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Ask HN: Best books you've read in 2019?
26 points by rayalez 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments




Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37570546-maybe-you-shoul...


Mindfuck, Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America - Christopher Wylie.

It went so much deeper than what I learned from the media, and he explores the how (not too technically, as it's for a general audience) far more than I expected. Very glad I read it, and it's an easy read.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

18th century alternative history about two rivals restoring supernatural magic to the country, causing chaos, helping out in the wars with the French, and mostly hating each other. Very enjoyable, if rather silly read.

Merchants of Doubt - Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

If age hadn't brought enough cynism to my worldview, this tops it up nicely. Probably one of the most important books I've read. How some ex scientists, PR agencies and think tanks made a nice career selling doubt as a service to every dodgy industry going. Doubt and uncertainty on every important issue of the last 50 years. Tobacco and health, acid rain, fire retardants and climate heating among others. The same people giving the anti-science spin on multiple issues across decades, cropping up in papers and TV again and again.

Command and Control - Eric Schlosser

The misadventures, multiple accidents and cock-ups and safety - well lack of - surrounding nuclear weapons. After reading this you'll have no idea how one didn't go off over home or allied soil.


In no particular order the best ones I've read this year(so far) are:

Children of the Nameless by Brandon Sanderson

Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt

King Rat by James Clavell

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin

The Elric Saga Part 1 by Michael Moorcock


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari


I will add his other books, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for 21st century (reading now)


The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

I'm a little embarrassed to say it's the only book I've had the motivation to finish this year. It's a fantastic book though, and during the age of the "war on facts" it's quite relevant.


- antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (the guy is smart, but insufferable)

- a short history of nearly everything, Bill Bryson

- working: researching, interviewing, writing by Robert Caro (I love just about everything he puts out)


I just discovered the farseer trilogies and the trilogies after them. Really great reading. I can only describe it as a mix of game of thrones, Harry Potter, white fang, and Thomas the engine.


Didn't see that last one coming.


"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" by Roz Chast comes to mind.

It's a humorous albeit poignant look at her parents aging. Mine are nearing that stage, yet there were multiple instances where it felt she was describing my own parents to a T.

> https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Talk-about-Something-Pleasant/dp...


Influence: The Power of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

It was interesting to learn why certain techniques work.


I’ve “read” 19 books this year (thanks Audible)

These were my faves:

“Wolf hall” by Hilary Mantell

“The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins

“Never Split the difference” by Chris Voss

“How to talk so kids will listen” by Joanna Faber & Julie King


- Shoedog by Phil Knight - Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe - How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan - Deep Work by Cal Newport


- Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

- Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse.

- The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin


Refactoring 2nd Edition

Stormlight Archive


Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch


- Pragmatic Programmer 2nd edition

- Permanent Record


Here is my list (from https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/912138-alex-givant?rea...):

Memoirs:

- Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Bourdain, Anthony, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33313.Kitchen_Confidenti...

- Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Land, Stephanie, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39218350-maid

- Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Bourdain, Anthony, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40409969-medium-raw

- Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man's Tour of Duty Inside the IRS by Yancey, Rick, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/196519.Confessions_of_a_...

Politics:

- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Desmond, Matthew, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25852784-evicted

- Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Leovy, Jill, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13153693-ghettoside

- American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Bauer, Shane, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38561954-american-prison

- Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom by Eban, Katherine, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42448266-bottle-of-lies

- A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by Miller, T. Christian, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35805861-a-false-report

- The New Silk Roads by Frankopan, Peter, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40921633-the-new-silk-ro...

History:

- Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Applebaum, Anne, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13531848-iron-curtain

- The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Montefiore, Simon Sebag, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26109020-the-romanovs

- The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Johnson, Steven, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36086.The_Ghost_Map

- Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Bergman, Ronen, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33598223-rise-and-kill-f...

- Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler by Olson, Lynne, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41739312-madame-fourcade...

- Argo: How the CIA & Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Méndez, Antonio J., https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13588425-argo

Crime:

- Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Selby, Scott Andrew, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7071759-flawless

- American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Bilton, Nick, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31920777-american-kingpi...

- Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by Carreyrou, John, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37976541-bad-blood

- Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Wright, Tom, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38743564-billion-dollar-...

- The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. by Ratliff, Evan, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41181600-the-mastermind

Technology:

- Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Zetter, Kim, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18465875-countdown-to-ze...

- Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Thompson, Clive, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40406806-coders

Fiction:

- Vengeful (Villains, #2) by Schwab, V.E., https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26856502-vengeful

- Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1) by Bancroft, Josiah, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17554595-senlin-ascends

- Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2) by Bancroft, Josiah, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35959733-arm-of-the-sphi...

- The Hod King (The Books of Babel, #3) by Bancroft, Josiah, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998292-the-hod-king

- Recursion by Crouch, Blake, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42046112-recursion

- Foundryside (Founders, #1) by Bennett, Robert Jackson, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37173847-foundryside

- The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) by Liu, Cixin, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20518872-the-three-body-...

- The Guardians by Grisham, John, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43701061-the-guardians




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