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Thread: Educational Books

  1. #1
    The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove Subteigh's Avatar
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    Default Educational Books

    I've been consuming books in recent times, often speed-reading them, getting suggestions from the Open Syllabus Explorer and my Canon of Humanity ebook project, and also getting through my wishlist that had been getting rather long (many of the books were ones I had shortlisted from my project).

    This is a list of non-fiction books that I consider especially educational, informative, or otherwise present a new way of looking at things (at least from my perspective) (these are books I give 9 or 10 stars out of 10, or 5 stars on the goodreads scale). It would be good if others could also make suggestions!

    Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From (The Natural History of Innovation)
    Tim Harford: The Undercover Economist
    Charles Wheelan: Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
    Heath Chip: Made to Stick (Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die)
    Scott Berkun: The Myths of Innovation
    Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow
    Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
    Nate Silver: The Signal and the Noise (Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't)

    Some others
    (I put these separately because they cover more of a niche, or because they are "political" or contentious in some way, but I nonetheless think they provide food for thought)

    Richard Dawkins: A Devil's Chaplain
    Matt Ridley: The Rational Optimist (How Prosperity Evolves)
    Steven Pinker: The Better Angels of Our Nature (Why Violence Has Declined)
    David Deutsch: The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
    Duncan J. Watts: Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer
    Thomas Piketty: Capital in the Twenty- First Century (this introduced me to new ways of conceptualising economic matters)
    Paul Krugman: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (actually this is not really a "neutral" book: it just gives you Krugman's view on how economic markets should be managed & gives a history)
    Joseph E. Stiglitz: Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy

    (Essentially. These books are often rather large, and often expensive in their most recent edition, although of course earlier editions will be cheaper. I think these cover their subjects well).

    Neil Campbell: Biology
    Theodore Brown: Chemistry (The Central Science)
    David Halliday: Fundamentals of Physics
    Elaine Marieb: Human Anatomy & Physiology

    Marilyn Stokstad: Art History
    David Bordwell: Film Art (An Introduction)
    (I put the above two separate from the others as these are especially aesthetically pleasing and thus not anything like typical textbooks).

    Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything
    Susan Wise Bauer: The History of the Ancient World (From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome)
    William J. Bernstein: A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World from Prehistory to Today
    Peter L. Bernstein: Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk
    David Abulafia: The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean
    Paul Kriwaczek: Babylon: Mesopotamia and The Birth of Civilization
    Tom Holland; Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West
    Norman Davies: Europe
    Simon Price: The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine
    Simon Sebag Montefiore: Jerusalem
    Tom Holland: Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic
    Tom Holland: Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar
    Susan Wise Bauer: The History of the Medieval World (From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade)
    Norman Davies: Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe
    Tom Holland: In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire
    Robert Bartlet: The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950-1350
    Robert Bartlett: England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225
    Barbara Tuchman: A Distant Mirror (The Calamitous 14th Century)
    Susan Wise Bauer: The History of the Renaissance World (From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople)
    Simon Sebag Montefiore: The Romanovs: 1613-1918
    Peter H. Wilson: The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy
    Richard Holmes: The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
    David Reynolds: America, Empire of Liberty
    Doris Kearns Goodwin: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    Simon Sebag Montefiore: Young Stalin; Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (two books)
    Barbara Tuchman: The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914
    Philipp Blom: The Vertigo Years: Europe 1900-1914
    Fredric Morton: Thunder at Twilight (Vienna 1913/1914)
    Modris Eksteins: Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age
    Carroll Quigley: Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time
    Tony Judt: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
    Last edited by Subteigh; 09-17-2016 at 06:25 PM.
    5w4 or 1w9 Sp/So

  2. #2
    The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove Subteigh's Avatar
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    I've updated this somewhat. It is becoming a bit of a mess however.
    5w4 or 1w9 Sp/So

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