Sunil Jain

December 24, 2021

Books I read and liked this year... and my favorite podcasts of 2021

Here is a list of books I read this year...and liked, in no particular order...

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
David J.  Epstein
-- Very similar to Medici Effect, explains why early specialization is not good, and better to dabble in multiple disciplines before specializing

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
-- Liked this book, explains causes for split between elites and regular folks

Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day
Amishi P. Jha 
-- Evidence based benefits of mindfulness, good read if you are interested in scientific reasons for trying out mindfulness practices

Thought is Your Enemy
UG Krishnamurti, Sunita Pant Bansal, ANTONY  PAUL , FRANK  NORONHA, NARAYANA  MOORTY
-- One of my favorite books of all time, reread every year

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain
Lisa Feldman Barrett
-- One of my favorite books, reread from last year

The Genius Zone: The Breakthrough Process to End Negative Thinking and Live in True Creativity
Gay Hendricks
--Good easy read on reasons/methods for focusing on one's  core interests and talents..whole book is summed up in one of the quotes in the book: If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success
Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, Kaley Klemp
-- Different kind of executive coaching book, interesting concept of above and below the line for a leader

Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization
Edward Slingerland

Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business
Barbara Annis, Ph.D. Gray, John
-- We read this as part of  book club

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know
Adam Grant
-- We read this as part of book club, very relevant for the current times

Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
Niall Richard Murphy, Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff
-- We read this as part of Team book club

The Medici Effect, With a New Preface and Discussion Guide: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation
Frans Johansson
-- We read this as part of book club

Agile Web Development with Rails 6
Sam Ruby, David B. Copeland, Dave Thomas
--Reread from last year, used for building full stack app solo,  which is used by the team frequently

Here are Tim Ferris podcasts I liked this year in no particular order:
-- Fascinating to see how his creative process works, not just how he came up with bagless vacuum cleaner but his failure with electric car

-- One thing I learned you can have an app which displays sentences on screen as you dictate to speech recognition tool to help with your writing

-- Whatever he says may or not come true but just it's a great history lesson always with Balaji, actually crypto is the least interesting part of the conversation with him


These were my favorite Joe Rogan podcasts this year in no particular order:

Matt Taibbi
-- Explains why traditional media is part of the reason situation we are in, has a book out on same topic and of course his substack

Steven Pinker -- Liked this one a lot, explains well how we  are creating and endorsing our own bubbles

Tristan Harris, Daniel Schmachtenberger  -- Very Informative, highlights the dangers of social media further (after impactful Social Dilemma documentary), a bit scary to hear how social media is undermining our democracy

Jewel -- One of the best podcasts of the year, one of the worst betrayal any human can go through and how she overcame all, courageous

Elon Musk -- Interesting, highlight of the show was him dismissing aliens 

Neil deGrasse Tyson -- Very Informative, as always he explains eloquently complicated universe questions but also rudimentary ones like high tides and low tides(and yes these are not just due to moon).. best was his debate on big bang theory and aliens

Dave Chappelle

Eric Weinstein

Tulsi Gabbard  

Amishi Jha -- Evidence based explanation of benefits of mindfulness

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Bret Weinstein, Heather Heying

Tom Segura

Dr. Rhonda Patrick -- As always evidence based research on nutrition

Lex Fridman

Krystal Ball, Saagar Enjeti

Tom Papa

Russell Peters

Gilbert Gottfried


I picked up Golf last year, as this was the only sport open during pandemic.. and have handicap 15 currently. Learned pretty much everything golf using books.. Here are some Golf books I read and liked:

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Ben Hogan, Herbert Warren Wind
--Best book for a beginner

Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player
Pia Nilsson, Lynn Marriott, Ron Sirak
-- Mental side of the game

Be a Player: A Breakthrough Approach to Playing Better ON the Golf Course
Pia Nilsson, Lynn Marriott
-- Mental side of the game

Golf My Way: The Instructional Classic, Revised and Updated
Jack Nicklaus

Stop Looking At The Ball Start Playing Golf
Thomas Pranio, Amanda  Miller
-- Mental side of the game

Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton's Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke
Dave Stockton, Matthew Rudy

Inner Game Of Golf
Timothy Gallwey
-- Mental side of the game