Books I read in 2018

The best books I read in 2018 – generally released in other years – are below. Where I have reviewed, the link leads to that review.

  • Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014) – Changed my mind, and gave me a framework for thinking about the problem that I didn’t have before.
  • Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts (2018) – While I have many small quibbles with the content, and it could easily have been a long-form article, I  liked the overarching approach and framing.
  • Gary Klein, Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions (1998) – Rightfully considered classic in decision-making. Review coming soon
  • Michael Lewis’s The Undoing Project (2016) – Despite focusing on Kahneman and Tversky’s relationship, it is also one of the better introductions to their work.
  • Robert Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017) – A wonderful examination of what “causes” of our actions. Sapolsky zooms out from the almost immediate activity in our brain, to the actions of our hormones over seconds to hours, through our developmental influences, out to our evolutionary past. Review also coming soon.
  • Robert Sapolsky’s Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (3rd ed, 2004) – Great writing and interesting science.
  • Fred Schwed, Where Are the Customer’s Yachts? (1955) – Timeless commentary on the value delivered by the financial services sector
  • Robert Sugden, The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economist’s Defence of the Market (2018) – The most compelling critique of the practical application of behavioural economics that I have read.
  • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim – I love Conrad. Nostromo is possibly my favourite book.
  • Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
  • Henry James, Turn of the Screw

Below is the full list of books that I read in 2018 (with links where reviewed and starred if a reread). Relative to previous years, I read (and reread) fewer books in total, less non-fiction, more fiction. That was largely a consequence of regularly reading my youngest to sleep.

My non-fiction reading through 2018 was less deliberate than I would have liked. There are fewer timeless pieces in the list than usual, with many of the choices based on whim or the particular piece of work I was doing at the time.

Non-Fiction

Fiction

  • Christopher Buckley, Thank You For Smoking*
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Return of Tarzan
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
  • Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451*
  • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
  • James Fenimoore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans
  • Charles Dickens, Bleak House
  • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
  • Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
  • Charles Dickens, Hard Times
  • Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet*
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles*
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World
  • Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
  • George Elliott, Middlemarch
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
  • Henry James, Turn of the Screw
  • James Joyce, The Dubliners
  • Andrew Lang, The Arabian Nights
  • George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion
  • Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula*
  • JRR Tolkein, The Hobbit*
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer*
  • Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Andy Weir, The Martian
  • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • PG Wodehouse, Carry on, Jeeves
  • PG Wodehouse, Meet Mr Mulliner

Author: Jason Collins

Economics. Behavioural and data science. PhD economics and evolutionary biology. Blog at jasoncollins.blog

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