Best Book You Read This Year?

bgbusiness said:
I can't believe this thread doesn't have a lot of book recommendations....
Here are mine.
1. Dale Carnegie series.
2. Radical Honesty
3. 7 Habits of Highly Succesful People.
4. Bounce by Matthew Syed
5. How to be a Billionaire
6. Art of Seduction by Robert Green.
7. Crucial Conversations.
8. The Game by Neil Strauss
9. Way of the Superior Man
10. Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi.
That's because it's not a book recommendation thread. It is a "Best Book you read this year" thread. Ironic that you read all those books but failed to read that title :laugh:

Thanks for the recommendations, though. I'm mostly fucking with you.
Steve Jobs - by Walter Isaacson

Incredibly motivational book about a man who was incredibly focused, creative, entrepreneurial, and had a passion to change the world.

As I was making progress through the book, it really motivated me in creating something new, in chasing my passion rather than money, and ultimately made me realize that death is all upon us and life is limited - so we might as well do what we love
runsonmagic said:
Merry Christmas, everyone.

With the holidays and new year approaching, I've been looking back on this past year, and I realized... I read a lot of books. Piles of them. But there were only a few that stood out to me this past year, so I wanted to ask the forum...

What was the best book you read this past year?
I honestly don't think it is anything to be proud of. I don't actually think reading makes you smarter. I only do it because it is enjoyable. I only mention the large number of books I read so that I can tell you that in my experience the 'benefits of reading' are probably overrated.


I really love to read. Recently, I often read e-books. I bought almost the entire series of books about Xanthus (this is fantasy by Anthony Pierce, here is a description). At first, these books seemed childish to me, but then I realized that adult questions were raised there. The author brilliantly described the quantum theory in one of his books. I like how easily and simply the author describes such social problems as racism, censorship, conflicts in relationships.
"Inadequate Equilibria" by Eliezer Yudkowsky

JustinJack said:
in my experience the 'benefits of reading' are probably overrated.
I agree that reading in itself is mostly overrated and is often little more than another form of entertainment. It has some positive effects (enriches one's vocabulary) just like video games have the minor positive effect of shortening reaction time.

That being said, when looking for ways to improve one's life, reading carefully chosen books and generally consuming the right media plays very important role.


Generally read longer books so I only get through a few a year.

Favorite book of 2019. Actually made me very emotional. Especially that final phone call from Oliver Tambo, and when he's released after 27 years. The guy was much more of a badass than I had previously known. Recommend to all

antman333 said:
Generally read longer books so I only get through a few a year.

Favorite book of 2019. Actually made me very emotional. Especially that final phone call from Oliver Tambo, and when he's released after 27 years. The guy was much more of a badass than I had previously known. Recommend to all

Really? I remember reading that book when I was 14 and that's when I understood he was no saint.

And as I got older and got to understand more about the apartheid in South Africa and him I realised he was just a hypocrite, communist and terrorist.

The left seem to love these types of overrated and vastly romanticizeds Messiahs for some reason. Gandhi, Greta, Mandela, Arafat, Che Guevara, Castro, you name it.

But Mandela sang songs about killing whites, struck alliances with Fidel Castro. And as he explains in the book he founded the armed branch of ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and convinced the former president Albert Luthuli to finally accept violence as a tool and ordered bombings of innocents. They would also cut the lips off of people and commit necklacing (basically place a rubber tire filled with petrol around someone and set it on fire) for people opposing their marxist ideology. His wife was a big fan of necklacing and spoke about it on several occasions, her former body guard testified how she had ordered such murders.
And he decided to married someone like that?

He also wrote a book on how beautiful communism is so just imagine someone doing that about nazism. No chance that person would have been loved by the mainstream.

So he had certainly a lot of innocent's blood on his hands and is a big reason why South Africa, once one of the most developed countries in Africa, has been kicked back in time and turned into a complete shithole and more racist than ever.



No More Mr. Soy Boy said:
Really? I remember reading that book when I was 14 and that's when I understood he was no saint.
Alright. I had no idea about any of that. You ruined the book for me

I knew about the "strategic bombings," targeting vacant government buildings and powerlines. But it was never mentioned in the book about the public bombings. Obviously that's not cool. The whites were no saints either, and were massacring protesters before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Bad on both sides.

Also didn't know that about Winnie. And the current state of SA is pretty appalling. Good to put things into context.



Thomas More

I read all my books on Kindle. My eyesight isn't as good as it once was, and books on paper tend to give me eyestrain if I try to read a long time. I just counted, and I've bought 86 books this year, which is much higher than recent years.

Laura Ingalls Wilder
I read the Little House on the Prairie series, and several books about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the background to the stories. The series is targeted at children, but I read it hoping that I would enjoy the setting in the pioneer era, and I ended up enjoying it very much. Laura got the first book published when she was 65. Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder was a successful author with a number of published books and magazine articles. There is some controversy if Rose ghost wrote or extensively edited the books. She did some editing and advising, but Laura had done some earlier writing, and you can see a flair in Laura's writing that is absent in Rose's writing. The book have a certain ideological agenda based on Laura and Rose's anti-New Deal leanings in the 1930's which is interesting to see. Rose Wilder went on to be a well known libertarian writer, often compared to Ayn Rand. Rose was also a real mess. It's strange to see how emotionally messed up she was after being raised by Laura and Almanzo Wilder, who were salt of the earth type people.

Andrew Wareham
I read three book series by Andrew Wareham, which are highly recommended. These are set in England and the English colonies. Two of the series cover the same time period from around 1780 to 1830, and one is set in China in the era of the Boxer rebellion. Several of the series are over a dozen books, and I binged right through two series as fast as I could read. I read the Poor Man at the Gate series, the Duty and Destiny series, and the Earl's Other Son series.
These are set in the era where England entered the age of steam, iron working, and industrialization, and they were the most advanced nation on Earth. There is a mix of military adventure, upper class society doings, political intrigue, and organized crime.
All the key characters started poor and worked their way into high society, but then their children were raised as high society. There is a line where one of the characters observes that England is ruled by the rich, in the interests of the rich, and based on that he would vote for something in Parliament that would benefit his interests as a rich person. I came to realize in a new way how this is still the case.
A lot of people go on about democracy, and government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but with modern media, propaganda, and social engineering techniques, the rich can mostly steer the people to vote the way they want. Trump and Boris Johnson show this isn't always so, but for the most part, government really is of, by, and for the rich.
One other wrinkle to this whole issue comes from Wareham's books as well. In this era, England was at war with France for a long time, first with the French Revolution, then Napoleon. The English were highly aware of the risk of the people rising up and overthrowing the church and the nobility, the way they did in France, and so they tried to placate and control the common people to prevent this. This is the other side of the story when you look at government of, by, and for the rich. They may rule in their own interests, but they do have to take the common people into account somehow, lest they rise up and kill the rich. Also, excessive oppression can stifle economic growth, and England wanted to continue being the richest most advanced nation, so they tried to avoid this.
The stories in the early 1800's actually gave me a lot of insights into current times. Of course, I realized the author did this on purpose to some degree, but the actual history really does support the ideas I was picking up from the books.

Jane Austen
I recently read Pride and Prejudice, which is a least one example of a truly skilled and innovative female author. I was interested in it after reading the Wareham books set in the Regency era. I've started reading Jane Austen's Emma, and it's a little too silly and girly, so I haven't finished it. I'm going to give it another try, to see if I can warm up to it. Austen is known for a writing technique in which the different characters state things from their perspective, in a way that initially appears to be stated as a fact by the author, and you gradually come to understand that these statements will often show extreme bias from the character's point of view. This is called the free indirect form of narration, and Austen was an innovator in using it. I liked the way this was used a lot in Pride and Prejudice, and my goal is to read all of Austen's work. As with Little House on the Prairie, a big part of my interest in these novels is to get a glimpse of life and society as it was in those days.

G. A. Henty
I read a number of books by G. A. Henty. This is a very interesting author. He was English, and he wrote in the late 1800's. His books are all coming of age books about young men, often in military situations. He wrote historical novels for the most part, involving his characters in all major eras and regions. I read one with the boy set in ancient Egypt. The boy was a prince of a small city state that was conquered by Egypt. His dad was killed, and he was taken as a slave. Another book was set in the late 1500's with the boy becoming involved in the Dutch fight for freedom from the Spanish. It's interesting to see the historical understanding of these places and times as it was understood in England in the late 1800's. Also, the view of what makes a man is refreshing as it comes from before most modernist progressive and feminist ideas became widespread. The best part about Henty's books is that I got the Complete G. A. Henty collection as a Kindle book from Amazon for $2.99, over 100 separate novels!
Tokyo Vice, a nonfiction work by Jake Adelstein. This mesmerizing account is by an American journalist who attended university in Japan, and then actually got a job as a newspaper crime reporter there. He had many fascinating and frightening dealings with the Yakuza, and ultimately dug into a case that could have gotten him killed. I have never read a book about modern Japan, that brought the country and culture to life, like this one did. I highly recommend this great story...



"The Delicate Balance", by John Zajac. When he first tried to get published, in the 80s, he could find no one to even touch the book. Not only that, but when he tried to print it himself, no printing house would allow it to be printed! Zajac ended up having it printed in Colombia, by people who couldn't read English!

It was so successful, and the cat was now out of the bag after the first printing, that he got picked up by an American publisher. It's a shocking expose of the power structures of the world and ancient prophesies.