Phil’s Library 2009

reading I‘ve recently been asked to list the books that have been most influential to me. That’s a tough request. Most of you know that the Bible used to be the book on which I based my life. When I finally rejected the Bible as divine or even remotely inline with truth, I determined to approach every book I read with a heavy dose of skepticism.

Reading critically is essential. I can’t recall any books that I would consider to be pivotal in the progression of my thinking. It was a slow but steady evolution.

While I prune my library regularly, below are 2 lists of significant books still shelved in my library. The first is a list of books I’ve read, and the second is a list of books I hope to read soon. While I’ve been spending about 4 hours a day listening to educational podcasts, there’s nothing like sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book.


Books I’ve read.

  1. Linked (Albert-Laszlo Barabasi)
  2. The Voice of Reason (Ayn Rand)
  3. The Blank Slate (Steven Pinker)
  4. 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know (Ben Bryson)
  5. Zero (Charles Seife)
  6. Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely)
  7. A Whole New Mind (Daniel H. Pink)
  8. Wikinomics (Don Tapscott)
  9. Philosophy in the Flesh (George Lakoff)
  10. Wicked (Gregory Maguire)
  11. Simplexity (Jeffery Kluger)
  12. How We Decide (Jonah Lehrer)
  13. Objectivism (Leonard Peikoff)
  14. How the Mind Works (Steven Pinker)
  15. The Day We Found the Universe (Marcia Bartusiak)
  16. What’s Next? (Max Brockman)
  17. The End of Faith (Sam Harris)
  18. The Adventure of English (Melvyn Bragg)
  19. Emergence (Stephen Johnson)
  20. Fooled by Randomness (Nassim Nicolas Taleb)
  21. Before the Dawn (Nicolas Wade)
  22. The Brain that Changes Itself (Norman Doidge)
  23. Planet Google (Randall Stross)
  24. Six Easy Pieces (Richard P. Feynman)
  25. Sway (Rom Brafman)
  26. A Briefer History of Time (Stephen Hawking)
  27. The Stuff of Thought (Steven Pinker)
  28. Dreams of a Final Theory (Steven Weinberg)
  29. The World is Flat; A Brief History of the 21th Century (Thomas L. Friedman)
  30. The Story of Philosophy (Will Durant)
  31. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Thomas S. Kuhn)
  32. Emergence (Steven Johnson)
  33. I am a Strange Loop (Douglas Hofstadter)

Books I’ve yet to read.

  1. Theories of Scientific Method. (Robert Nola)
  2. The Beginnings of Western Science (David C. Lindberg)
  3. Critical Thinking; A Concise Guide (Tracy Bowell)
  4. Everything Forever; Learning to See Timelessness (Gevin Giorbran)
  5. Blind Spots; Why Smart People Do Dumb Things (Madeleine E. Van Hecke)
  6. Christ in Egypt; The Horus-Jesus Connection (D.M. Murdock)
  7. The Accidental Mind (David J. Linden)
  8. The Robot’s Rebellion (Keith E. Stanovich)
  9. Quantum Gravity (Lee Smolin)
  10. Don’t Believe Everything You Think (Thomas Kida)
  11. The End of Certainty (Ilya Prigogine)


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3 thoughts on “Phil’s Library 2009

  1. McDaddyo says:

    If you liked Fooled by Randomness, you might love Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. In the same way Taleb attributes success among fund managers primarily to luck, Gladwell makes a compelling case that most of the truly outstanding success stories of our times — the Bill Gates type — have luck, rather than hard work and skill, as their defining element.
    Plus, Gladwell’s a much better writer, packing a series of detailed anecdotes demonstrating his ideas, where Taleb tends to exhort and theorize and can be a bit redundant as well. “Randomness” and “Black Swan” have a lot of overlap and both read like a collection of transcribed lectures, rather than a well-structured book…

  2. Paul Miller says:

    Great! I’ll have to check some of these out!

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