Book Reviews

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Last updated: Jan 1, 2021

Items with full reviews have are highlighted and have a direct hyperlink, with items with a short review at the above pages are denoted with a #. Absolute favorite items for which a mere 5 stars does not suffice are bolded. You can follow latest reviews on my blog at The Unz Review.


Library

AuthorTitlerev?readpub.TagsLnotes
Akerlof, George A. & ShillerAnimal Spirits220102009EconomicsEN
Assange, Julian et al.Cypherpunks320132013PoliticsEN
Baudrillard, JeanSimulacra and Simulation220041995PhilosophyEN
Bostrom, NickSuperintelligence520152014Futurism, AI, X RisksENbest
Bronze Age PervertBronze Age Mindset320182018PoliticsEN
Caplan, BryanThe Case Against Education420182018EconomicsEN
Chang, Ha-JoonKicking Away the Ladder4200920092002EconomicsENreviewed
Chomsky, NoamManufacturing Consent520131988Politics, MediaEN
Chua, AmyWorld on Fire4#20062002Sociology, HBDEN
Cohen, Stephen F.Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives420122009Politics, RussiaEN
Dawisha, KarenPutin’s Kleptocracy3#20182014Politics, RussiaEN
Dawkins, RichardThe God Delusion4#20082006Theology, AtheismEN
Deffeyes, KennethBeyond Oil420092006Energy & ClimateEN
Donovan, JackThe Way of Men420122011SociologyEN
Dutton, Edward & WoodleyAt Our Wits’ End420192018HBDEN
Finlayson, CliveThe Humans Who Went Extinct4#20152010AnthropologyEN
Fish, StevenDemocracy from Scratch220101995Politics, RussiaEN
Ford, MartinRise of the Robots4#20152015Economics, FuturismEN
Friedman, GeorgeThe Next 100 Years2200920092009Geopolitics, FuturismENreviewed
Fukuyama, FrancisThe End of History and the Last Man5#20081992GeopoliticsEN
Gaddy, Clifford & HillThe Siberian Curse420192003Economics, RussiaEN
Gladwell, MalcolmThe Tipping Point320052000SociologyEN
Gray, JohnFalse Dawn120061998EconomicsEN
Greene, BrianThe Elegant Universe320051999Science, PhysicsEN
Greene, RobertThe 48 Laws of Power420111998PoliticsEN
Greer, John MichaelThe Long Descent520092008CollapseEN
Greer, John MichaelOur Ecotechnic Future420092009CollapseEN
Grey, Aubrey deEnding Aging3#20142007Science, GerontologyEN
Hanson, RobinThe Age of Em520162016Futurism, AI, H+ENbest
Heilbroner, RichardThe Worldly Philosophers5#20091953Philosophy, Political EconomyEN
Hitler, AdolfMein Kampf220041925Politics, Nazi GermanyEN
Hobbes, ThomasLeviathan420091651Philosophy, Political EconomyEN
Hoffman, DavidThe Oligarchs4#20122001Politics, RussiaEN
Huntington, SamuelThe Clash of Civilizations5#20061996GeopoliticsENbest
Hutchins, Chris & KorobkoPutin4#20112011Politics, RussiaEN
Ilyin, IvanOur Tasks520171956Politics, RussiaRUbest
Jack, AndrewInside Putin’s Russia320042004Politics, RussiaEN
Jensen, ArthurThe g Factor5#20141998HBDENbest
Jones, GarettHive Mind420172015HBD, EconomicsEN
Kaczynski, TedIndustrial Society and Its Future3#20051995PoliticsEN
Kahn, HermanOn Thermonuclear War4#20091959Geopolitics, MilitaryEN
Kaplan, Robert D.Asia’s Cauldron320162014GeopoliticsEN
Kennedy, PaulPreparing for the 21st Century4#20051993Geopolitics, FuturismEN
Klein, RichardThe Human Career3#20151999AnthropologyEN
Kornai, JanosThe Socialist System420131992EconomicsEN
Kotkin, StephenArmageddon Averted3#20122003Politics, RussiaEN
Kroeber, Arthur A.China’s Economy4201920192016EconomicsENreviewed
Krugman, PaulPeddling Prosperity320061994EconomicsEN
Krylov, KonstantinBehavior4200920111997Sociology, ChinaRUreviewed
Kunstler, HowardThe Long Emergency220092005CollapseEN
Kurzweil, RayThe Singularity is Near5#20062005Futurism, H+ENbest
Leonard, MarkWhat Does China Think?420102008Geopolitics, ChinaEN
Levitt, StephenFreakonomics320082005EconomicsEN
List, FriedrichThe National System of Political Economy4#20111841EconomicsEN
Liu, XinThe Otherness of Self1201320132001Sociology, ChinaENreviewed
Lovelock, JamesThe Ages of Gaia420061988Energy & ClimateEN
Lovelock, JamesThe Revenge of Gaia220072006Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Lucas, EdwardThe New Cold War1#20082008Politics, RussiaEN
Lynas, MarkSix Degrees420062007Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Lynn, RichardRace Differences in Intelligence420142006HBDEN
Lynn, RichardThe Global Bell Curve5#20142008HBDEN
Lynn, RichardIntelligence4#20152012HBDEN
Lynn, RichardRace Differences in Psychopathic Personality4202020202019HBDENreviewed
MacDonald, KevinThe Culture of Critique220162013Politics, HBDEN
Marx, KarlCapital1$20081867EconomicsEN
Marx, Karl & EngelsThe Communist Manifesto420081848EconomicsEN
McGregor, RichardThe Party4#20112010Politics, ChinaEN
Meadows, Donella et al.Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update5201020102004Energy & Climate, FuturismENreviewed
Meier, AndrewBlack Earth420052003Politics, RussiaEN
Moldbug, Mencius (Curtis Yarvin)A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations3#20162009PoliticsEN
Moore, MichaelStupid White Men420042001Politics, USAEN
Murray, CharlesComing Apart520172012Sociology, HBD, USAEN
Murray, Charles & HerrnsteinBell Curve5#20131994HBDENbest
Myers, B.R.The Cleanest Race4#20122010Politics, North KoreaEN
Naughton, BarryThe Chinese Economy3#20122006Economics, ChinaEN
Nietzsche, FriedrichOn the Genealogy of Morality520101887PhilosophyEN
Orlov, DmitryReinventing Collapse320112008CollapseEN
Papagianni, Dimitra & MorseThe Neanderthals Rediscovered3#20152013AnthropologyEN
Parshev, AndreyWhy Russia Is Not America4200920021999Economics, RussiaRUreviewed
Pearce, FredWith Speed and Violence320062008Energy & ClimateEN
Pillsbury, MichaelChina Debates the Future Security Environment320102000Geopolitics, ChinaEN
Pinker, StevenThe Blank Slate5#20162002Sociology, HBDENbest
Polanyi, KarlThe Great Transformation420101944EconomicsEN
Preston, RichardThe Hot Zone520151994Science, EpidemiologyEN
Putin, Vladimir et al.From the First Person3#20122000Politics, RussiaRU
Randers, Jorgen2052420122012Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Rees, MartinOur Final Hour220062003Futurism, X RisksEN
Reid, T.R.The United States of Europe320042005Politics, EuropeEN
Rindermann, HeinerCognitive Capitalism520192018HBD, EconomicsEN
Ritchie, StuartIntelligence: All That Matters4#20182015HBDEN
Rosefielde, StevenRussia in the 21st Century320092004Geopolitics, RussiaEN
Rushton, J. PhilippeRace, Evolution, and Behavior5#20122000AnthropologyENbest
Sachs, JeffreyThe End of Poverty3#20042005EconomicsEN
Sakwa, RichardThe Crisis of Russian Democracy520132010Politics, RussiaEN
Sakwa, RichardFrontline Ukraine520152014Geopolitics, RussiaEN
Shafarevich, IgorRussophobia5#20181982Politics, RussiaRU
Smil, VaclavGlobal Catastrophes and Trends4200920092008Futurism, TechnologyENreviewed
Smith, AdamThe Wealth of Nations4#20111776EconomicsEN
Smith, Arthur H.Chinese Characteristics5201320131894Sociology, Travel, ChinaENreviewed
Smith, Laurence C.The World in 2050320102010Geopolitics, Futurism, ArcticEN
Solomon, StevenWater320102010Energy & ClimateEN
Stager, CurtDeep Future420162011Energy & Climate, FuturismEN
Steyn, MarkAmerica Alone4200920092006GeopoliticsENreviewed
Strahan, DavidThe Last Oil Shock320092007Energy & ClimateEN
Taleb, Nicholas NassimThe Black Swan4#20122007EconomicsEN
Tegmark, MarkOur Mathematical Universe4#20162014Science, PhysicsEN
Todd, EmmanuelThe Explanation of Ideology520141985Sociology, HBDENbest
Treisman, DanielThe Return520112011Politics, RussiaEN
Trenin, DmitryShould We Fear Russia?320172016Geopolitics, RussiaEN
Trubetzkoy, NikolayEurope and Mankind5200920091920Politics, RussiaRUbestreviewed
Turner, Jonathan AdairJust Capital5#20052001EconomicsENbest
Wade, NicholasA Troublesome Inheritance4#20152014Anthropology, HBDEN
Ward, PeterUnder a Green Sky320102007Energy & ClimateEN
Ware, TimothyThe Orthodox Church4#20121963Theology, ChristianityEN
Wegren, Stephen et al.After Putin’s Russia320102009Politics, RussiaEN
Weisman, AlanThe World Without Us420092007CollapseEN
Wolff, MichaelFire and Fury320182018Politics, USAEN
Yang, AndrewThe War on Normal People4201920192018Politics, Futurism, AI, USAENreviewed
Zhavoronkov, AlexThe Ageless Generation320192013Futurism, GerontologyEN

 

Caplan, Bryan – The Case Against Education (2018) ★★★★ / economics, education
According 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). Promoting and subsidizing mass higher education is a huge misallocation of resources.
 REVIEW 2009  Chang, Ha-Joon – Kicking Away the Ladder (2002) ★★★★ / economics
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.
Dawkins, Richard – The God Delusion (2006) ★★★★ / theology, atheism
The 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.
Ford, Martin – Rise of the Robots (2015) ★★★★ / economics, futurism
Superb overview of the role of automation on the future of leisure and employment – already reverberations of that with the candidacy of Andrew Yang.
 REVIEW 2009  Friedman, George – The Next 100 Years (2009) ★★ / geopolitics, futurism
China and Russia to fall apart (how convenient). Polish superpower. Mexican superpower. The coming war with Japan. Why does anybody take Friedman seriously?
Fukuyama, Francis – The End of History and the Last Man (1992) *** ★★★★★
This 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.
Huntington, Samuel – The Clash of Civilizations (1996) *** ★★★★★
This 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.
Kahn, Herman – On Thermonuclear War (1959) ★★★★
The 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.
Kennedy, Paul – Preparing for the 21st Century (1993) ★★★★
Kroeber, Arthur A. – China’s Economy (2016) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2019)
List, Friedrich – The National System of Political Economy (1841) ★★★★
Liu, Xin – The Otherness of Self (2001) ★ FULL REVIEW (2013)
Only read/reviewed this because it was assigned in college.
Marx, Karl – Capital (1867) ★ ANTI-REVIEW (2018)
McGregor, Richard – The Party (2010) ★★★★
Some 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.
Moldbug, Mencius (Curtis Yarvin) – A Gentle Introduction to Unqualified Reservations (2009) ★★★
Will 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.
Myers, B.R. – The Cleanest Race (2010) ★★★★
Convincing argument that Best Korea is more of an ultranationalist state than a Marxist-Leninist one.
Naughton, Barry – The Chinese Economy (2006) ★★★
Introductory 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.
Sachs, Jeffrey – The End of Poverty (2005) ★★★
Smith, Adam – The Wealth of Nations (1776) ★★★★
Smith, Arthur H. – Chinese Characteristics (1894) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2013)
One of the best travelogues ever written.
Steyn, Mark America Alone (2006) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)
Funny writing style, appeals to American vatnik types, ultimately nonsensical but who cares.
Taleb, Nicholas Nassim – The Black Swan (2007) ★★★★
Turner, Jonathan Adair – Just Capital (2001) *** ★★★★★
Ware, Timothy – The Orthodox Church (1963) ★★★★
Yang, Andrew – The War on Normal People (2018) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2019)

 

Futurism

Bostrom, Nick – Superintelligence (2014) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Dartnell, Lewis – The Knowledge (2014) ★★★★
Dunham, William – Journey through Genius (1991) ★★★★★
Grey, Aubrey de – Ending Aging (2007) ★★★
Hanson, Robin – The Age of Em (2016) *** ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Kurzweil, Ray – The Singularity is Near (2005) *** ★★★★★
Series: My Top 5 Most Influential Books
Lynas, Mark – Six Degrees (2007) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Meadows, Donella et al. – Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update (2004) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2010)
Smil, Vaclav – Global Catastrophes and Trends (2008) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)
Stager, Curt – Deep Future (2011) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Tainter, Joseph – The Collapse of Complex Societies (1988) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2018)
Tegmark, Mark – Our Mathematical Universe (2014) ★★★★

 

HBD

Bloom, Howard – The Lucifer Principle (1995) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2010)
Chua, Amy – World on Fire (2002) ★★★★
Clark, Gregory – A Farewell to Alms (2008) ★★★★★
Cochran, Gregory & Harpending – The 10,000 Year Explosion (2009) ★★★★
Finlayson, Clive – The Humans Who Went Extinct (2010) ★★★★
Hart, Michael – Understanding Human History (2007) ★★
Jensen, Arthur – The g Factor (1998) *** ★★★★★
Jones, Garett – Hive Mind (2015) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Klein, Richard – The Human Career (1999) ★★★
Lynn, Richard – The Global Bell Curve (2008) ★★★
Murray, Charles – Human Accomplishment (2009) *** ★★★★★
Murray, Charles – Coming Apart (2012) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Murray, Charles & Herrnstein – Bell Curve (1994) *** ★★★★★
Series: My Top 5 Most Influential Books
Papagianni, Dimitra & Morse – The Neanderthals Rediscovered (2013) ★★★
Pinker, Steven – The Blank Slate (2002) ★★★★★
Ritchie, Stuart – Intelligence: All That Matters (2015) ★★★★
Rushton, J. Philippe – Race, Evolution, and Behavior (2000) *** ★★★★★
Series: My Top 5 Most Influential Books
Todd, Emmanuel – The Explanation of Ideology (1985) *** ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Wade, Nicholas – A Troublesome Inheritance (2014) ★★★★

 

Russia

Cohen, Stephen F. – Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives (2009) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Gaddy, Clifford & Hill – The Siberian Curse (2003) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Hoffman, David – The Oligarchs (2001) ★★★★
Hutchins, Chris & Korobko – Putin (2011) ★★★★
Ilyin, Ivan – Our Tasks (1956) *** ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Lucas, Edward – The New Cold War (2008) ★
McMeekin, Sean – The Russian Revolution (2017) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Parshev, Andrey – Why Russia Is Not America (1999) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)
Putin, Vladimir et al. – From the First Person (2000) ★★★
Sakwa, Richard – The Crisis of Russian Democracy (2010) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Sakwa, Richard – Frontline Ukraine (2014) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Schrad, Mark – Vodka Politics (2013) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Treisman, Daniel – The Return (2011) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Trenin, Dmitry – Should We Fear Russia? (2016) ★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Trubetzkoy, Nikolay – Europe and Mankind (1920) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)

 


History

AuthorTitlerev?readpub.TagsLnotes
Acheson, David1089 And All That520042002Science, Math, Children'sEN
Arnove, Robert & GraffNational Literacy Campaigns3#20141987Economics, LiteracyEN
Beevor, AnthonyStalingrad220041999Military, WW2EN
Bellamy, ChrisAbsolute War520122007Military, WW2EN
Bloom, HowardThe Lucifer Principle5201020101995World, HBDENreviewed
Brogan, HughThe Penguin History of the USA220081985History, USAEN
Bryson, BillA Short History of Nearly Everything420022003ScienceEN
Chanda, NayanBound Together220082007Economics, WorldEN
Clark, GregoryA Farewell to Alms5#20142008Economics, HBDEN
Clark, GregoryThe Son Also Rises4#20162014Economics, HBDEN
Cochran, Gregory & HarpendingThe 10,000 Year Explosion4#20142009World, HBDEN
Dartnell, LewisThe Knowledge4#20162014Science, TechnologyEN
Diamond, JaredGuns, Germs, and Steel5200920031997World, AnthropologyENbestreviewed
Diamond, JaredCollapse320072005World, Anthropology, CollapseEN
Doyle, WilliamThe Oxford History of the French Revolution220041990History, FranceEN
Dunham, WilliamJourney through Genius5#20071991Science, MathEN
Dupuy, Trevor N.A Genius for War4#20151977Military, WW2EN
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 War5#20061998Military, WW1EN
Fischer, David HackettAlbion’s Seed520181989History, USAENbest
Gat, AzarNations5#20172012WorldEN
Grass, GunterPeeling the Onion4#20102006Memoirs, Nazi GermanyEN
Gumilev, LevFrom Rus’ to Russia420082008History, RussiaRU
Harris, WilliamAncient Literacy4#20141989Economics, Ancient, LiteracyEN
Hart, MichaelUnderstanding Human History2#20132007World, HBDEN
Jones, E.L.The European Miracle4#20141981Economics, Medieval, EuropeEN
Keegan, JohnThe Face of Battle320021976MilitaryEN
Keegan, JohnThe First World War320041998Military, WW1EN
Kennedy, PaulThe Rise and Fall of the Great Powers5#20031987World, GeopoliticsENbest
Korotayev, Andrei et al.Introduction to Social Macrodynamics5200920092006World, CliodynamicsENbestreviewed
Landes, DavidThe Wealth and Poverty of Nations4#20081998Economics, WorldEN
Malia, MartinRussia under Western Eyes5#20092001History, RussiaEN
McMeekin, SeanThe Russian Revolution520182017History, RussiaENbest
Menzies, Gavin1421220052002History, China, ConspiracyEN
Mitterauer, MichaelWhy Europe?4#20152010Economics, Medieval, EuropeEN
Morris, IanWhy the West Rules–For Now4#20142010WorldEN
Morris, IanThe Measure of Civilization4#20142010WorldEN
Murray, CharlesHuman Accomplishment5#20142009Science, HBDENbest
Overy, RichardWhy the Allies Won5#20061995Military, WW2EN
Overy, RichardRussia’s War420061997Military, WW2EN
Pinker, StevenThe Better Angels of our Nature4#20132011World, AnthropologyEN
Pinker, StevenEnlightenment Now320182018WorldEN
Pomeranz, KennethThe Great Divergence5201120112000Economics, World, ChinaENbestreviewed
Ricon, Jose LuisBack in the USSR4#20172017Economics, Communism, Russia/USSREN
Roberts, JohnThe New Penguin History of the World320062007WorldEN
Robinson, PaulRussian Conservatism520192019History, RussiaEN
Schama, SimonCitizens5#20041989History, FranceEN
Schrad, MarkVodka Politics420162013History, RussiaEN
Schwartz, BenjaminIn Search of Wealth and Power4201320131963History, ChinaENreviewed
Scott, JohnBehind the Urals3200920091941Memoirs, Russia/USSRENreviewed
Sheehan, James J.Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?420042008History, EuropeEN
Shirer, William L.The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich5#20041960History, Nazi GermanyEN
Singh, SimonFermat’s Last Theorem420061997Science, MathEN
Singh, SimonThe Code Book420061999Science, MathEN
Slezkine, YuriThe Jewish Century5#20112004History, JewsENbest
Tainter, JosephThe Collapse of Complex Societies4201820091988History, Anthropology, CollapseENreviewed
Tombs, RobertThe English and Their History5#20172015History, BritainEN
Tooze, AdamWages of Destruction520172015Economics, Nazi Germany, WW2ENbest
Trump, DonaldThe Art of the Deal3#20161987Memoirs, BusinessEN
Tuchman, BarbaraThe Guns of August5#20091962Military, WW1ENbest
Turchin, PeterWar and Peace and War5201020102006World, CliodynamicsENreviewed
Turchin, PeterUltrasociety4#20172015World, CliodynamicsEN
Turchin, Peter & NefedovSecular Cycles520122011World, CliodynamicsEN
Werth, AlexanderMoscow War Diary3200920091942Memoirs, WW2, Russia/USSRENreviewed

 

Arnove, Robert & Graff National Literacy Campaigns (1987) ★★★
Bellamy, Chris – Absolute War (2007) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Diamond, Jared – Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)
Dupuy, Trevor N. A – Genius for War (1977) ★★★★
Ferguson, Niall – The Pity of War (1998) ★★★★★
Series: Best Books on WW1
Fischer, David Hackett – Albion’s Seed (1989) *** ★★★★★
Harris, William – Ancient Literacy (1989) ★★★★
Jones, E.L. – The European Miracle (1981) ★★★★
 Kennedy, Paul – The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987) *** ★★★★★
Series: My Top 5 Most Influential Books
Korotayev, Andrei et al. – Introduction to Social Macrodynamics (2006) *** ★★★★★
Series: My Top 5 Most Influential Books
Landes, David The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998) ★★★★
Morris, Ian – Why the West Rules–For Now (2010) ★★★★
Morris, Ian – The Measure of Civilization (2010) ★★★★
Overy, Richard – Why the Allies Won (1995) ★★★★★
Pinker, Steven – The Better Angels of our Nature (2011) ★★★★
Pinker, Steven – Enlightenment Now (2018) ★★★ ANTI-REVIEW (2018)
Pomeranz, Kenneth – The Great Divergence (2000) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2011)
Ricon, Jose Luis – Back in the USSR (2017) ★★★★
Schama, Simon – Citizens (1989) ★★★★★
Schwartz, Benjamin – In Search of Wealth and Power (1963) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2013)
Shirer, William L. – The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960) ★★★★★
Slezkine, Yuri – The Jewish Century (2004) ★★★★★
Tooze, Adam – Wages of Destruction (2015) ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Tuchman, Barbara – The Guns of August (1962) ★★★★★
Series: Best Books on WW1
Turchin, Peter – War and Peace and War (2006) ★★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2010)
Turchin, Peter – Ultrasociety (2015) ★★★★

 

Memoirs

Grass, Gunter – Peeling the Onion (2006) ★★★★
Scott, John – Behind the Urals (1941) ★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)
Trump, Donald – The Art of the Deal (1987) ★★★
Werth, Alexander – Moscow War Diary (1942) ★★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)

 


Literature

AuthorTitlerev?readpub.TagsLnotes
Alighieri, DanteHell [DC-1]320031472Play, ItalyEN
AnonThe Bible32000100Classics, Theology, ChristianityEN
Borges, Jorge LuisLabyrinths5#20101964PhilosophyENbest
Brown, DanThe Da Vinci Code520062003ThrillerEN
Buchan, JamesThirty-Nine Steps219991915Thriller, SpyEN
Camus, AlbertThe Myth of Sisyphus420101942PhilosophyEN
Camus, AlbertThe Stranger5#20101942PhilosophyENbest
Clancy, TomRed Storm Rising4#20091986ThrillerEN
Defoe, DanielRobinson Crusoe120031719Fiction, EnglandEN
Dostoevsky, FedorCrime and Punishment520061866Fiction, RussiaRU
Dostoevsky, FedorThe Brothers Karamazov520071879Fiction, RussiaRUbest
Doyle, Arthur ConanThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes420031892DetectiveEN
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 Peaks3#20151974PoliticsEN
Fleming, IanDr. No320041958Thriller, SpyEN
Fleming, IanOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service320041963Thriller, SpyEN
Fleming, IanYou Only Live Twice320041964Thriller, SpyEN
Golding, WilliamLord of the Flies320041954Fiction, EnglandEN
Grisham, JohnThe Firm520081991ThrillerEN
Haggard, Henry RiderKing Solomon’s Mines420051885Fiction, EnglandEN
HomerThe Odyssey42012-800Classics, Epic, GreeceEN
Houellebecq, MichelSubmission420172015PoliticsEN
Istvan, ZoltanThe Transhumanist Wager2#20142013PoliticsEN
Kafka, FranzThe Trial120061925PhilosophyEN
King, StephenCarrie520071974HorrorEN
Kundera, MilanThe Unbearable Lightness of Being5#20071984PhilosophyENbest
LaoziDao De Jing32010-550Classics, Theology, TaoismEN
Larsson, StiegThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo220102005ThrillerEN
Limonov, EduardThe Other Russia320092004Politics, RussiaRU
London, JackThe Call of the Wild220031903Fiction, USAEN
MacDonald, Andrew & PierceThe Turner Diaries120081978PoliticsEN
Machiavelli, NiccolòThe Prince5#20081532Politics, Political EconomyEN
Nabokov, VladimirConversation Piece, 1945420101945Fiction, RussiaRU
NestorTale of Bygone Years420121113Classics, Epic, RussiaRU
Pushkin, AlexanderRuslan and Ludmila519941820Poetry, RussiaRU
Pushkin, AlexanderThe Queen of Spades520061834Fiction, RussiaRU
Rand, AynThe Fountainhead420101943PoliticsEN
Remarque, Erich MariaAll Quiet on the Western Front520041929Fiction, WW1EN
Sachar, LouisHoles420021998FictionEN
Shakespeare, WilliamRomeo and Juliet420041595Play, EnglandEN
Shakespeare, WilliamMacbeth420011606Play, EnglandEN
Sheriff, R.C.Journey’s End420021928Fiction, 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, Martyr5#20091930PhilosophyEN
VirgilThe Aeneid2201119Classics, Epic, RomanEN
Wheatley, DennisThe Quest of Julian Day520031939ThrillerEN
Wyss, JohannThe Swiss Family Robinson120031812Fiction, EnglandEN

 

Borges, Jorge Luis – Labyrinths (1964) *** ★★★★★
Camus, Albert – The Stranger (1942) ★★★★★
Evola, Julius – Meditations on the Peaks (1974) ★★★
Istvan, Zoltan – The Transhumanist Wager (2013) ★★
Kundera, Milan – The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) ★★★★★
Machiavelli, Niccolò – The Prince (1532) ★★★★★
Unamuno, Miguel de – San Manuel Bueno, Martyr (1930) ★★★★★

 


SciFi

SeriesAuthorTitlerev?readpub.TagsLnotes
Eis-1Abnett, DanXenos4#20182001SciFi, WH40KEN
Asimov, IsaacI, Robot520101950SciFi, AIEN
Asimov, IsaacThe Last Question520101956SciFiEN
Bacigalupi, PaoloThe Water Knife3#20162015Post-ApocEN
F-1Baxter, StephenFlood4#20142009Post-ApocEN
F-2Baxter, StephenArk4#20142010Post-ApocEN
Brooks, MaxThe Zombie Survival Guide5#20092003Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Brooks, MaxWorld War Z220102006Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
RR-1Brown, PierceRed Rising420152014DystopiaEN
RR-2Brown, PierceGolden Son320152015DystopiaEN
EG-11Card, Orson ScottEnder’s Game3#20151985SciFiEN
Carter, PaulThe Last Objective4#20201946Short Story, Military SF, Post-ApocEN
HGCollins, SuzanneHUNGER GAMES4#~DystopiaEN
HG-1Collins, SuzanneThe Hunger Games420122008DystopiaEN
HG-2Collins, SuzanneCatching Fire420122009DystopiaEN
HG-3Collins, SuzanneMockingjay220122010DystopiaEN
Crichton, MichaelCongo420101980SciFi, ThrillerEN
Crichton, MichaelJurassic Park420111990SciFi, ThrillerEN
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
Forstchen, WilliamOne Second After5#20142009Post-ApocEN
Glukhovsky, DmitryMetro 2033520102005Post-ApocEN
Harris, RobertFatherland5#20171992Alt HistoryEN
D-1Herbert, FrankDune4#20151965SciFiEN
Hertling, WilliamAvogadro Corp4#20152014SciFi, AIEN
SHowey, HughSILO4~Post-ApocEN
S-1Howey, HughWool520152012Post-ApocEN
S-2Howey, HughShift420152012Post-ApocEN
S-3Howey, HughDust320162012Post-ApocEN
Huxley, AldousBrave New World5#20051932DystopiaEN
King, StephenThe Stand520071978Horror, Post-ApocENbest
King, StephenCell420082006Horror, Post-ApocEN
King, StephenThe Long Walk420081979Horror, DystopiaEN
King, StephenThe Running Man320081982DystopiaEN
Kunstler, HowardWorld Made by Hand2200920092008Post-ApocENreviewed
Leiber, FritzA Pail of Air3#20151951Short Story, Post-ApocEN
Lukyanenko, SergeyKnights of the Forty Islands4#20121992DystopiaRU
N-1Mather, MatthewNomad420192016Post-ApocEN
N-2Mather, MatthewResistance320192017Post-ApocEN
Miller, Walter M.A Canticle for Leibowitz5#20061960Post-Apoc, WW3ENbest
Moody, DavidAUTUMN3~Post-Apoc, ZombiesEN
Orwell, GeorgeAnimal Farm420031945DystopiaEN
Orwell, George19845#20051949DystopiaENbest
Panshin, AlexeiRite of Passage320131968SciFiEN
Robinson, Kim StanleyThe Years of Rice and Salt5#20132003Alt HistoryEN
Stephenson, NealSeveneves420152015Post-ApocEN
EvStirling, S.M.EMBERVERSE5#~Post-ApocEN
Ev-1Stirling, S.M.Dies the Fire520112004Post-ApocEN
Ev-2Stirling, S.M.The Protector’s War520112005Post-ApocEN
Ev-3Stirling, S.M.A Meeting at Corvallis520112006Post-ApocENbest
Verne, JulesJourney to the Center of the Earth420021864SciFiEN
Verne, JulesAround the World in Eighty Days520001873SciFiENbest
Vinge, VernorTrue Names520081981SciFiENbest
Voinovich, VladimirMoscow 20422201820021986DystopiaRUreviewed
Vonnegut, KurtCat’s Cradle420141963Post-ApocEN
Wells, H.G.The Time Machine520041895SciFiEN
Wells, H.G.The Island of Doctor Moreau420041896SciFiEN
Wells, H.G.The War of the Worlds420041898SciFiEN
CK-3Wingrove, DavidThe Middle Kingdom2#20111989DystopiaEN
Yudkowsky, EliezerA Girl Corrupted by the Internet is the Summoned Hero?!220172016SciFiEN

 

Abnett, Dan – Xenos (2001) ★★★★
Bacigalupi, Paolo – The Water Knife (2015) ★★★
Baxter, Stephen – FLOOD ★★★★
Brooks, Max – The Zombie Survival Guide (2003) ★★★★★
Brown, Pierce – RED RISING ★★★★
Card, Orson – Scott Ender’s Game (1985) ★★★
Carter, Paul – The Last Objective (1946) ★★★★ [2020]
Not 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.
Clancy, Tom – Red Storm Rising (1986) ★★★★
Collins, Suzanne – HUNGER GAMES ★★★★
Forstchen, William – One Second After (2009) ★★★★★
Glukhovsky, Dmitry – METRO ★★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Harris, Robert – Fatherland (1992) ★★★★★
Herbert, Frank – Dune (1965) ★★★★
Hertling, William – Avogadro Corp (2014) ★★★★
Howey, Hugh – SILO ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World (1932) ★★★★★
Kunstler, Howard – World Made by Hand (2008) ★★ FULL REVIEW (2009)
Leiber, Fritz – A Pail of Air (1951) ★★★
Lukyanenko, Sergey – Knights of the Forty Islands (1992) ★★★★
Mather, Matthew – NOMAD (2016) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Miller, Walter M. – A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960) *** ★★★★★
Orwell, George – 1984 (1949) ★★★★★
Robinson, Kim Stanley – The Years of Rice and Salt (2003) ★★★★★
Stephenson, Neal – Seveneves (2015) ★★★★ PENDING REVIEW
Stirling, S.M. – EMBERVERSE ★★★★★
Voinovich, Vladimir – Moscow 2042 (1986) ★★ FULL REVIEW (2018)
Wingrove, David – The Middle Kingdom (1989) ★★

 


Fantasy

SeriesAuthorTitlerev?readpub.TagsLnotes
Abercrombie, JoeTHE FIRST LAW5#~HeroEN
FL-1Abercrombie, JoeThe Blade Itself520112006HeroEN
FL-2Abercrombie, JoeBefore They Are Hanged520122007HeroEN
FL-3Abercrombie, JoeLast Argument of Kings320122008HeroEN
Dahl, RoaldCHARLIE4~Children'sEN
CT-1Friedman, C.S.Black Sun Rising4201320121991HorrorENreviewed
Friedman, C.S.When True Night Falls220121993HorrorEN
SoT-1Goodkind, TerryWizard’s First Rule220091994EpicEN
Jacques, BrianREDWALL5#~Children'sEN
Jarvis, RobinDEPTFORD MICE4~Children'sEN
Jordan, RobertTHE WHEEL OF TIME4#~EpicEN
WoT-1Jordan, RobertThe Eye of the World520031990EpicENbest
WoT-2Jordan, RobertThe Great Hunt520031990EpicEN
WoT-3Jordan, RobertThe Dragon Reborn520031991EpicEN
WoT-4Jordan, RobertThe Shadow Rising420031992EpicEN
WoT-5Jordan, RobertThe Fires of Heaven520031993EpicEN
WoT-6Jordan, RobertLord of Chaos420041994EpicEN
WoT-7Jordan, RobertA Crown of Swords320041996EpicEN
WoT-8Jordan, RobertThe Path of Daggers220041998EpicEN
WoT-9Jordan, RobertWinter’s Heart220042000EpicEN
WoT-10Jordan, RobertCrossroads of Twilight120042003EpicEN
WoT-0Jordan, RobertNew Spring320082004EpicEN
WoT-11Jordan, RobertKnife of Dreams320052005EpicEN
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
DT-1King, StephenThe Gunslinger220081982EpicEN
Le Guin, UrsulaEARTHSEA CHRONICLES4#~EpicEN
ES-1Le Guin, UrsulaThe Wizard of Earthsea420041968EpicEN
ES-2Le Guin, UrsulaThe Tombs of Atuan520041971EpicEN
ES-3Le Guin, UrsulaThe Farthest Shore420041972EpicEN
Lewis, C.S.THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA5~Children'sEN
Lovecraft, H.P.The Call of Cthulhu520121928HorrorEN
Martin, G.R.R.A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE5#~EpicENbest
SoF-1Martin, G.R.R.A Game of Thrones520131996EpicENbest
SoF-2Martin, G.R.R.A Clash of Kings520131999EpicENbest
SoF-3Martin, G.R.R.A Storm of Swords520132000EpicENbest
SoF-4Martin, G.R.R.A Feast for Crows520132005EpicENbest
SoF-5Martin, G.R.R.A Dance with Dragons520132011EpicEN
Tw-1Meyer, StephanieTwilight220092005YAEN
Pullman, PhilipThe Firework-Maker’s Daughter420051995Children'sEN
Pullman, PhilipClockwork420051996Children'sEN
Pullman, PhilipHIS DARK MATERIALS5#~Children'sEN
HDM-1Pullman, PhilipThe Golden Compass520121995Children'sEN
HDM-2Pullman, PhilipThe Subtle Knife520121997Children'sEN
HDM-3Pullman, PhilipThe Amber Spyglass420122000Children'sEN
HC-1Reeve, PhilipMortal Engines4#20142001YAEN
HC-2Reeve, PhilipPredator’s Gold220142003YAEN
Rowling, J.K.HARRY POTTER4#~Children'sEN
HP-1Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone520041997Children'sEN
HP-2Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets520041998Children'sEN
HP-3Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban520041999Children'sEN
HP-4Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire520052000Children'sEN
HP-5Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix420052003Children'sEN
HP-6Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince420062005Children'sEN
HP-7Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows420072007Children'sEN
Sanderson, BrandonMISTBORN5#~YAENbest
MB-1Sanderson, BrandonThe Final Empire520092006YAEN
MB-2Sanderson, BrandonThe Well of Ascension420092007YAEN
MB-3Sanderson, BrandonThe Hero of Ages520092008YAEN
SC-1Sanderson, BrandonThe Way of Kings520102010EpicEN
Sanderson, BrandonWAX & WAYNE4#~YAEN
W&W-1Sanderson, BrandonThe Alloy of Law420122011YAEN
Sanderson, BrandonThe Emperor’s Soul520122012Short StoryENbest
Sanderson, BrandonTHE RECKONERS3~YAEN
Reck-1Sanderson, BrandonSteelheart420132013YAEN
Reck-1+Sanderson, BrandonMitosis320142014YAEN
Reck-2Sanderson, BrandonFirefight320152015YAEN
W&W-2Sanderson, BrandonShadows of Self420152015YAEN
MB-1+Sanderson, BrandonMistborn: Secret History520162016YAEN
W&W-3Sanderson, BrandonThe Bands of Mourning420162016YAEN
Reck-3Sanderson, BrandonCalamity320162016YAEN
Tolkien, John R.R.The Hobbit520001937Children'sENbest
Tolkien, John R.R.THE LORD OF THE RINGS5#~EpicENbest
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 Rationality5#20152015FanFicEN
Yudkowsky, EliezerDark Lord’s Answer320162016HumorEN

 

Abercrombie, Joe – THE FIRST LAW ★★★★★
The 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.
Friedman, C.S. – Black Sun Rising (1991) ★★★★ FULL REVIEW (2013)
Has some cool metaphysics, but lack of interesting plot and characters.
Jacques, Brian – REDWALL ★★★★★
Jordan, Robert – THE WHEEL OF TIME ★★★★
Le Guin, Ursula – EARTHSEA CHRONICLES ★★★★
Martin, G.R.R. – A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE ★★★★★
Pullman, Philip – HIS DARK MATERIALS ★★★★★
Reeve, Philip – Mortal Engines (2001) ★★★★
Rowling, J.K. – HARRY POTTER ★★★★
Sanderson, Brandon – MISTBORN ★★★★★
Sanderson, Brandon – WAX & WAYNE ★★★★
Tolkien, John R.R. – THE LORD OF THE RINGS ★★★★★
Yudkowsky, Eliezer – Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (2015) ★★★★★

 


Self-Help

AuthorTitlerev?readpub.TagsLnotes
Allen, DavidGetting Things Done420142002ProductivityEN
Carnegie, DaleHow to Win Friends and Influence People220081936SocialEN
Demarco, M.J.The Millionaire Fastlane5#20122011BusinessENbest
Durant, JohnThe Paleo Manifesto5201320132013Health, PaleoENbestreviewed
Ferriss, TimThe Four Hour Workweek520092007ProductivityENbest
Ferriss, TimThe Four Hour Body320092010Health, PaleoEN
Kearny, CressonNuclear War Survival Skills320091987SurvivalismEN
King, StephenOn Writing420082000WritingEN
Kresser, ChrisThe Paleo Cure420142013Health, PaleoEN
Roosh VBang!520112007SocialEN
Sisson, MarkThe Primal Blueprint420132009Health, PaleoEN
Sisson, MarkThe Primal Connection420132013Health, PaleoEN
Strauss, NeilThe Game520082005SocialEN
Wade, PaulConvict Conditioning4201320132010Health, FitnessENreviewed
Wolf, RobbThe Paleo Solution320132010Health, PaleoEN

 

Demarco, M.J. – The Millionaire Fastlane (2011) *** ★★★★★
Durant, John – The Paleo Manifesto (2013) ★★★★★
Roosh V – Bang! (2007) ★★★★★
Wade, Paul – Convict Conditioning (2010) ★★★★