Monthly Book Bites: March 2023

The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger
My rating: 7

Another in the series of 100 books to read before death.

A cult novel that fascinates successive generations of young readers. A symbol of youthful rebellion against the adult world.

Sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield, who cannot reconcile himself with the surrounding stupidity, wickedness, and above all, hypocrisy, runs away from college and spends several days “roaming” around New York before finally returning to his family home.

Great style, great narration. It’s simply a must-read.

Fixing the Future

Author: Marcin Napiórkowski
My rating: 8.2/10

The book is as I like it – not obvious, thought-provoking, but most importantly – based on facts. However, as the author shows, data alone is not everything. Data requires wrapping it in a story, and that’s exactly what Marcin does so well in his book, telling us about two groups – techno-optimists and techno-skeptics.

A strong 8.2/10, and I am one of those who don’t give tens… 🙂

Destructive Effect: How Disinformation Affects Our Lives

Author: Anna Mierzyńska
My rating: 8/10

A great and at the same time very “difficult” book. Difficult because although both the subject matter and the way the author presents the information are of very high quality, when you read about all the nasty things our government does, deliberately spreading disinformation and causing real suffering to individuals (attacks on the LGBT community) and all just for their own gain (fighting for votes), you feel like stopping reading…

The book describes, among other things, the story of Sputnik V (how Russia spread disinformation to win with their vaccine) and the email scandal (and the obvious involvement of Russian trolls). Topics related to disinformation on the internet should be part of general knowledge and included in education. Additionally, the author also shows the perspective of people who get caught in the traps of disinformation and importantly – explains why direct confrontation can do more harm than good.

The book currently has a 4.98/5 rating on Allegro.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
My rating: 8 /10

My first encounter with Nietzsche had a huge impact on me. To this day, those who know me may notice that I often repeat, “Everyone has their definition of happiness,” as the author wrote in “The Dawn”:

To the individual, provided he desires happiness, no recipe must be given prescribing the path to happiness: for individual happiness flows from one’s own unknown laws, and external prescriptions are only an obstacle and a hindrance.

Friedrich Nietzsche – “The Dawn”

Nietzsche is often seen as a controversial philosopher, but for me, his views have had a significant impact on the way I perceive thinking. He mainly encourages us to reflect and criticize unreflective morality (especially Christian, hence his most famous statement: “God is dead”). As he wrote:

“We are not just thinking frogs, nor objectifying and recording, gutless devices. We must continually give birth to our thoughts from our suffering and maternally endow them with everything we have in us from blood, heart, fire, pleasure, passion, torment, conscience, fate, fatality. To live – for us means the constant transformation of everything we are, and everything that happens to us, into light and flame; we cannot otherwise.”

Friedrich Nietzsche – “The Joyful Wisdom”

We give meaning to life. We shape our thoughts, and we must be aware of what affects us: the entire social context in which we live, and the culture that has shaped us. Nietzsche, though seeming to criticize happiness, mainly criticizes laziness. He condemns surrender to the current, thoughtlessness, and stagnation. The desire for a peaceful life without major worries is an aspiration of average people, which does not give life greater meaning. He supports the affirmation of life, the affirmation of thinking, and the constant creation of life. Happiness and life are an ongoing process for him – a process that we create ourselves. By creating our lives, we create our own, individual happiness.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the culmination of the author’s work, a summary of his previous books and thoughts.

Fun fact: Nietzsche repeatedly claimed Polish ancestry. The genealogical tree of the German philosopher (conducted by Max Oehler – curator of the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar), which dates back to the 16th century, indicates that he had only German ancestors. Nietzsche readily admitted to “Polishness” because it was a kind of manifestation against the Germans and their culture, which he considered to be in decline.

Emigration and Pastrami

Author: Malcolm XD
My rating: 5/10

My old man is a fishing fanatic… if these words make you smile, remembering probably the most famous pasta in Poland, we have the same. That’s why, despite unflattering opinions, I decided that the author’s “internet classics” should be known.

Let my rating testify to the fact that I don’t even devote separate entries to them. Both “Emigration” and “Pastrami” are unfortunately average positions. They are not tragic, but in my opinion, they are perfect for tents with discounted Harlequins in Mielno.

It’s not that they read badly, they often evoke laughter, the author maintains a quite good level of absurdity and unconventional language, but after reading two positions, I feel that I have had enough.

Maybe pastas should stay pastas and instead of stretching them to a book format, compress them, choose the best fragments, and we would have another “internet classics” which, as in the case of Fanatic, would even be adapted for the screen?

The Art of Business Wars: Battle-Tested Lessons for Leaders and Entrepreneurs from History’s Greatest Rivalries

Author: David Brown
My rating: 7.5/10

Why do some businesses succeed and others fail?

iPhone versus BlackBerry, Adidas versus Puma, Fender versus Gibson, H&M versus Zara. David Brown, creator of one of the most popular podcasts, “Business Wars,” presents the most significant business rivalries in history.

Drawing on classic strategies and advice from Sun Tzu, he demonstrates how powerful corporations grow, defeat competition, develop innovative strategies, and adapt to changing societal expectations. What is their goal? To be a few steps ahead of others and maintain their position as the winner in their sector.

The stories in “Business Wars” are fascinating, but at the same time offer invaluable lessons: determination, creativity, patience, agility, perseverance, and other traits that contribute to building a winning company.

Truth: A Brief History of Total Bullsh*t 

Author: Tom Phillips
My rating: 7/10

“Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up” is a book that presents us with interesting information about the world, history, and the larger or smaller disasters of humanity in a light tone and with a great sense of humor.

The writer humorously, but accurately, points out how often (or maybe most of the time?) we turn out to be failures as people. Great leaders are not always the best, and ideas that seem brilliant can lead to catastrophic failures.

If you want to learn why China decided to eliminate all sparrows and where the statues on Easter Island come from, pick up this book.


The most controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov, considered a masterpiece of world literature.

I haven’t read anything in a long time that would evoke such extreme emotions in me. On the one hand, beautiful, unique language; on the other – a story that, as a father of an eight-year-old daughter, gives me goosebumps.

Another position that you simply must read and then form your own opinion…

Currently reading…

Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time

Author: Titus WintersTom ManshreckHyrum Wright
My rating: ?

Yeah… still struggling. The book is great, but so far it loses to other… great books (maybe except Malcolm).

PSYCHOeffects. 50 psychological phenomena that affect your life.

Author: Kamil Zieliński
My rating: ?

A solid book in the form of a cross-section of the most important psychological phenomena. As a fan of psychology, I had doubts whether I should read it – I know most of the described studies, but I quickly realized that it was worth it. The author presents in a very accessible way how the phenomena have a direct impact on our lives in very practical examples.

Many examples allowed me to look at something I knew from a completely new perspective.

Truth: A Brief History of Total Bullsh*t.

Author: Tom Phillips
My rating: ?

After reading “Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up,” I immediately checked the author’s other positions and thus I am already halfway through.

The author interestingly shows the essence of the problem of lying. If a lie were the opposite of the truth, it would be easy to identify; however, while the truth is often singular, its opposite can be a million different lies.


Dawid Adach

Co-Founder @ / Forbes 30 under 30 / EO'er

For years I've been working as an IT Consultant in countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Poland or India developing enterprise class systems for the biggest companies within domain.

Since 2016 I'm co-founder of - world class UI Framework used by NASA, Amazon, Nike, Airbus, Samsung, Apple and many other Fortune 500 Companies.

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