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Paul Graham


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Paul Graham is an English-born American computer scientist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and essayist. He is best known for his work on Lisp, his former startup Viaweb, co-founding the influential startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y Combinator, his blog, and Hacker News
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John McPhee - Jan 01, 1975 (first published in 1967)
Goodreads Rating
A classic of reportage, Oranges was first conceived as a short magazine article about oranges and orange juice, but the author kept encountering so much irresistible information that he eventually found that he had in fact written a book. It contains sketches of orange growers, orange botanists, orange pickers, orange packers, early settlers on Flo...
Paul Graham
Aug 01, 2020
@robahimself I loved that book.     source
The Mythical Man-Month
Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)
Frederick P. Brooks Jr. - Aug 11, 1995 (first published in 1975)
Goodreads Rating
Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then...
Paul Graham
Jul 17, 2020
@mutazsoliman I am not the best source for recommendations, because I'm so old that most books about programming have been written since I learned how, but I found SICP and The Mythical Man Month useful.     source
Hard Drive
Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire
James Wallace - Apr 16, 1992
Goodreads Rating
This biography chronicles William Gates' rise as the most powerful player in the computer industry--a man who has revolutionized the software industry with the incredible growth of his Microsoft company, that now threatens gigantic IBM. Reveals Gates' personal quirks and idiosyncrasies which helped fuel his fierce competitive spirit. Interviews Gat...
Paul Graham
Jun 20, 2020
@ribas_artur @LauraHuangLA I know of no other collections of interviews with founders. The closest you can get is probably books about specific startups. Hard Drive, about Microsoft, is good.     source
Born Red
A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution
Gao Yuan - May 31, 1987
Goodreads Rating
Born Red is an artistically wrought personal account, written very much from inside the experience, of the years 1966-1969, when the author was a young teenager at middle school. It was in the middle schools that much of the fury of the Cultural Revolution and Red Guard movement was spent, and Gao was caught up in very dramatic events, which he rec...
Paul Graham
Jun 19, 2020
Book recommendation:     source
The Launch Pad
Inside Y Combinator
Randall Stross - Sep 24, 2013 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
A behind-the-scenes look at how tomorrows hottest startups are being primed for greatness   Investment firm Y Combinator is the most sought-after home for startups in Silicon Valley. Twice a year, it funds dozens of just-founded startups and provides three months of guidance from Paul Graham, YCs impresario, and his partners. Receiving an offer fro...
Paul Graham
Sep 20, 2019
If you're interested in the history of YC, I think this book is good. (I say "I think" because I haven't read all of it, but the bits I've read seem pretty good.)     source
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Robert A. Heinlein - Jul 31, 2018 (first published in 1966)
Goodreads Rating
For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" (The Wall Street Journal).Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal res...
Paul Graham
Sep 14, 2019
@michael_nielsen @rivatez I've been thinking about this, and it was probably The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which made me want to work on AI, which led to Lisp.     source
Also recommended by
Bill GatesChristopher Sommer
Richard Feynman
A Life in Science
John Gribbin - Jul 01, 1997
Goodreads Rating
Few human beings have advanced science further than Richard Feynman. Even fewer scientists have made their work so profoundly human. Now this brilliant biography vividly illumines the immense achievement and all-encompassing humanity of the Nobel prizewinner who was arguably the first physicist of his generation, the most inspiring and influential ...
Paul Graham
Sep 13, 2019
The most interesting point in the Gribbins' excellent biography of Feynman is the value of "irresponsibly" ignoring existing research and working everything out for yourself from first principles.     source
Barbarian Days
A Surfing Life
William Finnegan - Apr 26, 2016 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
“Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery. . . . a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.” —Sports IllustratedBarbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing ...
Paul Graham
Aug 28, 2019
If you read books, read William Finnegan's Barbarian Days. It's one of those rare books that divide your life into two parts: before you read it, and after.     source
Also recommended by
Barack ObamaJia Tolentino
The Conquest of Gaul
Jane P. Gardner - Feb 24, 1983 (first published in 1950)
Goodreads Rating
Between 58 and 50 BC Caesar conquered most of the area now covered by France, Belgium and Switzerland, and twice invaded Britain. This is the record of his campaigns. Caesar's narrative offers insights into his military strategy & paints a fascinating picture of his encounters with the inhabitant of Gaul and Britain, as well as offering lively ...
Paul Graham
Aug 27, 2019
Q: Any other books that have divided your life into two parts? PG: I knew people would ask that, and the problem is that it would take an essay to answer. An essay I will definitely write. Meanwhile: My Family and Other Animals, The Conquest of Gaul, Franklin's autobiography.     source
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen - Feb 05, 2005 (first published in 1813)
Goodreads Rating
Sense and SensibilityPride and PrejudiceMansfield ParkEmmaNorthanger AbbeyPersuasionLady SusanJane Austen is without question, one of England's most enduring and skilled novelists. With her wit, social precision, and unerring ability to create some of literature's most charismatic and believable heroines, she mesmerises her readers as much today as...
Paul Graham
Aug 18, 2019
@michael_nielsen Jane Austen's novels.     source
A Sense of Where You Are
John McPhee - Jun 30, 1999 (first published in 1965)
Goodreads Rating
When John McPhee met Bill Bradley, both were at the beginning of their careers. A Sense of Where You Are, McPhee's first book, is about Bradley when he was the best basketball player Princeton had ever seen. McPhee delineates for the reader the training and techniques that made Bradley the extraordinary athlete he was, and this part of the book is ...
Paul Graham
Aug 11, 2019
@Austen A Sense of Where You Are.     source
Also recommended by
Daniel PinkJim Collins
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