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Books Jim Davies has Read



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Since I started keeping a book diary in 1993.


Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (audible)


Reamde by Neal Stephenson (audible)

Philosophy of Mind by Alan Charles Kors (audible)

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (audible)

Watership Down by Richard Adams (audible)

The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman

The Song Machine by John Seabrook (audible)

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan (audible)

How to Write a Poem by John Redmond

Winter Tide (The Innsmouth Legacy book 1) by Ruthanna Emrys

The Great Courses - Philosophy of Science by Jeffrey L. Kasser (audible)

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality by Judie Bopp, Michael Bopp, Lee Brown, Phil Lane Jr.

Everybody Lies: What the internet can tell us about who we really are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

All Systems Red (Kindle Single): The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (audible)

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton

The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (33 1/3) by Dan LeRoy

Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are by Jennifer M. Groh

Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

All the things I lost in the flood by Laurie Anderson

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink

Concerto (Forte book 2) by JD Spero

The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better by Greg Wells

Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction by Britt Wray

Cool it!: The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do - A Post-Paris Agreement Game Plan by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington

The Rights of Nature: A Legal Revolution That Could Save the World by David R. Boyd

Deliverance by James Dickey (audible)

Goodbye Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

Matters of Life and Death: public health issues in Canada by Andre Picard

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson (audible)

The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat by Stephan Guyenet (audible)

Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe by Jim Davies (audible)

***Good Dog: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Loyalty Edited by the editors of Garden and Gun magazine

“Oh not so great":poems from the depression project by Rob Taylor

Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises by Erich Hoyt

Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer


Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

N0S4A2 by Joe Hill (audible)

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters by Satoshi Kanazawa

Ethics in the Real World by Peter Singer

Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution by Daniel Rothenberg

The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Ahsoka by E.K. Johnson

Summer Knight (Dresden Files book 4) by Jim Butcher

Grave Peril (Dresden Files book 3) by Jim Butcher

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive book 1) by Branden Sanderson

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel Dennett

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Josh Kushins

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (audible)

Writing Creative Nonfiction (The Great Courses, Audible) by Tilar J. J. Mazzeo

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (audible)

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (audible)

Born to Walk by Dan Rubenstein and Kevin Patterson

The Magician's Land (The Magicians Book 3) by Lev Grossman

Concerto (Forte Book 2) by JD Spero

The Case for Mental Imagery by Stephen M. Kosslyn and William L. Thompson

Food: A Cultural Culinary History (Audible, the Great Courses) by Ken Albala

The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1) by Peter V. Brett

*Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that Matters, and Make Smarter Choices about Giving Back by William MacAskill

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman


Writing the Breakout novel by Donald Maass

Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber

Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time by Sean Carroll (audiobook)

Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit by Steven Pressfield

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddartha Mukherjee

Myth in Human History (the Great Courses) by Grant L. Voth (audiobook)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The Neuroscience of Hallucinations by Renaud Jardri et al. (Eds.)

Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations (the great courses) by Brian M. Fagan (audible)

Stolen Child by Laurie Gough

Grave Peril (Dresden Files book 3) by Jim Butcher (audible)

The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

Heat: How To Stop the Planet From Burning by George Monbiot

Fool Moon (Dresden Files book 2) by Jim Butcher (audible)

Origins of the Human Mind (The Great Courses) by Stephen P. Hinshaw (audible)

Storm Front by Jim Butcher (audible)

Moral Decision Making (the Great Courses) by Clancy Martin (audible)

The Magician King (The Magicians book 2) by Lev Grossman (audible) ***

Cesar Millan's Short Guide to a Happy Dog: 98 Essential Tips and Techniques by Cesar Millan (audible)

Wizardborn (Runelords book 3) by David Farland (audible)

Peace is every breath by Thich Naht Hanh

How Ideas Spread (the great courses) by Johan Berger (audible)


Forte by J. D. Spero

Paradox Lake by J.D. Spero

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Great book. Rubin reads everything about happiness and reports on her experience trying to improve herself.

The Martian by Andy Weir (audible)

Behavioral Economics (The Great Courses) by Scott Huettel (audible)

Beastie Boys Book Deluxe: A Unique Box Set Celebration of the Beastie Boys by Frank Owen

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (audible)

Meaning of Life: Perspectives From the World's Great Intellectual Traditions. The Great Courses by Jay L. Garfield (audible)

Lost Worlds of South America (Great Courses/The Teaching Company) by Edwin Barnhart (audible)

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Medeival World (The Great Courses) by Dorsey Armstrong (audible)

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

The Neurobiology of the Gods: How Brain Physiology Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams by Goodwyn, Erik D.

Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History (Great Courses / The Teaching Company) by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius (audible)

***The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically by Peter Singer

The Deaths of Tao: Tao Series Book Two by Wesley Chu

The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution, and Chance by Kayt Sukel

Heroes and Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature (The Great Courses) by Thomas A. Shippey(audible)

Firefight (The Reckoners Book Two) by Brandon Sanderson (audible)

Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them by Marjorie Taylor

Fooled by Randomness by Nasim Nicholas Taleb (audible)

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (audible)

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson

Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are (The Great Courses) by David Livermore (audible)

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu ****

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel (Audible)

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (audible) (audible)

*** Steelheart (Reckoners Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson (audible)

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky (audible)


The Art of Character: Making Memorable Characters for Fiction, Film, and TV by David Corbett

Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation (The Great Courses) by Mark W. Muesse (Audible)

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom (Audible)
An interesting, frightening exploration of the possibility of evil AIs.

Consciousness and the Brain: Decyphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts by Stanislas Dehaene (audible)

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch book 1) by Ann Leckie
Some good ideas, but not enough to support a book this long.

The Stench of Honalulu: A Tropical Adventure by Jack Handey (audible)

How To Listen to and Understand Great Music (3rd Edition) (The Great Courses) by Robert Greenberg (audible)

Star Wars: Scourge by Jeff Grubb

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception by Claudia Hammond

Reversion: The Inevitable Horror (The Portal Arcane Series - Book I) by J. Thorn

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering (audible)

Bossypants by Tina Fey

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz

Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe by Jim Davies

Catcher's Keeper by JD Spero

Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them by Joshua Greene

Great Courses (Teaching Company) The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World by Robert Garland (Audible)

How to Be a Woman by Caitlan Moran

Icemark Chronicles: Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill(audible)

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss (audible)


Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (audible)

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant (audible)

Blood Rock: Book Two of the Skindancer series by Anthony Francis

The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran

Gone Girl*** by Gillian Flynn

A paradise built in hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit

Under the Dome by Stephen King

The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw

Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel Dennett

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution by Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought by Pascal Boyer


Following the Brush: An American Encounter with Classical Japanese Culture by John Elder

Invented Worlds: The Psychology of the Arts by Ellen Winner

Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace

Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker

How Music Works by David Byrne

The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life by Jesse Bering

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Cold Paradise by Stuart Woods

The Chairs Are Where The People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City by Misha Glouberman and Sheila Heti

Play for Panic by Johannah Spero

*** The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson

I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away by Bill Bryson

Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships by Kayt Sukel

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

The Economic Naturalist by Robert H. Frank

Faces In the Clouds by Stuart Guthrie

Bloom by Wil McCarthy

Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

Galilee by Clive Barker

Catcher's Keeper by Johannah Spero

Hard Contact (Star Wars: Republic Commando, Book 1) By Karen Traviss

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

Ready Player One By Ernest Cline

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Michael Shermer

The Scar by China Mieville


Dramatica: A New Theory of Story by Phillips & Huntley
You can get a free PDF version of this interesting book at storymind.com/free-downloads/dramatica_book.pdf

The Work of the Imagination by Paul L. Harris

The God Gene by Dean H. Hamer

Discover Your Inner Economist by Tyler Cowan

The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini

Robopacolypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Smart and Gets Things Done by Joel Sapolsky

The Best American Science Writing 2006 Edited by Atul Gawande

What They Didn't Teach You In Graduate School by Paul Gray and David E. Drew

Homo Aestheticus by Ellen Dissanayake

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

*** Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

This is Not A Game by Walter Jon Williams

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Corey Doctorow

The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton


Gods of the Word: Archetypes in the Consonants by Margaret Magnus
The first book I read on Kindle. A book for non-scientists about her theory of phonosemantics.

Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation Keith D. Markman (Editor), William M. P. Klein (Editor), Julie A. Suhr (Editor)

This took me a year and a half to read. Full of stuff very relevant to my research.

Frost Moon (Skindancer, Book 1) Anthony Francis

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War Max Brooks

The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan

Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang William Queen

The Diamond Age Neal Stephenson

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets Sudhir Venkatesh

The Compleat Academic darley, Zanna, Roediger (Eds.)

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

The Mantram Handbook by Eknath Aeswaran


The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women, and the Real Gender Gap by Susan Pinker

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Good book. Read it free on my phone.

The Gathering Storm*** by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Fantastic addition to a series I love.

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life*** by Neill Strauss

Awesome read. Love Neil Strauss.

The Ruins by Scott Smith

Couldn't put it down.

Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Careers in Science and Engineering by Richard M. Reis

Decent book.

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind by Hans Moravec

A bit dated, but full of good ideas.

The Mechanical Mind in History , edited by Husbands, Holland, & Wheeler

Goldfinger by Ian Fleming

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Fourth Ambit by Dawson Nichols


Meditation by Eknath Easwaran

Best book on meditation I've ever read.


The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen William Hawking

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe by Stephen Hawking

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

Obsession by Karen Robards

Who Wants to be a Scientist?: Choosing Science as a Career by Nancy Rothwell

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

The Best American Science Writing 2004 Edited by Dava Sobel

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind by Marvin Minsky

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander Mccall Smith

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Next by Michael Crichton

Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker

Fantastic Voyage by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman

When Things Start to Think by Neil Gershenfeld

Island by Richard Laymon

The Best American Science Writing 2001 Edited by Timothy Ferris

Shrink Rap by Robert B. Parker

The Best American Science Writing 2000 Edited by James Gleick

Miss Gloucester City by Johannah Spero

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

***All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi

The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing by Judith L. Rapoport


The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds

Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy (This book is terrible)

What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Edited by John Brockman

Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy

Robert Ludlum's The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Pillars of the Earth*** by Ken Follett

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes by Stephen J. Gould

Blood Work*** by Michael Connelly

Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter

The Body Artist by Don DiLillo


The Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul

The House of God by Samuel Shem, MD

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Vol. 1

Golden Buddha by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo

How To Be A Great and Successful Scientist by Jim Davies

Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards

Blindness by Jose Saramago

The Best American Science Writing 2002, edited by Matt Ridley

The Best American Science Writing 2003, edited by Oliver Sacks. ***

The Summons by John Grisham

The Skills To Pay The Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys by Alan Light

Memoirs of An Invisible Man *** by H. F. Saint (re-read)

The Game by Neill Strauss

Sciences of the Artificial by Herbert Simon

What is my dog thinking? by Gwen Baily

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suzanna Clarke

My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos by Bruce Schechter

Life of Pi**** by Yann Martel

I know, everyone loves this book. You know why? Because it's great.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins with Sandra Blakeslee

The philosophy is sloppy, but the theory interesting. What I like most is that he's at least trying to understand the mind as a whole, which is more than I can say for most cognitive scientists.

Dragonseye by Anne McCaffrey

Not good.

The Society of Mind**** by Marvin Minsky


Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

This is probably the most creative novel I've ever read, though it's not the fastest read in the world.


The Art of Innovation: Success Through Innovation the Ideo Way by Thomas Kelley

It's interesting to think about how things like brainstorming and prototyping can be applied to scientific practice.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short By Terry McMillan

It was just okay.

Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card

Collapse By Jared Diamond

The Genome War by James Shreeve

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

The Laws of Our Fathers by Scott Turow

The Rules by Ellen Fein, Sherrie Schneider

Although I think most of the Rules are a good idea, this book is written for people with a ninth grade literary sensibility, with lots of exclamation points and absurd promises like a marriage you get out of using the rules won't have abuse, because he loves you so much. Utterly unscientific and written by two people whose biographies include their cities and the fact that they are married. It's no "Genome."

Genome by Matt Ridley ***

Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

The most important point of this book is that you can have a full-time job making $7 per hour and still not get by.

Advice to a Young Scientist by Peter B. Medawar

Not much advice here that can't be found in other books, but this is well-written and worth reading for every scientist.

Knightfall by Dennis O'Neil

An entertaining Batman novel. I read this while walking to and from work. I don't read while I'm crossing streets, no matter how safe it looks.

Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Rebels on the Backlot : Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System by Sharon Waxman

Software by Rudy Rucker

The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz

Godel, Esher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Dougas R. Hofstadter

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith by Matthew W. Stover

The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (Science Masters Series) by Richard Dawkins

Radiant Cool : A Novel Theory of Consciousness by Dan Lloyd

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

Bioinformatics Basics: Applications in Biological Science and Medicine by Hooman H. Rashidi, Lukas K. Buehler

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Art of Seeing: An Interpretation of the Aesthetic Encounter y Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Rick E. Robinson

Shadow Puppets (Ender, Book 7) by Orson Scott Card

The Best American Science Writing 2002 (Best American Science Writing by Matt Ridley, Alan Lightman

What Emotions Really Are : The Problem of Psychological Categories by Paul E. Griffiths

Eye in the Sky by PHILIP K. DICK

The Complete Concrete by Paul Chadwick

Monkey Sonatas by Orson Scott Card

Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender Wiggin Saga) by Orson Scott Card ****

Exploring the Matrix : Visions of the Cyber Present by Karen Haber (Editor)

Alternative Scriptwriting: Successfully Breaking the Rules by Ken Dancyger, Jeff Rush

Wizardborn (The Runelords, Book 3) by David Farland

The Mummy or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

Impro for Storytellers by Keith Johnstone

Christine by Stephen King

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men : Stories by David Foster Wallace

Solaris by Stanislaw lem

Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, Book 2) by Frank Herbert

How to Be Happy, Dammit: A Cynic's Guide to Spiritual Happiness by Karen Salmansohn, Don Zinzell

Distant Mirrors: America as a Foreign Culture by Philip R. DeVita, James D. Armstrong

This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall by Gordon Korman

Spoken Soul : The Story of Black English by John Russell Rickford, Russell John Rickford

A Natural History of Love by DIANE ACKERMAN

Living With a Pug by Alison Mount


The Screenplay: A Blend of Film Form and Content by Margaret Mehring

Introduction to writing screenplays. Decent book. I was hoping for more conventions of the actual screenplay. This focuses on story structure, etc.

No Coins, Please! by Gordon Korman

A delightful piece of young fiction. I love Gordon Korman. About a kid who can't stop making money, driving his tour guides crazy.

I want to go home! by Gordon Korman

Great book. Young fiction.

Ultimate Punishment : A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty by Scott Turow

Great book about the death penalty. I learned a lot.

Understanding Zen by Benjamin and Amy Radcliff

Far from Soothing, this rather disturbing book describes, in a western philosophy style, the philosophy of Zen, and briefly traces it's roots. The basic idea is that experiencing of reality means acknowledging that the concepts we use to understand the world are a fiction and not a part of the world at all, which is kind of a non-understandable plenum. I am left with many questions, but in the end I feel I've learned a lot about Zen.

Deception Point by Dan Brown

A science and political thriller. Starts slow, but pays off well.

Everville by Clive Barker

Sequel to "The Great and Secret Show." Full of imagination and some sicko characters. I like Clive Barker's style. He's like a weirder Stephen King, but I'll take a break for a while, I think.

Dry by Augustin Burroughs

Story of a recovering alcoholic. Starts funny, but the second half gets sad and boring.

Song of Susannah by Stephen King

Good. Sequel to "Wolves of the Calla."

New Spring: The Novel by Robert Jordan

Prequel to the Wheel of Time Series. Decent. I think only fans of the series should read it.

Origins of the Modern Mind by Merlin Donald

Cognitive science book, using evolutionary, genetic, brain, and anthropological data to make a theory of the three stages of the evolution of mind, the last of which is, basically, books. Well-researched and interesting. For cognitive scientists only--it's a pretty technical book.

The Dramatist's Toolkit by Jeffrey Sweet

Best book on writing plays I've read. Highly recommended.

Opening Skinner's Box by Lauren Slater

Wonderful! An introduction to some of the great psychology experiments of the 20th century for the layperson and psychologist alike. The author is a real firecracker, too--fun to read about.

How to be Good by Nick Hornby

One of the best novels I've read. In our world, ethics is dominated by a Christian tradition, which frames goodness on not doing badness. This book pushes the limits in the other direction. How actively should one go out and try to make the world better? In this book a woman's husband suddenly changes his life to maximize his goodness. It's funny, touching, and profound. It doesn't provide ultimate answers, but is great food for thought.

Death by Hollywood by Steven Bocho

Entertaining and very readable thriller about Hollywood. You get a feel for life out there. What a bunch of weirdos.

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson

Fun supernatural thriller about Repairman Jack, a soft-hearted gun for hire. Very readable.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

A great book. Classic. Required for general cultural literacy.

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

Good book, part of the Dark Tower series.

Legacies by F. Paul Wilson

The second Repairman Jack novel. Good, fast read. A thriller.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Re-read this for the first time since I was 15, I think. Much deeper now. What a brilliant book. Creates a fascinating world.


The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

Good book targeted for young adults.

The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

Fascinating book of mythic proportions. Creates a detailed otherworldly earth. Recommended for fans of horror and fantasy. "Everville" is next in the series.

Cujo by Stephen King

Very entertaining.

Breathe! You Are Alive: Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh's books are always so calming for me. This is a Buddhist book about breathing during meditation.

Understanding Movies by Louis Giannetti

Great introduction to film appreciation. It uses many examples from popular movies to talk about an enormous number of aspects of the decisions that go into film creation. I very much enjoyed it. ****

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Very readable classic.

The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore

Actually three novels set in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons world. Entertaining, recommended for fantasy fans still in high school.

Superstition by David Ambrose

Weird but entertaining book about a group of people who make up a ghost and it becomes real. It gets weirder from there.

Needful Things by Stephen King

Good book. I think Stephen King's very talented.

Amazonia by James Rollins

Adventure story, Crichton-style, which ends with an interesting theory that mammals traded off, evolutionarily, the ability to regenerate limbs for having a reduced risk of cancer.

The Silent Strength of Stone by Nina K. Hoffman

Great book! Modern fantasy, related to animism. Fascinating. Highly recommended.****

The Comedy Writer by Peter Farrelly

Laugh out out funny. You'll love it. Recommended by my friend Alison Way.****

Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King

Page by page, it's well written, but it doesn't hold together very well for me. Not particularly memorable.

A Leg to Stand On by Oliver Sacks

Read this in a book club. I liked it. Sacks is a great writer. People found the book a little self-indulgent, but that never bothers me.

The Three Steps of Modern Calligraphy by Gu Gan

I love this book. It helped me invent the kind of calligraphy I do. See Thunderwords.****

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Always be suspicious of non-fiction, persuasive books by great writers. They can write complete garbage so sweetly you'll think it can't be wrong. Case in point. This book tries to solve very hard sociology problems using--guess what? Poor, anecdotal evidence and great writing! Though the book is not garbage, its central claim is not justified by the evidence presented. I hate it when writers try to do scientist's work.

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

The worst in a fabulous series so far. But if you're reading the series, you have to read it.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

First half is great, about the author's experiences in a concentration camp, and who made it and why. Second half is about his theory of therapy, logotherapy, which is skippable.

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler

Much more from Cutler's POV than one might expect. Still, it's a relaxing, interesting read.

The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

Absolutely brilliant. I love this man. It's about human evolution.****


Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Prey by Michael Crichton ****

The Runaway Jury by John Grisham

The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

A Painted House by John Grisham

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

Killshot by Elmore Leonard

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III ****

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel by Haruki Murakami ****

Giddy-Up Startup by Johannah Davies

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card ****

Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card ****

The Sicilian by Mario Puzo****

True and False : Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor by David Mamet

I disagree with a lot in this book.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Directing by William Ball

Excellent directing book about dealing with actors.

The Open Door by Peter Brook

The Empty Space by Peter Brook

Brotherhood of the Wolf (The Runelords, Book Two) by David Farland****

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

The Artful Universe by John D. Barrow ****

Straight Man by Richard Russo ****


Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott ****

Inspiring book on writing.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Homo Centaurus by Anthony Francis

Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh ****

The best book on Buddhism I've read.

Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian

Beamtimes and Lifetimes: The World of High Energy Physicists by Sharon Traweek

Timeline by Michael Crichton

The Runelords: The Sum of All Men (The Runelords, Book One) by David Farland ****

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Rainmaker by John Grisham

Man Enough by Frank Pittman

King Rat by China Mieville

The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton

Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, Book 1) by David Eddings

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan


Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, Book 4) by Terry Goodkind

Nosferatu: Clan Novel (Vampire: The Masquerade) by Gherbod Fleming

These vampire books were my guilty pleasure for a while.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

The Godfather by Mario Puzo ****

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

On Writing by Stephen King

Entertaining, but not the best book on how to write.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Clan Novel: Tremere by Eric Griffin

Stone of Tears (Sword of Truth, Book 2) by Terry Goodkind

Aaron's Code: Meta-Art, Artificial Intelligence and the Work of Harold Cohen by Pamela McCorduck

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling ****

Brujah (Vampire: The Masquerade Clanbooks) by Gerbod Fleming ****

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham

Clan Novel: Giovanni by Justin Achilli ****

Laurie Anderson by Roselee Goldberg

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

The Beach by Alex Garland

Clan Novel: Malkavian by Steward Wieck


Disclosure by Michael Crichton ****

Jennie by Douglas Preston

Bloodwar: Masquerade of the Red Death (World of Darkness) by Robert Weinberg

Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker ****

Looks silly, but is really great.

Shiva 3000 by Jan Lars Jensen

Clan Novel: Ravnos by Kathleen Ryan

Assamite: Clan Novel (Vampire: The Masquerade) by Gherbod Fleming

Clan Novel: Lasombra by Richard E. Dansky

entrue: Clan Novel (Vampire: The Masquerade) by Gherbod Fleming

Clan Novel: Setite by Kathleen Ryan

Clan Novel: Gangrel by Gherbod Fleming

Clan Novel: Tzimisce by Eric Griffin

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J. K. Rowling

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

My second favorite book of all time. Everyone on earth should read this book. ****

Toreador (The Clan Novel Series, no. 1) by Stewart Wieck

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, Book 4) by

His Master's voice by Stanislaw Lem


The Shining by Stephen King ****

Consilience : The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O. Wilson ****

The Partner by John Grisham

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

The Wastelands by Stephen King

Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Marvellous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

A Case of Need by Michael Crichton

October Sky by Homer Hickam ****

The Perfect Storm : A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger

Greatness: Who Makes History and Why by Dean Keith Simonton ****

The Client by John Grisham ****

The Little Shop of Horrors Book by by John McCarty, Mark Thomas McGee

Seductive Poison : A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the People's Temple by Deborah Layton

A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe ****

Fermat's Enigma : The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem by by Simon Singh

Who Censored Roger Rabbit by by Gary K. Wolf

This is the original book the movie script was based on.


The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, Book 2) by Stephen King ****

The Cobra Event by Richard Preston ****

The Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time, Book 8) by Robert Jordan ****

The Stand by Stephen King ****

The link is for the expanded edition, but I actually read the cut version. It was plenty long.

Moths to the Flame : The Seductions of Computer Technology by by Gregory J. E. Rawlins

Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer ****

Airframe by Michael Crichton ****

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside by by Jennifer Edstrom, Marlin Eller

A Ph.D. Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science by by Peter J. Feibelman

Must-reading for any Ph.D. Student.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan

Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson

Fuzzy Thinking : The New Science of Fuzzy Logic by Bart Kosko

First Light : The Search for the Edge of the Universe by Richard Preston ****

Beyond Positivism and Relativism: Theory, Method, and Evidence by Larry Laudan

Dinotopia: The World Beneath by James Gurney

The Hacker and the Ants: Version 2.0 by Rudy Rucker

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1) by Stephen King

The Truth Machine by James Halperin ****

A Crown of Swords (The Wheel of Time, Book 7) by Robert Jordan ****


Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire ****

Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis ****

Children of the Mind (Ender Wiggin Saga) by Orson Scott Card ****

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

Machines Who Think: A Personal Inquiry into the History and Prospects of Artificial Intelligence by Pamela McCorduck ****

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan ****

The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms by Margaret A. Boden

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton ****

Travels by by Michael Crichton


Foundation's Edge : The Foundation Novels (Foundation Novels (Paperback)) by Isaac Asimov

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson ****

Hard science fiction about what a Mars Colony might be like.

The Hot Zone : A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston ****

The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, Book 5) by by Robert Jordan ****

The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by by JONATHAN WEINER ****

My fourth favorite book of all time (after The Selfish Gene, Guns, Germs and Steel, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat.)

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman ****

The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, Book 4) by Robert Jordan ****

Walden Two by B. F. Skinner

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Congo by Michael Crichton

The Relic by Lincoln Child, Douglas J. Preston

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan ****


Categories and Concepts (Cognitive science series) by Edward E. Smith, Douglas Medin

Fade by Robert Cormier

The Lost World by Michael Crichton

Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science by Carl Sagan

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, Book 2) by Robert Jordan

How to Think Straight About Psychology by by Keith E. Stanovich ****

The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett ****

Magic: A Novel by William Goldman

1,001 Ways to Save the Planet by Bernadette Vallely

The Language Instinct : How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Time Flies by Bill Cosby

Count Zero by William Gibson

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould

Sphere by Michael Crichton ****

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan

Quiddities by W. V. O. Quine

QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard P. Feynman

The Intentional Stance by Daniel Dennett

One Human Minute by Stanislaw Lem ****

Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1) by Robert Jordan

Rising Sun by Michael Crichton

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe ****

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat : And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks ****

Third favorite book of all time.

The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe by Steven Weinberg

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

dentity, Consciousness, and Value by Peter K. Unger

Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card


The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander

Art: The Way It Is (author unknown)

Side Effects by Woody Allen

Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff, Mark Johnson

Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time by James Gurney

Speaker for the Dead (Ender Wiggen Saga) by Orson Scott Card

The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric Saga) by Michael Moorcock

Speed Reading by Robert L. Zorn ****

I was reading faster by time I was halfway through it.

Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock

Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Saga) by Orson Scott Card ****

Iron John by Robert Bly

Stories from the Nerve Bible: A Twenty-Year Retrospective by Laurie Anderson

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Dragon Wing (The Death Gate Cycle, Book 1) by Margaret Weiss

The Web of Belief by W. V. Quine, J. S. Ullian

Mondo Boxo by Roz Chast

Unified Theories of Cognition by Allen Newell

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

Computation and Cognition: Toward a Foundation for Cognitive Science by Zenon W. Pylyshyn

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches) by Anne Rice

The Girl in a Swing by Richard Adams

Artificial Intelligence in Psychology: Interdisciplinary Essays (Explorations in Cognitive Science) by Margaret A. Boden

Neuromancer (Remembering Tomorrow) by William Gibson

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins ****

My favorite book in the whole wide wonderful world.

Thinking (An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol 3) by Daniel N. Osherson, Edward E. Smith (Editor)

Surviving Exercise by

by Judy Alter

A New Guide to Artificial Intelligence by Derek Partridge

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant : A Novel by Anne Tyler


The Pelican Brief by John Grisham

Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China's Democracy Movement by George Black, Robin Munro

Thinking Machines by Igor Alexander and Riere Burnett

Natural Language and Computational Linguistics: An Introduction by Colin Beardon, David Lunsden, Geoff Holmes

I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape by Robin Warshaw

The Damnation Game by Clive Barker

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Microcognition: Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and Parallel Distributed Processing by Andy Clark


Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang ****

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

Hacksaw by Edward R. Jones

A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science by Paul M. Churchland

Laurie Anderson (American Originals) by John Howell

L.Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman by Bent Corydon

Cracking the System: The GRE by The Princeton Review

Matter and Consciousness - Revised Edition: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind by Paul M. Churchland

Strange Tales From Make-do Studio by Pu Songling,

Letter to a Child Never Born by Oriana Fallaci

This was the first book I entered in my book diary. I was Living in China in 1993 at the time.

Books read before my book diary that I can remember reading:

Fade by Robert Cormier


Presumed innocent by Scott Turow

Cats eye by Margaret Atwood



E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks