Jason’s Book List: 2019

Jason Philip Yoong
5 min readFeb 4, 2020

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I spent 2019 listening to a lot more podcasts (so many) and reading newsletters. As a result, I read fewer books than I aimed for and look to pick up the reading for 2020. Tell me what books you recommend.

Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side

My opinion: Good compliment to value investing. Reminders: (1) When considering an investment, ask “how much optimism is factored into the price?”; (2) “Euphoria and depression are the foundation emotions that give rise to the swings that follow”; (3) “If targeting the bottom is wrong, when should you buy? When price is below intrinsic value. If the price continues downward, buy more.”; (4) “the safest time to buy usually comes when everyone is convinced there’s no hope.” Buy on Amazon here.

Steve Jobs

My opinion: Legilimency with Jobs. Thanks to Chris and Jon (creators/hosts) of Smart People Podcast for the hard copy. Buy on Amazon here.

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

My opinion: Good description of the building blocks that will get us to Autonomous AI, the potential impact on society and the workforce, and how we should think about the harmony between AI and what makes us human — and what we can do about it. Buy on Amazon here.

Go Be Kind: 28 1/2 Adventures Guaranteed to Make You Happier

My opinion: I recommend buying the hardcover because you will tear out pages and write all over. I was reading the book on a plane and it turned into a conversation with two other passengers (complete strangers) and two flight attendants…all four were amazing humans! Buy on Amazon here.

Extra credit: my fireside chat with Leon at Amazon HQ in June 2019 about his book, post here.

Invested: How Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Taught Me to Master My Mind, My Emotions, and My Money (with a Little Help from My Dad)

My opinion: Recommended for: (1) value investing beginners; (2) if you want to learn specific value investing calculations; (3) if you are afraid of finances or need help controlling your financial life. Danielle writes in a fun and approachable way and is honest about the challenges. Also, the learning does not stop because Danielle and Phil’s sites are good resources to stay updated (e.g. I subscribe to Phil’s YouTube channel). Buy on Amazon here.

The Lessons of History

My opinion: Highlighted notes: (1) The first biological lesson of history is that life is a competition…the second is life is selection…the third is life must breed; (2) It is good that the old should resist the young, and that the young should prod the old, out of this tension…comes a creative tensile strength, a stimulated development, a secret and basic unity and movement of the whole. Buy on Amazon here.

This Is Not a T-Shirt: A Brand, a Culture, a Community — a Life in Streetwear

My opinion: You literally look into Bobby’s mind — which is fascinating. Bobby and The Hundreds are truly a customer-obsessed brand. Buy on Amazon here.

Extra credit: our fireside chat with Bobby at Amazon HQ in July 2019 about his book, post here.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

My opinion: Tons of highlighted notes, here are a few: (1)Rolling your foot on top of a golf ball on the floor to increase hamstring flexibility; (2) When you’re a leader, people are going to mimic your behavior, at a minimum…it’s a guarantee, so here’s the key piece of advice, “calm is contagious”; (3) More than 80% of the world-class performers interviewed have some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice; (4) Everything around you that you call “life” was made up by people that were no smarter than you; (5) If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy; (6) Notice how often he reframes the question (examines whether the question is the right question) before answering (referring to Peter Thiel); (7) The way you teach kids to solve interesting problems is to give them interesting problems to solve and then don’t criticize them when they fail; (8) To “fix” someone’s problem, you very often just need to empathically listen to them; (9) In a world of distraction, single-tasking is a superpower; (10) Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity; (11) What you choose to work on, and who you choose to work with, are far more important than how hard you work. Buy on Amazon here.

Link to my 2017 Book List.

Link to my 2018 Book List.

To depth and curiosity!