Book reviews

How to interpret the percentage scores:

I read mostly non-fiction books, for fiction, jump down. You may check out my goodreads profile.

Currently reading


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World ***

Mythos: The Grek Myths Retold ****

Bought for my grandma.

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth ***

I read it in Czech as my neighbour borrowed me the book.

Everything is F*cked (Mark Manson)

Enlightenment now (Steven Pinker)

Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

Talking to strangers (Malcolm Gladwell)

Why we sleep (Matthew Walker)

God is not great (Christopher Hitchens)

End of faith (Sam Harris)

Thinking fast and slow (Daniel Kahneman) FAV

On intelligence (Jeff Hawkins) FAV

Language myths

Rationality: From AI to Zombies (Eliezer Yudkowsky)

Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (Hans Rosling)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (Mark Manson)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (Randall Munroe)

On Intelligence (Jeff Hawkins)

Karpatské hry (Miloslav Nevrlý)

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Carl Sagan)

The Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

Bad Science (Ben Goldacre)

The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury)

I Am a Strange Loop (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

The Running Man (Richard Bachman)

Deception Point (Dan Brown)

Vesnické povídky (Václav Koubek)

Karí povídky (Václav Koubek)

Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3) (Liu Cixin)

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Dan Ariely)

The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins)

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (Sam Harris)

A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking)

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Richard Dawkins)

The Histories (Herodotus)

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Siddhartha Mukherjee)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Marie Kondō)

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (Dan Ariely)

The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2) (Liu Cixin)

The Joy of Music (Leonard Bernstein)

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Richard Dawkins)

Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem (Simon Singh)

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow (Yuval Noah Harari)

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (Matthew Walker)

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life (Ed Yong)

The 4-Hour Workweek (Timothy Ferriss)

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown)

Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell)

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (Cal Newport)

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know (Malcolm Gladwell)

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Christopher Hitchens)

The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) (Liu Cixin)

Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) (Arthur C. Clarke)

Chvály Zadní země (Miloslav Nevrlý)

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Steven Pinker)

21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Yuval Noah Harari)

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (Sam Harris)

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character (Richard P. Feynman)

The Gene: An Intimate History (Siddhartha Mukherjee)

Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work), in Words and Pictures (Michael Goodwin)

The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms with Observations on Their Habits (Charles Darwin)

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words (Randall Munroe)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Thomas S. Kuhn)

Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

Open Access (Peter Suber)

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)

Chaos: Making a New Science (James Gleick)

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Jared Diamond)

The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution (Richard Dawkins)

Another great book from Dawkins. I would love to have like 100 more pictures to illustrate the living or extinct animals. I think it could be made much more accessible even for non-biologists by adding more illustrations and pictures. I would also expect at least some discussion about viruses, viroids, prions even they are not considered as life and not part of the tree of life. And mind that there is a great wiki page about the book with survey of the ancestors and concestors. Not as mind-changing as [Selfish Gene], but worth reading for sure!

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing (Christopher D. Manning)

Sometimes it felt a bit out-dated but the explanations of various algorithms and principles was very good and understanable.

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Richard Dawkins)

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (Matt Ridley)

Packed with new information, many examples, clever ideas - it was delight to read each day on my way to work. The evolution processes are much more complex than we could ever imagine - propelled by the Red Queen phenomenon. Despite the fact our brains have not been designed to understand fully their own evolution but it is nice keep trying to learn more and more about it - and this is so awesome, the never ending story of science!

Language Myths (Laurie Bauer)

Some myths are boring, some are interesting, witty. I rate books according to an amount of underlining (highlighting on Kindle) and here the amount is rather below my average.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

Musicofilia (Oliver Sacks)

Probably the most interesting was the overwhelming amount of examples of various mind/brain defects and their relation to music. It is clear from this book that music and its perception is very deeply engraved into our brain.

Zápas s nebem (J.M. Troska)

Nemova říše (J.M. Troska)

Věc Makropulos

Pejsek a kočička (Josef Čapek)

Krakatit (Karel Čapek)

Dášeňka, čili život štěněte (Karel Čapek)

R.U.R. (Karel Čapek)

Romeo, Julie a tma (Jan Otčenášek)

Pierre and Luce (Romain Rolland)

Větrné toulání (Letokruhy, #6) (Miloslav Nevrlý)

Nejkrásnější sbírka (Miloslav Nevrlý)

J.S. Bach (Ernest Zavarský)

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (Barry Schwartz)

The Hobbit: Graphic Novel (Chuck Dixon)

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2) (Dan Brown)

Liška Bystrouška (Rudolf Těsnohlídek)

The Definitive Book of Body Language (Allan Pease)

Umění překladu (Jiří Levý)

I Am Legend (Richard Matheson)

Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)

Literary Lapses (Stephen Leacock)

Ubik (Philip K. Dick)

The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

Der Stoff, aus dem die Träume sind (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Hurra, wir leben noch (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Affäre Nina B. (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Alle Menschen werden Brüder (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Doch mit den Clowns kamen die Tränen (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Niemand ist eine Insel (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Es muß nicht immer Kaviar sein (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Liebe ist nur ein Wort (Johannes Mario Simmel)

Und Jimmy ging zum Regenbogen (Johannes Mario Simmel)

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2) (Stieg Larsson)

Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (Steven Pinker)

Introduction to Algorithms (Thomas H. Cormen)


The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) (J.R.R. Tolkien)

The Star Rover (Jack London)

Essential Tales and Poems (Edgar Allan Poe)

Aesop’s Fables (Aesop)

Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe)

Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1) (Douglas Adams)

The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) (J.R.R. Tolkien)

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Animal Farm (George Orwell)

The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3) (J.R.R. Tolkien)

The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)

1984 (George Orwell)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) (Stieg Larsson)

The Gods Themselves (Isaac Asimov)

The Caves of Steel (Robot #1) (Isaac Asimov)

I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) (Isaac Asimov)

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) (George R.R. Martin)

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4) (George R.R. Martin)

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) (George R.R. Martin)

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) (George R.R. Martin)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) (George R.R. Martin)

Cixin Liu – The Death’s End 85%

Cixin Liu – The Dark Forest 80%

Cixin Liu – Three-body problem 90%

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2, Stieg Larsson)

Liška Bystrouška (Rudolf Těsnohlídek)