A full list of books that I read this year are below but I wanted to really highlight four books I read this year that are excellent.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

This was my top pick of the year, it’s a wonderful book by Dan Egan about the ecological history of the Great Lakes. It’s well told and remains clear but contains all the details you want to know about the story. The authors personal passion also plays into the story and it serves highlight the role that the lake plays on the communities that surround it.

When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought by Jim Holt

Not every essay in this book is going to make you set it down and think after you read it but quite a few will such that it takes a while to read this book. This book wanders all over the map but contains a number of scientific essays that drive insightful points home. This is such an excellently curated collection of essays that it’s a recommend read for almost any individual who has an interest in modern science.

Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic by Ben Westhoff

Ben Westhoff is a gifted writer who has a talent for getting incredible sources to talk to him about the subject material and this book is no exception. The background is well covered and detailed while not becoming tedious. This is the best written history of both the drug crisis but also covered the very important aspects of how internet and shipping has changed the nature of the industry dramatically.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

This book is an excellent collection of short science fiction stories. The stories are thoughtful stories and I’m reluctant to write more because I think they should be approached with no connotations. The book is very short and is an enjoyable afternoon read.

Full List of 2019 Books

  • May We Suggest: Restaurant Menus and the Art of Persuasion
  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
  • The Black Swan
  • The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping
  • Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
  • Adam Smith: Father of Economics
  • Who Gets What—and why
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer
  • The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
  • The Grasshopper
  • On Scandinavia: The almost nearly perfect people by Michael Booth
  • The Feather Thief
  • Prohibition: A Concise History
  • The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
  • When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought
  • Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica
  • An Economist Walks into a Brothel, and Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk
  • Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Are Changing Our World
  • Extreme Makeover: A Novel by Dan Wells
  • Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals
  • Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design
  • The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order
  • How Asia Works
  • On Freedom by Cass Sunstein
  • Opt Art: From Mathematical Optimization to Visual Design
  • Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic
  • Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration
  • The Fifth Season / The Obelisk Gate / The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
  • The Craft Sequence By Max Gladstone
  • Axiomatic By Greg Egan
  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang
  • Broken Stars by Ted Liu