Eugene Wei

Eugene Wei

Former product guy at Amazon, Hulu, Flipboard, Oculus. Blog at https://t.co/31xFn7UvDb

20+ Book Recommendations by Eugene Wei

  • The long-awaited cookbook from an iconic New York restaurant, revealing never-before-published recipes Since its humble opening in 2005, Xi'an Famous Foods has expanded from one stall in Flushing to 14 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. CEO Jason Wang divulges the untold story of how this empire came to be, alongside the never-before-published recipes that helped create this New York City icon. From heavenly ribbons of liang pi doused in a bright vinegar sauce to flatbread filled with caramelized pork to cumin lamb over hand-pulled Biang Biang noodles, this cookbook helps home cooks make the dishes that fans of Xi'an Famous Foods line up for while also exploring the vibrant cuisine and culture of Xi'an. Transporting readers to the streets of Xi'an and the kitchens of New York's Chinatown, Xi'an Famous Foods is the cookbook that fans of Xi'an Famous Foods have been waiting for.

    Yes https://t.co/8gaHSY1KBO

  • “There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.” Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end. What are infinite games? How do they affect the ways we play our finite games? What are we doing when we play—finitely or infinitely? And how can infinite games affect the ways in which we live our lives? Carse explores these questions with stunning elegance, teasing out of his distinctions a universe of observation and insight, noting where and why and how we play, finitely and infinitely. He surveys our world—from the finite games of the playing field and playing board to the infinite games found in culture and religion—leaving all we think we know illuminated and transformed. Along the way, Carse finds new ways of understanding everything, from how an actress portrays a role to how we engage in sex, from the nature of evil to the nature of science. Finite games, he shows, may offer wealth and status, power and glory, but infinite games offer something far more subtle and far grander. Carse has written a book rich in insight and aphorism. Already an international literary event, Finite and Infinite Games is certain to be argued about and celebrated for years to come. Reading it is the first step in learning to play the infinite game.

    Am seeing a few tweets that James Carse has passed away? RIP. His book Finite and Infinite Games is sort of a cult hit in Silicon Valley, but it still feels under-read. Reading it changed me forever. https://t.co/rzoMMymY4J

  • Scientific Freedom

    Donald W. Braben

    Every new book from Stripe Press is an insta-order from me. Scientific Freedom by Donald Braben is the latest. Understanding the best ways to spur continued productive research is among the more important questions to grapple with. https://t.co/GmbK5RX1m4

  • @Alex_Danco I love that book

  • Battle Royale

    Koushun Takami

    A group of ninth-grade students are confined to a small isolated island where they must fight each other for three days until only one survivor remains, as part of the ultimate in reality television.

    @sonyasupposedly No joke, this novel that inspired the Japanese film that inspired a thousand YA franchises might be one of the most influential works of culture in the past century https://t.co/aTxqMEqzbG

  • Vaccinated

    Paul A. Offit

    Maurice Hilleman's mother died a day after he was born and his twin sister stillborn. As an adult, he said that he felt he had escaped an appointment with death. He made it his life's work to see that others could do the same. Born into the life of a Montana chicken farmer, Hilleman ran off to the University of Chicago to become a microbiologist, and eventually joined Merck, the pharmaceutical company, to pursue his goal of eliminating childhood disease. Chief among his accomplishments are nine vaccines that practically every child gets, rendering formerly dread diseases—including often devastating ones such as mumps and rubella—practically toothless and nearly forgotten; his measles vaccine alone saves several million lives every year. Vaccinated is not a biography; Hilleman's experience forms the basis for a rich and lively narrative of two hundred years of medical history, ranging across the globe and throughout time to take in a cast of hundreds, all caught up, intentionally or otherwise, in the story of vaccines. It is an inspiring and triumphant tale, but one with a cautionary aspect, as vaccines come under assault from people blaming vaccines for autism and worse. Paul Offit clearly and compellingly rebuts those arguments, and, by demonstrating how much the work of Hilleman and others has gained for humanity, shows us how much we have to lose.

    For better and worse, the U.S. can’t move as quickly on vaccines as it once did. (from Vaccinated, the story of Maurice Hilleman, the surprisingly unknown scientist who has saved more lives than all other scientists combined https://t.co/VZQfo4m6Eo) https://t.co/XD5VmlNshk

  • The Most Human Human

    Brian Christian

    Explores how computers are reshaping ideas about what it means to be human profiling the annual Turing Test to assess a computer's capacity for thought while analyzing related philosophical, biological, and moral issues.

    @alvinhsia @davidklaing @kevinakwok @noampomsky @aaronzlewis @patrick_oshag All credit to the great book The Most Human Human by Brian Christian https://t.co/9HWHJE2e3c

  • Algorithms to Live By

    Brian Christian

    A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favourites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us. In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian (who holds degrees in computer science, philosophy, and poetry, and works at the intersection of all three) and Tom Griffiths (a UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and psychology) show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living."

    Heat (and most heist films) can be thought of as explorations of the “burglar problem.” Neil McCauley knew the math but didn’t follow it. Text excerpt rom Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths’ fun book Algorithms to Live By: https://t.co/2tbBtmYwZK https://t.co/Qp7j7cZr7N

  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the bestselling authority on early Christianity, the story of how Christianity grew from a religion of twenty or so peasants in rural Galilee to the dominant religion in the West in less than four hundred years. Christianity didn't have to become the dominant religion in the West. It easily could have remained a sect of Judaism fated to have the historical importance of the Sadducees or the Essenes. In The Triumph of Christianity, Bart Ehrman, a master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, shows how a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the empire became the official religion of Rome, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries. The Triumph of Christianity combines deep knowledge and meticulous research in an eye-opening, immensely readable narrative that upends the way we think about the single most important cultural transformation our world has ever seen--one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.

    @GlennGalen It’s discussed in https://t.co/9k2BuemLyq

  • Trick Mirror

    Jia Tolentino

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "From The New Yorker's beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television."--Esquire "A whip-smart, challenging book."--Zadie Smith * "Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time."--Vulture FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE'S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HARVARD CRIMSON AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * Time * Chicago Tribune * The Washington Post * NPR * Variety * Esquire * Vox * Elle * Glamour * GQ * Good Housekeeping * The Paris Review * Paste * Town & Country * BookPage * Kirkus Reviews * BookRiot * Shelf Awareness 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. FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY

    I am not anywhere where I could get @jiatolentino to autograph my copy of Trick Mirror so instead I had @kevinakwok sign a hard copy of his Kwokchain to “My Large Adult Son” and it will do https://t.co/syoOPh7eEg

  • Range EXPORT

    David Epstein

    "David Epstein manages to make me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong. I loved Range." Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of Outliers.Range is the ground-breaking and exhilarating exploration into how to be successful in the 21st Century, from David Epstein the acclaimed author of The Sports Gene.What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong? From the '10,000 hours rule' to the power of Tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. And, worse, that if you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up with those who got a head start. This is completely wrong.In this landmark book, David Epstein shows that the way to excel is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests - in other words, by developing range.Studying the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, and scientists Epstein discovered that in most fields - especially those that are complex and unpredictable - generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. They are also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. Range proves that by spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to success rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range explains how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience and interdisciplinary thinking in a world that increasingly demands, hyper-specialization.

    One of the only downsides to having been in Europe the past few weeks was just missing the arrival of the latest from @DavidEpstein. Digging in as soon as my body clock makes it across the ocean. https://t.co/dpf4OUa5xn

  • Loonshots

    Safi Bahcall

    *Wall Street Journal bestseller *Next Big Idea Club selection—chosen by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant as one of the "two most groundbreaking new nonfiction reads of the season" *Washington Post's "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019" *Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019" *Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019" “This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world.” —Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water? In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice. Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere. Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

    @sriramk Loonshots! I thought you read it? 😆 https://t.co/W3VIdSjGbO

  • Instant Wall Street Journal Bestseller! Congratulations, you're a manager! After you pop the champagne, accept the shiny new title, and step into this thrilling next chapter of your career, the truth descends like a fog: you don't really know what you're doing. That's exactly how Julie Zhuo felt when she became a rookie manager at the age of 25. She stared at a long list of logistics--from hiring to firing, from meeting to messaging, from planning to pitching--and faced a thousand questions and uncertainties. How was she supposed to spin teamwork into value? How could she be a good steward of her reports' careers? What was the secret to leading with confidence in new and unexpected situations? Now, having managed dozens of teams spanning tens to hundreds of people, Julie knows the most important lesson of all: great managers are made, not born. If you care enough to be reading this, then you care enough to be a great manager. The Making of a Manager is a modern field guide packed everyday examples and transformative insights, including: * How to tell a great manager from an average manager (illustrations included) * When you should look past an awkward interview and hire someone anyway * How to build trust with your reports through not being a boss * Where to look when you lose faith and lack the answers Whether you're new to the job, a veteran leader, or looking to be promoted, this is the handbook you need to be the kind of manager you wish you had.

    Finished @joulee's fantastic The Making of a Manager. The title is perfect because we should think of management as a craft, to be learned and practiced, and not as some job title you get promoted into, which is how so much of tech treats it. https://t.co/H0jMUFoNbi

  • Cuisine and Empire

    Rachel Laudan

    Rachel Laudan tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of the world’s great cuisines—from the mastery of grain cooking some twenty thousand years ago, to the present—in this superbly researched book. Probing beneath the apparent confusion of dozens of cuisines to reveal the underlying simplicity of the culinary family tree, she shows how periodic seismic shifts in “culinary philosophy”—beliefs about health, the economy, politics, society and the gods—prompted the construction of new cuisines, a handful of which, chosen as the cuisines of empires, came to dominate the globe. Cuisine and Empire shows how merchants, missionaries, and the military took cuisines over mountains, oceans, deserts, and across political frontiers. Laudan’s innovative narrative treats cuisine, like language, clothing, or architecture, as something constructed by humans. By emphasizing how cooking turns farm products into food and by taking the globe rather than the nation as the stage, she challenges the agrarian, romantic, and nationalistic myths that underlie the contemporary food movement.

    @maxbulger @patrick_oshag Yes, food isn’t just about that, Cuisine and Empire is a great book that goes very broad. Patrick and I would need dozens of podcasts to explore that topic to its full breadth though.

  • AI Superpowers

    Kai-Fu Lee

    Dr. Kai-Fu Lee - one of the world's most respected experts on AI and China - reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the US at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace. In AI SUPERPOWERS, Kai-fu Lee argues powerfully that because of these unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happening much sooner than many of us expected. Indeed, as the US-Sino AI competition begins to heat up, Lee urges the US and China to both accept and to embrace the great responsibilities that come with significant technological power. Most experts already say that AI will have a devastating impact on blue-collar jobs. But Lee predicts that Chinese and American AI will have a strong impact on white-collar jobs as well. Is universal basic income the solution? In Lee's opinion, probably not. But he provides a clear description of which jobs will be affected and how soon, which jobs can be enhanced with AI, and most importantly, how we can provide solutions to some of the most profound changes in human history that are coming soon. AUTHOR: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is the Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, which is a leading technology-savvy investment firm focusing on developing the next generation of Chinese high-tech companies. Prior to founding Sinovation in 2009, Dr. Lee was the President of Google China. Previously, he held executive positions at Microsoft, SGI, and Apple.

    Kai-Fu Lee's AI Superpowers is on sale (I think?) for the Kindle for $2.99. Have been meaning to read so this deal is a good excuse to grab it. https://t.co/iXuqDWZoQh

  • Wow, 1776 saw the publication of both The Wealth of Nations and The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. If Twitter existed then we’d all be claiming we finished them both in our year end book list tweets.

  • The Most Human Human

    Brian Christian

    Explores how computers are reshaping ideas about what it means to be human profiling the annual Turing Test to assess a computer's capacity for thought while analyzing related philosophical, biological, and moral issues.

    I've never stopped thinking about conversational entropy since reading The Most Human Human which is fantastic and seems to gain more relevance each year that software encroaches even more on human achievement. https://t.co/bSrptJcLCg

  • Creation

    Steve Grand

    The producer of the "Creatures" computer game that allows players to create artificial life explores the philosophical, ethical, and scientific issues surrounding this controversial topic.

    Both of those from Steve Grand's book Creation, which is out of print and not in ebook form but still available at reasonable prices used: https://t.co/fVDWSgjEZj Bezos recommended I read it when I joined AWS in 2003. Passing that reco forward.

  • Soon to be an HBO original series, Watchmen, the groundbreaking series from award-winning author Alan Moore, presents a world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history--the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the Cold War is in full effect. Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the superhero is dissected as an unknown assassin stalks the erstwhile heroes. This edition of Watchmen, the groundbreaking series from Alan Moore, the award-winning writer of V For Vendetta and Batman: The Killing Joke, and features art from industry legend Dave Gibbons, with high-quality, recolored pages found in Watchmen: Abslolute Edtion.

    @NielsHoven My canonical example: https://t.co/HeG9nMkd0L

  • The Nurture Assumption

    Judith Rich Harris

    A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out welt? How much blame when they turn out badly? Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents' lives: The "nurture assumption" -- the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up -- is nothing more than a cultural myth. This electrifying book explodes some of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood. Harris looks with a fresh eye at the real lives of real children to show that it is what they experience outside the home, in the company of their peers, that matters most, Parents don't socialize children; children socialize children. With eloquence and humor, Judith Harris explains why parents have little power to determine the sort of people their children will become. The Nurture Assumption is an important and entertaining work that brings together insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary biology to offer a startling new view of who we are and how we got that way.

    @j_rehm https://t.co/dncbOlVxiz

  • Creation

    Steve Grand

    The producer of the "Creatures" computer game that allows players to create artificial life explores the philosophical, ethical, and scientific issues surrounding this controversial topic.

    Back in the early days of today’s AWS, Jeff Bezos had all of us on the team read Steve Grand’s Creation. That was good advice both for the content and as an investment: the original hardcover now sells for hundreds of dollars. https://t.co/xcu3OW67rt https://t.co/QwY74vKl5b

  • Tuxedo Park

    Jennet Conant

    Presents the story of financier Alfred Lee Loomis and his role in the American victory during World War II, discussing Tuxedo Park, the lavish safe haven he created for some of the world's greatest scientists to meet and share ideas.

    “Society, to be permanently interesting, must be made up of idle professionals, not professional idlers.” https://t.co/T0UagpiqYF

  • Short Run

    @sknthla I love that book. Here’s my first print copy, all beaten to hell. Bezos 6-page memos in an age when that was the only way for a producer to communicate to a production team. https://t.co/d7KUhykp1P

  • Kitchen Confidential

    Anthony Bourdain

    A New York City chef who is also a novelist recounts his experiences in the restaurant business, and exposes abuses of power, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and other secrets of life behind kitchen doors.

    Kitchen Confidential was the first restaurant/food book I read, but the writing was so strong it was clear he could examine anything with vision and wit, as he went on to do. RIP Bourdain.

  • Bad Blood

    John Carreyrou

    Me yesterday: Pusha T vs. Drake makes tech feuds like Snapchat vs Facebook seem like playground spats. Me today, reading the Theranos book (https://t.co/Trhr9w1c7f): https://t.co/GvP84fuQse

  • How Buildings Learn

    Stewart Brand

    Picked this by @stewartbrand off my bookshelf to reread after many many years. My goodness, it is still great. https://t.co/Lx5k2TCISk

  • The Sports Gene

    David Epstein

    A Sports Illustrated senior writer's controversial exploration of the genetic underpinnings of athletic success explores the roles of both biology and training, arguing that nature and training are equally necessary components of athletic achievement while considering such topics as race, gender and genetic testing.

    @sajithpai @DavidEpstein I’ve read The Sports Gene. Sure, you may not be an Olympian, but the habits and process still have a ton of value for everyone.

  • The Culture Code

    Daniel Coyle

    "A toolkit for building a cohesive, innovative and successful group culture, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code. Daniel Coyle spent three years researching the question of what makes a successful group tick, visiting some of the world's most productive groups--including Pixar, Navy SEALs, Zappos, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs. Coyle discovered that high-performing groups relentlessly generate three key messages that enable them to excel: 1) Safety - we are connected. 2) Shared Risk - we are vulnerable together. 3) Purpose - we are part of the same story. Filled with first-hand reporting, fascinating science, compelling real-world stories, and leadership tools that can apply to businesses, schools, sports, families, and any kind of group, The Culture Code will revolutionize how you think about creating and sustaining successful groups"--

    Looking forward to this upcoming book Culture Code from @DanielCoyle https://t.co/gIRRsgb6fV https://t.co/zs2VmjbkhG

  • My latest post goes long on the book Why Information Grows and thoughts it inspired about Sony, Apple, Din Tai Fung, the Chinese economy, and DJI, among other things: https://t.co/QWjWpfwgEo