Book Summaries: Popular Books Summarized in 3 Sentences or Less
This page shares a full list of book summaries I have compiled during my reading and research. I have tried to summarize each book on this page in just three sentences, which I think is a fun way to distill the main ideas of the book. If a particular book sounds interesting to you, click on the full book summary and you can browse all of my notes on it.
These book summaries are not organized by category, so you might find a self-help book followed by a business book followed by a psychology book. If you would like to browse my book suggestions for a particular category, then check out my reading list instead.
Book Summaries by Title
This is a complete list of my book summaries in alphabetical order by title.
A Few Lessons From Sherlock Holmes: Learn to Think Like the Famous Detective Three Sentence Summary: The character of Sherlock Holmes was actually inspired by a medical professor that Arthur Conan Doyle studied under at Edinburgh University called Dr. Joe Bell. Sherlock Holmes is above all else a thorough, first principles, your theory must fit the facts thinker. He works logically starting first by observing (not merely seeing), then making deductions from those facts, to arrive at a theory (or a few) that you then test against new facts to arrive at the inevitable truth. Buy the book:Print | eBook | Audiobook Read the book summary →
Cable Cowboy: John Malone And The Rise of The Modern Cable Business Three Sentence Summary: For more than 25 years, Malone has dominated the cable television industry, shaping the world of entertainment and communications, first with his cable company, TCI, and later with Liberty Media. Written with Malone's unprecedented cooperation, the engaging narrative brings this controversial capitalist and businessman to life. Cable Cowboy is at once a penetrating portrait of Malone's complex persona, and a captivating history of the cable TV industry. Buy the book:Print | Audiobook Read the book summary →
Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger Three Sentence Summary: In 2000, Janet Lowe published Damn Right! the only book about Charlie Munger that can be called a traditional biography. It tells the story of his early life, formative years, how he met Warren Buffett, and how Charlie and Warren built Berkshire Hathaway. What follows are highlights in a few areas that I thought were notable and would be of special interest to readers. Buy the book:Print | Ebook | Audiobook Read the book summary →
Designed by Apple in California Three Sentence Summary: In 2016, Apple published a limited edition anthology, chronicling the last 20 years of Apple's designs simply titled Designed by Apple in California. The book was written and curated over an eight-year period by Jony Ive and features photos by award-winning photographer Andrew Zuckerman. All of the photos were shot in a deliberately spare style that has become a hallmark of Apple's design aesthetic. The books 450 images illustrates Apple’s design process as well as its finished products. Read the book summary →
Make Something Wonderful: Steve Jobs In His Own Words Three Sentence Summary: A curated collection of Steve’s speeches, interviews and correspondence, Make Something Wonderful offers an unparalleled window into how one of the world’s most creative entrepreneurs approached his life and work. In these pages, Steve shares his perspective on his childhood, on launching and being pushed out of Apple, on his time with Pixar and NeXT, and on his ultimate return to the company that started it all. This beautiful handbook is designed to inspire readers to make their own “wonderful somethings” that move the world forward. Buy the book:Read Now | Apple Books Read the book summary →
Poor Richard's Almanack: Benjamin Franklin's Incredibly Popular Book of Aphorisms, Forecasts, and More Three Sentence Summary: From 1733 to 1758, Benjamin Franklin used the pseudonym of "Poor Richard" to publish Poor Richard's Almanack. Franklin's Almanack was hugely popular in the American colonies, selling about 10,000 copies per year. Their content varied, including not only many Franklin aphorisms that became famous but also calendars, weather forecasts, astronomical information, and astrological data. Buy the book:Print Read the book summary →
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Warren's Ideas from 50+ Years Grouped by Topic Three Sentence Summary: For the last 45+ years, Warren Buffett has published the most widely read annual letter in human history for Berkshire Hathaway. In them he's shared a wealth of wisdom, all won from first-hand experience, on everything from investing in the stock market, to how CEOs should be compensated, to Berkshire Hathaway's most important business principles. In The Essays of Warren Buffett, Lawrence Cunningham has grouped Warren's letters from over the years into categories ranging from Governance to Acquisitions to Valuation. Buy the book:Print | eBook | Audiobook Read the book summary →
The Laws of Creativity: How to Unlock Your Originality and Awaken Your Creative Genius Three Sentence Summary: The character of Sherlock Holmes was actually inspired by a medical professor that Arthur Conan Doyle studied under at Edinburgh University called Dr. Joe Bell. Sherlock Holmes is above all else a thorough, first principles, your theory must fit the facts thinker. He works logically starting first by observing (not merely seeing), then making deductions from those facts, to arrive at a theory (or a few) that you then test against new facts to arrive at the inevitable truth. Buy the book:Print | eBook Read the book summary →
The Making of The Godfather Three Sentence Summary: The Making of The Godfather is Mario Puzo’s short essay on why he wrote the book, the trials and tribulations of getting it made, and why he was so unhappy with the process of making the film. It’s part reality television, part historical tale, part personal diary. And it’s great. Buy the book:eBook Read the book summary →
The Official Walt Disney Quote Book Three Sentence Summary: Walter Elias Disney, commonly known as Walt Disney, lived an incredible life. His many contributions including the creation of Mickey Mouse, Disney, animated cartoons and films, Disneyland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Zorro, Dumbo, Imagineering, and more. This book contains the ideas and values that guided Walt Disney's work and life — in his own words. It's a worthy meditation on creativity, passion, luck, success, diversification, optimism, and childlike wonder. Buy the book:Print | eBook Read the book summary →
The Science of Hitting: From the Last Baseball Player to Break the Magic .400 Barrier Three Sentence Summary: To cross the revered .400 barrier in baseball and become one of the greatest hitters of all-time, Ted Williams broke down the strike zone into 77 cells and learned what his 'best' and 'worst' zones were for hitting. By breaking hitting down into a science, Ted could lean into his strengths and intuition because he was only hitting balls he knew he could hit. As it turns out, this same concept is broadly applicable to business and investing — specifically the concept of understanding and staying within your Circle of Competence. Buy the book:Print | Audiobook Read the book summary →
The Tao of Charlie Munger: Wisdom on Life, Business, and the Pursuit of Wealth Three Sentence Summary:
Charlie Mungernis truly the broadest thinker I have ever encountered.” — Bill Gates
“Charlie Munger is the architect of today’s Berkshire. Berskshire has been built to Charlie’s blueprint. My role has been that of general contractor.” — Warren Buffett
“My father is the second smartest person I know. Charlie Munger is the first.” — Howard Buffett
The Warrior Ethos: Lessons From The Greatest Warriors in History Three Sentence Summary: When we speak of The Warrior Ethos, we really speak of Warrior ethics and values as ethos is latin for ethics. Warriors prize virtues including courage, honor, loyalty, integrity, love, and selflessness—many of which evolved as a counterpoise to fear and self-preservation. True warriors lead from the front, they prize valor and honor as highly as victory, they embrace adversity and shared suffering, and they exemplify selflessness. Buy the book:Print | eBook | Audiobook Read the book summary →
The Women of Berkshire Hathaway: Lessons from Warren Buffett's Female CEOs and Directors Three Sentence Summary: A fascinating look at the women who have shaped and molded Berkshire Hathaway. The Women of Berkshire Hathaway focuses on eight of the most powerful women at Berkshire Hathaway. It’s an inspirational read about the triumph of a group of remarkable women. Buy the book:Print | eBook | Audiobook Read the book summary →
Turning the Flywheel: Why Some Companies Build Momentum and Others Don't Three Sentence Summary: Turning the Flywheel, which is a monograph Jim Collins wrote to accompany his famous book Good to Great, introduces the concept of the Flywheel. Which serves both as a way to breakdown and analyze any business, as well as a framework to understand why some companies build momentum and others don't. The best flywheels are both timely and timeless, acting as a source of strength in turbulent times and a fantastic guardrail when making strategic decisions. Buy the book:Print | eBook | Audiobook Read the book summary →