a16z

a16z

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10+ Book Recommendations by a16z

  • Hidden Valley Road

    Robert Kolker

    The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease. Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope.

    Hidden Valley Road is the story of one family with six schizophrenic sons—and the medical breakthroughs their experience led to. Author @bobkolker and a16z bio editor @omnivorousread discuss the new book and our understanding of this devastating disease: https://t.co/4PithnoXKH

  • Space Cadet

    Robert A. Heinlein

    A young man reports for the final tests for appointment as a cadet in the Interplanetary Patrol, survives the tests, studies in the school ship, and goes on a regular Patrol vessel and encounters danger on Venus.

    @amcafee @jiatolentino @RobThomas @StephenKing @mgurri @TayariJones @davidkushner @Billbrowder @billbrysonn @TaNehisiCoats Space Cadet @kidkoala House of Leaves @markdanielewski The Third Apple @gassee Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up @mariekondo The Man Who Solved the Market @gzuckerman ...and more! 48 books we read this winter: https://t.co/ZfuvHnDHdS

  • A family relocates to a small house on Ash Tree Lane and discovers that the inside of their new home seems to be without boundaries. A first novel. Original.

    @amcafee @jiatolentino @RobThomas @StephenKing @mgurri @TayariJones @davidkushner @Billbrowder @billbrysonn @TaNehisiCoats Space Cadet @kidkoala House of Leaves @markdanielewski The Third Apple @gassee Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up @mariekondo The Man Who Solved the Market @gzuckerman ...and more! 48 books we read this winter: https://t.co/ZfuvHnDHdS

  • The Third Apple

    Jean-Louis Gassée

    @amcafee @jiatolentino @RobThomas @StephenKing @mgurri @TayariJones @davidkushner @Billbrowder @billbrysonn @TaNehisiCoats Space Cadet @kidkoala House of Leaves @markdanielewski The Third Apple @gassee Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up @mariekondo The Man Who Solved the Market @gzuckerman ...and more! 48 books we read this winter: https://t.co/ZfuvHnDHdS

  • Presents a guide to cleaning and organizing a living space, discussing best methods for decluttering and the impact that an organized home can have on mood and physical and mental health.

    @amcafee @jiatolentino @RobThomas @StephenKing @mgurri @TayariJones @davidkushner @Billbrowder @billbrysonn @TaNehisiCoats Space Cadet @kidkoala House of Leaves @markdanielewski The Third Apple @gassee Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up @mariekondo The Man Who Solved the Market @gzuckerman ...and more! 48 books we read this winter: https://t.co/ZfuvHnDHdS

  • Bestselling author and veteran Wall Street Journal reporter Zuckerman answers the question investors have been asking for decades: How did Jim Simons do it? Simons is the greatest money maker in modern financial history. His track record bests those of legendary investors including Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Ray Dalio, and George Soros..

    @amcafee @jiatolentino @RobThomas @StephenKing @mgurri @TayariJones @davidkushner @Billbrowder @billbrysonn @TaNehisiCoats Space Cadet @kidkoala House of Leaves @markdanielewski The Third Apple @gassee Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up @mariekondo The Man Who Solved the Market @gzuckerman ...and more! 48 books we read this winter: https://t.co/ZfuvHnDHdS

  • More from Less

    Andrew McAfee

    From the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Second Machine Age, a compelling argument—masterfully researched and brilliantly articulated—that we have at last learned how to increase human prosperity while treading more lightly on our planet. Throughout history, the only way for humanity to grow was by degrading the Earth: chopping down forests, fouling the air and water, and endlessly digging out resources. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the reigning argument has been that taking better care of the planet means radically changing course: reducing our consumption, tightening our belts, learning to share and reuse, restraining growth. Is that argument correct? Absolutely not. In More from Less, McAfee argues that to solve our ecological problems we don’t need to make radical changes. Instead, we need to do more of what we’re already doing: growing technologically sophisticated market-based economies around the world. How can he possibly make this claim? Because of the evidence. America—a large, high-tech country that accounts for about 25% of the global economy—is now generally using less of most resources year after year, even as its economy and population continue to grow. What’s more, the US is polluting the air and water less, emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and replenishing endangered animal populations. And, as McAfee shows, America is not alone. Other countries are also transforming themselves in fundamental ways. What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism, although good governance and public awareness have also been critical. McAfee does warn of issues that haven’t been solved, like global warming, overfishing, and communities left behind as capitalism and tech progress race forward. But overall, More from Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how we’ve stumbled into an unexpectedly better balance with nature—one that holds out the promise of more abundant and greener centuries ahead.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • Trick Mirror

    Jia Tolentino

    A breakout writer at The New Yorker examines the fractures at the center of contemporary culture with verve, deftness, and intellectual ferocity--for readers who've wondered what Susan Sontag would have been like if she had brain damage from the internet. "A whip-smart, challenging book."--Zadie Smith Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity. Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine's journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino's sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet. Advance praise for Trick Mirror "Jia Tolentino is the best young essayist at work in the United States, one I've consistently admired and learned from, and I was exhilarated to get a whole lot of her at once in Trick Mirror. In these nine essays, she rethinks troubling ingredients of modern life, from the internet to mind-altering drugs to wedding culture. All through the book, single sentences flash like lightning to show something familiar in a startling way, but she also builds extended arguments with her usual, unusual blend of lyricism and skepticism. In the end, we have a picture of America that was as missing as it was needed."--Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • Veronica Mars

    Rob Thomas

    This first book in an all-new mystery series finds 28-year-old Veronica Mars investigating one of Neptune's darkest cases with the help of her old friends Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel and Dick Casablancas. Original.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • “Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • Riding a tsunami of information, the public has trampled on the temples of authority in every domain of human activity, everywhere. The Revolt of the Public tells the story of how ordinary people, gifted amateurs networked in communities of interest, have swarmed over the hierarchies of accredited professionals, questioned their methods, and shouted their failures from the digital rooftops. In science, business, media - and, pre-eminently, in politics and government - established elites have lost the power to command attention and set the agenda.The consequences have been revolutionary. Insurgencies enabled by digital devices and a vast information sphere have mobilized millions, toppling dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, crushing the ruling Socialist Party in Spain, inspiring "Tea Parties" and "Occupations" in the United States. Trust in political authority stands at an all-time low around the world. The Revolt of the Public analyzes the composition of the public, the nature of authority and legitimacy, and the part played by the perturbing agent: information. A major theme of the book is whether democratic institutions can survive the assaults of a public that at times appears to be at war with any form of organization, if not with history itself.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR * TIME * BUSTLE * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS * AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION “A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • Masters of Doom

    David Kushner

    “To my taste, the greatest American myth of cosmogenesis features the maladjusted, antisocial, genius teenage boy who, in the insular laboratory of his own bedroom, invents the universe from scratch. Masters of Doom is a particularly inspired rendition. Dave Kushner chronicles the saga of video game virtuosi Carmack and Romero with terrific brio. This is a page-turning, mythopoeic cyber-soap opera about two glamorous geek geniuses—and it should be read while scarfing down pepperoni pizza and swilling Diet Coke, with Queens of the Stone Age cranked up all the way.” —Mark Leyner, author of I Smell Esther Williams Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to co-create the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake—until the games they made tore them apart. Americans spend more money on video games than on movie tickets. Masters of Doom is the first book to chronicle this industry’s greatest story, written by one of the medium’s leading observers. David Kushner takes readers inside the rags-to-riches adventure of two rebellious entrepreneurs who came of age to shape a generation. The vivid portrait reveals why their games are so violent and why their immersion in their brilliantly designed fantasy worlds offered them solace. And it shows how they channeled their fury and imagination into products that are a formative influence on our culture, from MTV to the Internet to Columbine. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it’s like to be young, driven, and wildly creative. From the Hardcover edition.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • Red Notice

    Bill Browder

    Expelled from Russia after exposing corruption in Russian companies, an investment broker describes how his attorney was detained, tortured and beaten to death for testifying against Russian law enforcement officers who stole millions in taxes paid to the government. Illustrations. Tour.

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • The Body

    Bill Bryson

    "From the bestselling author of A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING, a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body"--

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • The Water Dancer

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    incl: More from Less @amcafee Trick Mirror @jiatolentino Veronica Mars @RobThomas On Writing @stephenking Revolt of the Public @mgurri An American Marriage @tayarijones Masters of Doom @davidkushner Red Notice @billbrowder The Body @billbrysonn Water Dancer @tanehisicoats

  • "This trade book takes on the widely-shared belief that learning the history of something always contributes to understanding it, is often the best way to do so, and sometimes is the only way. The aim is to explain away these three beliefs, to show why historical narrative is always, always wrong, not just incomplete or inaccurate or unfounded, but mistaken the way Ptolemaic astronomy or Phlogiston chemistry is wrong. The resources employed to do this are those of evolutionary anthropology, cognitive science, and most of all neuroscience. Much of the book reports Nobel Prize winning advances in neuroscience in ways that are accessible to the non-specialist and reveals their relevance for our fatal attraction to stories. Although framed as a searching critique of historical narrative as path to understanding and knowledge, the book also provides a report of the current state of play of research in cognitive social psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and the study of the brain at the level of neural detail"--

    @KenGarnett1 @pmarca It’s this book: https://t.co/UvtWB4YunX