Top Ten Books to Read


Over the last few months, I have written more than one hundred book and article summaries. I am sure that this is becoming a daunting size for new readers. Because one of the main goals of this blog is to enable readers to find new books to read, I decided to condense down my recommendations to just 10 books.

Below is an alphabetical list of the 10 books that I would recommend you read first. After that, you can try books 11-20 .

Title: Convergence: The Idea at the Heart of Science
Author: Peter Watson
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

The physical, biological, social sciences and the study of history are gradually being unified into one body of knowledge.

Title: Ecological-Evolutionary Theory: Principles and Applications
Author: Gerhard Lenski
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 3 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Lenski builds a theory that explains the development and transformation of human societies.

Title: The Nature of Technology
Author: W. Brian Arthur
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 3.5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Arthur builds a theory of technology and innovation.

Title: Nature’s Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind
Author: Peter Corning
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 4 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Corning makes that claim that synergy is the key causal force in the evolution in physics, chemistry, biology and human history.

Title: Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny
Author: Robert Wright
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 3.5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Understanding the driving force of progress, innovation and increasing complexity

Title: Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution
Author: Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 3.5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

The authors explore the role of biology and culture in human development.

Title: The Origin of Wealth, Evolution, Complexity
Author: Eric D Beinhocker
Scope: 4.5 stars
Readability: 3.5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

The economy is a complex, adaptive system that evolves in ways similar to how biological organism evolve in nature.

Title: Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future
Author: Johan Norberg
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Norberg documents the enormous progress for humanity over the last 250 years in: Food, Sanitation, Life Expectancy, Poverty, Violence, Environment, Literacy, Freedom, and Equality

Title: Range: Why Generalist Triumph in a Specialized World
Author: Daniel Epstein
Scope: 3 stars
Readability: 5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Topic of Book

Epstein gives compelling evidence that specialization and repetitive practice are not the smooth path to success that many popular books claim. Epstein argues that having a broad range of knowledge and skills plus an ability to see analogies across those domains of knowledge is far more useful.

Title: The Secret of Our Success
Author: Joseph Henrich
Scope: 5 stars
Readability: 4.5 stars
My personal rating: 5 stars

Key Take-aways

Henrich argues that the secret of human success has been our ability to form collective brains that store far greater amounts of information and skills than one person can possibly understand.

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