The Books I Read in 2019: A One Tweet Review

Fathers and Sons | Ivan Turgenev | 1862
The 19th century version of “OK Boomer.”

Brothers Karamazov | Fyodor Dostoevsky | 1880
Dostoevsky made a murder mystery boring.

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant| Joel Golby | 2019
The Cholula essay is the most important piece of writing of the 21st century.

Elon Musk | Ashlee Vance | 2015
Interesting, if very uncritical, profile of a space age robber baron.

Blind Descent | James Tabor | 2010
A great read about two men locked in an obsessive race to find the bottom of the world. Makes you feel claustrophobic while reading.

The Right Stuff | Tom Wolfe | 1979
Chuck Yeager’s not mad, he’s laughing actually.

The Association of Small Bombs | Karan Mahajan | 2016
Delhi is a city that seemed impossible to capture with prose. Mahajan nails it.

Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders | 2017
Saunders’ experimental novel is just a play without stage cues, but I can’t stop thinking about the story.

Stay | Jennifer Hect | 2013
A historical tour of philosophies about suicide that is most interesting when engaging with philosophies that support it.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street | Burton Malkiel | 1973
Confirmed my suspicion that technical and fundamental analysis is mostly bullshit.

Night Falls Fast | Kay Redfield Jamison | 1999
Fascinating look at the psychology of suicide that underscores how little we understand it.

Super Pumped | Mike Isaac | 2019
410 pages of schadenfreude.

Why People Die by Suicide | Thomas Joiner | 2007
Joiner presents his theory of suicide as the combination of isolation, feelings of burden, and learned capacity for self-harm.

The Space Barons | Chris Davenport | 2018
This felt very dated only a year after publishing; the private space sector is moving fast.

The Glass Cage | Nicholas Carr | 2014
The most surprising thing about this book is that you still can make a living wringing your hands about automation 100 years after Keynes.

The Shallows | Nicholas Carr | 2010
Captures the reactionary sentiment of a species experiencing rapid environmental change via digital technology. History will look on this book and laugh.

The Day It Finally Happens | Mike Pearl | 2019
Better for your anxiety than meditation.

Infinite Powers | Steven Strogatz | 2019
Made me wish I had studied calculus in high school.

The Man Who Solved the Market | Gregory Zuckerman | 2019
Jim Simons is the richest person you’ve never heard of. Fascinating look at the rise of quantitative finance and its deep effects on the modern world.

How to Change Your Mind | Michael Pollan | 2018
I’m glad Pollan finally tried mushrooms.

The Virgin Suicides | Jeffrey Eugenides | 1993
Surprisingly funny for a novel about a suicide cluster.

Mrs. Dalloway | Virginia Woolf | 1925
Modernist day-in-the-life novels don’t have to be 900 pages to be excellent.