you can’t get it out of your head. After fidgeting in bed for an hour, you go down to the basement and start coding.

By 7am you have a working prototype. You keep working on it evenings and weekends; creating new features, refining the design, and building out the billing system. Soon, the whole thing is ready for launch. You deploy it to production, and wait for your first customers to sign up.

But the customers don’t come. What happened?

You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures by Kyle Simpson

You Don’t Know JS: Scope & Closures Kyle Simpson

No matter how much experience you have with JavaScript, odds are you don’t fully understand the language. This concise yet in-depth guide takes you inside scope and closures, two core concepts you need to know to become a more efficient and effective JavaScript programmer. You’ll learn how and why they work, and how an understanding of closures can be a powerful part of your development skillset.

Like other books in the “You Don’t Know JS” series, Scope and Closures dives into trickier parts of the language that many JavaScript programmers simply avoid. Armed with this knowledge, you can achieve true JavaScript mastery.

You Don't Know JS: Up & Going by Kyle Simpson

You Don’t Know JS: Up & Going Kyle Simpson

It’s easy to learn parts of JavaScript, but much harder to learn it completely – or even sufficiently – whether you’re new to the language or have used it for years. With the “You Don’t Know JS” book series, you’ll get a more complete understanding of JavaScript, including trickier parts of the language that many experienced JavaScript programmers simply avoid.

The series’ first book, Up & Going, provides the necessary background for those of you with limited programming experience. By learning the basic building blocks of programming, as well as JavaScript’s core mechanisms, you’ll be prepared to dive into the other, more in-depth books in the series – and be well on your way toward true JavaScript.

Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

Mona Lisa Overdrive William Gibson

Multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace. Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled … or even known. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes … or so they think.

Count Zero by William Gibson

Count Zero William Gibson

A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he’s recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D – and the biochip he’s perfected – out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties – some of whom aren’t remotely human …

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Neuromancer William Gibson

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

RabbitMQ in Action by Alvaro Videla, Jason J. W. Williams

RabbitMQ in Action Alvaro Videla, Jason J. W. Williams

RabbitMQ in Action is a fast-paced run through building and managing scalable applications using the RabbitMQ messaging server. It starts by explaining how message queuing works, its history, and how RabbitMQ fits in. Then it shows you real-world examples you can apply to your own scalability and interoperability challenges.

Freakonimics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonimics Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Cult bestseller, new buzz word… “Freakonomics” is at the heart of everything we see and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sport to politics, fat to cheating, fear to traffic jams. Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, “Freakonomics” will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lens.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Ashlee Vance

In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs – a real-life Tony Stark – and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”

Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Fear the Sky (The Fear Saga Book 1) by Stephen Moss

Fear the Sky (The Fear Saga Book 1) Stephen Moss

In eleven years time, a million members of an alien race will arrive at Earth. Years before they enter orbit, their approach will be announced by the flare of a thousand flames in the sky, their ships’ huge engines burning hard to slow them from the vast speeds needed to cross interstellar space.

These foreboding lights will shine in our night sky like new stars, getting ever brighter until they outshine even the sun, casting ominous shadows and banishing the night until they suddenly blink out.

Their technology is vastly superior to ours, and they know they cannot possibly lose the coming conflict. But they, like us, have found no answer to the destructive force of the atom, and they have no intention of facing the onslaught of our primitive nuclear arsenal, or the devastation it would wreak on the planet they crave.

So they have flung out an advanced party in front of them, hidden within one of the countless asteroids randomly roaming the void.

They do not want us, they want our planet. Their Agents are arriving.

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes

Look Who’s Back Timur Vermes

Berlin, Summer 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of open ground, alive and well. Things have changed - no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman. People certainly recognise him, albeit as a flawless impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable happens, and the ranting Hitler goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own T.V. show, and people begin to listen. But the Führer has another programme with even greater ambition - to set the country he finds a shambles back to rights. Look Who’s Back stunned and then thrilled 1.5 million German readers with its fearless approach to the most taboo of subjects. Naive yet insightful, repellent yet strangely sympathetic, the revived Hitler unquestionably has a spring in his step.

The Third Twin by Ken Follett

The Third Twin Ken Follett

Using a restricted FBI database, genetic researcher Jeanie Ferrami has located identical twins born to different mothers. Frightened by her bizarre discovery, she is determined to discover the truth at any cost—until she finds herself at the center of a scandal that could ruin her career.

To fight the charges, Jeannie plunges into a maze of hidden evidence. With growing horror, she uncovers a cynical, far-reaching conspiracy involving disturbing genetic experiments and some of the most powerful men in America—men who will kill to keep their secrets concealed.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Stieg Larsson

Salander is plotting her revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign. After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander’s prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society - but no-one can find her anywhere. Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, will not believe what he hears on the news. Knowing Salander to be fierce when fearful, he is desperate to get to her before she is cornered and alone. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together, he comes up against some hardened criminals, including the chainsaw-wielding ‘blond giant’ - a fearsomely huge thug who can feel no pain. Digging deeper, Blomkvist also unearths some heart-wrenching facts about Salander’s past life. Committed to psychiatric care aged 12, declared legally incompetent at 18, this is a messed-up young woman who is the product of an unjust and corrupt system. Yet Lisbeth is more avenging angel than helpless victim - descending on those that have hurt her with a righteous anger terrifying in its intensity and truly wonderful in its outcome.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Michael Lewis

When the crash of the U. S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine, and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking. The crucial question is this: Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 best-selling Liar’s Poker. Who got it right? he asks. Who saw the real estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles? Out of this handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.

Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis

Liar’s Poker Michael Lewis

In this shrewd and wickedly funny book, Michael Lewis describes an astonishing era and his own rake’s progress through a powerful investment bank. From an unlikely beginning (art history at Princeton?) he rose in two short years from Salomon Brothers trainee to Geek (the lowest form of life on the trading floor) to Big Swinging Dick, the most dangerous beast in the jungle, a bond salesman who could turn over millions of dollars’ worth of doubtful bonds with just one call. With the eye and ear of a born storyteller, Michael Lewis shows us how things really worked on Wall Street. In the Salomon training program a roomful of aspirants is stunned speechless by the vitriolic profanity of the Human Piranha; out on the trading floor, bond traders throw telephones at the heads of underlings and Salomon chairman Gutfreund challenges his chief trader to a hand of liar’s poker for one million dollars; around the world in London, Tokyo, and New York, bright young men like Michael Lewis, connected by telephones and computer terminals, swap gross jokes and find retail buyers for the staggering debt of individual companies or whole countries. The bond traders, wearing greed and ambition and badges of honor, might well have swaggered straight from the pages of Bonfire of the Vanities. But for all their outrageous behavior, they were in fact presiding over enormous changes in the world economy. Lewis’s job, simply described, was to transfer money, in the form of bonds, from those outside America who saved to those inside America who consumed. In doing so, he generated tens of millions of dollars for Salomon Brothers, and earned for himself a ringside seat on the greatest financial spectacle of the decade: the leveraging of America.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Mary Roach

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter D. Schiff

How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes Peter D. Schiff

Understanding how all the pieces of an economy fit together can be a daunting task–especially when the experts can’t seem to do it. But when you get down to the basics, it is much easier than you may think. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes uses illustrations, humor, and accessible storytelling to take economics off its lofty shelf and put it back on the kitchen table where it belongs.

This straightforward story of fish, nets, saving, and lending exposes the gaping holes that lie hidden in our global economic conversation. With wit and humor, the Schiffs explain the roots of economic growth, the importance of trade, savings, and risk, the source of inflation, the effects of interest rates and government stimulus, the destructive nature of consumer credit, and many other economic principles that are so frequently discussed and so poorly understood.

The story may appear simple on the surface but it will leave you with a powerful understanding of How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes.

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rickards

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis James Rickards

Rickards … has written one of the scariest books I’ve read this year. Though I was tempted at first to dismiss him as alarmist, his intelligent reasoning soon convinced me that we have more to fear than fear itself. Part history, part primer and analysis, the text covers topics ranging from the “misuse of economics” to complexity theory. The pieces, although disparate, fit together snugly, as in one of those mystery jigsaw puzzles that come with clues in lieu of cover art. The picture that emerges is dark yet comprehensive and satisfying.

Contact by Carl Sagan

Contact Carl Sagan

It is December 1999, the dawn of the millennium, and a team of international scientists is poised for the most fantastic adventure in human history. After years of scanning the galaxy for signs of somebody or something else, this team believes they’ve found a message from an intelligent source–and they travel deep into space to meet it. Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan injects Contact, his prophetic adventure story, with scientific details that make it utterly believable. It is a Cold War era novel that parlays the nuclear paranoia of the time into exquisitely wrought tension among the various countries involved. Sagan meditates on science, religion, and government–the elements that define society–and looks to their impact on and role in the future. His ability to pack an exciting read with such rich content is an unusual talent that makes Contact a modern sci-fi classic.

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Cosmos Carl Sagan

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

Flash Boys (A Wall Street Revolt) by Michael Lewis

Flash Boys (A Wall Street Revolt) Michael Lewis

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading—source of the most intractable problems—will have no advantage whatsoever.