Last Updated: January 2023
The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
This was an excellent read. It was interesting to see how the presidents from Truman to Trump thought about nuclear weapons and how we've managed to avoid using them. The work revealed from many in the Department of Defense and other experts was fascinating.
The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire, and Lost it All
I've heard of Pimco and of Bill Gross. This was an interesting read into his history and a bit of an internal look at trading companies.
The “ultra-capitalist” future felt kind of weird. The story itself started off slow but picked up nicely. The ending was a little confusing and befuddling though.
Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age
This was an interesting read on ancient cities. I had never even heard of two of the cities prior to reading this. It was an interesting look into the history of urban living, how it began and developed, and how these cities faded into history.
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
Most of what I read I was already aware of. Still, Cathy did a good job talking about what the issues with algorithms are, and why they can be problematic
What If? 2
Randall Munroe does it again. He brings his scientific curiosity to answer some pretty absurd questions. He does it with a good sense of humor and easy to understand language.
This was a fantastic read looking at how some of the tech and media giants have used the lack of competition to squeeze musicians, writers, developers and the rest of the creative industry. While this book only focuses on the creative industries, there are a lot of similarities all over. Cory and Rebecca do a good job explaining the problems, how we arrived at them, and what we can potentially do to even the playing field.
The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics
I've been a fan of Tim's writing. This book is no different. It's an interesting read helping give you some rules of thumb when reading about statistics and data. I know I've been guilty from time to time of some of the things one should avoid when being presented with data.
The Night the Lights Went Out
I've always enjoyed Drew Magary's writing on Defector and heard about his brush with death. This was an interesting memoir talking about his road back. Would recommend.
I've generally enjoyed Cory Doctorow's writing style. The story had an interesting premise even going so far as to touch on some of today's economic issues. Without giving too much away, some of the jumps in time were a little rough, but easy enough to follow. I enjoyed it, but it was not my favorite Doctorow novel.
Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns
I've been doing a lot more unit tests over the last year or two. This book did a good job going over how to write better tests and ways to improve the code to make tests better and easier to write. A good read for developers. The code examples are in C#, but the principals could be applied to other languages.
Moonshot: Inside Pfizer's Nine-Month Race to Make the Impossible Possible
The book had a little too much of a “Rah Rah” feel to me which I guess isn't surprising since it was written by Pfizer's CEO. When I picked it up at the library I was hoping there'd be a little more meat to it.
The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)
Being a space nut, this was a fun read learning about the various different ways the universe might end. Katie Mack did a fantastic job describing it with a good mix of humor and not-too-complicated language.
Born a Crime
I appreciate Trevor's comedy and the way he hosts The Daily Show. It was interesting reading about all he and his family had to deal with growing up in South Africa.
Project Hail Mary
I enjoyed this. It definitely had the same style as The Martian. The story had a good pace and was interesting.
The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century
This book wasn't quite what I expected it to be, though looking back at it, I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting. It was still an interesting take on succeeding as a smaller business in the present day economy.
Dark Pools: The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market
The stock market & computerized trading has become a fascination to me. This book does a great job talking about the rise of high-frequency trading and how it has caused some of the problems we see in the stock market today.
It's Better to Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness
I'm by no means a Patriots fan, but I found this to be an interesting look into the 2 decades long dynasty of Brady-Belichick and the Patriots.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
Dave Grohl has always seemed to be an interesting and unique person. This was an interesting memoir talking about his growth from High School punk musician, through Nirvana and eventually Foo Fighters. If you're a fan of any of his work, I'd highly recommend this.
Nudge: The Final Edition
This was a fantastic read into how we as humans can be persuaded into doing things in ways we don't always recognize. The authors do a good job going into the good and bad of it.
The Apollo Murders
I enjoyed this book. It had a good story that pulled you in. As a space fan, I definitely enjoyed the tie-ins with the Apollo program. The ending wasn't my favorite part, but it did tidy up the story arcs. Would still recommend it to anyone.
I did enjoy this as the final book in the series. Given that this is the end of a long series, I still haven't come to a complete decision on how I feel about how the story was ended.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
This was a dense read. While I'm not sure I understood everything, Jonathan Haidt's explanation for why people act the way they do was thoughtful and interesting.
The Buyout of America: How Private Equity is Destroying Jobs and Killing the American Economy
This book made me angry. It made me angry at how private equity firms have taken advantage of tax loopholes to make money at the cost of the little guys.
The Cult of We: Wework, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion
I had heard all the stories about WeWork and its collapse. I didn't realize how crazy it actually was. The authors do a great job going into what was happening when and why things happened the way they did. I left amazed at how all the red flags Adam & WeWork had raised were ignored for so long.
This book definitely made me think about how I view things and assumptions I might make.
Reading this book made me realize how screwed we were by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there were plenty of heroes doing their best to help solve the issues, Michael Lewis does a good job showing why the organizations we trusted let us down.
Field of Schemes
I always knew that the public funding of sports stadiums was a raw deal. This book did a great job explaining how bad it is and how we got there.
Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing
As an avid listener of Planet Money and someone who's interested in economics, this was a fantastic read. It went into some interesting history in an easy to understand and light-hearted manner.
The MVP Machine
Being a fan of baseball, this was a great read going into some of the details of how the game is changing away from 'Moneyball' and delving deep into player development.
Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
I heard about this book on a podcast (Marketplace I believe) and learned a lot about the relationship between McDonalds and Black America that has been filled with ups and downs.
The 99% Invisible City
Having been listening to the 99% Invisible podcast for a long while, it was nice to read about more of the hidden designs in cities and towns.
The End is Always Near
As a Hardcore History fan, Dan Carlin does a great job writing about close calls to having humanity being wiped out or the population dramatically reduced.
Solid detective novel and a good follow-up to Lock In.
The Last Emperox
Great novel to finish the trilogy. A great ending and worth the read.
The Consuming Fire
Solid continuation of the Interdependency Series by John Scalzi. Definitely made me want to continue reading.
The Collapsing Empire
This was a good start to a good science fiction trilogy. I'll have to finish it to be able to say more, but it definitely kept me hooked and wanting to continue.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
This was a long read, but thoughtful and complicated. It goes into how services like Google & Facebook take as much of our data as they possibly can even when it will disturb the general population. It also confirmed my reasons for deleting my Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as moving away from Google.
The Big Short
This was a fantastic read talking about people looking into the real-estate market prior to the 2008 financial collapse. Michael Lewis did a great job of keeping the story interesting while also using language and terms that make the story understandable to anyone.
I read this to get myself ready for the HBO series. I enjoyed the story and thought it provided a bit of supernatural mixed with just the right amount of suspense. If you're a Stephen King fan, you'll definitely enjoy this.
I don't think I would of expected something like this to have been done with a graphic novel, but it was anyway, and done well. It was an interesting read about the economics and some of the misunderstandings of immigration.
As a fan of XKCD and of Randall's humor, this book was informative and funny. Randall has a fantastic way of bringing science, humor, and the absurd together in an interesting and easy-to-read-and-understand way.
The Fifth Risk
This book made me go back and forth between "wow, that's interesting!" and anger. I learned a lot about little (but actually big) things different departments within the U.S. Government does and the risks now in place due to the cronyism and general lack of knowledge the Trump Administration has introduced.
Another solid novella set in the universe of The Expanse.
The Soul of America
Reading this during Trump's presidency gave me some hope for the country being able to move forward. It reminded me of Martin Luther King's Quote "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." It took a look back at previous tumultuous times in America and showed that while progress hasn't always been as fast as I would like, we as a nation have progressed.
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
I've been getting more interested in how the financial world works. This was a fantastic read about High-Frequency Trading and how it often screws over common investors like you and me. Michael Lewis then goes on to tell how one guy went about figuring this out to then trying to even the playing field.
The Incomplete Book of Running
I've been a big fan of Peter Sagal ever since I started listening to Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! I'm also a fan of running. This is a fantastic read that is inspiring whether you're a runner or not. The book contains Sagal's wit and humor as well as some good life lessons.
I enjoyed this one. Wasn't my favorite Crichton novel, but it was an interesting story with a plotline that had the right number of twists.
Continuing going through my Michael Crichton backlog, I wasn't super impressed with this one. It was a decent science fiction story with a bit of a horror element, but it didn't draw me in like some of his other novels.
I really enjoyed this. The horror element mixed with the idea of nanotechnology provided for an excellent read.
The Andromeda Strain
I enjoyed the story, and with me reading it during the lead up to the outbreak of COVID-19, it rang a little scary.
I enjoyed just about all the stories in this collection. Many of them rang true to what we could see come to fruition in the future.
Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975
This was a very long read, but gave me a much better understanding of the Vietnam War. It provided me a lot more background as to what went on in Vietnam even before the US got involved. It's a deep read, but if you like history, I'd highly recommend it.