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Garry Tan's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Garry Tan recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Garry Tan's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation.

What can you do when it all hits the fan?

You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system.

"I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes." So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length work since the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year.

After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious...
Recommended by Marvin Liao, Garry Tan, and 2 others.

Marvin LiaoFor Non-Business, I'd have to say Dune (Herbert), Emergency (Strauss), The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) or Flint (L'Amour). I re-read these books every year because they are just so well written & great stories that I get new perspective & details every time I read them. (Source)

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Number of teams that applied to Y Combinator’s summer 2011 batch: 2,089Teams interviewed: 170

Minutes per interview: 10

Teams accepted and funded: 64

Months to build a viable startup: 3

Possibilities: BOUNDLESS

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, YC’s impresario, and his partners, also entrepreneurs and...
Recommended by Garry Tan, Scott Johnson, and 2 others.

Scott JohnsonIf you're interested in high tech as a career path then I'd recommend a series of case studies around the development of products / founding of companies. Here are four examples: Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder (1981) Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure by Jerry Kaplan (1996) Show Stopper by G Pascal Zachary (1994) The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator by Randall Stross (2013) The... (Source)

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Status Anxiety

For this study, de Botton asks where our worries about status come from and what, if anything, we can do to reduce them. He looks at how people have coped with these anxieties in the past with a range of unexpected examples and entertaining anecdotes. less
Recommended by Ryan Holiday, Garry Tan, and 2 others.

Ryan HolidayAh yes, the drive that we all have to be better, bigger, have more, be more. Ambition is a good thing, but it’s also a source of great anxiety and frustration. In this book, philosopher Alain de Botton studies the downsides of the desire to “be somebody” in this world. How do you manage ambition? How do you manage envy? How do you avoid the traps that so many other people fall into? This book is... (Source)

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Programming Perl

Unmatched power for text processing and scripting

Adopted as the undisputed Perl bible soon after the first edition appeared in 1991, Programming Perl is still the go-to guide for this highly practical language. Perl began life as a super-fueled text processing utility, but quickly evolved into a general purpose programming language that’s helped hundreds of thousands of programmers, system administrators, and enthusiasts, like you, get your job done.

In this much-anticipated update to "the Camel," three renowned Perl authors cover the language up to its current version, Perl 5.14, with a preview of features in the upcoming...
Recommended by Garry Tan, James Hong, and 2 others.

James HongAll legit OG web people will remember the camel book well... except @pud who somehow did amazing things all using .cfm 😉 (Source)

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As Alexis Ohanian learned when he helped to co-found the immensely popular, the internet is the most powerful and democratic tool for disseminating information in human history. And when that power is harnessed to create new communities, technologies, businesses or charities, the results can be absolutely stunning.

In this book, Alexis will share his ideas, tips and even his own doodles about harnessing the power of the web for good, and along the way, he will share his philosophy with young entrepreneurs all over the globe.

At 29, Ohanian has come to...
Recommended by Garry Tan, Justin Kan, and 2 others.

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Everything Is Bullshit

The greatest scams on Earth revealed

Many of our society’s most cherished traditions are actually based on historical accident, the profit motives of a few companies, or the agenda of someone who died long ago. A lot of what we believe and do is bullshit, yet we walk around thinking our way of doing things is inherently correct.

Why do we exchange diamond engagement rings? Why is wine so expensive? How does art become “art”? Why do so many non-profits want us to donate cars to them? Why does college cost so much? Why do so many pets die in animal shelters? Why is the world the way it is?

Everything is...
Recommended by Garry Tan, and 1 others.

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Sous Vide at Home

The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals

From the creator of the first affordable sous vide machine comes this easy-to-follow cookbook that clearly illustrates how to harness the power of sous vide technology (the process of slow cooking ingredients to perfect tenderness using immersion circulation) to achieve restaurant-quality dishes, regardless of skill level.

Sous vide has been a popular cooking technique in restaurants for years, offering tender and succulent dishes cooked to perfection, but until recently home cooks were unable to re-create these at home due to the restrictive cost and size of the sous vide...
Recommended by Garry Tan, and 1 others.

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