My Reading Log

Here's where I keep track of all the books I have been reading lately. This is mostly for my own personal benefit so that I don't forget what I have read.

Title Author Rating Review
The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization Arthur Herman 7/10 This is yet another summation of Western philosophical thought. In this case it's presented as a perpetual oscillation between… more
The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy Naoko Takahatake 9/10 One of the best looking books on printmaking I've seen. Printed on a think matte stock, with over 100 catalog images and… more
Mediocre Saviors Landon Knepp 8/10 This was an enjoyable fantasy about a world that's been turned to blight everywhere except a single kingdom which seems to be… more
1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder Arthur Herman 8/10 In the past ("the past" get it... oh, wait you haven't read the next bit yet), I have tried reading history books (see, more
The Coddling of the American Mind Jonathan Haidt & Greg Lukianoff 7/10 I did not like this nearly as much as The Righteous Mind, but there are a handful of decent insights here about so-… more
Mystery of the Blue Train Agatha Christie 8/10 It's been years since I read me some Poirot and it was refreshing to dive back in. I am a better mystery reader now, and I… more
Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett 8/10 The historical fiction version of A Feast for Crows with the church versus the crown. It's a thick but quick-paced read… more
Man and the State: The Political Philosophers Various Authors 8/10 A good collection of political writings spanning from Hobbes to Marx. Hobbes and Locke lay down a nice foundation for what… more
Mysteries of the Unknown: Mystic Places Time-Life Books 9/10 So far, my favorite of the MOTU series. I think I liked this one because there is some grounding in reality. The pyramids exist… more
The City and the Stars/The Sands of Mars Arthur C. Clarke 4/10 Why do I do this to myself? I am always disappointed with classic science fiction. This stuff is so boring. Of the two books, … more
The Pool of Fire John Christopher 8/10 The final book the The Tripods trilogy delivers a satisfying conclusion to the story. I picture the aliens looking… more
The City of Gold and Lead John Christopher 8/10 Ok. I may have goofed on the first book in The Tripods series earlier, but these are actually pretty fun reads. It's… more
Prey: The Drovers, Book 1 John D. Brown 7/10 Looks like I am ending the year on a YA fiction kick. Prey is the story of a young boy (aren't they all) who takes a… more
The White Mountains John Christopher 7/10 Young adult fiction about giant three legged machines that transform children into mindless teenagers when they turn thirteen.… more
Dance of Death: A Graphic Commentary on the Danse Macabre Through the Centuries Fritz Eichenberg 8/10 Filled with art featuring death (for the most part that means a skeleton... spooky, no?) taunting the living. The reproductions… more
Mysteries of the Unknown: Mysterious Creatures Time-Life Books 7/10 The first chapter about sea creatures is probably the best part of this book. Lots of great illustrations of ships being… more
Mysteries of the Unknown: Transformations Time-Life Books 8/10 Transformations is divided into three main sections: native American shapeshifters, werewolves and vampires. The… more
Public Opinion Walter Lippmann 4/10 I agreed with many of his main points on stereotyping, democracy, propaganda, and the inability for a potential voter to… more
Tales of the Peculiar Ransom Riggs 6/10 I went into this book knowing nothing of the many Mrs. Peregrine books/movies/after-dinner mints. Unless Shirley Temple is the… more
The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics Michael Malice 9/10 Malice takes a break from trolling to clarify what exactly "The New Right" is. The dear readers are guided through the… more
The Gay Detective Lou Rand 7/10 A short, fun read with a simple plot and one-dimensional characters, but that should go without saying for just about any… more
21 Lessons for the 21st Century Yuval Noah Harari 4/10 Apparently everything is going to kill us. There are a handful of insights among the doom and gloom, but mostly this is a… more
Liberalism Ludwig von Mises 6/10 Short overview of the basics of classical liberalism with nary a reference to praxeology.
The Wood and the Graver: The Work of Fritz Eichenberg Fritz Eichenberg 9/10 My copy was bought used and man-o-man does it smell musty. The odor is, at best, like a stack of old newspapers in the dampest… more
Shirley Temple and the Screaming Specter Kathryn Heisenfelt 5/10 This is a strange old book. It's a Nancy Drew style mystery but the main character is a teen-aged Shirley Temple. Characters in… more
A History Of Wood Engraving Albert Garrett 6/10 The title of this one is a bit deceptive. The book is actually a history of British wood engraving. It starts out at… more
Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales Penn Jillette 7/10 Penn details his weight-loss journey and his wacky diet. It's an interesting take on how we view food and there are elements of… more
The Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri 6/10 I primarily have this book because I am interested in the spectacular Gustave Doré wood engravings. The text is a deep and… more
Anthem Ayn Rand 5/10 Having read her other books, I felt obliged to read this novella. It's a fairly literal take on individualism that would have… more
Swap Clubs William and Jarrye Breedlove 8/10 Published in 1964, this book presents itself as a scientific analysis of swinger culture. The opening chapters are filled with… more
Mysteries of the Unknown: Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects Time-Life Books 8/10 The chapters on Free Masonry and The Golden Dawn were pretty informative. I think my big takeaway about these sects was not so… more
The Naked Sun Isaac Asimov 5/10 A murder mystery on a sparsely populated planet where each person lives isolated from everyone else and all the work is done by… more
A Renegade History of the United States Thaddeus Russell 6/10 The premise here is that the outsiders and the misfits, by rejecting puritanism and pushing the limits of what is acceptable,… more
Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion Paul Bloom 7/10 I think it's telling that throughout this book the author in constantly having to backtrack and clarify what he means by more
Mysteries of the Unknown: Witches and Witchcraft Time Life Books 9/10 I enjoyed this one a lot more than Phantom Encounters. The historical accounts are more fact-based rather than… more
In the First Circle Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 8/10 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn brings us more thrilling tales from the gulag! This is his fictionalized account of life in the Marfino… more
Mysteries of the Unknown: Phantom Encounters Time Life Books 4/10 This book is a collection of anecdotal tales of various people from the olden days being visited by spirits. The stories go as… more
Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs John Bloom & Jim Atkinson 8/10 Outside of Helter Skelter, I have not read much true crime literature. I picked this one mainly because is was co-… more
Caliban's War James S. A. Corey 7/10 This the second book in The Expanse series. It felt like a bit of a retread but with less interesting characters. The… more
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life Nassim Nicholas Taleb 8/10 Another rambling philosophical tome from Taleb. It expands on the idea that good policy emerges from the participants having… more
Leviathan Wakes James S. A. Corey 8/10 I've been watching The Expanse lately and wanted to get a taste of the novels that the show is based upon. This was a… more
Discrimination and Disparities Thomas Sowell 7/10 Sowell is always an interesting read. However, I find that he can be a bit repetitive in his points from book to book’I get it… more
The Raft Robert Trumbull 8/10 The harrowing true life account of three airmen who are adrift in a rubber raft for thirty-four days following an emergency… more
The Gulag Archipelago (Vol. I & II) Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn 7/10 This massive book has been sitting on my shelf taunting me for twenty-plus years. Ages ago it was recommended to me (by my art… more
No Holds Barred Barry Devlin 6/10 The ridiculous plot of this pulp trash novel is as follows: disgraced big city reporter winds up in small town; proves his… more
Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans Ben Shapiro 4/10 I generally like the various Ben Shapiro "Destroys" videos I come across on the webs. He is an excellent debater and can take… more
Kill All Normies Angela Nagle 7/10 This is a pretty good overview of the roots of (mostly) right-wing Internet subcultures and trolls with a little fair-and-… more
The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 Lionel Shriver 8/10 Apocalyptic dystopia from a libertarian perspective. Biases confirmed! In this story it's not war, plague or environmental… more
Based on a True Story Norm MacDonald 8/10 He starts off with a typical comedian's memoir and, after about three pages, Norm gives up and go total autofiction. There's a… more
Friday Robert A. Heinlein 4/10 Even as an audio book, this was a chore to get through. It's a tale of a future with super human artificial persons (the… more
The Cosmic Computer H. Beam Piper 7/10 Pulpy science fiction about a remote planet on which the inhabitants are convinced exists a super-computer that could solve all… more
To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter Vladimir Bukovsky 7/10 A memoir of what living in The Soviet Union was like in the 60s and 70s. Bukovsky spent most of that time in prison camps and… more
The Secret History of Twin Peaks Mark Frost 6/10 I listened to the audiobook version which features many of the original cast members reprising their roles. The book itself is… more
Food: A Love Story Jim Gaffigan 7/10 An entertaining read that pretty much says everything funny that can be said about food. I've read a couple of these books by… more
You're Better Than Me Bonnie McFarlane 8/10 Another comic's memoir, but this time it's actually funny. The first half is really is much better, in which she details her… more
Two Years Before the Mast Richard Henry Dana 5/10 This is a memoir of life aboard a merchant vessel in the early 1800's. It is also noteworthy as a glimpse California before the… more
Happy Endings Jim Norton 6/10 Norton is usually a very entertaining guest on whatever chat show on which he appears. However, I've watched his stand-up and… more
Coolidge Amity Shlaes 6/10 This was a fawning look at Coolidge's life and tenure as the 30th President. It was okay up to a point, but there's something… more
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson 8/10 This was my first cyberpunk novel (if you don't count getting stuck in Neuromancer on the IIgs). I thought it was pretty good… more
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb 8/10 Another big book about risk from Taleb filled with math, anecdotes, history and Fat Tony. This time it's all in service of his… more
Marxism Thomas Sowell 4/10 I got this as an audiobook, hoping to get a decent overview of what Marxism is without having to actually read Marx himself.… more
Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story John Bloom 9/10 Eccentric Orbits is the history of the rise, fall, and eventual rebirth of the world's first (and only) global… more
Connecticut Privateer Samuel Smedley Jackson Kuhl 7/10 A short book about a lesser known hero of the American revolution. As the captain of a Connecticut privateer vessel, Smedley… more
The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture David Mamet 7/10 Mamet's political coming out book doesn't offer much new insight into conservatism. Instead it cribs a lot from Thomas Sowell… more
Black Rednecks & White Liberals Thomas Sowell 8/10 A collection of six lengthy essays on race, history and misconceptions. The "Black Rednecks" essay is probably the most… more
The Seven Deadly Virtues Jonathan V. Last 8/10 A compilation of humorous essays by eighteen conservative authors in which each tackles the merits and faults or various… more
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future Johan Norberg 8/10 Johan Norberg wrote one of the clearest accounts of the 2007 financial meltdown and, after that dismal tale, he's back with a… more
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion Jonathan Haidt 9/10 Required reading for anyone who is sick of the political name calling and soft bigotry that permeates every single political… more
Bad Penny John D. Brown 7/10 I enjoyed his fantasy series, so I thought I'd try out Brown's crime thriller series. This is the story of an ex-military/ex-… more
The Wave Todd Strasser 5/10 This short novel tries to show how it was possible for normal German's to just sit back and let the Nazi's take over.… more
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia Michael Booth 8/10 Billed as a travelogue, this book covers the culture, politics and history of the Nordic countries from the perspective of a… more
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad 5/10 I read this mostly because I am an admirer of Apocalypse Now. It sorta lost me by the end so I really didn't enjoy… more
The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler 8/10 Gritty crime fiction. Basically the blueprint for the entire genre. The writing and language are a tier above most of the pulp… more
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain 7/10 I want to eventually read Huckleberry Finn, so I figured I should read this one first. It's pretty entertaining, but… more
Raveler: The Dark God Book 3 John D. Brown 8/10 The most recent book in this series builds up to a grand conclusion, an last-stand battle of epic proportions, and then, once… more
Curse: The Dark God Book 2 John D. Brown 7/10 Despite an exciting opening, the second book in this series is not as good as the first. The stakes aren't as high and it feels… more
Servant: The Dark God Book 1 John D. Brown 8/10 This is a fantasy novel I picked up based strictly on the reviews and auto-recommendations online. I enjoyed it for the most… more
Falling Up the Stairs James Lileks 7/10 I know Lileks mostly as a humorous conservative commentator and a connoisseur of cheesy 50's pop culture. I wasn't sure what to… more
The Three Languages of Politics Arnold Kling 9/10 Essential reading for understanding that people who might disagree with politically are not evil or stupid, they are just… more
Something in the Shadows Vin Packer 8/10 I really do like Vin Packer's pulp thrillers. This book continues her knack for creating conflicted and dark characters who… more
The Slow Regard of Silent Things Patrick Rothfuss 6/10 Well, this isn't the next Kingkiller book, but, fortunately, I wasn't expecting that. The author himself goes to great length… more
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness Russ Roberts 8/10 In this book Roberts (of EconTalk fame) takes Adam Smith's other major work, The Theory of Moral more
The Golden Spiders Rex Stout 8/10 Nero Wolfe is a dick. It's a wonder that this mostly unlikable character spawned such a successful series of books. This is the… more
Weekend Kim Savage 6/10 A fairly blah read from Vixen Press. This one is pretty short on plot and lacks the hardboiled edge that I usually like in… more
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami 5/10 This book started off okay enough and was pretty interesting for the first hundred pages or so. The premise was that a man and… more
Warm Voices Rearranged Brandon Kearney & Gregg Turkington 7/10 The subtitle of the book is "Anagram Record Reviews" and that pretty much sums it up. Take a record artist and title, rearrange… more
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning Jonah Goldberg 8/10 The thesis here is that, despite the constant cries of "fascism" when talking about right-wing policies, the real heirs of… more
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown 6/10 Amazon recently gave this ebook away for free as a promotion for the sequel Inferno. It was my beach read for spring… more
How to Piss in Public: From Teenage Rebellion to the Hangover of Adulthood Gavin McInnes 9/10 When I started this book I was apprehensive. As much as I love Gavin's current incarnation as a wild libertarian/conservative… more
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Nassim Nicholas Taleb 7/10 Admittedly, I didn't finish this book. There's a point about halfway through when he tells the casual reader that now would be… more
Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You Greg Gutfeld 8/10 Another enjoyable read from Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld. The thesis as I see it is that liberals own the definition of cool… more
Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il Michael Malice 9/10 I have read quite a few books that give an account of what it is like to live under the control of a totalitarian regime, from… more
The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion Virginia Postrel 7/10 Virginia Postrel is a great, thoughtful writer and, although I am not terribly interested in the topic of glamour, I enjoyed… more
Baby Shark's Grass Widow Legacy Robert Fate 10/10 Another thoroughly enjoyable book in this series. This time Kristen is told to take some time off from all the revenge killing… more
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets Nassim Nicholas Taleb 8/10 I've heard a few interviews with Taleb and he can be very interesting so I tried to give one of his books a try knowing that… more
Let's Tell a Story Together Jimmy Maher 8/10 I'm a regular reader of Jimmy Maher's blog The Digital Antiquarian which documents the history of the early days of… more
Venus in Furs Leopold von Sacher Masoch 7/10 After seeing Jess Franco's movie of the same name, I noticed that this ebook was available for free at Amazon. The book and the… more
The Thrill Kids Vin Packer 8/10 Another yarn about corrupted youth from Vin Packer. This time it's four disenfranchised teenage boys who become a vigilante… more
The Galaxy Primes E.E. Doc Smith 3/10 I don't think I really like science fiction. Sure there have been a few stories I liked, Dune, The Ender series, and… more
Baby Shark's Showdown at Chigger Flats Robert Fate 9/10 Another enjoyable story filled with shooting, kicking and revenge. This story is much more straightforward than others in the… more