The Last 220 Books I’ve Read

As part of a never-ending series, I like to do short reviews of the books I read. Here are the latest 10 books I’ve read along with the previous 210 that I’ve perused included.

PS: If you’re wondering why there are very few low rated books on this list, it’s because I have a low tolerance for boredom and tend to just stop reading publications that don’t hold my interest. Sometimes I go back to them and sometimes I don’t.

PS #2: Some of these books were sent to me by publishers, gratis, because they were hoping I’d do reviews. I’m including that because I believe I now have to, legally, although I think that’s silly.

220) Marc Levinson: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger (B+: This was a great book that will teach you a tremendous amount about trade, but it is also VERY MUCH a niche subject. This book isn’t for everyone.)

219) Lionel Tiger: The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women (B: Solid book about the changing conditions between men and women in the modern era. Not a pro-male book so much as a matter of fact description of the world as it is now.)

218) Helen Fisher: Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type (A: Outstanding book and I found the personality system in it to be particularly useful because it’s fairly easy to categorize people in it.)

217) Markos Moulitsas Zuniga: (B: This is sort of an attempt to write a modern day version of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” I don’t agree with the politics, but it is an interesting book.)

216) Robert Putnam: Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (A-: This is an outstanding book about a declining sense of American community, but it’s a bit of a niche subject.)

215) Leigh Burke: Niche Internet Marketing: The Secrets To Exploiting Untapped Niche Markets And Unleashing A Tsunami Of Cash (C+: It’s tough to find good books on this subject.)

214) Mark Steyn: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (A+: I can’t say enough good things about this book. I wish every American could read it to see where this country is headed unless we change course.)

213) Marc Ostrofsky: Get Rich Click!: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet (B-: How to make money on the Internet. I got some ideas out of it.)

212) Robert Leckie: George Washington’s War: The Saga of the American Revolution (A-: Leckie makes history come alive and if you want to understand the American Revolution, you couldn’t do any better than this book.)

211) Laura Vanderkam: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (B+: This was an excellent book on time management. Highly recommended)

210) Russell Brand: My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up: (B+: This was a surprising, readable, attention-holding book because Brand had a train wreck of a life, where he did almost everything wrong and somehow, someway, ended up being successful in spite of it.)

209) Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt: The Power of Focus: How to Hit Your Business, Personal, And Financial Targets With Absolute Certainty: (A-: This is a good book for people who’ve already read some self-help books and are looking for a little extra organization of their life and goals.)

208) Jeff Galloway: Running Until You’re 100: (B: I’m a newb to running; so it wasn’t hard for me to learn a few things from the book.)

207) Sidney Rosen: My Voice Will Go with You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson : (C-: I was interested in learning more about Milton Erickson’s techniques and what I came to realize is that a lot of what Erickson told his students was BS designed to enhance his reputation, rather than improve their understanding.)

206) Stephen King: Full Dark, No Stars: (B+: King used to be one of my favorite authors, but the quality of his work had seemed to slip. I was in an airport, in the mood for some horror and gave him another shot. Turns out, this book of semi-short stories was good stuff.)

205) Ann Coulter: Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America: (A: If it’s Coulter and it’s new material, it’s guaranteed to be spectacular. This book was, just as expected.)

204) Correction to follow

203) Maribeth Meyers-Anderson: Phoenix: Therapeutic Patterns of Milton H. Erickson: (C: I was fascinated with Erickson’s therapeutic techniques, but my conclusion after reading this book was that Erickson may indeed by brilliant, but a lot of the stories he was telling his students were tall tales designed to enhance his reputation.)

202) Donald McCrory: No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes: (B: This was a well written Cervantes biography — and he had a heck of a life — although I’m not sure this book would be most people’s cup of tea.)

201) Warren Farrell: The Myth of Male Power: (B: This book’s good, but not in the same class as Farrell’s master work “Why Men Are the Way They Are.”)

200) Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene: (B: This book, which is very influential, has a fascinating and well reasoned take on how evolution may work. Unfortunately, Dawkins also manages to shoehorn a number of largely irrelevant atheistic arguments into the book that felt very out of place and poorly reasoned compared to the rest of the tome.)

199) Lyssie Lakatos & Tammy Lakatos Shames (Author)Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever: (B+: Metabolism is a surprisingly mysterious subject. This book had better info on it than anything else I’ve ever read and as an extra added bonus, the authors, who are twins, actually tested out the principles in the book with self-experimentation. It was a really nice addition to the book.)

198) Daniel Coleman: Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception: (B+: Everybody lies to themselves sometimes and unfortunately, nobody is better at misleading you than you are at misleading yourself. This book covers the many different ways we trick ourselves.)

197) David Niven: 100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People: (C: It felt like Niven was reaching a little bit here to stick to his formula.)

196) David Niven: 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, The: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It: (B: This is an excellent book, but I’ve seen a lot of it already. If I had read this 10 years ago, it would have probably gotten an A.)

195) Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz: The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal: (B+: This has a simple concept behind it: Better to be focused with high energy on a few things than non-focused with low energy on a lot of things. It’s not so much the amount of time you put in as the quality of the time you put in. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist.)

194) Frank Farrelly: Provocative Therapy: (B: This is a book about a captivating style of therapy that you can also weave into conversation — or at least I can.)

193) Marc J. Seifer: Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius: (B: A detail heavy, intriguing and inspiring book about the life and times of Nikola Tesla. Tesla lived in a fascinating time for American science, but sadly his grandiosity and contract wrangling cost one of the most brilliant men of his time decades of scientific productivity.)

192) Knock Knock Books: Insults and Comebacks for All Occasions (Lines for All Occasions): (C+: Okay for what it was. Mean spirited jokes. Didn’t knock my socks off or anything.)

191) Jeffrey VanVonderen: Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidation of Well-Meaning People (B-: I read this because I’ve seen VanVonderen on Intervention and find him to be an impressive guy. The book had some interesting nuggets in it, but it didn’t blow me away. Of course, I’m not the target audience, so I may not be the best judge.)

190) Paul Ekman: Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life (B: There’s some interesting info, particularly the parts that focused on micro-expressions, but it’s a fairly dry book.)

189) Richar Koch: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less (C: The 80/20 principle is very useful, but the book really didn’t do all that much to help explain how to make use of it. It’s like he took a long essay about a useful subject and stretched it out into a book.)

188) Edmund Morgan: Benjamin Franklin (B-: Benjamin Franklin lived an amazing life and while Morgan’s biography taught me a lot about it, it wasn’t a great read and there could have been more details in certain places.)

187) Timothy Ferriss: The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (B: There’s a lot of absolutely fascinating data here, but in retrospect, much of it turned out be more of a curiosity than a useful addition.)

186) Al Ries and Jack Trout: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (B+: Another great book on marketing by Ries + Trout. There’s a lot of truth in it, especially in the Internet age, when every niche is crowded with an army of competitors.)

185) Paul Dobransky: The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love (B: Dobransky has a lot of insights, but the book is very complex. At times, it’s hard to get a handle on everything he’s saying and put it into perspective.)

184) Warren Farrell: Why Men Are the Way They Are (A: This is an extraordinary book — and it’s not an anti-female book either. But, it breaks down a lot of behaviors that have been created by the way men and women interact. I would call it allowing you to see the Matrix, except so much of it is out in the open anyway — we just miss it.)

183) Pietra Rivoli: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade (B+: This is a very good, very well written book about global trade — and those are actually fairly difficult to find.)

182) James Humes: Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History’s Greatest Speakers (A-: If you do speeches, this is a book worth reading.)

181) P. J. O’Rourke: Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards (B+: Another outstanding book from P.J., who, when he’s on, is one of the best political writers you’re going to run across)

180) Al Ries and Laura Ries: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding (A: Not as good #8 on the list, but not still the 2nd best book on Marketing that I’ve ever read)

179) Eric Hoffer: The Ordeal of Change: (B+: Another short, outstanding book by Hoffer. If you want to understand mass movements, nobody explains them better than Hoffer)

178) Al Ries and Jack Trout: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!: (A+: The best book on marketing that I’ve read. Period. Anybody who wants to do effective marketing should read this.)

177) Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning: (A: Frankl explains the details of life in a Nazi Concentration Camp and how it impacts man’s search for the meaning of life. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to anybody)

176) Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler (A: Influencer: The Power to Change Anything:: (B: They examine how change works in the real world and apply the lessons from people and organizations that have been successful.)

175) C.S. Lewis: Miracles: (B: A short book by Lewis pondering his agony after his wife passed. It’s a very sad, very moving book and as always with Lewis, you can’t help but learn something.)

174) Matt Ridley: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature: (B: I don’t believe in macroevolution, but I do believe in microevolution and I think Ridley has a good take on it. )

173) Jay Levinson: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business: (B-: I did learn some things from this book, but it’s surprisingly conventional for a book at that’s supposed to be about guerrilla marketing.)

172) Laura Ingraham: The Obama Diaries: (B-: Making up imaginary diaries for the Obama family was grating and it detracted from what Ingraham was saying.)

171) Milton Friedman: Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History: (B-: You can learn a lot about monetary policy from this book, but it’s very, very dry.)

170) Ben Thompson: Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live (A-: This is NOT heavy reading, but it’s fun reading, it’s entertaining reading, and it’s MANLY reading.)

169) Bob Greene: Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover: An Accelerated Program of Exercise and Nutrition for Maximum Results in Minimum Time (C-/D+: This is Oprah’s diet guru. Here’s the whole book in four words: “Exercise a whole lot.” Good advice? Yes. Did he need a whole book to tell you this? No.)

168) Robert Glover: No More Mr. Nice Guy!: (B+: For the man who wonders if being too nice a guy is holding him back. There’s some surprisingly good advice in this book — especially if you’re a nice guy.)

167) Jonathan Haidt: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (A-: This is a brilliant, insightful, and well researched book on happiness and let’s face it — who couldn’t use a little more happiness in his life?)

166) Dr. Drew Pinksy: The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America : (B: Pinsky is a smart, compassionate guy with a deep understanding of the dark side of human behavior — because he’s seen it all. His books are solid and very readable.

165) George Friedman: The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (B: Analyzing geopolitics and forecasting how things will look for the next 100 years is a daunting, nearly impossible task, but Friedman takes an informed crack at it. Will the book even be mostly right? Probably not, but you learn a lot as Friedman explains the thinking behind his speculation)

164) James Surowiecki: The Wisdom of Crowds (A-: This is a brilliant, well researched book that will give you more faith in the wisdom of crowds and less faith in the proclamations of geniuses who are supposed to be smarter than everyone else.)

163) Thomas Stanley: Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire (B-: The idea behind the book, that most of the rich actually got there by saving money and living frugal lifestyles is eye opening and backed up with lots of research. Unfortunately, Stanley really drags the book out by tediously recounting every detail of his research with whole chapters that could have been effectively summarized in a paragraph.)

162) Neil Strauss: Motley Crue: The Dirt – Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band: (A: This book is mind blowing. The unbelievably trashy way the band members grew up, partying that would make Nero green with envy, and the ups AND downs of drug use from the band. The book keeps you riveted from start to finish.)

161) David Olgilvy: Ogilvy on Advertising (B: I learned a lot about advertising by reading this book, but it was more geared towards people in the industry rather than people just looking to beef up their knowledge level about ads)

160) Nikki Stone: When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How To Stick Their Necks Out (C+: The concept — learning the secrets of success from extremely successful people — was fantastic. In practice, however, Stone spent very little time talking to each super-achiever. The book was also a bit too “back to basics” although it had a few good nuggets in there.)

159) Jonah Goldberg: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (A-: An absolutely masterful piece of research. If Goldberg had gone with his normal witty writing style, instead of taking a more scholarly approach, this would undoubtedly be an A+ book)

158) Thomas Sowell: The Housing Boom and Bust (A: This book should be studied in future classrooms of college students when they read about this economic crisis. It’s well reasoned, explains things in details, and features Sowell’s clear, crisp writing style.)

157) Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions: (B-: It did feature some of the predictable ways that we human beings make irrational decisions, but it didn’t tie it all together that well and featured some irrationality of its own while coming up with suggestions to fix the problem.)

156) Eric Hoffer: The Passionate State of Mind: (B+: Aside from his raging atheism, Hoffer has a rare insight into what makes human beings tick. I always learn a lot from his relatively short books and this one was no exception.)

155) Amy Alkon: I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society (B: This is a fun read and Alkon makes some good points in her ferocious and entertaining battle against rudeness.)

154) John Robbins: Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples (B: The first part of the book features brilliant research on the longest lived societies on the planet. It covers what they’re eating, how they’re exercising, etc. It may be worth your time to get the book just for that. But, the 2nd half of the book is useless hippy crap that drags the A+ material all the way down to a B)

153) Eric Hoffer: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (A: This is a book anyone trying to build a movement in politics, or elsewhere, should read. It’s a fascinating take on how the whole thing works.)

152) C.S. Lewis: Miracles (B: Lewis is an extraordinary writer about all things spiritual and I definitely learned some things from reading this book. However, Lewis is at his weakest as a writer when he gets neck deep into theology — and there’s a lot of that in this book).

151) Barbara Oakley: Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend (B-: The book makes a very good case for the “nature” side of “nature vs. nurture,” but it doesn’t convince me that evil is primarily a function of genes.

150: William Shirer: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (A: An incredibly detailed, well written (but long) book detailing the Nazis.)

149: L. Michael Hall: Mind-lines: Lines For Changing Minds (B: This is an incredible book for getting rid of bad habits, but it is very, very dry and “sciencey.”

148: Nicole Wilde: Getting a Grip on Aggression Cases: Practical Considerations for Dog Trainers (D: The book spends a considerable amount of time talking about everything a dog trainer should do EXCEPT how they should handle dog aggression. Big disappointment.)

147: Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture (A-: There are better motivational books out there, but this one really sticks with you because it was written as Pausch was dying)

146: David M. Kiely and Christina McKenna: The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism (A-: It’s very hard to tell how much stock should be put into the stories in this book. But either way, it’s VERY creepy.)

145: Michael Gerber: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (A-: This book should be mandatory reading for all small business owners. I certainly learned a lot from it)

144: Tom Butler-Bowdon: 50 Prosperity Classics: Attract It, Create It, Manage It, Share It (A+: This was the best book on handling money I have ever read — perhaps because it takes the “best of” from so many other classic books)

143: Richard Brodie: Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme (C+: I don’t consider memetics to be a science. It’s just a new way of looking at how information spreads. There are some nuggets in here, but it didn’t blow me away)

142: Robert Ringer: Million Dollar Habits (B-: Not one of Ringer’s better books. It feels like some of the material is just rehashed from his other books)

141: Robert Young: The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health (?: It’s hard to rate this book. The writer is credible. The info he gives is amazing. I am not sure whether to buy into it. The one thing I did try from the book, PH Drops, made me throw up.)

140: Brian Tracy: Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed (B: The book is packed with great info, but I find Tracy to be a very dull writer. That makes his books less enjoyable)

139: Chin-Ning Chu: Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life (A-: An excellent self-help book with more on an Eastern slant. See the “best of” quotes from the book here.)

138: Jack Cashill: What’s the Matter with California?: Cultural Rumbles from the Golden State and Why the Rest of Us Should Be Shaking (B+: A very readable book that gives you a good backgrounder and why California is such a horrific mess.)

137: Al Ries & Laura Ries: The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR (B+: Lots of practical marketing advice and a different way of viewing advertising. In general, I think they’re right that PR is more effective than advertising)

136: Ann Coulter Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America (A-: Every book of Ann’s that I have read, other than her first one and her “best of” books, has been outstanding and this one is no exception. Here are the

29) Peter Schweizer: Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy (A: Lots of entertaining dirt on the hypocritical left. Full review here.)

28) Dean Koontz: Frankenstein, Book One: Prodigal Son (B: This was obviously meant to be the first part of a trilogy or a series which in part, alleviated my dismay at the fact that there wasn’t all that much Frankenstein in this book about Frankenstein.)

27) Tammy Bruce: The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists (B: A good read. Bruce reminds me of David Horowitz in some places. No one loathes the left like a convert to the right who has the scales ripped from his/her eyes.)

26) Victor Davis Hanson: Wars of the Ancient Greeks (D: This is by far the worst thing I’ve ever read by Hanson, perhaps because it was part of a Smithsonian series and they put too many restrictions on him.)

25) Jenna Jameson: How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale (B: I thought reading a book by the world’s most famous porn star would be a nice change of pace — and it was, although it got a little dull in the middle when she killed time by talking about her childhood. Also, while — as you’d expect — this is a very racy book, it really is a cautionary tale.)

24) Noam Chomsky: Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World (F: Don’t waste your time with this garbage. Full review here.)

23) Katherine DeBrecht: Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! (A for kids: I had a media copy of this one sent to me since it got so much attention. I thought it was an excellent children’s book with a great message and some very funny illustrations.)

22) Tommy Franks: American Soldier (C: Lots of interesting tidbits — for example, the guys at the Pentagon think Douglas Feith is a clown — but very, very dry in some places.)

21) Robert Leckie: Delivered from Evil: The Saga of World War II (A: Typical Leckie. Very long with lots of detail, but so well written it keeps you interested.)

20) Ric Flair: To Be the Man (A+: The best wrestling book ever, even better than Mick Foley’s, “Have a Nice Day!.”)

19) Roger Ailes: You Are the Message (A: This is a reread, but it’s always good to brush up on your communications skills)

18) Ann Coulter: High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton (B: Lot of good info on the scandals in the Clinton administration, but it’s a little dry and incessant lobbying for impeachment feels a bit dated at this point)

17) Michelle Malkin: Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild (A-: I proofed this book when it was months away from being published and I thought Michelle did a great job of cataloguing how loony the left has gotten.)

16) Robert Leckie: The World Turned Upside Down the Story of the American Revolution (A: You’ll learn more about the American Revolution by reading Leckie than any history class you’ll ever take)

15) John Douglas & Mark Olshaker: The Anatomy of Motive: The FBI’s Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals (B: It’s a good read and if you enjoyed other books by Douglas or on profiling, you’ll probably like this one, too)

14) Brian Anderson: Southpark Republicans (B: This is a good intro to the blogosphere, Southpark Republicans, and the “new face of conservatism.”)

13) Steven Pressfield: The Virtues Of War (A-: Not as good a piece of historical fiction as, “Gates of Fire,” but what is? This was still a great read)

12) Milton & Rose Friedman: Free To Choose (B+: Good book, but I still think Sowell is better at breaking down economics issues)

11) Robert Leckie: Conflict: The History of the Korean War, 1950-53 (A: Only VDH is better at making history come alive than Leckie)

10) Mark Dubbin: Shadow Patriot (C-: Great concept, but the execution was a little flat.)

9) Thomas Sowell: Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (B: Good stuff, but I liked Basic Economics better)

8) Ann Coulter: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (B-: If you’ve regularly read Ann’s columns for the last few years. A- if you haven’t)

7) Paul Cartledge: The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, from Utopia to Crisis and Collapse (C: Good information, but very dry reading and poorly organized)

6) Steven Pressfield: Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae (A+: Incredible read, loved it, loved it, loved it)

5) Ed Rollins: Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms : My Life in American Politics (B: Great for political junkies)

4) Dick Morris: Power Plays: Win or Lose — How History’s Great Political Leaders Play the Game (A-: Great for political junkies)

3) P.J. O’Rourke: Peace Kills: America’s Fun New Imperialism (B-: Readable, but not’s P.J.’s best work)

2) Joe Scarborough: Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day : The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America (A-: The real deal on how Congress wastes your money)

1) Scott Keith: Wrestling’s One Ring Circus: The Death of the World Wrestling Federation (A for wrestling fans)

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