Currently reading

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr.
  • Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
  • Freakenomics, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt.
  • The DevOps Handbook, Gene Kim
  • The End of Nature, Bill McKibben
  • Disturbing the Universe, Freeman Dyson

Finished recently

  • How to be a Woman, Caitlin Moran, 4 stars – August 2017. A rip-snorter. Laughed out loud, a lot. And I don’t even have ovaries.
  • The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman, 4 stars – July 2017. Lovely YAF about coming of age, the old passing their life to the young.
  • New York 2140, Kim Stanley Robinson, 4 stars – June 2017. Rollicking tale that imagines a global-warming future in which finance and real-estate speculation still drive NYC. Really a post-GFC treatise, KSR doing his polymath explanation of what’s gone wrong with capitalism.
  • The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins, 5 stars – May 2017. New senior jobs are about performing quickly, which is about relationships.
  • Foundation, Isaac Asimov, 3 stars – May 2017. A bit dated – a sausagefest – but fun.
  • The Chaos Walking Trilogy, Patrick Ness, 5 stars – March-April 2017. Beautiful YAF sci-fi.
    • The Knife of Never Letting Go 
    • The Ask and The Answer 
    • Monsters of Men 
  • The Three Body Problem, Liu Cixin, 3 stars – February 2017. Should we communicate with the stars?
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, 3 stars – February 2017. Just be a good person.
  • Persuasive Technology, B.J. Fogg, 3!stars – February 2017
  • Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood, 5 stars – February 2017
  • The Lean Startup, Eric Ries, 4 stars – January 2017. Experiment in small batches.
  • The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson, 5 stars – January 2017. An alternative history in which Europe barely exists, and China and Islam are the only superpowers. Reincarnation theme allowing an epic spanning hundreds of years. Risks being orientalist – a white American man wrestling with other cultures and worldviews – but I found it powerful.
  • Seveneves, Neal Stephenson, 3 stars – November 2016. The moon explodes, the world is covered in a meteor shower for 10,000 years, only a handful left in the International Space Station and some ad-hoc additions.
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan, 4 stars. Prisoners of war.
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe – October 2016. The white-woman’s book that brought the horrors of slavery into the parlours of the US North. So problematic, racist in its own right. But interesting.
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy, Phillip Pullman, 5 stars – July 2016. Still one of my favourites, YAF or no.
  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell, 3 stars – March 2016.
  • Palace of Treason, James Matthews, 3 stars – March 2016
  • Red Sparrow, James Matthews, 3 stars. Sexy Russian double-agent. A rip-snorter page-turner.
  • Deer Hunting With Jesus, Joe Bageant, 4 stars – September 2015. The mystery of poor white folk in small US towns voting for the big end of town while they slide into ill health and poverty – told by one of their own who became an unabashed socialist.
  • Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson, 3 stars – August 2015. Getting a colony to the nearest star would be a crushing ordeal over generations. And may not work.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood, 4 stars – finished July 2015. My favourite author looking at the logical conclusion of all that has happened.
  • Middlemarch, George Eliot, 5 stars – April 2015. A sparkling triumph of social commentary and wit. Makes me feel very dim, she was a blinding genius.
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman, 4 stars – finished Jan 2015. Gods as immigrants.
  • Freedom, Jonathon Franzen, 4 stars
  • The Australian Moment, George Megalogenis, 5 stars. Yes it is.
  • MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood, 5 stars. Outstanding finale to my equal-favourite trilogy.
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 2 stars. Can’t work out why this is so popular.
  • The Man in the High Castle, Philip K Dick. 3 stars. Meh.
  • When It Rains, Maggie Mackellar. 5 stars. Raw, beautiful.
  • The Shallows, Nick Carr. 4 stars. The internet is giving us all ADHD.
  • Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood. 4 stars. Glad I read this second – it’s more cynical than Year of the Flood.
  • Here On Earth, Tim Flannery. 3 stars. Felt too light – even though I’m a fan of “the connected internet brain of us all might save us all” idea.
  • The Algebraist, Iain M. Banks. 2 stars. Not my kind of sci-fi really. All aliens and space opera.
  • Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham. 3 stars. On my post-apocalyptic jag, adding some school-days-nostalgia.
  • Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood. 5 stars. Glorious terrifying warm view of the near-future apocalypse.
  • Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sacks. 5 stars. Chemistry and learning are joy.
  • Anathem, Neal Stephenson. 5 stars. A world a lot like ours, but not, with scientist-monks cloistered away from the world.
  • The Management Myth, Matthew Stewart. 5 stars. Most management rules-of-thumb are based on complete horseshit. Just be a good person and use your mind.
  • Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut. 3 stars
  • Death Sentence, Don Watson. 5 stars. So good. A treatise on management speak, political blather and bureaucratic mangling of straight talking.

Up next

  • Nonzero, Robert Wright
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Donella H. Meadows
  • The Great Disruption, Paul Gilding
  • Prosperity Without Growth, Tim Jackson
  • Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough
  • Requiem for a Species, Clive Hamilton
  • Purity, Jonathan Franzen
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (All right all right I know! At the insistence of my libertarian/right friends. Gotta read it, need an informed opinion for those discussions!)
  • Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  • The Place of the Lion, Charles Williams
  • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  • eaarth, Bill McKibben
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual, Steven Gary and Bob Dorf
  • Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
  • Larrikins: A History, Melissa Bellanta
  • Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  • The Global Minotaur, Yanis Varoufakis
  • The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond