50 Books (that I don’t yet own) That I Want to Read

The “oh that looks good” list could grow daily, if not faster, but I don’t put everything I find or hear about on it. If I allowed myself the time, I could surely find myself jumping from book to book much like surfing the net. Here’s a list of 50 to illustrate some of the varied interests I have (click the links to see more; sometimes to the authors’ sites, sometimes to Wiki, mostly to Amazon):

  1. Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku – I’d like to read a lot more of his work, too {Update 6/13/11: Cross this one off. Good book}{Update 7/2/11: I apparently do own this book, so it gets crossed off twice. I still can’t find it, but I never enter books in my database that I don’t own (the database does have a “want” feature), although I often don’t enter those that I do own.}
  2. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
  3. Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design by Barbara Forrest & Paul R. Gross – because this country is going backward fast and we need to have the tools to either combat the ignorance or prevent its return whenever reason eventually prevails
  4. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes – it’s been on my “to read” list for a while, meaning I came across a reference somewhere sometime back
  5. The Heart of Enterprise by Stafford Beer – I understand it to be a masterwork in organizational theory
  6. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer – fanaticism is such a presence these days, need more tools for the fight for reason
  7. Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being by George Lakoff and Rafael E. Núñez – math always attracts my attention
  8. Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions by James Randi (intro by Asimov) – people believe some wacky things; if I can’t beat them, maybe I can fleece some money from them…yeah, right…I have a conscience
  9. I Think, Therefore I Laugh by John Allen Paulos – I like the other Paulos books I’ve read (A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, Innumeracy, and the good one: Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up)
  10. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson – the environmental Genesis…only not self-contradictory
  11. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – this kind of nonsense drives me nuts, so I have to read it to deconstruct it
  12. The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely – recommended by a blogger on freakonomics.com, supposed to be a good analysis of behavioral economics
  13. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking – I suspect it will be his last book, but he has defied the odds for 40 years, so who knows
  14. The New Making of a Cook: The Art, Techniques, And Science Of Good Cooking by Madeleine Kamman – After The United States of Arugula, I was interested in the science of cooking
  15. Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett – a physical answer to those who think it couldn’t happen without supernatural intervention
  16. The Faiths of Our Fathers: What America’s Founders Really Believed by Alf Mapp, Jr. – I understand this to be too simple of a book, but after reading Moral Minority by Brooke Allen, I want to add more to the knowledge base
  17. The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater – a true (political) conservative, not like the charlatans of today
  18. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon
  19. The Faith Healers by James Randi – Randi “overdoses” on homoeopathic sleeping pills all the time; this should be fun
  20. What Liberal Media?: The Truth About Bias and the News by Eric Alterman – because the myth of a “liberal” media is just that – a huge myth manufactured by the Republican party
  21. Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition by Stuart A Vyse – because superstition of any form, whether horoscopes in the newspapers, black cats or sanctioned in the formal sense is baffling
  22. Essays of a Humanist by Julian Huxley
  23. Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology by Kenneth Feder
  24. Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science by Paul Gross and Norman Levitt – deconstructing post-modernism nonsense
  25. more Scams From The Great Beyond!: How to Make Even More Money Off the Creationism, Evolution, Environmentalism, Fringe Politics, Weird Science, the Occult, and Other Strange Beliefs by Peter Huston – in case I ever find myself without scruples and want to fleece some people
  26. The Fractal Geometry of Nature by Benoit Mandelbrot
  27. When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner
  28. Why Gods Persist : A Scientific Approach to Religion by Robert Hinde
  29. Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont
  30. The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom
  31. The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 by Ron Suskind – inspired by Dick Cheney’s assertion that a 1% chance must be treated as a certainty
  32. The Population Explosion by Paul and Anne Ehrlich
  33. An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D. T. Suzuki and Carl Jung – because I’m curious
  34. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond – I disagreed with some of his conclusions in Guns, Germs and Steel, but agreed with most of them
  35. The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos by Brian Greene – and not just because he was on The Big Bang Theory; I liked The Fabric of the Cosmos
  36. Under a Velvet Cloak by Piers Anthony – Book 8 of the Incarnations of Immortality; I read all the others and found the last to be terribly disappointing, then saw that there was one more
  37. Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve by William Patterson
  38. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
  39. The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant
  40. The Harry Hole novels by (Norwegian) Jo NesboThe Redbreast was recommended by my Book Lover’s calendar and sounded very intriguing
  41. Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer – I knew of this in my high school senior year, but never looked into it; if it is as witty as purported, then there are three omnibus collections of the stories
  42. One Billion Customers: Lessons From the Front Lines of Doing Business in China by James McGregor – Martin Jacques gave a TEDTalk on “Understanding the Rise of China”; I think it won’t be long before the U.S. economy is surpassed by at least China
  43. Shakespeare After All by Marjorie Garber – I’ve never gotten much out of the Shakespeare I’ve (been forced to) read; perhaps she can help
  44. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – the latest rage, I understand
  45. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower – given the psychological nature of the stories in the collection, I don’t know how far I’ll get into it if I don’t finish it (once started)
  46. The History of Wireless: How Creative Minds Produced Technology for the Masses by Ira Brodsky – global communications changed the world
  47. Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss by Danica McKellar – “Winnie” shares authorship of a math theorem and “Amy Farrah Fowler” has a PhD in neuroscience in real life, so I’m curious about this book
  48. Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman –I recognize that much in museums came from places that really should have the treasures back, but I love museums anyway, which is why…
  49. Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey – this would be London’s Natural History Museum
  50. Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl Giberson – a fundamentalist supposedly changed his mind after learning the science; I’ve read some reviews that indicate he writes a good narrative but with a sarcastic tone; if it’s not too bad, it might be something I can recommend to the fence-sitters

I may not own any of these, or even actually get to them, but if any that I do read turn out to be good, I like to add them to the library for others to read.

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One response to “50 Books (that I don’t yet own) That I Want to Read

  1. Pingback: 50 Books (that I own) That I Want to Read | Jim Razinha's Random (or not) Opinions

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