Benny Kim’s Reading List

Benny Kim
3 min readJan 9, 2019


Whenever people make a post and say “I’ve read 487 books this year and I feel more complete as a person…blah blah” I always think, “Weird flex, but okay.” I don’t want to be that guy but I do want to share what I read in the past year in case people are looking for book recs. When I was leaving for college, my mom told me to stop reading so many fantasy books and read some “real books”. I didn’t want to do it but now she’s left the country and doesn’t have the same internet access to read this post so I don’t have to admit she was right anymore. So here we go!!!

Also, I like to pull quotes from the books I read that I really liked so I’ll share that too. If I shared a quote, it means I highly recommend it. Let me know if you’ve read any of these or getting into one!

1Q84 — Haruki Murakami
“I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning.”

Atlas Shrugged — Ayn Rand
“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

Guns, Germs, and Steel — Jared Diamond
“The ones that do adopt new crops, livestock, or technology may thereby be enabled to nourish themselves better and to outbreed, displace, conquer, or kill off societies resisting innovation.”

When Breath Becomes Air — Paul Kalanithi

Farenheit 451 — Ray Bradbury

Cloud Atlas — David Mitchell
The movie is horrible… we all know this. But if you’ve only seen the movie and didn’t read the book, I highly recommend it! Completely made me change my mind about the story line. Or maybe even as a kid I was mad that the role of a Korean male went to Jim Sturgess and not me.

Doughnut Economics — Kate Raworth
“Today we have economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive; what we need are economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow.”

Nudge — Richard Thaler
We’re all just trapped in some bad choice architecture!!!! Rebuild the system!

Born a Crime — Trevor Noah
This is the level of success I aspire to.

Lion — Saroo Brierly

The Reason I Jump — Naoki Higashida

Still Life With Woodpecker — Tom Robbins
Recommended to me by a friend, can’t say I loved it.

Pachinko — Min Jin Lee
“I thought that no matter how many hills and brooks you crossed, the whole world was Korea and everyone in it was Korean.”
I cried every other chapter in this book. This combined with the new Netflix show, Mr. Sunshine, gave me more Korean representation in one summer than I had my entire childhood.

After Dark — Haruki Murakami

The Emperor of Shoes — Spencer Wise

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — John le Carré

Thinking in Bets — Annie Duke
Life, like poker, is one long game, and there are going to be a lot of losses, even after making the best possible bets.”

The Line Becomes a River — Francisco Cantú
“They thought that no one would attempt the crossing of the desert. They were wrong.”

How Democracies Die — Steven Levitsky

Little Fires Everywhere — Celeste Ng
“We all do things we regret now and then. You just have to carry them with you.”

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers — Robert Sapolsky
I didn’t get to actually finish this book and I have to find another copy. I read all about stress and how it works and then as I got to the part about handling stress, I had to give it back to my friend. So now I’m just stressed out about my stress and don’t know how to deal with it.



Benny Kim

Electrical Engineer at Tank Utility, M.S. Candidate in Innovation and Management, BSEE Tufts University ’16. Oh God what else is there? Should I mention my hobb