**In this article:** I strive to become an intellectual giant. I must build a foundation in mathematics and computation; read classics in literature; become a polyglot; learn to draw; and learn music theory and composition. This outlines how I plan to fit all of that into a single lifetime.

It is mainly a list of books right now, but I plan to add dated milestones as I gain clarity. I welcome sage advice.

Edit 2014-09-16: I think I need to turn this list into a gist. Until then, consider the following text antediluvian.

I wish to become an intellectual giant. In my mind this means I must build a solid foundation in mathematics and science; read classics in literature; become a polyglot; learn to draw; and learn music theory and composition.

Fitting this all into a single lifetime requires tremendous effort. I don’t know exactly how it will happen, but to draft a plan I will start with what I do know: books. I always find myself amazed by how much I learn when I write what I read, review what I write, and work a book’s exercises.

This document presents books I must read by 2030. This is an early draft and I plea for your wisdom if you have suggestions for my quest.

Several of the math books I chose by reading the following Amazon lists:

- Get Maturity in Pure Mathematics by Jon A. Middleton
- Build a Good Math Reference Library by Alexander Shaumyan
- So you’d like to…see my ideal math bookshelf by Psychic Pilgrim
- So you’d like to…Learn Advanced Mathematics on Your Own by Gal Gross

Disclosure: My links to Amazon books are affiliate links.

Check my Goodreads periodically and castigate me if I am straying from this list.

- Introduction to Logic (13th Edition) by Irving Copi
- A Mathematical Introduction to Logic, Second Edition by Herbert Enderton
- Topoi: The Categorial Analysis of Logic (Dover Books on Mathematics) by Robert Goldblatt

- Differential and Integral Calculus (2 Volume Set) by Richard Courant
- Calculus by Michael Spivak
- Calculus, Vol. 1: One-Variable Calculus with an Introduction to Linear Algebra (Second Edition) (Volume 1) by Tom Apostol
- Mathematical Analysis. Second Edition by Tom Apostol
- Principles of Mathematical Analysis, Third Edition by Walter Rudin
- Counterexamples in Analysis (Dover Books on Mathematics) by Bernard Gelbaum, John Olmsted

- Linear Algebra Done Right by Sheldon Axler
- Introduction to Linear Algebra (Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics) 2nd edition by Serge Lang
- Linear Algebra (Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics) by Serge Lang
- Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces by Paul Halmos
- Linear Algebra Problem Book (Dolciani Mathematical Expositions) by Paul Halmos
- Abstract Algebra by David Dummit, Richard Foote
- Conceptual Mathematics: A First Introduction to Categories by F. William Lawvere
- Categories for the Working Mathematician (Graduate Texts in Mathematics) by Saunders Mac Lane

- Introduction to Probability, 2nd Edition by Dimitri Bertsekas, John Tsitsiklis
- A Course in Probability Theory, Revised Edition, Second Edition by Kai Lai Chung
- Fifty Challenging Problems in Probability with Solutions by Frederick Mosteller
- A Probability Path by Sidney Resnick
- Probability Theory: The Logic of Science (Vol 1) by E. T. Jaynes
- Principles of Statistics by M. G. Bulmer
- Measurement, Design, and Analysis: An Integrated Approach by Elazar Pedhazur, Liora Schmelkin
- Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference by Judea Pearl
- Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (Commemorative Edition) (Princeton Classic Editions) by John von Neumann, Oskar Morgenstern

- An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers (Oxford Science Publications) by G. H. Hardy
- The Queen of Mathematics : An Historically Motivated Guide to Number Theory by Jay Goldman
- The Higher Arithmetic: An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers by H. Davenport

- Introduction to Set Theory, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded (Pure and Applied Mathematics) by Karel Hrbacek, Thomas Jech
- Set Theory by Thomas Jech
- Elements of Set Theory by Herbert Enderton

- What Is Mathematics? An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods by Richard Courant, Herbert Robbins, Ian Stewart
- How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (Princeton Science Library) by George Polya
- I Want to Be a Mathematician: An Automathography by Paul Halmos
- A Mathematician’s Apology (Canto) by G. H. Hardy
- The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel
- Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics by William Dunham
- THE MAN WHO LOVED ONLY NUMBERS: THE STORY OF PAUL ERDOS AND THE SEARCH FOR MATHEMATICAL TRUTH by Paul Hoffman
- MY BRAIN IS OPEN: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos by Bruce Schechter
- Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard Feynman, Ralph Leighton
- What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman, Ralph Leighton
- Adventures of a Mathematician by S. M. Ulam

- Art of Computer Programming, The, Volumes 1–3 Boxed Set (2nd Edition) (Vol 1–3) by Donald Knuth
- The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 4, Fascicles 0–4 (5 Volume Set) by Donald Knuth
- Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science (2nd Edition) by Ronald Graham, Donald Knuth, Oren Patashnik
- Introduction to Algorithms, Third Edition by Thomas Cormen, Charles Leiserson, Ronald Rivest, Clifford Stein
- The Algorithm Design Manual by Steve Skiena
- Algorithms by Sanjoy Dasgupto, Christos Papadimitriou, Umesh Vazirani
- Introduction to the Theory of Computation, Second Edition by Michael Sipser
- Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach by Sanjeev Arora
- Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness (Series of Books in the Mathematical Sciences) by M. R. Garey, D. S. Johnson
- Computability and Unsolvability (Mcgraw-Hill Series in Information Processing and Computers.) by Martin Davis
- Computational Complexity by Christos Papadimitriou
- Approximation Algorithms by Vijay Vazirani
- Algorithmic Game Theory by Noam Nisan, Tim Roughgarden, Eva Tardos, Vijay Vazirani

- Types and Programming Languages by Benjamin Pierce
- Essentials of Programming Languages, 3rd Edition by Daniel Friedman, Mitchell Wand
- Programming Language Pragmatics, Third Edition by Michael Scott
- Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools (2nd Edition) by Alfred Aho, Monica Lam, Ravi Sethi, Jeffrey Ullman
- Lisp in Small Pieces by Christian Queinnec, Kathleen Callaway

- Elements of Programming by Alexander Stepanov, Paul McJones
- Programming Pearls (2nd Edition) by Jon Bentley
- Hacker’s Delight by Henry Warren
- Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell
- The Practice of Programming by Brian Kernighan, Rob Pike
- The Elements of Programming Style by Brian Kernighan, P. J. Plauger
- Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler
- Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler
- Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert Martin
- Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices by Robert Martin
- xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code by Gerard Meszaros
- Test Driven Development: By Example by Kent Beck

- Design of the UNIX Operating System by Maurice Bach
- Operating Systems Design and Implementation (3rd Edition) by Andrew Tanenbaum, Albert Woodhull
- Modern Operating Systems (3rd Edition) by Andrew Tanenbaum
- Computer Networks (4th Edition) by Andrew Tanenbaum
- Structured Computer Organization (5th Edition) by Andrew Tanenbaum

- The Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude E. Shannon
- Elements of Information Theory 2nd Edition (Wiley Series in Telecommunications and Signal Processing) by Thomas Cover, Joy Thomas
- An Introduction to Information Theory by John Pierce

- The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing’s Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine by Charles Petzold
- John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing (History of Computing) by William Aspray
- Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age Michael Hiltzik
- Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer (Second Edition) by Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine
- Coders at Work by Peter Seibel
- Masterminds of Programming: Conversations with the Creators of Major Programming Languages (Theory in Practice (O’Reilly)) by Frederico Biancuzzi, Shane Warden
- Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham
- Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy
- The Art of UNIX Programming by Eric S. Raymond
- The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary by Eric S. Raymond
- Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution by Glyn Moody
- The Computer and the Brain: Second Edition (Mrs. Hepsa Ely Silliman Memorial Lectures) by John von Neumann
- Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou

- Remembering the Kanji, Vol. 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters by James Heisig
- Remembering the Kanji, Vol. 2: A Systematic Guide to Reading Japanese Characters (Japanese Edition) by James Heisig

- Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson
- Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity by Bert Dodson
- Perspective Made Easy by Ernest Norling

- Sight Singing: Pitch, Interval, Rhythm (Second Edition) by Samuel Adler
- Study of Counterpoint: From Johann Joseph Fux’s Gradus Ad Parnassum by Johann Joseph Fux, Alfred Mann
- Structural Hearing: Tonal Coherence in Music (Two Volumes Bound As One) by Felix Salzer
- Composing Music: A New Approach by William Russo, Jeffrey Ainis, David Stevenson

- Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
- The Iliad / The Odyssey by Homer
- Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics) by John Milton
- The Count of Monte Cristo (Modern Library Classics) by Alexandre Dumas
- Les Misérables (Signet Classics) by Victor Hugo
- The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World’s Classics) by Geoffrey Chaucer
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Penguin Classics) by Mark Twain
- Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Modern Library Classics) by Herman Melville
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Ulysses by James Joyce

- Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
- Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Thomas Pynchon
- Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
- Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec

- The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
- The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book) by Neal Stephenson
- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Published: 2010-01-03

Edited:
2010-01-06 · 2010-04-11 · 2011-06-26 · 2014-09-16