Books I Read in 2018

I got (stole) the idea for this post from Tanner Greer’s fantastic blog The Scholar’s Stage. This is the list of books I read in 2018. I included only the books that I finished. I read at least two dozen books at the same time, my interests fluctuate a lot. I start many books, some of them I read right away, others I read by chapters—I take turns to go through multiple books bit by bit, so takes longer. My favorite titles of the year are bolded.

My favorite book of 2018 was William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Extremely lucid and engaging narrative of the Third Reich with extensive quotations of original source materials. 
Shirer starts with Hitler’s childhood (biography) and ends at the fall of the Third Reich (Hitler’s suicide and Fall of Berlin), with some digressions on German cultural, political, social and military history that are relevant to the narrative (for example, he talks a fair bit about Bismarck). The book is not an ‘analysis’, just plain narrative history with Shirer making all his views plain and putting them on the table. The story is German centric (this is because Shirer was a journalist in Germany till 1941, and huge amounts of documents recovered/captured after the war). One of the reasons that I love this book is – Shirer quotes extensively from Hitler’s and all the major Nazi officials’ speeches, letters, table-talks, conferences, books, articles, etc., which are fascinating. They show plainly and simply the whole ideology from the mouths of the engineers of the Reich. 
This decision to include big chunks of texts from original sources, inspired me to read Hitler’s book and edited volumes of his speeches and talks, Goebbels’ diaries, etc. in 2019. The book is some 1200 pages, but I’d highly recommend audiobook version via Audible (superbly narrated and just under 60hrs).

  1. The Moon by George Gamow
  2. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Один День Ивана Денисовича – Александр Солженицын)
  3. The Joy of X by Steven Strogatz
  4. Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchens
  5. The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing by Richard Dawkins
  6. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  7. Waking Up by Sam Harris
  8. Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake
  9. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
  10. Doing Good Better by William MacAskill
  11. The House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert
  12. Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou
  13. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  14. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  15. Aesop’s Fables by Aesop
  16. Passions within Reason by Robert Frank
  17. God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens 
  18. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  19. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
  20. Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
  21. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
  22. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
  23. Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
  24. On Humanism by Richard Norman
  25. Alexander the Great by Jacob Abbott
  26. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  27. The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
  28. What We Believe but Cannot Prove by Jonathan Brockman
  29. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  30. Islam and the Future of Tolerance by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz
  31. Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash
  32. The Way of the Strangers by Graeme Wood
  33. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
  34. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  35. Mathilda by Mary Shelley
  36. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
  37. 30-Second Brain by Anil Seth
  38. 30-Second Theories by Paul Parsons
  39. Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction by Nigel Warburton
  40. Memoir of a Thinking Radish by Peter Medawar
  41. Faith vs. Fact by Jerry Coyne
  42. The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner
  43. Candide by Voltaire
  44. My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  45. Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche
  46. Anti-Imperialist Writings by Mark Twain
  47. Emma by Jane Austen
  48. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  49. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M.R. James
  50. Ancient and Modern Celebrated Freethinkers by Charles Bradlaugh
  51. Wittgenstein’s Poker by David Edmonds
  52. Ethics in the Real World by Peter Singer
  53. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  54. Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
  55. A Darwinian Left by Peter Singer
  56. Applied Ethics by Peter Singer
  57. Life’s Greatest Secret by Matthew Cobb
  58. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
  59. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
  60. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  61. Evolution: A Very Short Introduction by Brian and Deborah Charlesworth
  62. A Collection of Essays by George Orwell
  63. The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science by Peter Medawar
  64. The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination by Jacob Bronowski
  65. Science and Human Values by Jacob Bronowski
  66. Stalingrad by Antony Beevor
  67. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
  68. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov (Герой Нашего Времени – Михаил Лермонтов)
  69. Viy by Nikolai Gogol (Вий – Николай Гоголь)
  70. Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol (Тарас Бульба – Николай Гоголь)

3 thoughts on “Books I Read in 2018

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