As part of a never-ending series, I like to do short reviews of the books I read. Here are the latest 10 books I’ve read with the previous 150 that I’ve perused linked at the end of the post.
PS: If you’re wondering why there are very few low rated books on this list, it’s because I have a low tolerance for boredom and tend to just stop reading tomes that don’t hold my interest. Sometimes I go back to them and sometimes I don’t.
PS #2: Some of these books were sent to me by publishers, gratis, because they were hoping I’d do reviews. I’m including that because I believe I now have to, legally, although I think that’s silly.
Currently Reading: Ellington Darden: The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You’ve Never Tried
10) Nikki Stone: When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How To Stick Their Necks Out (C+: The concept — learning the secrets of success from extremely successful people — was fantastic. In practice, however, Stone spent very little time talking to each super-achiever. The book was also a bit too “back to basics” although it had a few good nuggets in there.)
9) Jonah Goldberg: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (A-: An absolutely masterful piece of research. If Goldberg had gone with his normal witty writing style, instead of taking a more scholarly approach, this would undoubtedly be an A+ book)
8) Thomas Sowell: The Housing Boom and Bust (A: This book should be studied in future classrooms of college students when they read about this economic crisis. It’s well reasoned, explains things in details, and features Sowell’s clear, crisp writing style.)
7) Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions: (B-: It did feature some of the predictable ways that we human beings make irrational decisions, but it didn’t tie it all together that well and featured some irrationality of its own while coming up with suggestions to fix the problem.)
6) Eric Hoffer: The Passionate State of Mind: (B+: Aside from his raging atheism, Hoffer has a rare insight into what makes human beings tick. I always learn a lot from his relatively short books and this one was no exception.)
5) Amy Alkon: I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society (B: This is a fun read and Alkon makes some good points in her ferocious and entertaining battle against rudeness.)
4) John Robbins: Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples (B: The first part of the book features brilliant research on the longest lived societies on the planet. It covers what they’re eating, how they’re exercising, etc. It may be worth your time to get the book just for that. But, the 2nd half of the book is useless hippy crap that drags the A+ material all the way down to a B)
3) Eric Hoffer: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (A: This is a book anyone trying to build a movement in politics, or elsewhere, should read. It’s a fascinating take on how the whole thing works.)
2) C.S. Lewis: Miracles (B: Lewis is an extraordinary writer about all things spiritual and I definitely learned some things from reading this book. However, Lewis is at his weakest as a writer when he gets neck deep into theology — and there’s a lot of that in this book).
1) Barbara Oakley: Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend (B-: The book makes a very good case for the “nature” side of “nature vs. nurture,” but it doesn’t even come close to showing that evil is primarily a function of genes.