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.

2017
Title Author Rating Review
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
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
2014
Title Author Rating Review
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
2013
Title Author Rating Review
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
Unfaithful Wives Orrie Hitt 8/10 Another quality pulp novel from Prologue Books. This one is filled with at least half a dozen cheating spouses and/or lovers... more
The Lone Wolf #1: Night Raider Mike Barry 6/10 This is essentially a Death Wish style vigilante story about a cop who really, really doesn't like... more
Baby Shark's Jugglers at the Border Robert Fate 9/10 Although I don't think it's hardly the best book in this series, I burned through this one in just a few days. These Baby... more
Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption Robert Fate 10/10 I love these Baby Shark books. They are just great, action packed reads. I burned through this book in a few days and... more

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