The Last 40 Books I’ve Read

From last to first…

Currently Reading — Atul Gawande: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science

80) Bob Novak: The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington (B+: I really enjoyed the book, which covers Novak’s 50 years of reporting in Washington, which mostly seemed to consist of meeting important people for lunch, getting info out of them over drinks, and reporting it in his column. However, I am a blogger and a hardcore political junky. If that definition doesn’t fit you as well, you may not enjoy the book nearly as much as I did.)

79) Drew Curtis: It’s Not News, It’s Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News (A-: I thought this was a funny, extremely effective, non-partisan critique of the mainstream media. It was rather enjoyable.)

78) Michael Moorcock: The Weird of the White Wolf 3 (A+: This is book 3 in what I consider to be the best fantasy series of all-time and I wanted to reread it to see if it was as good as I thought as was. It was…)

77) Col David Hunt: On the Hunt: How to Wake Up Washington and Win the War on Terror (C: While Hunt definitely scores some points and says some things of interest, he complains so incessantly, about almost everything related to the war on terror, that his complaints come across as contradicting each other in places. Also, because he seems to like almost nothing about the war we’re running the war on terror, it’s hard to separate the “signal from the noise” and know how much stock to put in his ideas.

76) Popular Mechanics: Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts (B: As you’d expect, it’s a bit dry and it can’t cover every cockeyed theory, but it very thoroughly debunked a lot of the more popular “Truther” nonsense that you’ve probably heard about 9/11)

75) James Bowman: Honor: A History (A: A very well done book that helps explain our own culture’s history with honor and that of other nations. This book does an outstanding job of explaining behavior that at times, appears downright mysterious to people not steeped in a culture of honor.)

74) George Washington: George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation (D-: The book is, not unexpectedly, very out of date at this point. However, it’s really too short to even be a book. It’s more like an essay.)

73) Allan Bloom: The Closing of the American Mind (C-: This is supposed to be a conservative classic and it does have an exceptional start, but it quickly becomes very tedious, spends far too much time on philosophy, and comes across as mere crabby complaining in many places.)

72) Angela McGlowan: Bamboozled: How Americans are being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda (A: This is fantastic book that covers how the Democratic party has Bamboozled black Americans into voting for them despite the fact that the Democrats do little for black Americans and have been a traditionally racist party.)

71) Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn: For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women (B: There were some interesting insights into the female mind in this book.)

70) H.W. Crocker: Don’t Tread on Me: A 400-Year History of America at War, from Indian Fighting to Terrorist Hunting (B+: The book is a bit too concise in places, which is sort of a given in a 464 page book that covers all of America’s wars, but it is extremely well written. I liked Crocker just a shade less than my two favorite historical writers, Robert Leckie and Victor Davis Hanson.

69) Frank J. Fleming & Sarah C. Fleming: The Chronicles of Dubya Volume 1: The Defeat of Saddam (B: This is a book based on IMAO’s “In My World,” series. It was extremely funny and well put together, but because I was already a fan, I’ve read a lot of the material in the book already on IMAO’s blog. That’s why it got a “B” rating. On the other hand, if you haven’t read a lot of the series on IMAO and are looking for something funny to peruse, I’d highly recommend this book.)

68) Greg Bear: Blood Music (C: The first 3/4 of the book was really exceptional, but Bear went all M. Night Shyamalan at the end and ruined what was shaping up to be an extraordinary work of science fiction with plot twists too bizarre to be taken seriously.)

67) John Leppelman: Blood on the Risers: An Airborne Soldier’s Thirty-five Months in Vietnam (A: A magnificent, first person account of the fighting, misery, and incompetent officers that ordinary soldiers had to endure in Vietnam.)

66) C. S. Lewis: Mere Christianity (B: The first 3/4 of the book was simply brilliant, but the book bogs down a lot at the end when Lewis goes from explaining Christianity simply, in an easy to understand way, and gets deep into theology.)

65) John Lewis Gaddis: The Cold War: A New History (B-: The book was supposed to be a concise history of the Cold War and it was — perhaps too much so. It’s probably a good summary for people who aren’t familiar with the Long, Twilight Struggle, but it also seemed like a lot of key episodes weren’t covered as well as they should be.)

64) William Easterly: The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (D+: The book had a few nuggets of interest in it, but was dry and quite frankly, didn’t say much that couldn’t have been said just as well in a 5000 word essay.)

63) Eric Bischoff & Jeremy Roberts: Controversy Creates Cash (B+: You won’t like this book unless you like wrestling, but if you do, it’s a good read about the fall of WCW.)

62) Dick Wirthlin and Wynton C. Hall: The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me About Politics, Leadership, and Life (A-: A superb book with lots of stories about Reagan and what people can learn from him.)

61) Frank Miller: 300 (A+: Shorter than I expected, but an exceptional read. The book was every bit as good as the movie (edited)!)

60) Robert Leckie: “A Few Acres of Snow”: The Saga of the French and Indian Wars (A: This is a typical Leckie book. In other words, it’s superbly written and covers what happened in great detail although fortunately, this one was a little shorter than many of his other books.)

59) Dwight Eisenhower: In Review, Pictures I’ve Kept (B: It was fascinating to read about WW2 and Eisenhower’s time in the White House and little details jumped out at you. The UN seemed to actually function back then. Eisenhower said he had opposed using nukes against Japan, but let it be known that he was willing to use nuclear weapons against China if there was a conflict. It’s a good historical perspective.)

58) Scott Williams: Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW (B: I can’t fully explain why I read this book so soon after reading the other except that perhaps I thought it might have some better stories. It did — a little better anyway, although it covered a lot of the same ground.)

57) Tony Robbins (Reread): Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! (A+: This is one of my favorite books of all-time and it was nice to read it for a 3rd (or is it a 4th?) time.)

56) Thom Loverro: The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling (C+: Not a terrible book, but I had heard a lot of this before.)

55) Victor Davis Hanson: Why the West Has Won (A-: VDH describes how and why some of the greatest Western military victories — and defeats — took place.)

54) Maddox: The Alphabet Of Manliness (C: Maddox is about the funniest writer you’ll ever run across on the net, but the book is really uneven. Some chapters (where Maddox sticks to what he does better than anyone else, biting sarcasm) are laugh out loud funny and others are very ho-hum.)

53) David Maraniss: When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi (B: This was a well written and detailed book about Lombardi, but I may not be enough of a football fan these days to fully appreciate it.)

52) R.A. Salvatore: The Two Swords (Forgotten Realms: The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy, Book 3) (C: Not Salvatore’s best work and inexplicably, he doesn’t wrap things up in the the third and presumably final book of the trilogy. Most unsatisfying.)

51) R.A. Salvatore: The Lone Drow (Forgotten Realms: The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy, Book 2) (B-: Salvatore’s heart doesn’t seem to be in this series.)

50) R.A. Salvatore: The Thousand Orcs (Forgotten Realms: The Hunter’s Blades Trilogy, Book 1) (B: Great characters, but the dialogue seems a little stilted at times.)

49) Donald Kagan: The Peloponnesian War (A: As you read about this epic 25 year long war between Greek States that happened 2500 years ago, you will, believe it or not, see parallels very applicable to the war on terror pop-up.)

48) Robert B. Cialdini: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (B: Lots of info on how sales techniques play upon particular human tendencies.)

47: Desmond Stewart: Early Islam (Great Ages of Man) (B+: It was interesting to read a book about Islam that was done pre-9/11. Lots of details about Muhammad and the power struggles after his death)

46) Roger L. Depue, Susan Schindehette: Between Good and Evil: A Master Profiler’s Hunt for Society’s Most Violent Predators (B: If he had spent the whole time talking about his career at the FBI instead of his personal life, this probably would have been an A)

45) Ann Coulter: Godless: The Church of Liberalism (A: another great, great read from Ann. See the interview here and the quotes here.)

44) Fletcher Pratt: The Battles That Changed History (B: This was a good read overall and Pratt is a skilled writer, but a little more detail at times would have been helpful)

43) Joe Klein: Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized By People Who Think You’re Stupid (B-: Klein is a liberal and I didn’t agree with everything he said, but the book was a quick, fun read with lots of “inside baseball” nuggets of interest tossed out to political junkies. See the quotes here.)

42) Henry Hazlitt: Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (C: I know this is supposed to be a classic, but it seemed a little too dated for my taste)

41) Mona Charen: Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us) (B+: Read it, enjoyed it, and created a batch of quotes.)

You can see the previous 40 books I’ve read here.

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