“The historian without his facts is rootless and futile; the facts without their historian are dead and meaningless.”
― Edward Hallett Carr, What Is History?

This project stems from a desire to continue reading great books throughout my life. My interest began (and remains) primarily in fiction, but the project has grown in many wonderful directions (click here for fiction). The foundation of the project comes from The New Lifetime Reading Plan.

I have given each book I read a hugely arbitrary rating. The ratings are based on the pleasure I felt in reading the book, what the book aimed to achieve, and how fully the book reached its potential. Thus High Fidelity rates slightly higher than Things Fall Apart because I enjoyed it more and though its ambitions were limited, it met them. I am not claiming it is a “better” book.

Arts & Culture

Isaacson, Walter Leonardo da Vinci
Hitchens, Christopher Arguably
Flusser, Alan Dressing The Man
Roetzel, Bernhard Gentleman
Smith, Russell Men's Style
Foer, Jonathan Safran Eating Animals
Fromartz, Samuel Organic, Inc.
Pollan, Michael Cooked
Pollan, Michael The Omnivore's Dilemma
Bauby, Jean-Dominique The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Coates, Ta-Nehisi Between the World and Me
Hanff, Helene 84 Charing Cross Road
Offutt, Chris The Same River Twice
Carlin, Peter Ames Bruce
Cash, Johnny Cash
Cray, Ed Ramblin' Man
Hilburn, Robert Johnny Cash
Klein, Joe Woody Guthrie
Neely, Kim Five Against One
Springsteen, Bruce Born to Run
Streissguth, Michael Johnny Cash
Wilson, Elizabeth Rostropovich
Young, Neil Waging Heavy Peace


History, Military

Kagan, Donald The Peloponnesian War
Strauss, Barry The Battle of Salamis
World War I
Keegan, John The First World War
Meyer, G.J. A World Undone
Stevenson, David Cataclysm
Strachan, Hew The First World War
Spanish Civil War
Orwell, George Homage to Catalonia
World War II
Ambrose, Stephen Band of Brothers
Ambrose, Stephen Citizen Soldiers
Ambrose, Stephen D-Day
Atkinson, Rick An Army at Dawn
Atkinson, Rick The Day of Battle
Atkinson, Rick The Guns at Last Light
Beevor, Anthony The Second World War
Borneman, Walter The Admirals
D'Este, Carlo Eisenhower
D'Este, Carlo Patton
Hastings, Max Inferno
Lord, Walter Day of Infamy
Roll, David George Marshall
Weinberg, Gerhard A World at Arms
Fehrenbach, T.R. This Kind of War
Hastings, Max The Korean War
Atkinson, Rick The Long Gray Line
Karnow, Stanley Vietnam
McDonough, James Platoon Leader
Wolff, Tobias In Pharaoh's Army
Morris, Benny 1948
Oren, Michael Six Days of War
Rabinovich, Abraham The Yom Kippur War
Persian Gulf War
Atkinson, Rick Crusade
Gordon, Michael The Generals' War
Powell, Colin My American Journey
Naylor, Sean Not a Good Day to Die
Tapper, Jake The Outpost
Wright, Lawrence The Looming Tower
Atkinson, Rick In the Company of Soldiers
Filkins, Dexter The Forever War
Gordon, Michael Cobra II
Gourevitch, Philip Standard Operating Procedure
Packer, George The Assassins' Gate
Ricks, Thomas Fiasco
Woodward, Bob State of Denial
Other Modern Conflicts
Bowden, Mark Black Hawk Down
Huchthausen, Peter America's Splendid Little Wars
Et cetera
Berkowitz, Bruce The New Face of War
Keegan, John The Mask of Command
Wilson, George Mud Soldiers


History, U.S.

Colonial Period
Berlin, Ira Many Thousands Gone
Horn, James A Land As God Made It
Philbrick, Nathaniel Mayflower
Taylor, Alan American Colonies
French and Indian War
Anderson, Fred Crucible of War
Borneman, Walter The French and Indian War
Fowler, William Empires At War
Revolution & Founding
Beeman, Richard Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor
Beeman, Richard Plain, Honest Men
Bobrick, Benson Angel in the Whirlwind
Chernow, Ron Alexander Hamilton
Chernow, Ron Washington
Ellis, Joseph American Creation
Ellis, Joseph First Family
Ellis, Joseph Founding Brothers
Ellis, Joseph His Excellency
Ellis, Joseph Passionate Sage
Ellis, Joseph Revolutionary Summer
Ferling, John Almost a Miracle
Ferling, John A Leap In The Dark
Langguth, A.J. Patriots
Maier, Pauline Ratification
McCullough, David 1776
McCullough, David John Adams
Middlekauff, Robert The Glorious Cause
Taylor, Alan American Revolutions
Taylor, Alan William Cooper's Town
Wood, Gordon Empire of Liberty
Brands, H.W. The First American
Isaacson, Walter Benjamin Franklin
Morgan, Edmund Benjamin Franklin
Wood, Gordon The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
Ellis, Joseph American Sphinx
Meacham, Jon Thomas Jefferson
Antebellum 19th Century
Borneman, Walter 1812
Borneman, Walter Polk
Brands, H.W. Andrew Jackson
Foner, Eric Gateway to Freedom
Howe, Daniel Walker What Hath God Wrought
Kaplan, Fred John Quincy Adams
Linklater, Andro Measuring America
Potter, David The Impending Crisis
Reynolds, David John Brown, Abolitionist
Wilentz, Sean The Rise of American Democracy
Civil War
Duncan, Russell Where Death and Glory Meet
Foote, Shelby The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville
Foote, Shelby The Civil War: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Foote, Shelby The Civil War: Red River to Appomattox
McPherson, James Battle Cry of Freedom
Murray, Williamson A Savage War
Sears, Stephen Gettysburg
Sears, Stephen Landscape Turned Red
Thomas, Emory Robert E. Lee
Carwardine, Richard Lincoln
Donald, David Herbert Lincoln
Foner, Eric The Fiery Trial
Goodwin, Doris Kearns Team of Rivals
Miller, Wllliam Lee Lincoln's Virtues
Miller, Wllliam Lee President Lincoln
White, Ronald A. Lincoln
Post-War 19th Century
Bain, David Haward Empire Express
Brown, Dee Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Donovan, James A Terrible Glory
Gwynne, S.C. Empire of the Summer Moon
McCullough, David The Great Bridge
Smith, Jean Edward Grant
Utley, Robert The Lance and the Shield
20th Century
Brands, H.W. Reagan
Brokaw, Tom The Greatest Generation
Canellos, Peter Last Lion
Cooper, John Woodrow Wilson
Dallek, Robert An Unfinished Life
Grann, David Killers of the Flower Moon
Harris, John The Survivor
Kennedy, David Freedom from Fear
Larson, Edward Summer for the Gods
Maraniss, David First In His Class
McCullough, David Truman
Meacham, Jon Destiny and Power
Noonan, Peggy When Character Was King
Patterson, James Grand Expectations
Patterson, James Restless Giant
Smith, Jean Edward Eisenhower in War and Peace
Smith, Jean Edward FDR
Thomas, Evan Being Nixon
Thomas, Evan Robert Kennedy
Tye, Larry Bobby Kennedy
Weiner, Tim Enemies
Weiner, Tim The Legacy of Ashes
Teddy Roosevelt
Brands, H.W. T.R.
Goodwin, Doris Kearns The Bully Pulpit
Morris, Edmund Colonel Roosevelt
Morris, Edmund The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Morris, Edmund Theodore Rex
Meacham, Jon Franklin and Winston
Smith, Jean Edward FDR
Civil Rights
Branch, Taylor At Canaan's Edge
Branch, Taylor Parting the Waters
Branch, Taylor Pillar of Fire
Garrow, David Bearing the Cross
Lewis, John Walking With The Wind
Wilkerson, Isabel The Warmth of Other Suns
21st Century
Axelrod, David Believer
Baker, Peter Days of Fire
Heilemann, John Game Change
Lichtblau, Eric Bush's Law
Packer, George The Unwinding
Smith, Jean Edward Bush
Foreign Policy
Gaddis, John Lewis The Cold War
McDougall, Walter Promised Land, Crusader State
Power, Samantha A Problem from Hell
Tyler, Patrick A Great Wall
Ambrose, Stephen To America
Zinn, Howard A People's History of the United States


History, World

Beah, Ishmael A Long Way Gone
Gourevitch, Philip We Wish to Inform You...
Hochschild, Adam King Leopold's Ghost
Horne, Alistair A Savage War Of Peace
Kapuscinski, Ryszard The Shadow of the Sun
Reader, John Africa
Beard, Mary SPQR
Everitt, Anthony Augustus
Everitt, Anthony Cicero
Freeman, Charles The Greek Achievement
Freeman, Philip Alexander the Great
Freeman, Philip Julius Caesar
Goldsworthy, Adrian Antony and Cleopatra
Goldsworthy, Adrian Caesar
Goldsworthy, Adrian How Rome Fell
Mackay, Christopher Ancient Rome
Martin, Thomas Ancient Greece
Miles, Richard Carthage Must Be Destroyed
Hughes, Robert The Fatal Shore
Britain & Ireland
Fraser, Rebecca The Story of Britain
Gilbert, Martin Churchill
Manchester, William The Last Lion: Alone
Manchester, William The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm
Manchester, William The Last Lion: Visions of Glory
Scott, Ronald McNair Robert the Bruce
Becker, Jasper The Chinese
Osnos, Evan Age of Ambition
Spence, Jonathan The Search For Modern China
Borger, Julian The Butcher's Trail
Roberts, Andrew Napoleon
Evans, Richard The Coming of the Third Reich
Evans, Richard The Third Reich at War
Evans, Richard The Third Reich in Power
Kershaw, Ian Hitler: 1889-1936
Kershaw, Ian Hitler: 1936-1945
Gilbert, Martin The Holocaust
Levi, Primo Survival In Auschwitz
Szpilman, Wladyslaw The Pianist
Boo, Katherine Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Keay, John India
Luce, Edward In Spite of the Gods
Gordon, Andrew A Modern History of Japan
Latin America
Castaneda, Jorge Companero
Mann, Charles 1491
Middle East
Bowden, Mark Guests of the Ayatollah
Fisk, Robert The Great War for Civilisation
Gilbert, Martin Israel
Kinzer, Stephen Crescent and Star
Landau, David Arik
Morris, Benny Righteous Victims
Mansfield, Peter A History of the Middle East
Shavit, Ari My Promised Land
Figes, Orlando A People's Tragedy
Longworth, Philip Russia
Massie, Robert Catherine the Great
Montefiore, Simon Sebag Stalin
Montefiore, Simon Sebag Young Stalin
Service, Robert A History of Twentieth-Century Russia
Service, Robert Lenin
Service, Robert Stalin
Service, Robert Trotsky
Taubman, William Khrushchev



Alexander, Michelle The New Jim Crow
Amar, Akhil The Bill of Rights
Budiansky, Stephen Oliver Wendell Holmes
Cray, Ed Chief Justice
de Hart, Jane Sherron Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Eisinger, JesseThe Chickenshit Club
Farrell, John Clarence Darrow
Feldman, Noah Scorpions
Greenburg, Jan Crawford Supreme Conflict
Greenhouse, Linda Becoming Justice Blackmun
Gunther, Gerald Learned Hand
Harr, Jonathan A Civil Action
Klarman, Michael From Jim Crow to Civil Rights
Larson, Edward Summer for the Gods
Murphy, Bruce Allen Wild Bill
Newman, Roger Hugo Black
Newton, Jim Justice for All
Simon, James What Kind of Nation
Smith, Jean Edward John Marshall
Stern, Seth Justice Brennan
Stevenson, Bryan Just Mercy
Toobin, Jeffrey The Nine
Urofsky, Melvin Louis D. Brandeis
Williams, Juan Thurgood Marshall



Business & Economics
Ahamed, Liauqat Lords of Finance
Braham, Lewis The House that Bogle Built
Burrough, Bryan Barbarians at the Gate
Chernow, Ron The House of Morgan
Chernow, Ron Titan
Gordon, John Steele Empire of Wealth
Henriques, Diane The Wizard of Lies
Levitt, Steven Freakonomics
Lowenstein, Roger When Genius Failed
McLean, Bethany All the Devils Are Here
McLean, Bethany The Smartest Guys in the Room
Morris, Charles The Trillion Dollar Meltdown
Nasaw, David Andrew Carnegie
Phillips, Kevin Bad Money
Reich, Robert Supercapitalism
Schroeder, Alice The Snowball
Sorkin, Andrew Ross Too Big to Fail
Stewart, James Den of Thieves
Yergin, Daniel The Prize
Bernstein, William The Four Pillars of Investing
Bogle, John Common Sense on Mutual Funds
Bogle, John Don't Count on It!
Bogle, John The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
Ellis, Charles Winning the Loser's Game
Larimore, Taylor The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
Larimore, Taylor The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning
Malkiel, Burton The Elements of Investing
Malkiel, Burton A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Piper, Mike Investing Made Simple
Schultheis, Bill The Coffeehouse Investor
Swedroe, Larry The Right Financial Plan
Swensen, David Unconventional Success
Personal Finance
Bach, David The Automatic Millionaire
Bach, David Smart Couples Finish Rich
Robin, Vicki Your Money or Your Life
Stanley, Thomas The Millionaire Next Door



Mill, John Stuart On Liberty
Mill, John Stuart The Spirit of the Age
Mill, John Stuart The Subjection of Women
Pirsig, Robert Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Plato Apology
Plato Crito
Plato Euthyphro



Aitken, Robert Taking the Path of Zen
Dalai Lama Ethics for the New Millennium
Downing, Michael Shoes Outside the Door
Sahn, Seung The Compass of Zen
Sahn, Seung Dropping Ashes on the Buddha
Suzuki, Shunryu Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Jacobs, A.J. The Year of Living Biblically
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity
Unknown The Way of a Pilgrim
Unknown The Qur'an
Hoff, Benjamin The Tao of Pooh



Aerospace & Aviation
Berg, A. Scott Lindbergh
Hickam, Homer Rocket Boys
Kranz, Gene Failure Is Not an Option
McCullough, David The Wright Brothers
Wolfe, Tom The Right Stuff
Dawkins, Richard The Greatest Show on Earth
Mukherjee, Siddhartha The Gene
Ridley, Matt Genome
Skloot, Rebecca The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Flannery, Tim The Weather Makers
Kolbert, Elizabeth Field Notes From a Catastrophe
Linden, Eugene The Winds of Change
Ambrose, Stephen Undaunted Courage
Bergreen, Laurence Over the Edge of the World
Crosby, Molly The American Plague
Hager, Thomas The Demon Under the Microscope
Kidder, Tracy Mountains Beyond Mountains
Oshinsky, David Polio
Gleick, James Isaac Newton
Goldsmith, Barbara Obsessive Genius
Isaacson, Walter Einstein
Rhodes, Richard The Making of the Atomic Bomb


Social Science

Political Science
Frank, Thomas What's The Matter With Kansas?
Gore, Al The Assault on Reason
Krugman, Paul The Conscience of a Liberal
Obama, Barack The Audacity Of Hope
Reich, Robert Reason
Ariely, Dan Predictably Irrational
Cain, Susan Quiet
Duhigg, Charles The Power of Habit
Kahneman, Daniel Thinking, Fast and Slow
Desmond, Matthew Evicted
Diamond, Jared Guns, Germs, and Steel
Ehrenreich, Barbara Nickel and Dimed
Leovy, Jill Ghettoside
Macy, Beth Dopesick



Eig, Jonathan Luckiest Man
Halberstam, David Summer of '49
Lewis, Michael Moneyball
Montville, Leigh The Big Bam
Stump, Al Cobb
Lazenby, Roland Michael Jordan
Remnick, David King of the World
Bissinger, H.G. Friday Night Lights
Cohen, Rich Monsters
Davis, Jeff Papa Bear
Lewis, Michael The Blind Side
Maraniss, David When Pride Still Mattered
Horse Racing
Hillenbrand, Laura Seabiscuit
Bergkamp, Dennis Stillness and Speed
Hornby, Nick Fever Pitch
Lawrence, Amy Invincible