Paul Graham

108 Paul Graham Recommended Books

Paul Graham is a computer scientist, venture capitalist, and essayist. He is the co-founder of the startup accelerator and investment firm Y Combinator, and is the author of several books, including Hackers & Painters and On Lisp. He is also known for his essays on technology, business, and startups, which have been widely read and cited in the tech industry.

108 Books recommended by Paul Graham

History of the World

History of the World

Author :J.M. Roberts

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned this book on Twitter. [Source]

An Autobiography of Anthony Trollope

An Autobiography of Anthony Trollope

Author :Anthony Trollope

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"[This] Autobiography is a wonderfully candid and inspiring one." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Lives of the Artists

The Lives of the Artists

Author :Giorgio Vasari

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

Wing Leader

Wing Leader

The Top Scoring Allied Fighter Pilot of WWII

Author :Johnnie Johnson

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what’s your favorite book that almost nobody else knows or talks about?" [Source]

Civilisation

Civilisation

Author :Kenneth Clark

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

The Inimitable Jeeves

The Inimitable Jeeves

Jeeves and Wooster Book 2

Author :PG Wodehouse

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham's answer to "which P. G. Wodehouse book do you recommend?" [Source]

The Old Way

The Old Way

A Story of the First People

Author :Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"If you want to learn more about hunter gatherers I strongly recommend [this book]." - Paul Graham [Source]

Mathematician's Delight

Mathematician's Delight

Author :W. Sawyer

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"[One of ] the best [books] I can think of [to learn what math is really about]." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Author :Benjamin Franklin

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"A great book, probably in my all time top 100." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Gallic Wars

The Gallic Wars

Author :Julius Caesar

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

Moorish Spain

Moorish Spain

Author :Richard Fletcher

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"A great book." - Paul Graham [Source]

Autobiographies

Autobiographies

Author :Charles Darwin

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned this book on Twitter. [Source]

Born Red

Born Red

A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution

Author :Gao Yuan

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Book recommendation." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Golden Trade of the Moors

The Golden Trade of the Moors

West African Kingdoms in the Fourteenth Century

Author :E. W. Bovill

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

An Inquiry Into Values

Author :Robert M. Pirsig

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned this book on Twitter. [Source]

The Man Who Knew Infinity

The Man Who Knew Infinity

A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

Author :Robert Kanigel

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Great biography of Ramanujan." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Oxford History of Britain

The Oxford History of Britain

Volume 1: Roman and Anglo-Saxon Britain

Author :Peter Salway

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Really excellent." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes, Book 18

Author :Bill Watterson

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Watterson is like Wodehouse. Because he works in an unpretentious medium, few realize how timelessly great he is." - Paul Graham [Source]

Plagues and Peoples

Plagues and Peoples

Author :William McNeill

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"I suspect if you'd read 'Guns, Sails, and Empires' and [this book], little in 'Guns, Germs, and Steel' would surprise you." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Quest for El Cid

The Quest for El Cid

Author :Richard Fletcher

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "are there any books on medieval history you can recommend?" [Source]

My Forty Years with Ford

My Forty Years with Ford

Author :Charles E Sorensen

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"I particularly liked [this book]." - Paul Graham [Source]

Very Good, Jeeves!

Very Good, Jeeves!

Jeeves, Book 4

Author :PG Wodehouse

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Wodehouse is so good that I get distracted by his perfection. Not a word wrong." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Harmless People

The Harmless People

Author :Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"If you want to learn more about hunter gatherers I strongly recommend [this book]." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Soul of A New Machine

The Soul of A New Machine

Author :Tracy Kidder

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "do you know of any good books about startups?" [Source]

Concorde

Concorde

The Inside Story

Author :Geoffrey Knight

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"[The author] was in charge of BAC's Commercial Aircraft Division, and thus the British side of Concorde development." - Paul Graham [Source]

Hard Drive

Hard Drive

Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire

Author :James Wallace

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Good." - Paul Graham [Source]

Flying Start

Flying Start

Author :Hugh Dundas

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"A wonderful book." - Paul Graham [Source]

Good Night, Little Bear

Good Night, Little Bear

Author :Patsy Scarry

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned this book on Twitter. [Source]

The World We Have Lost

The World We Have Lost

Author :Peter Laslett

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

The Battle of Alcazar

The Battle of Alcazar

Author :E.W. Bovill

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Excellent." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Art of War in the Middle Ages

The Art of War in the Middle Ages

Author :Charles Oman

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Author :Thomas S. Kuhn

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned re-reading this book on Twitter. [Source]

A Mathematician's Apology

A Mathematician's Apology

Author :G. H. Hardy

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Among the most inspiring books I know." - Paul Graham [Source]

Moab Is My Washpot

Moab Is My Washpot

A Memoir

Author :Stephen Fry

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham's answer to "which Stephen Fry book do you recommend?" [Source]

My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals

Author :Gerald Durrell

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"A wonderful book, though only implicitly about 'parenting.'" - Paul Graham [Source]

The Spectator

The Spectator

Volume 1 Eighteenth-Century Periodical Essays

Author :Joseph Addison

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned reading this book on Twitter. [Source]

Kelly

Kelly

More Than My Share of It All

Author :Clarence L. Johnson

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"How did I not know about this book til now?" - Paul Graham [Source]

The Confessions

The Confessions

Author :Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Simultaneously reading [this book] and No Easy Day. Triangulating..." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen

Author :Jane Austen

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham's answer to "examples of books that you reread years later, & found to be much better?" [Source]

The Double Helix

The Double Helix

A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

Author :James D. Watson Ph.D.

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"The most impressive feature of [this book] is how much [the author] admits he didn't know. He's constantly talking about papers he couldn't understand and important concepts he didn't grasp." - Paul Graham [Source]

Medieval Technology and Social Change

Medieval Technology and Social Change

Author :Lynn White

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"The most fabulous book." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Ancient City

The Ancient City

Life in Classical Athens and Rome

Author :Peter Connolly

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"One of the best books I've found for explaining history to kids." - Paul Graham [Source]

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Creator and Rebel

Author :Banesh Hoffmann

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"The most exciting [biography of Einstein] I've read. The author is a physicist who is genuinely excited about Einstein's discoveries, and it moves fast instead of trying to leave no detail unpublished." - Paul Graham [Source]

A History of Rome

A History of Rome

From its Origins to 529 A.D.

Author :Moses Hadas

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

Blankie

Blankie

Leslie Patricelli Board, Book 4

Author :Leslie Patricelli

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Will be deeply pleasing to [its respective audience]." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Collected Works of P. G. Wodehouse

The Collected Works of P. G. Wodehouse

Author :PG Wodehouse

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"[The author] is so good that I get distracted by his perfection. Not a word wrong." - Paul Graham [Source]

Life in the English Country House

Life in the English Country House

A Social and Architectural History

Author :Mark Girouard

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what’s your favorite book that almost nobody else knows or talks about?" [Source]

The Power Law

The Power Law

Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future

Author :Sebastian Mallaby

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"If you want to understand how venture capital works and the effect it has had on the US economy, this is the book to read." - Paul Graham [Source]

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Author :Harold Abelson

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"This is one of the great classics of computer science. I bought my first copy 15 years ago, and I still don't feel I have learned everything the book has to teach." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Extension of Man

The Extension of Man

A History of Physics before the Quantum

Author :J.D. Bernal

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade and the Conquest of Constantinople

Memoirs or Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade and the Conquest of Constantinople

Author :Geoffrey de Villehardouin

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"I've read [this book] at least two times, maybe three." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Fry Chronicles

The Fry Chronicles

An Autobiography

Author :Stephen Fry

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"As perfect as Wodehouse." - Paul Graham [Source]

Guns, Sails, and Empires

Guns, Sails, and Empires

Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400- 1700

Author :Carlo M. Cipolla

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"[Amazing.] An indictment of publishing that it's out of print." - Paul Graham [Source]

From Galileo to Newton

From Galileo to Newton

Author :A. Rupert Hall

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Particularly good at getting into contemporaries' heads." - Paul Graham [Source]

No Easy Day

No Easy Day

The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden

Author :Mark Owen

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Simultaneously reading Rousseau's Confessions and [this book]. Triangulating..." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Author :Robert A. Heinlein

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Made me want to work on AI, which led to Lisp." - Paul Graham [Source]

How to Be Topp

How to Be Topp

Author :Ronald Searle

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"I read this during dinner and laughed so much that people must have wondered what was wrong with me." - Paul Graham [Source]

Sea Flight

Sea Flight

The Wartime Memoirs of a Fleet Air Arm Pilot

Author :Hugh Popham

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"A wonderful book. I'm looking at the few pages left and wishing there were more." - Paul Graham [Source]

Sunset at Blandings

Sunset at Blandings

Author :PG Wodehouse

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"The writing in the novel Wodehouse left unfinished when he died at 93 is crisp as ever." - Paul Graham [Source]

Founders at Work

Founders at Work

Stories of Startups' Early Days

Author :Jessica Livingston

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Probably the single most valuable book a startup founder could read." - Paul Graham [Source]

Barbarian Days

Barbarian Days

A Surfing Life

Author :William Finnegan

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"It's one of those rare books that divide your life into two parts: before you read it, and after." - Paul Graham [Source]

Diocletian and the Roman Recovery

Diocletian and the Roman Recovery

Author :Stephen Williams

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"One of the best books about the late 3rd century." - Paul Graham [Source]

The Making of Europe

The Making of Europe

Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350

Author :Robert Bartlett

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"I know I've recommended this book already, but it's so good I have to do it again. [The author] brings history to life by explaining how and why the things happened that other books merely tell you happened." - Paul Graham [Source]

Memoirs of My Life

Memoirs of My Life

Author :Edward Gibbon

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned this book on Twitter. [Source]

The Copernican Revolution

The Copernican Revolution

Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought

Author :Thomas S. Kuhn

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Kuhn was surely most influenced by the Copernican Revolution. [This is an] excellent book incidentally." - Paul Graham [Source]

On Bullshit

On Bullshit

Author :Harry G. Frankfurt

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

According to a Twitter thread, Paul Graham praised this book. [Source]

A Sense of Where You Are

A Sense of Where You Are

Bill Bradley at Princeton

Author :John McPhee

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham's answer to "what’s the most beautiful book you’ve ever read?" [Source]

With the Old Breed

With the Old Breed

At Peleliu and Okinawa

Author :E. B. Sledge

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Read this book." - Paul Graham [Source]

Maisy Mouse Collection

Maisy Mouse Collection

10 Books Set

Author :Lucy Cousins

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"My favorite books for bedtime reading to 2 year olds." - Paul Graham [Source]

Mohammed and Charlemagne

Mohammed and Charlemagne

Author :Henri Pirenne

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

The Origin of Species

The Origin of Species

Author :Charles Darwin

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham used this book as an example that one scientist's "take" can be very convincing. [Source]

Fauna & Family

Fauna & Family

More Adventures of the Durrell Family of Corfu

Author :Gerald Durrell

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"So good I'm reading slow to make it last." - Paul Graham [Source]

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman

A Life in Science

Author :John Gribbin

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Excellent." - Paul Graham [Source]

The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History

The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History

Author :Colin McEvedy

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

Fall of Constantinople

Fall of Constantinople

Author :Steven Runciman

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what should I read to learn more about history?" [Source]

The German Generals Talk

The German Generals Talk

Author :Basil H. Liddell Hart

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

One of Paul Graham's answers to "what’s your favorite book that almost nobody else knows or talks about?" [Source]

Euclid's Elements

Euclid's Elements

Author :Euclid

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"[One of ] the best [books] I can think of [to learn what math is really about]." - Paul Graham [Source]

Clocks and Culture

Clocks and Culture

1300-1700

Author :Carlo M. Cipolla

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"I also recommend [this book]." - Paul Graham [Source]

Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy

Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy

A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style

Author :Michael Baxandall

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham mentioned this book on Twitter. [Source]

The Iliad

The Iliad

Author :Homer

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

Paul Graham's (funny) answer to "what are your favourite books with a politics very different to your own?" [Source]

A Story Lately Told

A Story Lately Told

Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York

Author :Anjelica Huston

Paul Graham- Paul Graham

"Wonderful." - Paul Graham [Source]

FAQs

Q1: What advice has Paul Graham provided on books?

Paul Graham is a venture capitalist and one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation. He has recommended over 100 books spanning a wide variety of genres and topics that can be helpful to entrepreneurs. His selection includes works by renowned authors such as Sun Tzu, Nassim Taleb, and Richard Branson.

You can find a full list of Paul Graham’s book recommendations on his blog. His blog contains several posts discussing his choices and the insight he gained from each.

Paul Graham recommends books across a range of topics and genres, from business to philosophy. He has particular fondness for books that come from diverse perspectives.

Unlike traditional book reviews, Paul Graham provides a unique perspective from his life experience as a tech entrepreneur. As such, his book recommendations tend to be more practical and applicable to a startup culture.

Paul Graham provides a host of resources from his blog, including inspiring essays, book reviews, and business advice. He also offers a weekly mail newsletter to those who subscribe.