Book Reviews

Last updated: Jan 15, 2023

This is a list of all the books I can recall having read, with the ones that I loved the most and/or left the biggest intellectual or emotional impact on me highlighted to various degrees. Books that I mostly read, but not rigorously from cover to cover, are in italics.

Entries with short reviews can be expanded, and those entries with formal blog-level reviews are hyperlinked from the title cell.

Otherwise, do feel free to also check out my Film Reviews and Video Game Reviews. I also have a similar system for my world travels and cuisines.

 

Non-Fiction

RAuthorTitlereadpub.TagsLnotesShort Review:
Akerlof, George A. & ShillerAnimal Spirits220102009EconomicsEN
Anissimov, Michael
A Critique of Democracy
220152015Politics, NRxEN
Assange, Julian et al.Cypherpunks320132013PoliticsEN
Baudrillard, JeanSimulacra and Simulation220041995PhilosophyEN
Bostrom, NickSuperintelligence520152014Futurism, AI, X RisksENbest
Bronze Age PervertBronze Age Mindset320182018PoliticsENunread
Caplan, BryanThe Case Against Education420182018EconomicsENgoodAccording to libertarian economist Caplan, a college degree primarily serves to signal that a certain individual is sufficiently intelligent, conscientious, and conformist to finish a four year degree. Meanwhile, the gains in actual human capital are modest to non-existent (as the author flippantly notes, while anyone can come in and sit in at most college lectures, access to university gyms is tightly controlled). Consequently, promoting and subsidizing mass higher education is a huge misallocation of resources.
Chang, Ha-JoonKicking Away the Ladder [2009]420092002EconomicsENgoodSee main review. Chang is a South Korean proponent of strategic trade. Adopting Friedrich List’s arguments for the early 21st century, he argues that American free trade rhetoric is largely for foreign consumption.
Chomsky, NoamManufacturing Consent520131988Politics, MediaEN
Chua, AmyWorld on Fire420062002Sociology, HBDENgood
Cohen, Stephen F.Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives420122009Politics, RussiaEN
Dawisha, KarenPutin’s Kleptocracy320182014Politics, RussiaENgood
Dawkins, RichardThe God Delusion420082006Theology, AtheismENgoodThe past 1-2 decades have seen a massive retreat in religion – not just in the US, but in most of the rest of the world. I suspect much of this is driven by YouTube atheists, but where did many of them get their ideas from? Objectively, I think this may be one of the most influential books of the 21st century.
Deffeyes, KennethBeyond Oil420092006Energy & ClimateEN
Donovan, JackThe Way of Men420122011SociologyEN
Dutton, Edward & WoodleyAt Our Wits’ End420192018HBDENgood
Finlayson, CliveThe Humans Who Went Extinct420152010AnthropologyEN
Fish, StevenDemocracy from Scratch220101995Politics, RussiaENunread
Ford, MartinRise of the Robots420152015Economics, FuturismENSuperb overview of the role of automation on the future of leisure and employment – already reverberations of that with 2016 candidacy of Andrew Yang.
Friedman, GeorgeThe Next 100 Years [2009]220092009Geopolitics, FuturismENSee main review. China and Russia to fall apart (how convenient). Polish superpower. Mexican superpower. The coming war with Japan. Why does anybody take Friedman seriously?
Fukuyama, FrancisThe End of History and the Last Man520081992GeopoliticsENbestThis is one of the two “foundational” books of the post-Cold War geopolitical order (the other is Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations). The geopolitical ascent of China and the rise of populism in Europe would appear to refute this Panglossian, fin de siècle vision of universal liberal democracy. Or would it? The “Alt Right” of today are more liberal than the American men who stormed the beaches of Normandy.
Gaddy, Clifford & HillThe Siberian Curse420192003Economics, RussiaENgood
Gershenzon, Mikhail et al.Vekhi320161909Politics, RussiaEN
Gladwell, MalcolmThe Tipping Point320052000SociologyEN
Gray, JohnFalse Dawn120061998EconomicsEN
Greene, BrianThe Elegant Universe320051999Science, PhysicsENunread
Greene, RobertThe 48 Laws of Power420111998PoliticsENunread
Greer, John MichaelThe Long Descent520092008CollapseEN
Greer, John MichaelOur Ecotechnic Future420092009CollapseEN
Grey, Aubrey deEnding Aging320142007Science, GerontologyEN
Hanson, RobinThe Age of Em520162016Futurism, AI, H+ENbest
Heilbroner, RichardThe Worldly Philosophers520091953Philosophy, Political EconomyENgood
Hitler, AdolfMein Kampf220041925Politics, Nazi GermanyEN
Hobbes, ThomasLeviathan420091651Philosophy, Political EconomyEN
Hoffman, DavidThe Oligarchs420122001Politics, RussiaENunread
Huntford, RolandThe New Totalitarians420101971Sociology, SwedenENunread
Huntington, SamuelThe Clash of Civilizations520061996GeopoliticsENbestThis is one of the two “foundational” books of the post-Cold War geopolitical order (the other is Fukuyama’s The End of History). Huntington argues that future conflicts will center around ancient cultural and religious identities, which are especially likely to occur in “cleft countries” that contain large demographic blocs identifying with separate civilizations. This was borne out in the Ukraine in 2014.
Hutchins, Chris & KorobkoPutin420112011Politics, RussiaEN
Ilyin, IvanOur Tasks520171956Politics, RussiaRUgood
Jack, AndrewInside Putin’s Russia320042004Politics, RussiaEN
Jensen, ArthurThe g Factor520141998HBDENbestunread
Jones, GarettHive Mind420172015HBD, EconomicsENgood
Kaczynski, TedIndustrial Society and Its Future320051995PoliticsEN
Kahn, HermanOn Thermonuclear War420091959Geopolitics, MilitaryENunreadThe inspiration for Dr. Strangelove, this is – in reality – an attempt to objectively analyze the costs of nuclear war (devastating, but survivable) and the most cost-effective way of mitigating it.
Kaplan, Robert D.Asia’s Cauldron320162014GeopoliticsENunread
Kennedy, PaulPreparing for the 21st Century420051993Geopolitics, FuturismENbest
Klebnikov, PaulGodfather of the Kremlin420082000Politics, RussiaENunread
Klein, RichardThe Human Career320151999AnthropologyEN
Kornai, JanosThe Socialist System420131992EconomicsENunread
Kotkin, StephenArmageddon Averted320122003Politics, RussiaENunread
Kroeber, Arthur A.China’s Economy [2019]420192016EconomicsENSee main review.
Krugman, PaulPeddling Prosperity320061994EconomicsEN
Krylov, KonstantinBehavior [2009]420111997Sociology, ChinaRUSee main review.
Kunstler, HowardThe Long Emergency220092005CollapseEN
Kurzweil, RayThe Singularity is Near520062005Futurism, H+ENbestThe necessary disclaimers: Yes, I think Kurzweil’s method of willy-nilly exponential extrapolations are weak. Actually my criticisms go even deeper, since I view technological progress as being driven primarily by literate “smart fractions,” whereas Kurzweil models it as a function of existing technology.

Moreover, the reality test: As of 2017, it is clear that he was overoptimistic on timelines.

Still, when I read this in 2006 (straight out of high school), this was all extremely new and interesting to me.

And ultimately I remain a “singularitarian,” in the sense that I view the concept of a “technological singularity” and “transhumanism’ as both feasible and something that it worth striving towards (not least because the alternates are grim).
Land, NickThe Dark Enlightenment320182013Politics, NRxEN
Leonard, MarkWhat Does China Think?420102008Geopolitics, ChinaEN
Levitt, StephenFreakonomics320082005EconomicsEN
List, FriedrichThe National System of Political Economy420111841EconomicsENgood
Liu, XinThe Otherness of Self [2013]120132001Sociology, ChinaENSee main review. Only read/reviewed this because it was assigned in college.
Lovelock, JamesThe Ages of Gaia420061988Energy & ClimateEN
Lovelock, JamesThe Revenge of Gaia220072006Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Lucas, EdwardThe New Cold War120082008Politics, RussiaEN
Lynas, MarkSix Degrees420062007Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Lynn, RichardRace Differences in Intelligence420142006HBDEN
Lynn, RichardThe Global Bell Curve520142008HBDENgood
Lynn, RichardIntelligence420152012HBDEN
Lynn, RichardRace Differences in Psychopathic Personality [2020]420202019HBDENSee main review.
Lynn, RichardMemoirs of a Dissident Psychologist420202020Memoirs, HBDEN
MacDonald, KevinThe Culture of Critique220162013Politics, HBDENunread
Marx, KarlCapital120081867EconomicsEN
Marx, Karl & EngelsThe Communist Manifesto420081848EconomicsEN
McGregor, RichardThe Party520112010Politics, ChinaENgoodSome takeaway from this deep analysis of the world’s largest and most powerful political organization:
(1) China remains a thoroughly “Leninist” (or NEPist) state; its largest corporations, including nominally private ones, are connected by “red telephones” to Zhongnanhai.
(2) The overweening role of the Organization Department in choosing cadres.
(3) The CPC has a much tighter grip on both the military and regional branches than the CPSU did in the late USSR.
Meadows, Donella et al.Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update [2010]520102004Energy & Climate, FuturismENgoodSee main review.
Meier, AndrewBlack Earth420052003Politics, RussiaEN
Moldbug, Mencius (Curtis Yarvin)A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations320162009Politics, NRxENunreadWill admit I found the foundational text of “neoreaction” to be rather underwhelming. The HBD was obviously not new to me, he seems to believe that supporting Britain in the American Revolutionary War is some great taboo (is that really so?), and engages in long-winded regurgitations of conservative talking points about the supposed global warming hoax.
Moore, MichaelStupid White Men420042001Politics, USAEN
Murray, CharlesComing Apart520172012Sociology, HBD, USAEN
Murray, CharlesFacing Reality420212021Sociology, HBD, USAENunread
Murray, Charles & HerrnsteinBell Curve520131994HBDENbestThis blockbuster of a book establishes the validity of g, its sociological relevance, the B/W gap in the US and its apparent intractability, and social consequences thereof.

As Steve Sailer and Charles Murray himself point out, twenty years on, the predictions made in Bell Curve have all panned out and the trends identified in it I don’t think it’s possible to conscientiously read this text and come away with the impression that IQ is an invalid or irrelevant concept, which is what the book is ultimately mainly about (even though the race/IQ chapter is what it has become infamous for, regardless of Murray & Herrnstein’s dozens of pages of disclaimers about it).

Quite apart from the IQ/sociology nexus, it is also my opinion that this is one of the key books you need to understand American society, along with David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed.
Myers, B.R.The Cleanest Race420122010Politics, North KoreaENgoodConvincing argument that Best Korea is more of an ultranationalist state than a Marxist-Leninist one.
Naughton, BarryThe Chinese Economy320122006Economics, ChinaENIntroductory textbook to the Chinese economy. Couple of observations:
(1) Chance of dying on the job under Maoism than getting fired;
(2) Perhaps uniquely for any major economy, there were zero positive returns to increasing education until ~1990.
Nietzsche, FriedrichOn the Genealogy of Morality520101887PhilosophyENunread
Orlov, DmitryReinventing Collapse320112008CollapseEN
Papagianni, Dimitra & MorseThe Neanderthals Rediscovered320152013AnthropologyEN
Parshev, AndreyWhy Russia Is Not America [2009]420021999Economics, RussiaRUgoodSee main review.
Pearce, FredWith Speed and Violence320062008Energy & ClimateEN
Pearce, FredWhen the Rivers Run Dry220062008Energy & Climate
Pillsbury, MichaelChina Debates the Future Security Environment320102000Geopolitics, ChinaEN
Pinker, StevenThe Blank Slate520162002Sociology, HBDENgoodunread
Pinker, StevenThe Better Angels of our Nature420132011World, AnthropologyENgood
Pinker, StevenEnlightenment Now320182018WorldEN
Polanyi, KarlThe Great Transformation420101944EconomicsEN
Preston, RichardThe Hot Zone520151994Science, EpidemiologyEN
Putin, Vladimir et al.From the First Person320122000Politics, RussiaRU
Randers, Jorgen2052420122012Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Rees, MartinOur Final Hour220062003Futurism, X RisksEN
Reid, T.R.The United States of Europe320042005Politics, EuropeEN
Ricon, Jose LuisBack in the USSR420172017Economics, Communism, Russia/USSRENgood
Rindermann, HeinerCognitive Capitalism520192018HBD, EconomicsENgood
Ritchie, StuartIntelligence: All That Matters420182015HBDEN
Rosefielde, StevenRussia in the 21st Century320092004Geopolitics, RussiaEN
Rushton, J. PhilippeRace, Evolution, and Behavior520122000AnthropologyENgoodThis is still, perhaps, the book about the validity of HBD theory.

In this book, a huge mass of data (the endnotes comprise a substantial percentage of the overall text) is marshalled in support of r/K selection theory applied to the three great races of mankind.

When I read it sometime around I was already somewhat “redpilled” on this issue, but this book raised my confidence in the HBD view of reality from “likely” to “almost certain.”

There are several other good essentially “HBD” books – The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran and Harpending, or Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance for those hesitating about… wading into this subject, but this is the book I read first so as it’s the most influential so far as I’m concerned.
Sachs, JeffreyThe End of Poverty320042005EconomicsEN
Sakwa, RichardThe Crisis of Russian Democracy420132010Politics, RussiaENgood
Sakwa, RichardFrontline Ukraine420152014Geopolitics, RussiaENunread
Shafarevich, IgorRussophobia520181982Politics, RussiaRUgoodunread
Schimpfössl, ElisabethRich Russains420202018Sociology, RussiaRUunread
Schwab, KlausThe Fourth Industrial Revolution320212016Futurism, EconomicsENunread
Singh, SimonFermat’s Last Theorem420061997Science, MathEN
Singh, SimonThe Code Book420061999Science, MathEN
Smil, VaclavGlobal Catastrophes and Trends [2009]420092008Futurism, TechnologyENSee main review.
Smith, AdamThe Wealth of Nations520111776EconomicsENgoodunread
Smith, Arthur H.Chinese Characteristics [2013]520131894Sociology, Travel, ChinaENgoodSee main review. One of the best travelogues ever written.
Smith, Laurence C.The World in 2050320102010Geopolitics, Futurism, ArcticEN
Solomon, StevenWater320102010Energy & ClimateEN
Stager, CurtDeep Future420162011Energy & Climate, FuturismENgood
Steyn, MarkAmerica Alone [2009]420092006GeopoliticsENFunny writing style, appeals to American vatnik types, ultimately nonsensical but who cares.
Strahan, DavidThe Last Oil Shock320092007Energy & ClimateEN
Taleb, Nicholas NassimThe Black Swan420122007EconomicsEN
Tegmark, MarkOur Mathematical Universe420162014Science, PhysicsENgood
Thiel, PeterZero to One520212014Economics, BusinessENbest
Todd, EmmanuelThe Explanation of Ideology520141985Sociology, HBDENbest
Treisman, DanielThe Return520112011Politics, RussiaENgood
Trenin, DmitryShould We Fear Russia?320172016Geopolitics, RussiaEN
Trubetzkoy, NikolayEurope and Mankind [2009]520091920Politics, RussiaRUbestSee main review.
Trump, DonaldThe Art of the Deal320161987Memoirs, BusinessEN
Turner, Jonathan AdairJust Capital520052001EconomicsENgood
Wade, NicholasA Troublesome Inheritance420152014Anthropology, HBDEN
Ward, PeterUnder a Green Sky320102007Energy & ClimateEN
Ware, TimothyThe Orthodox Church420121963Theology, ChristianityENgood
Wegren, Stephen et al.After Putin’s Russia320102009Politics, RussiaEN
Weisman, AlanThe World Without Us420092007CollapseEN
Wolff, MichaelFire and Fury320182018Politics, USAENunread
Yang, AndrewThe War on Normal People [2019]420192018Politics, Futurism, AI, USAENSee main review.
Zhavoronkov, AlexThe Ageless Generation320192013Futurism, GerontologyENunread
Zygar, MikhailAll the Kremlin's Men20172016Politics, RussiaENunread

 

History

RAuthorTitlereadpub.TagsLnotesShort Review:
Acheson, David1089 And All That520042002Science, Math, Children'sENgood
Arnove, Robert & GraffNational Literacy Campaigns320141987Economics, LiteracyEN
Beevor, AnthonyStalingrad220041999Military, WW2EN
Bellamy, ChrisAbsolute War520122007Military, WW2ENbest
Bloom, HowardThe Lucifer Principle [2010]520101995World, HBDENgoodSee main review.
Brogan, HughThe Penguin History of the USA220081985History, USAEN
Bryson, BillA Short History of Nearly Everything420022003ScienceEN
Burleigh, MichaelThe Third Reich420052001History, Nazi GermanyEN
Chanda, NayanBound Together220082007Economics, WorldEN
Clark, GregoryA Farewell to Alms520142008Economics, HBDENbest
Clark, GregoryThe Son Also Rises420162014Economics, HBDEN
Cochran, Gregory & HarpendingThe 10,000 Year Explosion420142009World, HBDEN
Dartnell, LewisThe Knowledge420162014Science, TechnologyENgood
Diamond, JaredGuns, Germs, and Steel [2009]520031997World, AnthropologyENgoodSee main review.
Diamond, JaredCollapse320072005World, Anthropology, CollapseEN
Doyle, WilliamThe Oxford History of the French Revolution220041990History, FranceEN
Dunham, WilliamJourney through Genius520071991Science, MathENgood
Dupuy, Trevor N.A Genius for War420151977Military, WW2ENgood
Durocher, GuillaumeThe Ancient Ethnostate520222021Ancient, HBDENgood
Emmerson, CharlesThe Future History of the Arctic420102010History, ArcticEN
Ferguson, NiallEmpire320082003History, BritainEN
Ferguson, NiallColossus320082004History, USAEN
Ferguson, NiallThe War of the World220092007History, WW2EN
Ferguson, NiallThe Pity of War520061998Military, WW1ENbest"The Pity of War: Explaining World War I" does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation.

For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for the conflict at the outset seems to be pretty much false. This was also the book that introduced me to the work of Dupuy et al., who have calculated that the Germans were consistently much more combat effective than the Anglo-French forces; conversely, he also very effectively shows why the war was lost for Germany after the end of the Spring Offensive.

One need not always buy into his arguments – ironically, I am rather skeptical of his “Anglophobic” thesis that it was England most at fault for making WW1 into the carnage it was – but his counterintuitive takes strike home sufficiently frequently to justify this as a must-read in addition to the more conventional histories.
Fischer, David HackettAlbion’s Seed520181989History, USAENbest
Gat, AzarNations520172012WorldENgoodunread
Grass, GunterPeeling the Onion420102006Memoirs, Nazi GermanyEN
Gumilev, LevFrom Rus’ to Russia420082008History, RussiaRU
Harris, WilliamAncient Literacy420141989Economics, Ancient, LiteracyEN
Harrison, Mark et al.The Economics of World War II420171998Economics, WW2ENunread
Harrison, Mark et al.The Economics of World War I420172005Economics, WW2ENunread
Hart, MichaelUnderstanding Human History220132007World, HBDEN
Jones, E.L.The European Miracle420141981Economics, Medieval, EuropeEN
Keegan, JohnThe Face of Battle320021976MilitaryEN
Keegan, JohnThe First World War320041998Military, WW1EN
Kennedy, PaulThe Rise and Fall of the Great Powers520031987World, GeopoliticsENbestCovering 500 years of history in 500 pages, the historian Paul Kennedy exhaustively argues that the root of military and geopolitical power is heavily dependent on economic power, which supports the munitioning potential to equip gunpowder armies. From the Third Years War to the Cold War, it has been deeper pockets, not military elan or morale, that have won.

This seems pretty obvious and self-explanatory, but many people don’t seem to get it. Although there are now many things I would quibble with it – I read it sometime around 2004 – its basic framework is still one I use when thinking about Great Power geopolitics.

I can also say that this book formed the wellspring of my interest in economic history. Statistics about pig iron production in 1910 seem pretty boring until you start imagining it going into Dreadnoughts and Krupp guns.
Khlevnyuk, OlegStalin: Life of a Leader420202015BiographyRUunread
Korotayev, Andrei et al.Introduction to Social Macrodynamics [2009]520092006World, CliodynamicsENbestMost people think of history as a narrative of names and dates interlinked with “happenings” that historians try to explain and contextualize. But there has been very little progress on the methods of history since Thucydides. The cliodynamicists are to history what Alfred Marshall was to economics – they want to start modeling history.

Although the best known name in this field is Peter Turchin’s, I was more influenced by Korotayev et al’s Introduction to Social Macrodynamics, a very short but formula heavy book that laid the framework for how I have thought about pre-industrial Malthusian societies ever since. Here is my main review of it.

One of my very long-term ambitions is to try to integrate psychometrics with cliodynamics models.
Landes, DavidThe Wealth and Poverty of Nations420081998Economics, WorldENgood
Malia, MartinRussia under Western Eyes520092001History, RussiaENgoodunread
Martin, JanetMedieval Russia, 980-158420201995History, Medieval, RussiaENgoodunread
Martin, TerryThe Affirmative Action Empire520182001History, RussiaENunread
McMeekin, SeanThe Russian Revolution520182017History, RussiaENgood
McMeekin, SeanStalin's War220222021History, Russia, WW2ENunread
Menzies, Gavin1421220052002History, China, ConspiracyEN
Merridale, CatherineIvan's War420162005Military, WW2, RussiaENunread
Mitterauer, MichaelWhy Europe?420152010Economics, Medieval, EuropeENunread
Morris, IanWhy the West Rules–For Now420142010WorldENgood
Morris, IanThe Measure of Civilization420142010WorldEN
Murray, CharlesHuman Accomplishment520142009Science, HBDENbest
Overy, RichardWhy the Allies Won520061995Military, WW2ENgood
Overy, RichardRussia’s War420061997Military, WW2EN
Pomeranz, KennethThe Great Divergence [2011]520112000Economics, World, ChinaENgoodSee main review.
Roberts, JohnThe New Penguin History of the World320062007WorldENunread
Robinson, PaulRussian Conservatism520192019History, RussiaENgood
Schama, SimonCitizens520041989History, FranceENgood
Schrad, MarkVodka Politics420162013History, RussiaENgood
Schwartz, BenjaminIn Search of Wealth and Power [2013]420131963History, ChinaENSee main review.
Scott, JohnBehind the Urals [2009]320091941Memoirs, Russia/USSRENSee main review.
Sheehan, James J.Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?420042008History, EuropeEN
Shirer, William L.The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich520041960History, Nazi GermanyENgood
Slezkine, YuriThe Jewish Century520112004History, JewsENbestunread
Tainter, JosephThe Collapse of Complex Societies [2018]420091988History, Anthropology, CollapseENgoodSee main review.
Tombs, RobertThe English and Their History520172015History, BritainENunread
Tooze, AdamWages of Destruction520172015Economics, Nazi Germany, WW2ENbest
Tuchman, BarbaraThe Guns of August520091962Military, WW1ENbestThis may not be the most groundbreaking WW1 book, but it may well be the best from a literary perspective. Seriously, just read her opening paragraph:

So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens – four dowager and three regnant – and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.

Whether one agrees with her thesis that it was Germany that was overwhelmingly culpable or not – though I suppose it helps that I do – her skill at bringing the increasingly agitated diplomatic activity in the buildup to the war and the military maneuvers in its first few months is unrivalled. This is history that reads like fiction, and I mean that in a good sense.
Turchin, PeterWar and Peace and War [2010]520102006World, CliodynamicsENbestSee main review.
Turchin, PeterUltrasociety520172015World, CliodynamicsENgood
Turchin, PeterAges of Discord320172016USA, CliodynamicsENunread
Turchin, Peter & NefedovSecular Cycles520122011World, CliodynamicsENbestunread
Werth, AlexanderMoscow War Diary [2009]320091942Memoirs, WW2, Russia/USSRENSee main review.

 

Literature

RAuthorTitlereadpub.TagsLnotesShort Review:
Alighieri, DanteDivine Comedy: Hell320031472Play, ItalyEN
AnonThe Bible32000100Classics, Theology, ChristianityENgood
Borges, Jorge LuisLabyrinths520101964PhilosophyENbestunread
Brown, DanThe Da Vinci Code520062003ThrillerEN
Buchan, JamesThirty-Nine Steps219991915Thriller, SpyEN
Camus, AlbertThe Myth of Sisyphus420101942PhilosophyEN
Camus, AlbertThe Stranger520101942PhilosophyENbest
Clancy, TomRed Storm Rising420091986ThrillerEN
Boccaccio, GiovanniThe Decameron420211353Fiction, ItaliyEN
Defoe, DanielRobinson Crusoe120031719Fiction, EnglandEN
Dostoevsky, FedorCrime and Punishment520061866Fiction, RussiaRUgood
Dostoevsky, FedorThe Brothers Karamazov520071879Fiction, RussiaRUbest
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes420031892DetectiveENgood
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes420031894DetectiveEN
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Hound of the Baskervilles520031901DetectiveEN
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Return of Sherlock Holmes420031905DetectiveEN
Dumas, AlexandreThe Three Musketeers420051844Fiction, FranceEN
Evola, JuliusMeditations on the Peaks320151974PoliticsEN
Fleming, IanDr. No320041958Thriller, SpyEN
Fleming, IanOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service320041963Thriller, SpyEN
Fleming, IanYou Only Live Twice320041964Thriller, SpyEN
Fyodorov, Vitaly (Afrika)Notes of a Terrorist420162016Autobiography, War Story, Ukraine WarRUunread
Golding, WilliamLord of the Flies320041954Fiction, EnglandEN
Grisham, JohnThe Firm520081991ThrillerEN
Haggard, Henry RiderKing Solomon’s Mines420051885Fiction, EnglandEN
Haywire, RachelThe New Reaction220152015Politics, NRxEN
HomerThe Odyssey42012-800Classics, Epic, GreeceEN
Houellebecq, MichelSubmission [2013]420212015PoliticsENSee main review.
Istvan, ZoltanThe Transhumanist Wager220142013PoliticsEN[2013] review - This must be one of the most overhyped books I have ever read. I really don't understand all the 4/5 and 5/5 reviews. Two dimensional characters and cardboard cutout villains who speak in multi-page, sleep-inducing monologues; a sophomoric "philosophy" that pretends to be original but is really just Objectivism with a transhuman accent, promoted with all the nuance and subtlety of a sledgehammer by a fanatical and thoroughly unlikable ideologue full of strange and unexplained contradictions (despite his worship of rationalism); in large parts, hilariously technologically illiterate, despite the fetishization of technology.
Kafka, FranzThe Trial120061925PhilosophyEN
King, StephenCarrie520071974HorrorENgood
Kundera, MilanThe Unbearable Lightness of Being520071984PhilosophyENgood
LaoziDao De Jing32010-550Classics, Theology, TaoismEN
Larsson, StiegThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo320102005ThrillerEN
Limonov, EduardThe Other Russia320092004Politics, RussiaRU
London, JackThe Call of the Wild220031903Fiction, USAEN
MacDonald, Andrew & PierceThe Turner Diaries120081978PoliticsEN
Machiavelli, NiccolòThe Prince520081532Politics, Political EconomyENgood
Nabokov, VladimirConversation Piece, 1945420101945Fiction, RussiaRU
NestorTale of Bygone Years420121113Classics, Epic, RussiaRU
Nikitin, AfanasyA Journey Beyond the Three Seas20201475Classics, Russia, TravelRUunread
Pushkin, AlexanderRuslan and Ludmila519941820Poetry, RussiaRUgood
Pushkin, AlexanderThe Queen of Spades520061834Fiction, RussiaRU
Rand, AynThe Fountainhead420101943PoliticsENunread
Remarque, Erich MariaAll Quiet on the Western Front520041929Fiction, War Story, WW1EN
Sachar, LouisHoles420021998FictionEN
Shakespeare, WilliamRomeo and Juliet420041595Play, EnglandEN
Shakespeare, WilliamMacbeth420011606Play, EnglandEN
Sheriff, R.C.Journey’s End420021928Fiction, War Story, WW1EN
Solzhenitsyn, AlexanderOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich420051962Fiction, RussiaRU
Stevenson, Robert LouisTreasure Island220031883Fiction, EnglandEN
SunziThe Art of War32005-500Classics, Military, ChinaEN
Tolstoy, LevThe Death of Ivan Ilyich520041886Fiction, RussiaRU
Twain, MarkThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer320041876Fiction, USAEN
Twain, MarkThe Prince and the Pauper320041881Fiction, USAEN
Unamuno, Miguel deSan Manuel Bueno, Martyr520091930PhilosophyENgood
VirgilThe Aeneid2201119Classics, Epic, RomanEN
Wheatley, DennisThe Quest of Julian Day520031939ThrillerEN
Wyss, JohannThe Swiss Family Robinson120031812Fiction, EnglandEN
Zhuchkovsky, Alexander85 Days in Slavyansk520182018War Story, Ukraine WarRUunread

 

SciFi

RSeriesAuthorTitlereadpub.TagsLnotesShort Review:
Eis-1Abnett, DanXenos420182001SciFi, WH40KEN
Asimov, IsaacI, Robot520101950SciFi, AIEN
Asimov, IsaacThe Last Question520101956SciFiENbest
Bacigalupi, PaoloThe Water Knife320162015Post-ApocEN
FBaxter, StephenFLOOD4~Post-ApocENtheseries
F-1Baxter, StephenFlood420142009Post-ApocEN
F-2Baxter, StephenArk420142010Post-ApocENgood
Brooks, MaxThe Zombie Survival Guide520092003Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Brooks, MaxWorld War Z220102006Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
RRBrown, PierceRED RISING3~DystopiaENtheseries
RR-1Brown, PierceRed Rising420152014DystopiaEN
RR-2Brown, PierceGolden Son320152015DystopiaENunread
EG-11Card, Orson ScottEnder’s Game320151985SciFiEN
Carter, PaulThe Last Objective420201946Short Story, Military SF, Post-ApocENNot the best sci-fi story, not the worst. Implicit commentary on the futility of war, evidently hates military psychologists, elements of horror towards the end. Interesting portrayal of underground subterrene combat.
HGCollins, SuzanneHUNGER GAMES4~DystopiaENtheseries
HG-1Collins, SuzanneThe Hunger Games420122008DystopiaENgood
HG-2Collins, SuzanneCatching Fire420122009DystopiaEN
HG-3Collins, SuzanneMockingjay220122010DystopiaEN
Crichton, MichaelCongo420101980SciFi, ThrillerEN
Crichton, MichaelJurassic Park420111990SciFi, ThrillerENgood
Crichton, MichaelPrey420102002SciFi, ThrillerEN
Crichton, MichaelState of Fear120122004SciFi, ThrillerEN
Crichton, Michael & Richard PrestonMicro220132011SciFi, ThrillerEN
MR-1Dashner, JamesThe Maze Runner320112009DystopiaEN
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Lost World520031912SciFiEN
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Poison Belt420031913SciFiEN
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Land of Mist120031926SciFi, EsotericEN
Egan, GregPermutation City420221994SciFi, ParadoxENunread
Ellison, HarlanI Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream420211967Short Story, HorrorENgood
Fehervari, PeterGenestealer Cults420212016SciFi, WH40KENunread
Forstchen, WilliamOne Second After520142009Post-ApocENgood
Gibson, WilliamNeuromancer420141984CyberpunkENunread
MGlukhovsky, DmitryMETRO4Post-ApocRUtheseries
M-1Glukhovsky, DmitryMetro 2033520102005Post-ApocRUbest
M-2Glukhovsky, DmitryMetro 2034420162009Post-ApocRU
M-3Glukhovsky, DmitryMetro 2035220162015Post-ApocRU
Hackett, JohnThe Third World War320021982Alt History, WW3EN
Harris, RobertFatherland520171992Alt HistoryENgoodunread
D-1Herbert, FrankDune420151965SciFiEN
Hertling, WilliamAvogadro Corp420152014SciFi, AIEN
SHowey, HughSILO4~Post-ApocENtheseries
S-1Howey, HughWool520152012Post-ApocENgood
S-2Howey, HughShift420152012Post-ApocEN
S-3Howey, HughDust320162012Post-ApocEN
Huxley, AldousBrave New World520051932DystopiaEN
King, StephenThe Stand520071978Horror, Post-ApocENbest
King, StephenCell420082006Horror, Post-ApocEN
King, StephenThe Long Walk420081979Horror, DystopiaENgood
King, StephenThe Running Man320081982DystopiaEN
Kunstler, HowardWorld Made by Hand [2009]220092008Post-ApocENSee main review.
Leiber, FritzA Pail of Air320151951Short Story, Post-ApocEN
Lukyanenko, SergeyKnights of the Forty Islands420121992DystopiaRUgood
Lukyanenko, SergeyNight Watch420122004Urban FantasyRUunread
NMather, MatthewNOMAD2~Post-ApocENtheseries
N-1Mather, MatthewNomad420192016Post-ApocEN
N-2Mather, MatthewResistance320192017Post-ApocEN
Miller, Walter M.A Canticle for Leibowitz520061960Post-Apoc, WW3ENbest
AutMoody, DavidAUTUMN3~Post-Apoc, ZombiesENtheseries
Aut-1Moody, DavidAutumn420012012Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Aut-2Moody, DavidThe City320052012Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Aut-3Moody, DavidPurification320042012Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Aut-4Moody, DavidDisintegration320112012Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Aut-5Moody, DavidAftermath320122012Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Aut-6Moody, DavidThe Human Condition220052012Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Orwell, GeorgeAnimal Farm420031945DystopiaENgood
Orwell, George1984520051949DystopiaENbest
Panshin, AlexeiRite of Passage320131968SciFiEN
Robinson, Kim StanleyThe Years of Rice and Salt520132003Alt HistoryENgood
Stephenson, NealThe Diamond Age420151995CyberpunkENunread
Stephenson, NealSeveneves420152015Post-ApocENgoodIt took me 2 days to read the first two thirds of Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. It is taking me an excruciating 2 weeks (and counting) to finish the last third. The genetic technology to produce the post-Hard Rain races is just about plausible (I am assuming this book is set in a techno-optimistic version of what 2025-2030 would be like or thereabouts). However, the idea that racial admixture would be low enough to result in the continuance of distinct races even though they spend the first 4,000 years of the Hard Rain scooped up in cramped living quarters isn't very plausible.
EvStirling, S.M.EMBERVERSE5~Post-ApocENtheseries
Ev-1Stirling, S.M.Dies the Fire520112004Post-ApocENgood
Ev-2Stirling, S.M.The Protector’s War520112005Post-ApocEN
Ev-3Stirling, S.M.A Meeting at Corvallis520112006Post-ApocENbest
Strugatsky, Arkady & Boris StrugatskyThe Inhabited Island520221969SciFi, DystopiaRUbestunread
Swallow, JamesDeus Ex: Icarus Effect320162014SciFi, CyberpunkEN
Verne, JulesJourney to the Center of the Earth420021864SciFiEN
Verne, JulesAround the World in Eighty Days520001873SciFiENbest
Vinge, VernorTrue Names520081981SciFiENbest
Voinovich, VladimirMoscow 2042 [2018]220021986DystopiaRUSee main review.
Vonnegut, KurtCat’s Cradle420141963Post-ApocEN
SHWeber, DavidSAFEHOLD3~SciFiENtheseries
SH-1Weber, DavidOff Armageddon Reef320202016SciFiENunread
Wells, H.G.The Time Machine520041895SciFiEN
Wells, H.G.The Island of Doctor Moreau420041896SciFiENgood
Wells, H.G.The War of the Worlds420041898SciFiEN
CK-3Wingrove, DavidThe Middle Kingdom220111989DystopiaEN
Yudkowsky, EliezerA Girl Corrupted by the Internet is the Summoned Hero?!220172016SciFiEN

 

Fantasy

RSeriesAuthorTitlereadpub.TagsLnotesShort Review:
#FLAbercrombie, JoeTHE FIRST LAW5~HeroENtheseries
FL-1Abercrombie, JoeThe Blade Itself520112006HeroENgoodThe world-building doesn’t amount to much more than cardboard cutouts of TV Tropes realms – The Union (=The Federation), Gurkish Empire (=The Empire), The North (=”It’s Grim Up North”). The plot is forgettable, and sometimes barely made sense. Yet despite all that, Abercrombie proves that in literature, it is the characters that carry the day: Years on, I still remember the crippled torturer Glokta, the doofy aristo Jezal, and of course the berserker Logen and his band of warriors.
FL-2Abercrombie, JoeBefore They Are Hanged520122007HeroEN
FL-3Abercrombie, JoeLast Argument of Kings320122008HeroEN
Dahl, RoaldCharlie and the Chocolate Factory420001964Children'sEN
Dahl, RoaldCharlie and the Great Glass Elevator420001972Children'sEN
Dahl, RoaldThe BFG420001982Children'sEN
Dahl, RoaldThe Witches420001983Children'sEN
Dahl, RoaldBoy: Tales of Childhood420001984Children's, AutobiographyEN
Dahl, RoaldMatilda420001988Children'sEN
CTFriedman, C.S.COLDFIRE TRILOGY3~HorrorENtheseries
CT-1Friedman, C.S.Black Sun Rising [2013]420121991HorrorENSee main review.
Friedman, C.S.When True Night Falls220121993HorrorENunread
SoTGoodkind, TerrySWORD OF TRUTH2~EpicENtheseries
SoT-1Goodkind, TerryWizard’s First Rule220091994EpicEN
RWJacques, BrianREDWALL5~Children'sENtheseries
RW-1Jacques, BrianLord Brocktree420012000Children'sEN
RW-2Jacques, BrianMartin the Warrior420001993Children'sEN
RW-3Jacques, BrianMossflower519981988Children'sENgood
RW-4Jacques, BrianThe Legend of Luke419991999Children'sEN
RW-5Jacques, BrianOutcast of Redwall419991995Children'sEN
RW-6Jacques, BrianMariel of Redwall419991991Children'sEN
RW-7Jacques, BrianThe Bellmaker419981994Children'sEN
RW-8Jacques, BrianSalamandastron519981992Children'sENgood
RW-9Jacques, BrianRedwall519971986Children'sENgood
RW-10Jacques, BrianMattimeo419981989Children'sEN
RW-11Jacques, BrianThe Pearls of Lutra519981996Children'sENgood
RW-12Jacques, BrianThe Long Patrol419981997Children'sEN
RW-13Jacques, BrianMarlfox420001998Children'sEN
Jacques, BrianSeven Strange and Ghostly Tales420001991Children's, HorrorEN
DMJarvis, RobinDEPTFORD MICE4~Children'sENtheseries
DM-1Jarvis, RobinThe Dark Portal420001989Children'sEN
DM-2Jarvis, RobinThe Crystal Prison320001989Children'sEN
DM-3Jarvis, RobinThe FInal Reckoning320001990Children'sEN
WoTJordan, RobertTHE WHEEL OF TIME4~EpicENtheseries
WoT-0Jordan, RobertNew Spring320082004EpicEN
WoT-1Jordan, RobertThe Eye of the World520031990EpicENbest
WoT-2Jordan, RobertThe Great Hunt520031990EpicENgood
WoT-3Jordan, RobertThe Dragon Reborn520031991EpicENgood
WoT-4Jordan, RobertThe Shadow Rising420031992EpicENbest
WoT-5Jordan, RobertThe Fires of Heaven520031993EpicENbest
WoT-6Jordan, RobertLord of Chaos420041994EpicENgood
WoT-7Jordan, RobertA Crown of Swords320041996EpicEN
WoT-8Jordan, RobertThe Path of Daggers220041998EpicEN
WoT-9Jordan, RobertWinter’s Heart220042000EpicEN
WoT-10Jordan, RobertCrossroads of Twilight120042003EpicEN
WoT-11Jordan, RobertKnife of Dreams320052005EpicENgood
WoT-12Jordan, Robert & SandersonThe Gathering Storm420092009EpicEN
WoT-13Jordan, Robert & SandersonTowers of Midnight320102010EpicEN
WoT-14Jordan, Robert & SandersonA Memory of Light220132013EpicEN
WoT-14+Jordan, Robert & SandersonA Memory of Light: River of Souls420142014EpicEN
DTKing, StephenDARK TOWER2~Epic, WesternENtheseries
DT-1King, StephenThe Gunslinger220081982Epic, WesternEN
ESLe Guin, UrsulaEARTHSEA CHRONICLES4~EpicENtheseries
ES-1Le Guin, UrsulaThe Wizard of Earthsea420041968EpicENgood
ES-2Le Guin, UrsulaThe Tombs of Atuan520041971EpicENgood
ES-3Le Guin, UrsulaThe Farthest Shore420041972EpicEN
CoNLewis, C.S.THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA5~Children'sENtheseries
CoN-1Lewis, C.S.The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe520011950Children'sENgood
CoN-2Lewis, C.S.Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia420011951Children'sEN
CoN-3Lewis, C.S.The Voyage of the Dawn Treader420011952Children'sEN
CoN-4Lewis, C.S.The Silver Chair420011953Children'sEN
CoN-5Lewis, C.S.The Horse and His Boy420021954Children'sEN
CoN-6Lewis, C.S.The Magician's Nephew420021955Children'sEN
CoN-6Lewis, C.S.The Last Battle420021956Children'sEN
Lovecraft, H.P.The Call of Cthulhu520121928HorrorEN
ASoIaFMartin, G.R.R.A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE5~EpicENtheseries
ASoIaF-1Martin, G.R.R.A Game of Thrones520131996EpicENbest
ASoIaF-2Martin, G.R.R.A Clash of Kings520131999EpicENbest
ASoIaF-3Martin, G.R.R.A Storm of Swords520132000EpicENbest
ASoIaF-4Martin, G.R.R.A Feast for Crows520132005EpicENbest
ASoIaF-5Martin, G.R.R.A Dance with Dragons520132011EpicENgood
TwMeyer, StephanieTWILIGHT2~YAENtheseries
Tw-1Meyer, StephanieTwilight220092005YAEN
Pullman, PhilipThe Firework-Maker’s Daughter420051995Children'sENgood
Pullman, PhilipClockwork420051996Children'sENgood
HDMPullman, PhilipHIS DARK MATERIALS5~Children'sENtheseries
HDM-1Pullman, PhilipThe Golden Compass520121995Children'sENbest
HDM-2Pullman, PhilipThe Subtle Knife520121997Children'sENgood
HDM-3Pullman, PhilipThe Amber Spyglass420122000Children'sEN
HCReeve, PhilipHUNGRY CITIES3~YAENtheseries
HC-1Reeve, PhilipMortal Engines420142001YAEN
HC-2Reeve, PhilipPredator’s Gold220142003YAENunread
HPRowling, J.K.HARRY POTTER4~Children'sENtheseries
HP-1Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone520041997Children'sEN
HP-2Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets520041998Children'sENgood
HP-3Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban520041999Children'sENgood
HP-4Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire520052000YAENgood
HP-5Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix520052003YAEN
HP-6Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince520062005YAENgood
HP-7Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows520072007YAEN
MBSanderson, BrandonMISTBORN5~YAENtheseries
MB-1Sanderson, BrandonThe Final Empire520092006YAENbest
MB-2Sanderson, BrandonThe Well of Ascension420092007YAEN
MB-3Sanderson, BrandonThe Hero of Ages520092008YAENgood
MB-1+Sanderson, BrandonMistborn: Secret History520162016YAEN
CSSanderson, BrandonSTORMLIGHT CHRONICLES5~EpicENtheseries
SC-1Sanderson, BrandonThe Way of Kings520102010EpicEN
W&WSanderson, BrandonWAX & WAYNE4~YAENtheseries
W&W-1Sanderson, BrandonThe Alloy of Law420122011YAEN
W&W-2Sanderson, BrandonShadows of Self420152015YAEN
W&W-3Sanderson, BrandonThe Bands of Mourning420162016YAEN
Sanderson, BrandonThe Emperor’s Soul520122012Short StoryENbest
ReckSanderson, BrandonTHE RECKONERS3~YAENtheseries
Reck-1Sanderson, BrandonSteelheart420132013YAEN
Reck-1+Sanderson, BrandonMitosis320142014YAEN
Reck-2Sanderson, BrandonFirefight320152015YAEN
Reck-3Sanderson, BrandonCalamity320162016YAEN
WSapkowski, AndrzejWITCHER4~EpicENtheseries
W-1Sapkowski, AndrzejThe Last Wish420221993EpicENunread
Tolkien, John R.R.The Hobbit520001937Children'sENbest
LotRTolkien, John R.R.THE LORD OF THE RINGS5~EpicENtheseries
LotR-1Tolkien, John R.R.The Fellowship of the Ring520011954EpicENbest
LotR-2Tolkien, John R.R.The Two Towers520011954EpicENbest
LotR-3Tolkien, John R.R.The Return of the King520011955EpicENbest
Tolkien, John R.R.The Silmarillion320021977EpicEN
Yudkowsky, EliezerHarry Potter and the Methods of Rationality520152015YA, FanFicENbest
Yudkowsky, EliezerDark Lord’s Answer320162016HumorEN

 

Self-Help

RAuthorTitlereadpub.TagsLnotesShort Review:
Allen, DavidGetting Things Done420142002ProductivityEN
Bell, James ScottWrite Great Fiction3420132008WritingEN
Carnegie, DaleHow to Win Friends and Influence People220081936SocialEN
Charles, H.W.The Money Code420132012Money, JewsEN
Demarco, M.J.The Millionaire Fastlane520122011MoneyENbest
Durant, JohnThe Paleo Manifesto [2013]520132013Health, PaleoENSee main review.
Ferriss, TimThe Four Hour Workweek520092007Productivity, MoneyENbest
Ferriss, TimThe Four Hour Body320092010Health, PaleoENgood
Fox, Chris5,000 Words per Hour420152015WritingEN
Kearny, CressonNuclear War Survival Skills320091987SurvivalismEN
King, StephenOn Writing420082000WritingENbest
Kresser, ChrisThe Paleo Cure420142013Health, PaleoEN
Lowndes, LeilHow to Talk to Anyone420131999Social
Roosh VBang!520112007SocialENgood
Sisson, MarkThe Primal Blueprint420132009Health, PaleoEN
Sisson, MarkThe Primal Connection420132013Health, PaleoEN
Snyder, BlakeSave the Cat!420162005WritingENunread
Strauss, NeilThe Game520082005SocialENbest
Wade, PaulConvict Conditioning [2013]420132010Health, FitnessENSee main review.
Wolf, RobbThe Paleo Solution320132010Health, PaleoEN