Bookshelf

I love reading other people’s book recommendations (and, ideally, their books). Maybe you feel the same way. This page is loosely inspired by Patrick Collison’s excellent bookshelf, except I am not going to try to list every book I own–that would be too stressful. Instead, here are some of the books and articles that have stuck with me the most, organized by topic. I suppose this is my personal bibliography. If you have a book suggestion, please let me know!

My Bookshelf

U.S. Public Education
Someone Has to Fail (David Labaree)
So Much Reform, So Little Change (Charles M. Payne)
Savage Inequalities (Jonathan Kozol)
Tinkering Toward Utopia (David Tyack & Larry Cuban)
How Children Succeed (Paul Tough)
The End of Education (Neil Postman)

U.S. Politics
Act of Congress (Robert G. Kaiser)
Government’s End (Jonathan Rauch)
Winner Take All Politics (Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson)
Nixonland (Rick Perlstein)
The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Richard Hofstadter)
The Victory Lab (Sasha Issenberg)
Social Democratic America (Lane Kenworthy)
Corporate Liberalism (R. Jeffrey Lustig)

U.S. History
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass)
Team of Rivals (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
A Short History of Reconstruction (Eric Foner)
The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson)
Family Properties (Beryl Satter)
The Fires (Joe Flood)
The Unwinding (George Packer)
Twilight of the Elites (Chris Hayes)
Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet (Jeffrey Rosen)

Crime and Justice
Ghettoside (Jill Leovy)
The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander)
Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson)
Discipline and Punish (Michel Foucault)

Cities
A Pattern Language (Christopher Alexander et al)
The Power Broker (Robert Caro)
City of Quartz (Mike Davis)
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (Rebecca Solnit)
Cool Gray City of Love (Gary Kamiya)
Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans (Richard Campanella)
New Orleans, Mon Amour (Andrew Codrescu)
A History of Future Cities (Daniel Brook)

Political Economy & Development
Seeing Like a State (James C. Scott)
Development as Freedom (Amartya Sen)
Power and Prosperity (Mancur Olson)
The Origins of Totalitarianism (Hannah Arendt)
The Great Transformation (Karl Polanyi)
Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (Joseph Schumpeter)
The Theory of the Leisure Class (Thorstein Veblen)
The Affluent Society (John Kenneth Galbraith)
The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (Daniel Bell)
The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (Daniel Bell)
Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman (Jeremy Adelman)
The Essential Hirschman (Albert O. Hirschman)
The Great Stagnation (Tyler Cowen)
Poor Economics (Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo)
Empire of Cotton (Sven Beckert)

Work and Professions
The System of Professions (Andrew Abbott)
Working (Studs Terkel)
Nickel and Dimed (Barbara Ehrenreich)

Technology and Social Change
The Lever of Riches (Joel Mokyr)
Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics (Nathan Rosenberg)
The Second Machine Age (Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee)
Race Against the Machine (Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee)
To Save Everything, Click Here (Evgeny Morozov)
Digital Disconnect (Robert McChesney)
The Shallows (Nicholas Carr)
The Control Revolution (James Beniger)
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (Neil Postman)
Technics and Human Development (Lewis Mumford)

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Superintelligence (Nick Bostrom)
The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-FOOM Debate (Robin Hanson and Eliezer Yudkowsky)
On Intelligence (Jeff Hawkins)
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Christopher Bishop)
Applied Predictive Modeling (Max Kuhn)
The Elements of Statistical Learning (Hastie, Tibshirani, and Friedman)

Cybernetics
Red Plenty (Francis Spufford)
Cybernetic Revolutionaries (Eden Medina)
The Use of Knowledge in Society (Friedrich A. Hayek)
The Human Use of Human Beings (Norbert Weiner)
The Government Machine (Jon Agar)

The Brain
On Intelligence (Jeff Hawkins)
In Search of Memory (Eric Kandel)

Medicine and Healthcare
The Social Transformation of American Medicine (Paul Starr)
Selling Our Souls: The Commodification of Hospital Care (Adam D. Reich)
The Digital Doctor (Robert Wachter)

Other Social Science
Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
Understanding Terror Networks (Marc Sageman)
Average is Over (Tyler Cowen)

Finance and Capital
Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Thomas Piketty)
The Big Short (Michael Lewis)
I.O.U. (John Lanchester)
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk (Peter L. Bernstein)
The Intelligent Investor (Benjamin Graham)
Unconventional Success (David Swensen)
The Intelligent Asset Allocator (William Bernstein)
The Collected Works of Mr. Money Mustache (Mr. Money Mustache)

South Asia
In Light of India (Octavio Paz)
In Spite of the Gods (Edward Luce)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Katherine Boo)
Pakistan: A Hard County (Anatol Lieven)

China
Age of Ambition (Evan Osnos)
Country Driving (Peter Hessler)
China Airborne (James Fallows)

Russia (and Central Asia)
Travels in Siberia (Ian Frazier)
Russians (Gregory Feifer)
The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Elif Batuman)
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia (Peter Hopkirk)

War
The Forever War (Dexter Filkins)
Fiasco (Thomas E. Ricks)
Matterhorn (Karl Marlantes)
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ben Fountain)
Battle Cry of Freedom (James M. McPherson)
The Killer Angels (Michael Shaara)

Essays and Memoir
My Struggle Book 2 (Karl Ove Knausgaard)
Fire Season (Philip Connors)
The Beautiful Struggle (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
The Opposite of Loneliness (Marina Keegan)
Consider the Lobster (David Foster Wallace)

How to Live
Finite and Infinite Games (James Carse)
Meditations (Marcus Aurelius)

Favorite Fiction
A Soldier of the Great War (Mark Helprin)
Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace)
A Naked Singularity (Sergio De La Pava)
Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy)
The Border Trilogy (Cormac McCarthy)
The Moviegoer (Walker Percy)
Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)
Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov)
Stoner (John Williams)
The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyesvsky)
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
Cat’s Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)
Blindness (Jose Saramago)
Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
Leaving the Atocha Station (Ben Lerner)
Tenth of December (George Saunders)
Open City (Teju Cole)
The Map and the Territory (Michel Houellebecq)
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell)
Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
All the King’s Men (Robert Penn Warren)
The Art of Fielding (Chad Harbach)