I love them dearly.
Before we start, I would like to take this time to encourage you to try out Libby: https://meet.libbyapp.com/.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.