I love them dearly.

But First…

Before we start, I would like to take this time to encourage you to try out Libby:

It’s a fantastic app you can use to check out library eBooks. Seriously life-changing.

Ok, now into the books. This isn’t a complete list, for an assortment of reasons, the primary one being that I don’t always keep track of everything I read, especially ones I consider to be more like textbooks (e.g. anything I “study” instead of “read” probably isn’t listed here). Also there are books I don’t finish that don’t make the list.

The Rating Scale

If it’s bolded, it was particularly good.

I have taken notes on some books. If you see a + after the book, you can click it to see my notes.


Lone Survivor, Luttrell

Modern Romance, Ansari

Kingpin, Poulsen

Autonomous, Newitz

Halting State, Stross

Dragnet Nation, Angwin

The Worst is Yet to Come, Fleming

Pattern Recognition, Gibson

The Borrowed World, Horton

This book was both free and awful.

Gun Machine, Ellis

Spook Country, Gibson

Company Town, Ashby

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Perkins

This was fascinating. Big, if true.

Zero History, Gibson

The Difference Engine, Gibson and Sterling

Distrust that Particular Flavor, Gibson

Class 11, Waters

Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Womack

This was heartwrenching. Probably the dystopian book that has felt the most “real” to me in the sense that the story played out as I suspect would be most likely - not as a heroic fantasy of guns and glory survival but as a bunch of regular people slouching into a slowly worsening future they feel powerless in the face of.

The City and the Stars, Clarke

Superforecasting, Tetlock and Gardner

Alas, Babylon, Frank

The Caryatids, Sterling

The Three-Body Problem, Liu

Atomic Habits, Clear +

American War, El Akkad

A Paradise Built in Hell, Solnit

I didn’t finish this book because I felt like I got what I wanted out of it; the author’s main premise is that preople are actually pretty wonderful to one another in the aftermath of catastrophe. The popular concept of post-disaster reality as full of looting and crime, she argues, is inaccurate - there’s crime, as always, but (apparently) the crime rate tends to go down after a disaster as everyone pulls together into a newly strengthened civic fabric. Fascinating and important but could have been much shorter.

Quicksilver, Stephenson

The Sheep Look Up, Brunner

Ultralearning, Young +

The Shockwave Rider, Brunner

Deep Work, Newport +

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Manson

Slow Horses, Herron

Red Mars, Robinson

The 4 Hour Body, Ferriss

Felt like a collection of semi-random notes, internally contradictory and without any coherence. Meh.

Fall, Stephenson

I Will Teach You to be Rich, Sethi

Medallion Status, Hodgman


All our Wrong Todays, Mastai

Five Days at Memorial, Fink

How to Read a Book, Adler +

The Black Swan, Taleb +

Blank Spots on the Map, Paglen

The Way of the Knife, Mazzetti

Tropic of Kansas, Brown

Vagabonding, Potts

Crooked Little Vein, Ellis

Getting Things Done, Allen

The Art of Learning, Waitzkin

The Dictator’s Handbook, Mesquita

The Final Day, Forstchen

This series started well and ended just AWFULLY, wow.

The Making of a Manager, Zhuo

Agency, Gibson

The Operators, Rennie

This was fascinating.

The Ghost of the Executed Engineer, Graham

The Outlaw Ocean, Urbina

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman

This is my second and last Gaiman book. For some reason they hit a chord just wrong, and both have been just cripplingly depressing. I don’t have any interest in doing that to myself.

Satin Island, McCarthy

The Plague, Camus

Timely. Too timely.

METAtropolis, Scalzi

Overclocked, Doctorow

Hardwired, Williams

Thinking in Systems, Meadows

How to Do Nothing, Odell

The Moon is Down, Steinbeck

I will probably re-read this occasionally when I’m feeling hopeless. What a great book.

Grit, Duckworth +

Red Plenty, Spufford

Old Man’s War, Scalzi

Matterhorn, Mariantes

The Crying of Lot 49, Pynchon

The People’s Republic of Walmart, Philips

Really fascinating premise but could have been maybe a quarter the length.

In Praise of Idleness, Russell

Singularity Sky, Stross

Coup d’Etat: A Practical Handbook, Luttwak

How to Measure Anything, Hubbard

Out of the Mountains, Kulcullen +

The Warehouse, Hart

Pretty hamfisted but a quick and fairly interesting read.

Capitalist Realism, Fisher +

Ugh. I wish there were more books that were about this type of topic without the absolutely impenetrable “high-brow academic only read by other academics” writing style.

Sandworm, Greenberg

The War on Everyone, Evans

Factfulness, Rosling +

Some Remarks, Stephenson

The New Parapolice, Rigakos +

Fixing Your Feet, Vonhof +

This pretty much felt like an extended advertisement for various products. There was a bit of good information in there, but yikes was it ever buried under lists of things to buy.

Golden State, Winters

Security/Capital, Rigakos +

The Knowledge, Dartnell

This was great as a compendium of “oh wow that would make a super fun project” but was light on technical details. Which is actually fine, to me, that’s what the internet is for.

The Worldly Philosophers, Heilbroner