Sunday, December 31, 2017

Books Read - 2017

Previously Reviewed (link to review)

Unreviewed (with Amazon link). The favorites (4 or 5 rating out of 5) with a star* I would heartily recommend to anyone.
Science Fiction
Business History
Literary Nonfiction
Total of 68, plus probably half a dozen or so more that I've forgotten. A reading rate of ~1.4 books per week.

Of those 68 books, 19 qualify as CBS recommendations, which is a respectable batting average of 0.279.

Reading goals for 2018:
  • Read more (2 books a week would be a massive improvement) 
  • Have a higher batting average of 4 or 5 out of 5 ("recommended") books (I think this means abandoning the less interesting books more quickly. There are a number on the list above that I shouldn't have slogged through.)
  • Do more reviews. Reviews take a ton of effort, but one review a month might be a reasonable target. In lieu of reviews for the unreviewed books above, if you leave a comment with a request, I'll give you my notes on any of them.


Anonymous said...

It looks like you didn't like Matthew Crawford's books. I thought Shop Class was good, but don't remember much of World Beyond Your Head (other than that I didn't like it much).

CP said...

Shop Class is the better of the two. The only good part of WBYH is the chapter about builders of pipe organs.

He reserves his highest regard for craftspeople in the Shenandoah Valley who manufacture and repair pipe organs — a surprisingly durable trade that requires creativity, expertise and a respect for tradition.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This stuff is valuable to see in connection with reading Theroux's books about Africa:

Theroux has to misinterpret what he sees, and believe what he believes because he would otherwise be expelled from the hive. So he talks like an especially bright BBC newsreader.

In writing about his trip from Cairo to Capetown, Theroux does his most intense virtue signaling when writing about South Africa, especially in cloying scenes about the Jewish enemy of white South Africans, Nadine Gordimer, whom he calls "Nadine," to make sure we know she is his special pal.

The black-dominated South African has just passed a law providing for seizure of white-owned land without compensation.

Africa is a natural experiment in the economic results of withdrawing intelligence as an economic input.

Anonymous said...

Wages of Destruction suggests Hitler's ideology led him to be on tilt, thinking he had to grasp whatever advantage he could find lest he be crushed, whereas Stalin had a kind of serene patience due to his marxist teleology (both of these views were disastrous in their own ways). This is a good way of thinking about other conflicts that are less dire than world war II. Who thinks that if they just let the clock run, they'll win, who thinks they have to frantically fight for victory at every point? How does this affect their decision making? "According to conventional bookkeeping, the Soviet diplomat remarked, the losses of the RAF were placed on one side of the balance sheet and the losses of the Luftwaffe on the other. The Soviet Union placed both in one column and added them up." The great irony is that Hitler's vision of Roosevelt and the Bolsheviks acting in concert to destroy Germany with moral and military support from Jews actually happened because of his belief in its inevitability.