Books I'm Reading, Read Over Past Few Years--And Ones I Didn't Finish (Updated as I remember them)
John Adams's Biography (Excellent)
The Dream of Reason (Listening to it on ipod in gym; It's about the history of Western Philosophy by the editor of The Economist; it's too dense at times, but I'm also getting some good stuff out of it)
Worldly Saints (Book on the Puritans by Leland Ryken)
- Einstein's Dreams (Intriguing and beautifully-written descriptions of possible alternative worlds dreamed up by Einstein. He imagines how things would be different if the phyiscs in our universe were not what they are. Borrowed from Laurel! Got a little repetitious after a while though...)
- A Moveable Feast (My favorite book I read in 2006. Ivy and I read it right before going to Paris in April and we then saw where Hemingway lived, as described in the book. The best line in the book, as Hemingway described how he overcame writer's block: "Just write one true sentence." Also loved learning how he was deeply influenced by Cezanne and then saw the same works Hemingway did at the Musee d'Orsay et le Louvre.)
- Freakonomics (Interesting application of economics to real life issues, but overrated)
- The World is Flat (My favorite book of 2005. I loved Tom Friedman's insights about technology and globalization. He tied it all together very well with good policy recommendations at the end.)
- Brothers Karamazov (Good themes but too emotional and psychological for my taste; I didn't like Crime & Punishment either. War & Peace is currently sitting on my shelf daring me to read it.)
- The Case for Christ (Very good historical evidence for the validity of the bible and the Christian faith-- asked & answered surprisingly tough questions)
- Atlas Shrugged (A powerful, brilliant, and excessively long argument for free-market capitalism. Opened my mind up in many ways regarding the inherent value in exchanging your best for others' best through, services, goods and money)
- Rich Dad Poor Dad (Good, fundamental reasons why it's important to understand how business works. Book was very influential for us in starting our own business and venturing out on our own).
- Cashflow Quadrant (Helpful insights into why precisely it's better to run your own show rather than just being an employee).
- In Search of Zarathustra (History and travelogue of central Asian region and the pre-Muslim Zoroastrian religion. Interesting to learn how Nietzsche was influenced and wrote "Thus Spoke Zarathustra.")
- The Millionaire Real Estate Investor (Despite the materialistic title, gave good, practical advice on the type of rental you should look for. Mark, Melissa and I applied this when we bought the Portland rental in Fall of '05).
- The Zahir (The first book I read by Paulo Coehlo. Liked how it was set in Paris and the honesty of the characters. Liked how it pursued what is most important in life and cut through superficial distractions to focus on the importance of true love for your spouse.)
- The Alchemist (Coehlo is much more popular in Europe and Latin America, but is catching on in the U.S. now too. His most famous book, this was a well-written, beautiful and funny parable of how a young shepherd boy was nudged to get out of his comfort zone and pursued his dreams. Despite setbacks and unpleasant adventures, taking the risk was definitely worth it.)
DID NOT FINISH:
- One Hundred Years of Solitude (I started this in the Spring of '06 and forced myself to get halfway through it. I then realized I wasn't appreciating Marquez's "magical realism" which seemed to me like a bunch of random, outlandish stories that were wasting my time.)
- History of the World (I downloaded this 6! volume set from audible.com and listened to it in the gym for over 3 months but was only on the second volume at that point... I do want to read a history of the world, but this one is too detailed and narrated by a pompous British guy. I was defeated.)