What I Learned Reading 263+ Books In 5 Years | Part 4 | 2010

What I Learned Reading 263+ Books In 5 Years | Part 4 | 2010 1

From 2007 to 2012, I read 263+ books. Here’s my lessons learned and short review of each.

This post covers books read in 2010. You can also read from,

2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016Most Recent Full Reviews

American Rust

American Rust

The Rustbelt across the Northern USA affects people’s lives decades after the golden years. Touching, descriptive novel. Review.

Cheap- The High Cost of Discount Culture

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

You (as a consumer) should be willing to pay for quality. Overall, though, the book was not very well thought through, and not very enjoyable. Full review.

Nudge- Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness


The framing of choices is just as important as the choice itself. Really made me think about my own habits, and how I can “nudge” myself. Excellent read. Review.



Fast-paced beach read for political junkies. A bit far fetched…but not. Full review.

Seven Days in the Art World

Seven Days In The Art World

Lesson – there are oceans of money sloshing around in certain groups of people. And those people love to buy art. Lots of art. It’s a world that I can’t quite comprehend – but Sarah Thornton (Art correspondent for The Economist) is a brilliant guide to the world of contemporary art. Review.

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

Classic novel of African literature – book review.

Nixonland- The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America


If you want to learn about the ’60s – read this book. I had no idea, and it helps understand politics to this day. Review.



Things aren’t what they seem. Not nearly as good as the original, but interesting nonetheless. Full review.

Drive- The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us


You are more motivated, and creative intrinsically than extrinsically. In other words, if you are trying to be creative or innovate, money ruins your motivation.

Stones into Schools

Stones To Schools

One guy can make a difference. Overshadowed by the fact that he sort of made up a bunch of this book. Full review.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander is one of my favorite characters ever. I love this series (understatement). Full review.

The Evolution of God

Evolution of God

No one sentence lesson here – very nuanced book. Intriguing if you are into the Philosophy of Religion. Review.



Meetings are bad. Interruptions kill productivity – and there are better ways to work and run a business. Must read. Full review.



American optimism has a big downside – and is reflected in bad public policy. A bit overwrought and oversold, but an good point overall. Full review.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Ditto to book 1. Go Lisbeth! Full review.

Nothing to Envy- Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

North Korea is no laughing matter. The oppression and poverty are very real, and worth being aware of. Contains amazing anecdotes from inside North Korea.

A Book of Silence

A Book Of Silence

Silence is worth pursuing. We live in a noisier world than ever before – ever, and it affects our stress levels, creativity, and lifestyles. Sarah Maitland goes in pursuit in perfect silence. Good read. Review.



2008 was a landmark year in world history. The post-2008 economy will have to look as different from the pre-2008 as the 1946 did from 1928…but get there faster. Full review.



International travel doesn’t have to involve airplanes…and can still be quite rapid. A different and super-fun travel book about circling the entire globe without leaving the ground. Oh, and reminded me that I don’t like the idea of cruise ships. Review.

Justice- What's the Right Thing to Do


A forceful re-argument of the liberal argument for a just society.

Muhammad- A Prophet for Our Time


Islam is Karen Armstrong’s wheelhouse, and she does incredible justice to Muhammad. Full review.

Lean Six Sigma Logistics

Lean Six Sigma Logistics

I started to learn a bit of supply chain in prep for a couple job applications. It’s actually kind of applicable to a lot of stuff. Keep your inventory low and your design simple, and document processes that reduce errors.

Lost Christianities

Lost Christianities

Introduction to all the books written by supposed Apostles, friends of Apostles, and other people in the Early Christian Church. I had no idea that so many people were writing so much so soon. There was no Golden Age of non-denomination in the Early Church for current Christianity to hearken back to. Full Review.

Essentials of Supply Chain Management

Essentials of Supply Chain Management

Ditto above.

The Routes of Man

Routes of Man

Travels on routes – and why we take those routes. Great writer. Full review.

Influence- The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Our brains are wired with certain biases and heuristics which can be used to persuade (or manipulate).

In a Sunburned Country

In A Sunburned Country

Lesson – Australia is one huge, crazy, misunderstood wonderful country, and Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most entertaining writers. Full review.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nestfull review

Lisbeth! Lisbeth!

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk In The Woods

I’ve read this twice now. It also inspired my own hike of a section of the Appalachian Trail. Hilarious. Lesson – hike the AT – if only a portion, and try to protect it, and the forests around it.

Parallel Worlds

Parallel Worlds

Physics and cosmology have always really intrigued me. Michio Kaku has come the closest to making me feel like I understand it all. Lesson – physics can be beyond bizarre. Review.



Lesson – the US by virtue of population and # of international matches played will, at some point, win the World Cup. This book is Freakonomics meets sport = love it. Full review.

Notes from a Small Island

Notes From A Small Island

England is as a always stereotyped it to be…but also much more. Another great travel book from Bill Bryson.

Brilliant Orange

Brilliant Orange

Why the Dutch are so amazing and so different at soccer, and why Johann Cruyff was so innovative. Great read. Full review.

How Soccer Explains the World

How Soccer Explains The World

Globalization looked at through the eyes of the only global sport. Great conceit. Interesting work. I loved the sections on hooliganism and religion. Full review.

The Islamist

The Islamist

Touching, inspiring, and practical memoir of a young guy who became an Islamist – flirted with violence, then got out. The world is a better place because he wrote this book. Full review.



I had no idea that a simple measurement could have such a huge effect on world history. But it did. Longitude – I will never take you for granted – full review.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Very personal coming of age novella. Full review.

Chasing the Flame

Chasing The Flame

There are some people who make the world go round that you never, ever hear about. Sergio Viera de Mello was one of those people. He was a lifelong super-diplomat with the UN who made change in the world. Inspiring, sad story. Thank you to Samantha Power for writing it. Review.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Short, personal novella about a young man who ends up an Islamist. Good exploration of the attractions, identity, etc of religious+political fundamentalism.

A Portrait of Historic Athens and Clarke County

Portrait of Historic Athens and Clarke County, Georgia

History of my hometown. I’m amazed at how much stuff is/was happening around the world at the same time – and the local historians who keep up with it all. Also, Athens, GA used to be the industrial center of the American South before the War. Full review.

13 Bankers

13 Bankers

Finance has always been messed up and intimately connected with politics. Review.



Well-written, albeit dense, argument that media has moved on from a post-modern phase to a “digimodernist” phase. Complicated, but mind expanding.

The Kazdin Method for Parenting

Kazdin Method For Parenting

Head of Harvard Pediatric on how to raise children. A bit of a sensationalist title. Full book review.

The Lunatic Express

The Lunatic ExpressBook Review

People around the world depend on undependable and dangerous transportation everyday (see this bus). This travel writer tries to experience it all. I will never take my transportation options for granted again.

Then We Came to the End

Then We Came To The End

A real “novel novel” written in 2nd person. Probably impressive as a written work, but wasn’t super entertaining. Full review.

Legacy of Ashes

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

Wow – just shut the CIA down. Amazing read – no conspiracy theories. Only declassified documents. Conspiracy theories might have made the agency look better. Full review.

On the Road

On The Road

Lives up to the fame. But I can totally tell he wrote it in one sitting. Full review.

You Shall Know Our Velocity

You Shall Know Our Velocity

I don’t really remember much from this novel – except general good nostalgia.

God in a Cup

God In A Cup

Must read for any coffee snob. The search and story for the perfect cup of coffee. Review.

Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds

Coffee has shaped the world! I love it, I love it. Full review.

Generation A

Generation A

This novelist just thinks differently than anyone else. But it makes for a good (if bizarre) story. Full review.

The Storm of War

The Storm of War

Just when you think there’s no point whatsoever in another World War II book…this one comes out. Lesson – a World War can happen again. Actually – it will happen again. Full book review.

Made in America

Made In America

Need I say that Bill Bryson is amazing? The best history book you will ever  read. Full review.

At Home

At Home

Do you know how gross beds were until like…the 1950s?! Do you realize just how recent all of you home conveniences are? Bill Bryson looks at the history of the home and how we live. Entertaining and enlightening. I have no idea how humans did anything before the 1950s.  Really.

Continue on to books read in:

2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016Most Recent Full Reviews

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