The Books I Read in 2016

I was reflecting back on the books I read throughout 2016 this morning, and thought I’d share the list, roughly grouped by how much I enjoyed them. I’ve gotten better about quitting books that aren’t right for me after a couple chapters, so nothing in here I wouldn’t recommend. Highly Recommend: The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov: This is my new favorite Asimov book, displacing ‘The Gods Themselves‘, which I also highly recommend. It’s a great story, with a clever approach to exploring the philosophy of time. Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker: A detailed account about what’s it’s like to be a commercial aircraft pilot, with many interesting anecdotes. If you enjoy flying, you’ll probably enjoy the book. The Idea Factory

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Tyler Cowen and The Great Stagnation

I’ve long been a fan of Tyler Cowen’s blog, Marginal Revolution. It’s interesting, off-beat, and is a great source of lesser publicized news stories and research findings, with plenty of thoughtful commentary thrown in. I had been meaning to read Tyler’s recent book, ‘The Great Stagnation’, for a while now. Then the other day, while sitting in an airport, I caught this Business Week article about Tyler, titled ‘Tyler Cowen, America’s Hottest Economist.’ It’s a fascinating article about what makes him one of the more quirky and unique economists, and made me much more eager to read some of his published work. ‘The Great Stagnation’ is about why our economic growth trend has all but come to a standstill, and why

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Where Good Ideas Come From

I read a great book about the history of innovation and invention on my flight back from Cambodia. It’s called Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, and it’s by Steven Johnson. The book is a synthesis of historical innovative thinking, covering a broad array of topics ranging from theories such as natural selection, to the gradual development of technologies such as GPS. Johnson dispels the common myth that most innovations are thought up behind closed doors by brilliant people who are ahead of their times, and goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the majority of useful ideas throughout history were developed very slowly, building incrementally off of existing ideas, often in collaboration with large groups of

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