2016's Best Books

Books books politics science fiction
Published: Jan 7 2017

According to what I tracked on Good Reads, I finished 20 books is 2017. I feel OK about that. I wish I had a done a bit more “serious” reading, there was a lot of entertainment in there, but it was all fun (at least most of the time) and even in the fluff there were some interesting ideas.


Politics: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt is one of my favorite books of all time and one of the most important books I’ve read. So far I’ve been able to talk at least 3 other people into reading it and they’ve loved it too.

The book is divided up into 3 parts and each part has enough insights that would make the whole book worth reading.

While I do not agree with everything in the book (doubtless this is by design), the book accomplished its main (very excellent and very important) goal of helping me to better understand people with different opinions on the most important subjects of religion, politics and morality. Even more than that, it gave me a better vocabulary for talking about those differences in constructive ways.

The book opens with the following wonderful quote.

| I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them. | -- Baruch Spinoza, Tractatus Politicus, 1676

If that does not make you want to read the book, you are either crazy, evil, stupid or some combination of the 3. (That’s a joke, read the book and you’ll get the joke.)


Science Fiction: Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. These books are a lot of fun. Technically I think these books are considered YA, but there a bit more sophisticated with some bigger ideas then your average YA book (that I’ve read).

Brown brings in lots of fun and interesting ideas to the story, at times he relies on your standard SciFi tropes but the first book came out in 2014 and he wrapped the trilogy up in 2016 and he’s not that old, so considering how much time he had to work on them I’m prepared to cut him a little slack.