The Last 260 Books I’ve Read


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 along with the previous 250 that I’ve perused included.

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 publications 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.

260) Nancy Etcoff: Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty (A: Looks aren’t everything, but they make a much, much bigger difference than you may realize. The studies prove it and Nancy Etcoff, who is an excellent writer, went into great depth on the subject)

259) Chuck Liddell: Iceman: My Fighting Life (B: It was a good read, entertaining, and even a little inspirational)

258) Karen Pryor: Don’t Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training (A-: Despite the name, this is a book about how to change human behavior with conditioning and behaviorism. It’s excellent.)

257) Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (A-: A well thought-out book that does an excellent job of explaining a very weighty and controversial matter in a systematic way).

256) G. K. Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday (C-: Chesterton was a brilliant guy and I had heard good things about the book. However, even though it was cleverly written, it wasn’t very good. I was very disappointed.)

255) Steve Chandler: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever (B+: I’d read this book long ago and had forgotten it, so this is a reread. That being said, there actually are a few really useful concepts from the book that I had liked and implemented. All in all, it’s a good book, although it felt like he just tossed a few in there at the end to pad it out to 100)

254) Dr. Henry Cloud: Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality (B+: I took a flier on this one and it turned out to be a very good book about improving yourself as a human being.)

253) Gordon Patzer: Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined (B: A solid book with lots of freaky study results that show how you look matters much more than most people ever realize.)

252) Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers: The Story of Success (B-: As per usual with Gladwell, it was very readable and interesting, but after you’re done, you’re left scratching your head when you try to figure out how to apply anything in the book.)

251) Steve Andreas, Charles Faulkner: NLP: The New Technology of Achievement (B-: Good information, but as per usual with most books about NLP, very, very dry.)

250) Seth Godin: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us (B+: Like all of Godin’s books, this is short, well written, with great info, but you’re always left wanting just a little bit more practical advice.)

249) Forrest Griffin: Got Fight?: The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat (A-: Despite the title, you’re probably not going to learn anything about fighting by reading this book. You will, however, laugh. A lot)

248) Justin Halpern: Sh*t My Dad Says (A-: The TV show may have bombed, but this is one funny book.)

247) Malachi Martin: Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans (B+: It’s hard to know how much credence to give to this, but it’s a scary, disturbing book.)

246) Jonah Goldberg: The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (A-: Yet another well thought, well written book with lots of original thinking from Goldberg.)

245) John Casti: X-Events: The Collapse of Everything (B+: This very well done book keys you in to all sorts of potential disasters that you may never have considered before.)

244) Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler: Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (B+: This is a good book that will open your mind to some of the amazing technical advances we’re likely to see in the next few decades.)

243) Mark Singer: Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin (B-: A great book if you want to read about now notorious criminal, Brett Kimberlin. Otherwise, it’s still perversely fascinating to learn what he managed to get away with, but the book isn’t as gripping)

242) Charles Duhgigg: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (A-: There’s a lot of good information in this book about making and breaking habits.)

241) Stephen Lankton: Practical Magic:: A Translation of Basic Neuro-Linguistic Programming Into Clinical Psychotherapy (B-: NLP is an absolutely fascinating subject, but other than Anthony Robbins, few people seem to be able to write about it well enough to hold your attention. Unfortunately, this book is no exception. Pretty good info, but kind of dull.)

240) Al Ries & Jack Trout: Bottom-up Marketing (Plume) (B+: An excellent book on marketing, but it covers a lot of the same ground as their previous books.)

239) David Horowitz: Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey (B: A good book, but it rehashes some of Horowitz’s older work)

238) Robert Leckie: From Sea To Shining Sea: From the War of 1812 to the Mexican War, the Saga of America’s Expansion (A: Leckie is consistently excellent. Nobody does history better).

237) Anthony DeStefano: Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To: Divine Answers to Life’s Most Difficult Problems (A-: I would unhesitatingly recommend this book to any Christian)

236) Steve Siebold: Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People (A: One of the best books on the mentality you need to lose weight that I’ve ever read.)

235) Dawn Eden: My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints (B: My friend Dawn Eden sent me this book. If you’ve ever been sexually assaulted or molested, this is probably a book that would help you a lot.)

234) Ben Thompson: Badass: The Birth of a Legend: Spine-Crushing Tales of the Most Merciless Gods, Monsters, Heroes, Villains, and Mythical Creatures Ever Envisioned (B: Not as good as Thompson’s first book, but it’s still a fun read.)

233) 50 Cent & Kris Ex: From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens (B+. This is a surprisingly good book that mostly focuses on 50 Cent’s time as a drug dealer and the beginning of his career as a rapper. It keeps you riveted)

232) Thomas Sowell: The Quest for Cosmic Justice (A-: Sowell is consistently excellent and this book is par for the course.)

231) Charles Murray: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (A-: This book about the huge gap that has developed between the elites and the lower class in America has been much talked about with good reason. It’s a fascinating book.)

230) Daniel Pink: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (B-: A solid, but not spectacular book on what motivates people)

229 Mark Levin: Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America (B+: Good, solid book that goes very deep into the roots of Utopianiasm.)

228) Henry David Thoreau: Walden; Or, Life in the Woods (Dover Thrift Editions) (B-: This book is a classic and although it has some interesting parts, there’s a whole lot of dull, too.)

227) Bob Burg, John David Mann: The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea (B+: An excellent book about the impact giving can have on your life)

226) Roy F. Baumeister, Aaron Beck Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty (A-: An excellent book on the true, more complex nature of evil.

225) Charles Fishman: The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy (B: It’s a leftward leaning book, but only slightly so and it has an amazing array of fascinating information about Wal-Mart in it.)

224) Darren Hardy: The Compound Effect (A: The book is short, to the point, and will change your life if you read it, absorb it, and live it.)

223) Tim Jeal: Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (B: Morton Stanley went through trials that seem almost unimaginable today in order to explore Africa. Finding out about them made it a good read.)

222) Fulton J. Sheen: Peace of Soul (A: This book is practically a must read for Christians.)

221) Roy F. Baumeister, John Tierney: Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (A: This is a revolutionary book on willpower. Much recommended.)

220) Marc Levinson: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger (B+: This was a great book that will teach you a tremendous amount about trade, but it is also VERY MUCH a niche subject. This book isn’t for everyone.)

219) Lionel Tiger: The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women (B: Solid book about the changing conditions between men and women in the modern era. Not a pro-male book so much as a matter of fact description of the world as it is now.)

218) Helen Fisher: Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type (A: Outstanding book and I found the personality system in it to be particularly useful because it’s fairly easy to categorize people in it.)

217) Markos Moulitsas Zuniga: Taking on the System: Rules for Change in a Digital Era (B: This is sort of an attempt to write a modern day version of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” I don’t agree with the politics, but it is an interesting book.)

216) Robert Putnam: Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (A-: This is an outstanding book about a declining sense of American community, but it’s a bit of a niche subject.)

215) Leigh Burke: Niche Internet Marketing: The Secrets To Exploiting Untapped Niche Markets And Unleashing A Tsunami Of Cash (C+: It’s tough to find good books on this subject.)

214) Mark Steyn: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (A+: I can’t say enough good things about this book. I wish every American could read it to see where this country is headed unless we change course.)

213) Marc Ostrofsky: Get Rich Click!: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet (B-: How to make money on the Internet. I got some ideas out of it.)

212) Robert Leckie: George Washington’s War: The Saga of the American Revolution (A-: Leckie makes history come alive and if you want to understand the American Revolution, you couldn’t do any better than this book.)

211) Laura Vanderkam: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (B+: This was an excellent book on time management. Highly recommended)

210) Russell Brand: My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up: (B+: This was a surprising, readable, attention-holding book because Brand had a train wreck of a life, where he did almost everything wrong and somehow, someway, ended up being successful in spite of it.)

209) Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt: The Power of Focus: How to Hit Your Business, Personal, And Financial Targets With Absolute Certainty: (A-: This is a good book for people who’ve already read some self-help books and are looking for a little extra organization of their life and goals.)

208) Jeff Galloway: Running Until You’re 100: (B: I’m a newb to running; so it wasn’t hard for me to learn a few things from the book.)

207) Sidney Rosen: My Voice Will Go with You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson : (C-: I was interested in learning more about Milton Erickson’s techniques and what I came to realize is that a lot of what Erickson told his students was BS designed to enhance his reputation, rather than improve their understanding.)

206) Stephen King: Full Dark, No Stars: (B+: King used to be one of my favorite authors, but the quality of his work had seemed to slip. I was in an airport, in the mood for some horror and gave him another shot. Turns out, this book of semi-short stories was good stuff.)

205) Ann Coulter: Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America: (A: If it’s Coulter and it’s new material, it’s guaranteed to be spectacular. This book was, just as expected.)

204) Correction to follow

203) Maribeth Meyers-Anderson: Phoenix: Therapeutic Patterns of Milton H. Erickson: (C: I was fascinated with Erickson’s therapeutic techniques, but my conclusion after reading this book was that Erickson may indeed by brilliant, but a lot of the stories he was telling his students were tall tales designed to enhance his reputation.)

202) Donald McCrory: No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes: (B: This was a well written Cervantes biography — and he had a heck of a life — although I’m not sure this book would be most people’s cup of tea.)

201) Warren Farrell: The Myth of Male Power: (B: This book’s good, but not in the same class as Farrell’s master work “Why Men Are the Way They Are.”)

200) Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene: (B: This book, which is very influential, has a fascinating and well reasoned take on how evolution may work. Unfortunately, Dawkins also manages to shoehorn a number of largely irrelevant atheistic arguments into the book that felt very out of place and poorly reasoned compared to the rest of the tome.)

199) Lyssie Lakatos & Tammy Lakatos Shames (Author)Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever: (B+: Metabolism is a surprisingly mysterious subject. This book had better info on it than anything else I’ve ever read and as an extra added bonus, the authors, who are twins, actually tested out the principles in the book with self-experimentation. It was a really nice addition to the book.)

198) Daniel Coleman: Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception: (B+: Everybody lies to themselves sometimes and unfortunately, nobody is better at misleading you than you are at misleading yourself. This book covers the many different ways we trick ourselves.)

197) David Niven: 100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People: (C: It felt like Niven was reaching a little bit here to stick to his formula.)

196) David Niven: 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, The: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It: (B: This is an excellent book, but I’ve seen a lot of it already. If I had read this 10 years ago, it would have probably gotten an A.)

195) Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz: The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal: (B+: This has a simple concept behind it: Better to be focused with high energy on a few things than non-focused with low energy on a lot of things. It’s not so much the amount of time you put in as the quality of the time you put in. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist.)

194) Frank Farrelly: Provocative Therapy: (B: This is a book about a captivating style of therapy that you can also weave into conversation — or at least I can.)

193) Marc J. Seifer: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius: (B: A detail heavy, intriguing and inspiring book about the life and times of Nikola Tesla. Tesla lived in a fascinating time for American science, but sadly his grandiosity and contract wrangling cost one of the most brilliant men of his time decades of scientific productivity.)

192) Knock Knock Books: Insults and Comebacks for All Occasions (Lines for All Occasions): (C+: Okay for what it was. Mean spirited jokes. Didn’t knock my socks off or anything.)

191) Jeffrey VanVonderen: Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidation of Well-Meaning People (B-: I read this because I’ve seen VanVonderen on Intervention and find him to be an impressive guy. The book had some interesting nuggets in it, but it didn’t blow me away. Of course, I’m not the target audience, so I may not be the best judge.)

190) Paul Ekman: Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life (B: There’s some interesting info, particularly the parts that focused on micro-expressions, but it’s a fairly dry book.)

189) Richar Koch: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less (C: The 80/20 principle is very useful, but the book really didn’t do all that much to help explain how to make use of it. It’s like he took a long essay about a useful subject and stretched it out into a book.)

188) Edmund Morgan: Benjamin Franklin (B-: Benjamin Franklin lived an amazing life and while Morgan’s biography taught me a lot about it, it wasn’t a great read and there could have been more details in certain places.)

187) Timothy Ferriss: The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (B: There’s a lot of absolutely fascinating data here, but in retrospect, much of it turned out be more of a curiosity than a useful addition.)

186) Al Ries and Jack Trout: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (B+: Another great book on marketing by Ries + Trout. There’s a lot of truth in it, especially in the Internet age, when every niche is crowded with an army of competitors.)

185) Paul Dobransky: The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love (B: Dobransky has a lot of insights, but the book is very complex. At times, it’s hard to get a handle on everything he’s saying and put it into perspective.)

184) Warren Farrell: Why Men Are the Way They Are (A: This is an extraordinary book — and it’s not an anti-female book either. But, it breaks down a lot of behaviors that have been created by the way men and women interact. I would call it allowing you to see the Matrix, except so much of it is out in the open anyway — we just miss it.)

183) Pietra Rivoli: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade (B+: This is a very good, very well written book about global trade — and those are actually fairly difficult to find.)

182) James Humes: Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History’s Greatest Speakers (A-: If you do speeches, this is a book worth reading.)

181) P. J. O’Rourke: Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards (B+: Another outstanding book from P.J., who, when he’s on, is one of the best political writers you’re going to run across)

180) Al Ries and Laura Ries: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding (A: Not as good #8 on the list, but not still the 2nd best book on Marketing that I’ve ever read)

179) Eric Hoffer: The Ordeal of Change: (B+: Another short, outstanding book by Hoffer. If you want to understand mass movements, nobody explains them better than Hoffer)

178) Al Ries and Jack Trout: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!: (A+: The best book on marketing that I’ve read. Period. Anybody who wants to do effective marketing should read this.)

177) Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning: (A: Frankl explains the details of life in a Nazi Concentration Camp and how it impacts man’s search for the meaning of life. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to anybody)

176) Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler (A: Influencer: The Power to Change Anything:: (B: They examine how change works in the real world and apply the lessons from people and organizations that have been successful.)

175) C.S. Lewis: Miracles: (B: A short book by Lewis pondering his agony after his wife passed. It’s a very sad, very moving book and as always with Lewis, you can’t help but learn something.)

174) Matt Ridley: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature: (B: I don’t believe in macroevolution, but I do believe in microevolution and I think Ridley has a good take on it. )

173) Jay Levinson: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business: (B-: I did learn some things from this book, but it’s surprisingly conventional for a book at that’s supposed to be about guerrilla marketing.)

172) Laura Ingraham: The Obama Diaries: (B-: Making up imaginary diaries for the Obama family was grating and it detracted from what Ingraham was saying.)

171) Milton Friedman: Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History: (B-: You can learn a lot about monetary policy from this book, but it’s very, very dry.)

170) Ben Thompson: Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live (A-: This is NOT heavy reading, but it’s fun reading, it’s entertaining reading, and it’s MANLY reading.)

169) Bob Greene: Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover: An Accelerated Program of Exercise and Nutrition for Maximum Results in Minimum Time (C-/D+: This is Oprah’s diet guru. Here’s the whole book in four words: “Exercise a whole lot.” Good advice? Yes. Did he need a whole book to tell you this? No.)

168) Robert Glover: No More Mr. Nice Guy!: (B+: For the man who wonders if being too nice a guy is holding him back. There’s some surprisingly good advice in this book — especially if you’re a nice guy.)

167) Jonathan Haidt: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (A-: This is a brilliant, insightful, and well researched book on happiness and let’s face it — who couldn’t use a little more happiness in his life?)

166) Dr. Drew Pinksy: The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America : (B: Pinsky is a smart, compassionate guy with a deep understanding of the dark side of human behavior — because he’s seen it all. His books are solid and very readable.

165) George Friedman: The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (B: Analyzing geopolitics and forecasting how things will look for the next 100 years is a daunting, nearly impossible task, but Friedman takes an informed crack at it. Will the book even be mostly right? Probably not, but you learn a lot as Friedman explains the thinking behind his speculation)

164) James Surowiecki: The Wisdom of Crowds (A-: This is a brilliant, well researched book that will give you more faith in the wisdom of crowds and less faith in the proclamations of geniuses who are supposed to be smarter than everyone else.)

163) Thomas Stanley: Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire (B-: The idea behind the book, that most of the rich actually got there by saving money and living frugal lifestyles is eye opening and backed up with lots of research. Unfortunately, Stanley really drags the book out by tediously recounting every detail of his research with whole chapters that could have been effectively summarized in a paragraph.)

162) Neil Strauss: Motley Crue: The Dirt – Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band: (A: This book is mind blowing. The unbelievably trashy way the band members grew up, partying that would make Nero green with envy, and the ups AND downs of drug use from the band. The book keeps you riveted from start to finish.)

161) David Olgilvy: Ogilvy on Advertising (B: I learned a lot about advertising by reading this book, but it was more geared towards people in the industry rather than people just looking to beef up their knowledge level about ads)

160) Nikki Stone:

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