My name is Dénes and I write about books.

If, for some inexplicable reason, you still have questions about what this blog is then let me recommend the aptly and very creatively titled What is this? introduction post. Otherwise, feel free to scroll down for my latest content.

  • Cal Newport - Digital Minimalism

    Cal Newport - Digital Minimalism

    We’re still sticking to Thoreau’s minimalist line, but I wanted to add a modern perspective, to see the principles in practice in the 21st century. For this purpose, a fairly obvious and highly recommended candidate is Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism. I didn’t have to worry too much about relevance, since the subtitle for one of the chapters confirms just this: “A new look at old advice”. More »

  • Henry David Thoreau - Walden

    Henry David Thoreau - Walden

    Henry David Thoreau was an American writer and philosopher who had a rather low opinion of the consumer society developing among his contemporaries; instead, he advocated for a life close to nature, minimalistic and independent. To illustrate his principles, he simply took to the woods and moved into a self-built cabin in the mid-1800s. In his seminal book, he shares with the public his reasoning, his experiences, and his conclusions that led him to this point. More »

  • Bill Walsh - The Score Takes Care of Itself

    Bill Walsh - The Score Takes Care of Itself

    American football coach and manager Bill Walsh turned the San Francisco 49ers from one of the worst teams in the world into five-time world champions. In his book, we can read his personal lessons – sometimes painfully learned – about what it means to be a leader and how we can apply these lessons to our own lives. We don’t have to lead the masses to lead ourselves more effectively with the right philosophy, after all. More »

  • David Allen - Getting Things Done

    David Allen - Getting Things Done

    I’d like to turn back a bit from the lofty realm of abstract thoughts towards our concrete, ordinary, have-you-seen-my-left-shoe kind of world in this post. I mean, it’s all well and good that we think about our principles, our dreams, our attitudes, and even the great overarching purpose of our lives, but if we then get lost in the minutiae of the day-to-day, none of it will matter. So I looked for some guidance in what is often referred to as the “productivity bible”… More »

  • Yuval Noah Harari - Sapiens

    Yuval Noah Harari - Sapiens

    It’s no secret that my initial goal with this blog is to create a broad and diverse “base”, from which we can follow the millions of emerging threads and cover… Well, just about everything. So besides philosophy and psychology, I thought it’s time we scheduled a bit of history as well. It was in this mood, and with a forcefully open mind, that I started reading Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, and boy was it worth it! More »

  • Steven Pressfield - The War of Art

    Steven Pressfield - The War of Art

    The subject of today’s post is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, a short but powerful little summary of the Resistance attacking all creative activity and how to overcome it. The title is a pun, of course, since it’s the exact inverse of Sun Tzu’s famous strategic tome The Art of War. Unlike Sun Tzu, however, here we’re not going to war in an artistic manner, but fighting for art itself with warlike dedication… More »

  • Robert Greene - The 48 Laws of Power

    Robert Greene - The 48 Laws of Power

    The book reveals the general mindset that makes people successful in life. Unfortunately, it often involves deception, exploitation and cruelty. But it’s important to make it clear from the outset that knowledge of the tricks of power does not in itself have any morality! Using what you learn here for good is good; using it for bad is bad. Using it to defend against bad is, again, good. This is just information… More »

  • Viktor Frankl - Man's Search for Meaning

    Viktor Frankl - Man's Search for Meaning

    I’ve encountered this book many times in “most important” lists; in best-of self-development selections; and now among Ryan Holiday’s recommendations, too. No point in hesitating further, then, let’s continue our search for meaning right here. When I finally took a glance at what it’s about, though, I was very surprised… More »

  • Mihály Csíkszentmihályi - Flow

    Mihály Csíkszentmihályi - Flow

    After Simon Blackburn’s brutally abstract philosophizing, I thought it would be refreshing to return to more practical waters. But instead of books that delved deeply into a specific topic, the aim was still something comprehensive that could give a solid foundation. That’s how I ended up with Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s Flow, which is not only a universally admired “classic”, but one of the oldest items on my “must read this sometime” list. More »

  • Simon Blackburn - Think

    Simon Blackburn - Think

    Inspired by Stoicism, I asked a philosophy group what they would recommend as a good general overview. That’s how I ended up with Simon Blackburn’s “Think”, which, according to its subtitle, is a “compelling introduction to philosophy”. Well, it was not what I expected! Prepare for something that is just as informative and thought-provoking as it is dense and frustrating… More »