T Nation

Another Book Thread


I know there have been several book threads in the past, but being an avid reader, I am always on the lookout for good recommendations. I have read a few really great books based on some of the past threads, so I thought I would start a thread to see which books you guys have read lately, and if you recommend them or not. I know there are a ton of other readers on here. I am studying for a professional exam right now, so I have not been reading as much as I usually do, but here are the last few books I have read.

1) Unbroken, A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand. Great true story about an Olympic sprinter turned airman in WWII who survived a long period adrift at sea in a life boat, then years of captivity as a Japanese POW.

2) Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. Novel about centered around the building of a cathedral in medieval England. Not one that I would have thought to read myself, but picked it up on a recommendation and loved it. Great book.

3) The Survivors Club, by Ben Sherwood. This is about common traits that survivors of life and death situations have, and kind of a how to survival guide when faced with life threatening situations. An interesting read, but not sure I buy into all of it.


I've read several really good books lately.

Three New Deals by Wolfgang Schivelbusch
-this book is basically an assertion (and a well-argued one) that FDR, Hitler and Mussolini were all very similar in terms of economic policy. It's quite provocative, but the guy who wrote it is one of the preeminent experts in the world on the Third Reich and European fascism, so it's definitely from a legit source.

Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum
-this is a psychohistorical analysis of Hitler. Psychohistory is a relatively new field of study and there isn't anyone better to study within this field than Hitler and his various pathologies.

Psychopathic God by Robert Waite
-the title says it all. It's another psychohistory book. I've been fascinated by the subject lately.


Just bought Robert Fisk's "The Great War for Civilisation."

It is easily the single greatest book I've ever read.


Wittgenstein's Poker by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. The story of the one and only meeting of Popper and Wittgenstein arguably the two biggest influences on modern western thought. Russell was there who basically set up the paradigm of how we do modern western philosophy. It gives the back story of their meeting and what the members of the philosophy club saw as the facts.

Very interesting because several of the big names in western philosophy are there. They all have differing eyewitness accounts which says something about how we know things too.

Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke. Burke is tip top in this one. This is a very solid book.

Shock Wave by Sandford and The Affair by Lee Child both entertaining reads of light fiction.

Clinical Guide to Bioweapons and Chemical Agents by Vincent Friedewald pretty tame for the most part a diagnostic but gives a little showpiece of the nastiness we unleash on others in war.

Blink and Outliers by Gladwell. Both interesting social science applications.

Also working through Nonplussed Mathematical Proof of Implausible Ideas by Havil. Some interesting math and things people may have never heard or thought off. Bring your math though.


I had been writing short reviews of the books I've read on my Facebook status. I should get back to that. Excuse the ungrammatical nature, this was to fit into space restraints

Everything is Illuminated: Maybe I don't "get" it, but I wldnt recommend this book. There are sections that are great, you're simply pulled along, I literally couldnt put it down when I startd, but finishin it felt like work. Some of it was just so weird n far out, n frankly not all that engagin. Like some kind of experimental art that goes a bit too far n insteada bein profound just becomes pretentious n self-conscious. Like I said, maybe I just didn;t "get" it

Just finished 'The Way We Played the Game,' historical fiction on football from the beginning of the 20th century. Old-school rules, 3 downs to get 5 yards, all players are eligible ball carriers, and none of that fancy-pants "forward pass" stuff. Starts off a little slow, but really picks up. Probably aimed at a late high school-aged audience, but I enjoyed nonetheless.

Just finished "Horse Soldiers" by Stanton. Good, but not great, account of the Special Forces soldiers sent into Afghanistan in the early days of the war. Learned a lot; starkly different portrayal of the war compared to "Restrepo" - One thing I didn't add in my FB review but came out in the conversations thread that developed, I'd highly recommend Roberts Ridge over Horse Soldiers to anyone interested in reading a nonfiction account of a battle/campaign from the war in Afghanistan


Sounds interesting. As a rugby fan I've always been interested in the beginnings of Gridiron, and how it emerged from rugby. Any other books like this that you recommend?


The Pillars of the Earth is indeed a masterpiece. I really enjoyed every single page of it...although I had my doubts when, in the middle or so, one character goes to the South of Europe to look for the other character (don't want to spoil). I thought it was starting to get silly, but I was wrong and...well, the entire thing is great. Highly recommended.

I really like American Psycho. I read it when I was a teen and it got me hooked immediately due to its writing style. It's oppressing since you get all those details...in every aspect of his life.

The short tales of Sherlock Holmes are quite fun too.

I read them tons of times when I was a kid and I can probably still give detailed synopsis of many of them, especially "The Adventure of the Speckled Band".
There's a TV show with the same episodes.

I really read a lot when I was a teen. I had 36 books of TKKG, a band of teenagers that solved crimes. Just before moving away from the country I read all of them again and I was surprised how many little details I was picking up that I totally missed when I was younger, like, how reliant the band is on coincidences...and how racist and violent they could be.
Wikipedia article also talks about it : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TKKG#Criticism


I'm almost finished this one and am looking for some new recommendations.


Blink and Outliers were pretty interesting.

Did you read The Tipping Point?


This interests me hugely

Some of Fisk's work is tremendous.


had been reading a lot of history, political, ethics based books in previous months.

just finished a book i've had since my 20's but never read, Factotum by Bukowski. I enjoyed Confederacy of Dunces and generally like gluttony and/or sloth like characters with wit.

reading book one from the Flashman series now, by george macdonald fraser...we'll see. i enjoy them but generally i need to flip back and forth between these rot your teeth reads and some stuff w/ more integrity.


You may like "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins


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been reading The Unforgiven Minute. pretty good

basically this guy's life from a West Point cadet, to Ranger school, to Oxford (during his time here, 9/11 happened), to deployment in Afghanistan.


That reminded me of the saga of a former German soldier who wrote a novel version of his stuff. He made up some stuff, but more than half of the content is supposed to be real...but there's many claims that he's just lying :

Anyways, the books are great.


Reading this right now. Only book I can think of that's literally made me LOL.


the back story behind how this book came to be published in sad but interesting, look it up after.

the corrections, infinite jest, and Look at the Birdie - a collection of short stories by Vonnegut, these are all good choices if you're enjoying Confederacy of Dunces.

SORRY FOR THE CAP LOCKS HERE BUT I HAVE A REQUEST/QUESTION: looking for fiction or non-fiction about the subject of "Having Stones/Manning up" when the shit gets tough type of work, i have a few in mind but any outside suggestions would be appreciated sincererly.

uplifting shit that is well written.


x3 this is a very enjoyable book.

I just finished The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. Loved it.

I'm currently reading The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. I've enjoyed it so far.

I also agree that Everything Is Illuminated didn't live up to the hype. I read it several years ago though so maybe it needs another look. Pillars of the Earth is of course fantastic. Anyone read the sequel? Is it worth it?


HG... I actually just finished Tipping Point, not a bad read. Quite a few interesting ideas.

Reading Now: Good to Great.

Up next: Organization Change: Theory and Practice (yes, a text book).

Just finished:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - not a bad read if you are into philosophy.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning - Also an interesting read on how we think and how to be a better learner.


Yea man it was interesting. I've heard Zen and motorcycle is good. May have to pick it up. Also Lone Survivor, bad ass.