Recommended Books

An eclectic collection of books containing an idea which has been influential on my thinking. For a full list of what I've enjoyed visit goodreads.
I take obscene liberty in omitting the post-colon parts of some titles.


Baghdad Diaries

Nuna al-Radi

Adrian Goldsworthy
Code Girls

Liza Mundy
Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell
Eichmann in Jerusalem

Hannah Arendt
Eyes on the Street

Robert Kanigel
The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin
Hitch 22

Christopher Hitchens
A House in the Sky

Amanda Lindhout

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Letters to a Young Scientist

E.O. Wilson
Mao: The Unknown Story

Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Christopher Hitchens

Elie Wiesel
Man's Search for Meaning

Viktor Frankl
The Power Broker

Robert Caro
A Primate's Memoir

Robert Sapolsky
Reading Lolita in Tehran

Azar Nafisi
Strangers Drowning

Larissa MacFarquhar
Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!

Ralph Leighton and Richard Feynman

Megan Phelps Roper


Against Empathy

Paul Bloom
All Life is Problem Solving

Karl Popper
The Anatomy of Fascism

Robert Paxton
Animal Liberation

Peter Singer
The Beginning of Infinity

David Deutsch
The Better Angels of Our Nature

Steven Pinker
The Blank Slate

Steven Pinker
The Case Against Education

Bryan Caplan

James Gleick

Melanie Mitchell
A Conflict of Visions

Thomas Sowell
Conjectures and Refutations

Karl Popper
The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs
The Dictator's Handbook

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & Alastair Smith
The Drunkard's Walk

Leonard Mlodinow
The Elephant in the Brain

Robin Hanson and Kevin Simmler
Enlightenment Now!

Steven Pinker
The Expanding Circle

Peter Singer
Expert Political Judgement

Philip Tetlock
Fabric of Reality

David Deutsch
The Five Invitations

Frank Ostaseski
God is not Great

Christopher Hitchens
Gödel, Escher, Bach

Douglas Hofstadter
How to Change Your Mind

Michael Pollan
Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem

Karl Popper
The Logic of Scientific Discovery

Karl Popper

Sam Harris
The Moral Animal

Robert Wright
The Moral Foundations of Politics

Ian Shapiro
Moral Tribes

Joshua Greene
The Myth of Artificial Intelligence

Erik J. Larson
The Myth of the Framework

Karl Popper
The Myth of the Rational Voter

Bryan Caplan
On Inequality

Harry Frankfurt
On Tyranny

Timothy Snyder
The Open Society and its Enemies, Vol 1+2

Karl Popper
Philosophy and the Real World

Bryan Magee
Political Philosophy

Adam Swift
Poor Economics

Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
The Poverty of Historicism

Karl Popper
Radical Markets

Eric Posner and Glen Weyl
Reasons and Persons

Derek Parfit
Relative Justice

Tamler Sommers
The Righteous Mind

Jonathan Haidt
Seeing like a State

James Scott
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Thomas Kuhn
Stubborn Attachments

Tyler Cowen

Sebastian Junger
Why Information Grows

César Hidalgo
Words on the Move

John McWhorter


Against the Grain

James Scott
The Ascent of Money

Niall Ferguson
Bury the Chains

Adam Hochschild
Command and Control

Eric Schlosser
The Fall of Berlin 1945

Antony Beevor
Ghenghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Jack Weatherford

Anne Applebaum
The Gulag Archipelago

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson

Mary Beard
Turing's Cathedral

George Dyson

Fiction & Other


George Orwell
Animal Farm

George Orwell
Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
Captains Courageous

Rudyard Kipling
Catch 22

Joseph Heller
Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

David Foster Wallace
Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Exhalation: Stories

Ted Chiang

Jorge Luis Borges
A Hero of our Time

Mikhail Lermontov

Knut Hamsen
Invitation to a Beheading

Vladimir Nabokov
To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Vladimir Nabokov
The Name of the Rose

Umberto Eco
Purple Hibiscus

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Royal Game

Stefan Zweig
Stories of your Life and Others

Ted Chiang
The Thing Around Your Neck

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
The Trial

Franz Kafka