Auto Ads by Adsense

Friday, November 19, 2021

Books of the Year 2021

 I read 69 books this year, including a couple of re-reads. It was heavily tilted towards non-fiction, which makes the non-fiction selection challenging.

By far the most useful book I read this year has to be Noise. A book about how to make decisions and remove jitter from your decisions has to qualify very highly in terms of usefulness. The problem is that the book is on the dry side. I would say that on the political side, the best book I read this year was The Price of Peace, the biography of John Maynard Keynes. It describes the long march and battle of ideas, and really shows how bankrupt the modern economic theories of Milton Friedman et al, are compared to Keynes' vision. It ties right in with Democracy in Chains giving you a complete understanding of the political economy. My favorite topic is still science, unfashionable as it is in this day of vaccine denial. I thought Exercised was a solid debunking of paleo exercise  and diet myths, and explains why we hate exercise so much despite also needing it. I also cannot help having a soft spot for Justice and The Wisdom of No Escape, both of which are exemplars of clear writing and thinking. By far the best business book I read this  year was Working Backwards. It's a clear explanation of how Amazon won so many battles against competitors with much higher margins and frequently better engineers. It's definitely well worth your time.

I guess having said all that, I will go for The Price of Peace as the book of the year.

The best fiction of the year was an easy choice: Project Hail Mary, easily the best novel I'd read in years. If you enjoyed the Martian, don't waste your time dithering. Just get the book and read it already.

I read a ton more comic books than usual, but none of them really stood out. I guess March would take the price, if I had to choose. As you can see, I found a bunch of really good books this year. I hope you try some of them!

No comments: