Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
Andrew Simonson
menu

These are some of the books I've read since 2020, vaguely sorted by topic.

"You can't judge a book by its cover but you can judge a person by their bookshelf" - Me, today.

Hover to reveal review
Read to reveal KNOWLEDGE

Freakonomics cover

The original on cracked economics. Dozens of case studies heavy on the unexpected results of incentives. Mind Expanding. Very nice.

Book Source
Superfreakonomics cover

More of the goods? Excellent. A number of case studies on finding simple solutions to wicked problems through changing the attack vector in brainstorming. Another fun read.

Book Source
When to Rob a Bank cover

Collection of blog posts. Good for short reading sessions. I read this one first, I thought the Freakonomics mode of thinking was hilarious. Classic.

Book Source
Think like a Freak cover

More like the other Freakonomics books than I expected (cracked storytelling), which is still excellent, but I wished there was greater insights into seeing past conventional wisdom, which is what thinking like a freak means. Still a great book.

Book Source
The Accidental Superpower cover

My intro to geopolitics, brilliant hook that made possibly my fastest read ever. The straightforward the lines of reasoning and grounding in concrete realities that few would consider controversial is incredible, even when the conclusions seem hyper-dramatic.

Book Source
The Absent Superpower cover

Hadn't realized the author was the same as Accidental when I bought it. It covered a lot of the same stuff but with a heavy emphasis on fracking technology which was a bit slow but it solidified the veracity of Zeihan's worldview.

Book Source
Disunited Nations cover

Chapter profiles of key countries in the world provides lots of interesting supporting details, but being the third book of its kind made the rehashing a bit of a drag.

Book Source
The End of the World is Just the Beginning cover

Separates itself from the others by Zeihan in its breakdown of specific resources of every category, from nickel to corn. Being generalized, specific, and an enjoyable read all at the same time. Galaxy Brain stuff.

Book Source
The Storm Before the Calm cover

Repetitive and almost faith-based. The cycles and cultural inclinations used as the backbone for predictions may be accurate, but the evidence for this was slim. Nonetheless, the cultural archetypes laid out here have stuck with me, albeit not for political fortune-telling purposes.

Book Source
No, They Can't cover

I much preferred Give Me A Break (which I read first). Sossel's writing style in this book is less developed - it feels aimless and with an intent to lecture.

Book Source
Give Me a Break cover

I expected a boring autobiography-type book, but instead is a glimpse inside Stossel's work that transformed itself as it transformed his view. Was very happy to see a figure of similar personal ideology. Probably made it a little too easy to swallow that pill.

Book Source
Zero To One cover

Initially very frustrating read. Took a bit of internal review to realize that this has to be read with an entrepreneurial perspective, not a consumer one. After that, it's quite eye-opening in ways that would've been obvious without the lens of life experience. The optimistic takes are very much appreciated and their justifications are solid.

Book Source
Courage is Calling cover

Average on the readability scale, but inspiring all the same. As a primer in stoicism it gets a 8/10 for not enough gigachad energy to match the gigachad content.

Book Source
Discipline Is Destiny cover

Much like the first in its series - small chapters (very helpful) each with inspiring insider stories of figures of history. Anyone capable of learning from these figures would benefit greatly from implementing the virtues in this series.

Book Source
On Grand Strategy cover

Book for the academically-inclined. Not fun to read. Big words scary. It's insightful to be sure but I wouldn't read it again. The message on conceptual contradictions has stuck with me. Quite the brain food.

Book Source
The Parasitic Mind cover

The humor is the most memorable part but the concepts are no slouches. The contemporary culture war basis makes it tricky to talk about, but it absolutely should be discussed.

Book Source
David and Goliath cover

Book contains takes that may not be hot, but *are* incredibly based. In a sentence: Goliath is only the giant from the wrong perspectives. The only reason it's not one of my favorites is that it's tamer than the aggressively standoffish and hilarious.

Book Source
Verbal Judo cover

Book tries to hook you into reading it even when you're already halfway through reading it. And it works! Definitely a good book to review occasionally to keep yourself grounded during tense moments.

Book Source
You Can Read Anyone cover

Not as page-turning as many of the others and clearly not as memorable. The techniques pique curiosity but are difficult to use without practice.

Book Source
Profiles in Courage cover

Another book that was hard to really get into but still provided fascinating commentary on some very important figures that have faded from public memory.

Book Source
Where Good Ideas Come From cover

I got this book at a recycling center. I didn't want to read it or like it. Unfortnuately, it's pretty good. 200 pages of considerate review of how innovation comes to be + suggestions to expand the utility of your ideas (I've adopted several!)

Book Source
Make Your Bed cover

Something small to read on a rainy day or flight. Valuable advice condensed into personal stories that stretch beyond anecdotes.

Book Source
12 Rules for Life cover

Another read with challenging academic vernacular. I had a agreeable-hate relationship with the biblical storytelling that made me somewhat dread reading yet also question the nature of religion. Another example of books with good advice being not fun to get into.

Book Source
Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life cover

It bothers how much these books make me stop and think because it throws me out of the focus of actually reading. More solid advice with less religion than the predecessor but retaining the 'difficult to want to read' badge.

Book Source
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cover

It's alright. It felt like an aimless journey without defined boundaries that reveled in that fact for irony and wit points.

Book Source