It can be said that one of the earliest and most significant technological advances in all of human history was the invention of written language. It enabled wisdom developed by one generation to be passed on to the next even when they were not physically there to impart the knowledge gained from their experiences.

A father can tell a story and pass his knowledge onto his children if they are both still living, but if he has died as a result of war or any other reason whilst his child is still in their mothers womb or too young to understand the stories being told before their father dies, he can still pass on his knowledge through books he writes to them, that they can read at a later date, when they are ready.

According to history (which could be fact or fiction) Ptolemy II of Egypt decree that all books entering the city of Alexandria be taken to The Library of Alexandria first, where they would be copied, the original kept in its archives and the copy passed on to the owner. He was veracious in acquiring new knowledge, and together with the scholars he paid to study the texts and build on the knowledge they could learn, formed what could be considered the earliest precursor to the modern university.

This is in stark contrast to many of the famous incidences in history of book burning, enacted to destroy knowledge being passed on, usually by a conquering group of people looking to censor and extinguish past cultural, religious or political opposition so they can control the people of the place they have just conquered. Incidences of this are many, from China's Qin Dynasty burning Confucian scrolls and burying alive the Confucian scholars, to the German Nazi government, and most recently the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under both Mao Zedong & Xi Jinping

In striving for the ideal, of being endlessly curious of things we don't yet know, and having a lifelong commitment to continual learning, i have listed below the books i have read in chronological order.

Not all of them contain content i agree with, and that's the point, to read conflicting points of view and things you have not encountered before. Only then will you arrive at a balanced viewpoint. Having considered all arguments and assessed each of their credibility you can be more confident your views are sound.

For example you will see below, when my father gifted me 'On Fire by Naomi Klein' i balanced this out by also reading 'False Alarm by Bjorn Lomborg'

It's better to be concerned and informed than blissful and ignorant, and to read things that go against your preconceived beliefs, than to be stuck in an ideological echo chamber.

Feel free to use this list as inspiration, this is my journey and you are welcome to follow me down my own little rabbit hole:

2022

Lee Kuan Yew - From Third World to First

2021

Jared Diamond - Guns Germs & Steel

Michael Pollan - This Is Your Mind On Plants

Paul Cohelo - The Alchemist

Rutger Bregman - Human Kind - A Hopeful History

Josh Rogin - Chaos Under Heaven

Rutger Bregman - Utopia for Realists

James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg - The Sovereign Individual

Nassim Taleb - Anti-fragile

Debra Soh - The End of Gender

Sun Tzu - The Art of War

Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson - Empty Planet

James Clear - Atomic Habits

Ryan Holiday - Ego is the Enemy

Abigail Shrier - Irreversible Damage

Matthew Walker - Why We Sleep

Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg - How Google Works

Bjorn Lomborg - False Alarm

Michael Shellenberger - Apocalypse Never

Naomi Klein - On Fire

2020

Jocko Willink - Extreme Ownership

Tim Ferris - Tribe of Mentors

Liz Plank - For the love of Men

Kelly Starrett - Deskbound

Douglas Murray - The Madness of Crowds

Ben Horowitz - The hard thing about hard things

Jocko Willink - Way of the warrior Kid

Matthew Reilly - The Great Zoo of China

Adam Grant - Give and Take

David Sinclair - Lifespan

Peter Thiel - Zero to One

Ben Horowitz - What you do is who you are

Christian Davenport - The Space Barrons

Richard Brooks - Bean Counters

Christopher Williams - The Battle for Sky

Jeff Lack - Indulgent

Kristy Shen & Bryce Leung - Quit Like a Millionaire

Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz - Islam & The Future of Tolerance

2019

Stephen Pinker - Enlightenment Now

Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape

Clementine Ford - Fight Like A Girl

Johan Harari - Chasing the Scream

Amanda Duckworth - Grit

Matthew Reilly - The 3 Secret Cities

Graeme Simpson - The Rosie Project

Matthew Reilly - The 4 Legendary Kingdoms

Scott Pape - The Barefoot Investor

2018

Naomi Wolf - The Beauty Myth

Matthew Reilly - The 5 Greatest Warriors

Yuval Harari - Sapiens

Jordan B Peterson - 12 Rules for Life

Louann Brezendine - The Female Brain

Leonard Sax - Why Gender Matters

Seth Godin - We are all weird

2017

Tim Ferris - Tools of Titans

George Orwell - 1984

Em Ruciano - Try Hard: Tales from the life of a needy overachiever

Peter F Drucker - The Effective Executive

Annabel Crabb - The Wife Drought

Hannah Rosin - The End of Men

Wim Hof & Justin Rosales - Becoming the Iceman

Karen Pine - Mind what you wear: The Psychology of Fashion

Tim Samuels - Who Stole My Spear

Jason Fried - Rework: Change the way you work forever

Christopher Sommer - Building the Gymnastic Body

Erin Pizzey - Prone to Violence

2016

Ken Kesey - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

JD Salinger - Catcher In The Rye

Anna Kendrick - Scrappy Little Nobody

Charlie Hoehn - Play it away: A workaholics care for anxiety

Jojo Moyes - Me Before You

Viktor Frankl - Man's Search  for Meaning

Martin Seligman - Authentic Happiness

Dan Ariely - Predictably Irrational

Amy Schumer - The Girl with the lower back tattoo

2015

Mike Moyer - Slicing Pie

Tim Ferris - The 4 Hour Body

2014

Susan Cain - The Quiet

Tim Ferris - The 4 Hour Work Week

Peter Harper - The Little Green Book: A Gardeners Guide to Investing

2013

Michael E Gerber - The E-Myth

Ivanka Trump - Trump Card

Jamie Johnson - Born Rich: Children of the insanely wealthy

Donald Trump - Think Big

Robert Kiyosaki - Unfair Advantage

2012

Tom Wheelright - Tax Free Wealth

Blair Singer - Sales Dogs

Blair Singer - Team Code of Honour

Robert Kiyosaki - Rich Dad Poor Dad

Ben Graham - The Intelligent Investor