2005: The Year In Books

My good friend SJB looks back on literary excursions of the year that was, both those that were successful, and those left uninished. How about me?

Books I read in 2005: The Armchair Economist (again) by Steven Landsburg; Learning Economics by Arnold Kling; How We Know What Isn't So by Thomas Gilovich; The Future and Its Enemies by Virginia Postrel; Choice by Reason Magazine; Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner; Fair Play (again) by Steven Landsburg; Blood by Douglas Starr; Damned Lies and Statistics and More Damned Lies and Statistics by Joel Best; A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell; The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford; You Can't Say That by David Bernstein; The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki; The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky; The Mathematician at the Ballpark by Ken Ross; Chance by Amir Aczel; Jury Nullification by Clay Conrad. (Man, being a 4th year medical student affords you a lot of free time, no doubt)

Started in '05 and to be finished in 2006: The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell; The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker; Basketball On Paper by Dean Oliver; Non-Zero by Robert Wright; Somalia: Economy Without State by Peter Little; Law's Order by David Friedman; A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos; The Gift Relationship by Richard Titmuss.

Planned for '06: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson; The Structure of Liberty by Randy Barnett; Civil Disobedience by Thoreau.

What do Catallarchy readers suggest I add to my list for this year?

I want to know what David Tufte and Vince Tweddell are reading this year.

Update: David Tufte provides his list.

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How about something not

How about something not related to law, economics, or mathematicians reading newspapers? I hear Anton Chekov is one of the greatest short-story authors of the past century.

Along those sort of topics,

Along those sort of topics, I've been curious about reading "Something for Nothing : The All-Consuming Desire that Turns the American Dream into a Social Nightmare" by Brian Tracy.

anything by David

anything by David McCullough. He is such an amazing storyteller of American history. I really enjoyed "1776".

right now I'm reading "The Google Story" which I am also really enjoying and recommend to everyone.


Selected Books From My 2005

Selected Books From My 2005 Reading
Kind of in the vein of looking back at 2005, here's some of the books I read this year and what I think of them. Not only that, but I thought I would help Trent McBride out with his future...

Check out Just for Fun: The

Check out Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary - Linus Torvalds. Plus the longer list that I sent via trackback.

"Empires of the Word: A

"Empires of the Word: A Language
History of the World" by Nicholas Ostler.

I'm half way through: very good so far, save for a disconcerting habit of confusing East and West. (NOTE: in the last few years I've noticed quite a few journalists and authors who suffer from this affliction, but none who confuse North and South. Why, folks, why?)

Have you read Brave New

Have you read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley? The social commentary on utopias and sanity/insanity is quite interesting.

Paul Graham's Hackers &

Paul Graham's Hackers & Painters, an essay from which Patri referenced in this post.

Benjamin Friedman's The

Benjamin Friedman's The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth.

How was the Sklansky book, BTW? I've got Low Limit Hold'em for Advanced Players on my wishlist; is The Theory of Poker worth adding?

tToP is good, but nothing in

tToP is good, but nothing in it is exactly earth-shattering. Plus, he talks a lot about games I don't care about. His hold 'em book is likely better.

Trent tapped me, and it took

Trent tapped me, and it took a couple of days, but my list is up at http://voluntaryxchange.typepad.com/voluntaryxchange/2006/01/what_i_read_in_.html

Titmuss, the Gift

Titmuss, the Gift Relationship, is an interesting choice, at odds with your other selections. Titmuss' theory is that markets are bad, because they discourage altruism. He uses blood as an example. People "donate" blood instead of selling it. If we let people sell blood, they might stop giving it. He's a crank, and cooked his data, but he was taken seriously, blood sales were banned, and ever since there's been a shortage of blood, and thousands of people die each year. I wrote a paper on this in 1979, rights and the market in blood, back in pre-internet days. Since thousands of people have continued to die each year, I sometimes feel bad about not doing more about this.