Robert Wm. Gomez's

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.

2018
Title Author Rating Review
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
2017
Title Author Rating Review
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
2016
Title Author Rating Review
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
2015
Title Author Rating Review
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