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.

Title Author Rating Review
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
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
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