Paul Graham

Paul Graham

40+ Book Recommendations by Paul Graham

  • A memoir of an English boy growing up on the Greek island of Corfu recounts the author's humorous adventures as he collects all kinds of animals and insects and brings them back to the house, much to his family's dismay.

    @dwlz https://t.co/Wmt9df3RAJ

  • Apollo's Arrow

    Nicholas A. Christakis MD PhD

    A piercing and scientifically grounded look at the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and how it will change the way we live -- "this year's must-must-read." (Daniel Gilbert) Apollo's Arrow offers a riveting account of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as it swept through American society in 2020, and of how the recovery will unfold in the coming years. Drawing on momentous (yet dimly remembered) historical epidemics, contemporary analyses, and cutting-edge research from a range of scientific disciplines, bestselling author, physician, sociologist, and public health expert Nicholas A. Christakis explores what it means to live in a time of plague -- an experience that is paradoxically uncommon to the vast majority of humans who are alive, yet deeply fundamental to our species. Unleashing new divisions in our society as well as opportunities for cooperation, this 21st-century pandemic has upended our lives in ways that will test, but not vanquish, our already frayed collective culture. Featuring new, provocative arguments and vivid examples ranging across medicine, history, sociology, epidemiology, data science, and genetics, Apollo's Arrow envisions what happens when the great force of a deadly germ meets the enduring reality of our evolved social nature.

    I've just been reading Nicholas Christakis's book about the coronavirus, Apollo's Arrow, and it's a rare combination of broad historical panorama and all-too-topical bestseller. There are interesting insights on every page. https://t.co/DueBe1DIjb

  • @shombuddho I bought Halmos's book on your recommendation, and it's fabulous, probably the best book I've read this year. Do you have any other recommendations?

  • Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • * Beautifully illustrated with atmospheric paintings by renowned artists, The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a fascinating treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. * Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as it would have been when first published, the novel is one of the great works of French literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world.* This meticulous edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text and is enhanced with images of classic works of art carefully selected by our team of professional editors.

    Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • Wing Leader

    Johnnie Johnson

    The thrilling story of the top-scoring Allied fighter pilot of the 2nd World War 'Johnnie' Johnson, who served with Fighter Command squadrons throughout the war, scoring his 38th and final victory in September 1944. From the moment the author joins his first operational Spitfire squadron in August 1940, the reader is taken on an epic journey through the great aerial fighter actions of the war. The events in which Johnson participated included the Battle of Britain, sweeps across the Channel and over France, the unsuccessful Allied raid on Dieppe, the D-Day landings in Normand and finally operations across the Rhine and into the heart of Germany itself which led to the final victory over the Nazi regime.

    Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • Between 58 and 50BC Caesar conquered most of the area now covered by France, Belgium and Switzerland, and twice invaded Britain. This is the record of his campaigns. Caesar's narrative offers insights into his military strategy & paints a fascinating picture of his encounters with the inhabitant of Gaul and Britain, as well as offering lively portraits of a number of key characters such as the rebel leaders and Gallic chieftains. This can also be read as a piece of political propaganda, as Caesar sets down his version of events for the Roman public, knowing that he faces civil war on his return to Rome.

    Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • In The Persian Expedition, Xenophon, a young Athenian noble who sought his destiny abroad, provides an enthralling eyewitness account of the attempt by a Greek mercenary army � the Ten Thousand � to help Prince Cyrus overthrow his brother and take the Persian throne. When the Greeks were then betrayed by their Persian employers, they were forced to march home through hundreds of miles of difficult terrain � adrift in a hostile country and under constant attack from the unforgiving Persians and warlike tribes. In this outstanding description of endurance and individual bravery, Xenophon, one of those chosen to lead the retreating army, provides a vivid narrative of the campaign and its aftermath, and his account remains one of the best pictures we have of Greeks confronting a �barbarian� world.

    Some of my favorite autobiographical works: Ben Franklin's Autobiography Trollope's Autobiography Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology Durrell's My Family and Other Animals Johnson's Wing Leader Rousseau's Confessions Caesar's Conquest of Gaul Xenophon's Persian Expedition

  • A biography of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The book gives a detailed account of his upbringing in India, his mathematical achievements, and his mathematical collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy. The book also reviews the life of Hardy and the academic culture of Cambridge University during the early twentieth century.

    @SamGichuru The book is even more amazing. One of the best I've ever read.

  • Founders at Work

    Jessica Livingston

    Now available in paperback—with a new preface and interview with Jessica Livingston about Y Combinator! Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now. What was it like when they were just a couple friends with an idea? Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company. Where did they get the ideas that made them rich? How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover? Nearly all technical people have thought of one day starting or working for a startup. For them, this book is the closest you can come to being a fly on the wall at a successful startup, to learn how it's done. But ultimately these interviews are required reading for anyone who wants to understand business, because startups are business reduced to its essence. The reason their founders become rich is that startups do what businesses do—create value—more intensively than almost any other part of the economy. How? What are the secrets that make successful startups so insanely productive? Read this book, and let the founders themselves tell you.

    @ertzeus7bt https://t.co/CEMictjNnb

  • The Quest for El Cid

    Richard Fletcher

    Rodrigo Díaz, the legendary warrior-knight of eleventh-century Castile known as El Cid, is still honored in Spain as a national hero for liberating the fatherland from the occupying Moors. Yet, as this book reveals, there are many contradictions between eleventh-century reality and the mythology that developed later. By placing El Cid in a fresh, historical context, Fletcher shows us an adventurous soldier of fortune who was of a type, one of a number of "cids," or "bosses," who flourished in eleventh-century Spain. But the El Cid of legend--the national hero--was unique in stature even in his lifetime. Before his death El Cid was already celebrated in a poem; posthumously he was immortalized in the great epic Poema de Mío Cid. When he died in Valencia in 1099, he was ruler of an independent principality he had carved for himself in Eastern Spain. Rather than the zealous Christian leader many believe him to have been, Rodrigo emerges in Fletcher's study as a mercenary equally at home in the feudal kingdoms of northern Spain and the exotic Moorish lands of the south, selling his martial skills to Christian and Muslim alike. Indeed, his very title derives from the Arabic word sayyid, meaning 'lord' or 'master.' And as there was little if any sense of Spanish nationhood in the eleventh century, he can hardly be credited for uniting a medieval Spanish nation. This ground-breaking inquiry into the life and times of El Cid disentangles fact from myth to create a striking portrait of an extraordinary man, clearly showing how and why legend transformed him into something he was not during his lifetime.--From publisher description.

    The best books are ones that are ostensibly about narrow topics, but which expand in the writing. Whereas general surveys tend to be boring. E.g. Fletcher's Quest for El Cid. https://t.co/KVs7C1RNyF

  • Hard Drive

    James Wallace

    Chronicles the career of "Chairman Bill" Gates, the computer whiz kid who commands the powerful Microsoft computer software empire.

    @ribas_artur @LauraHuangLA I know of no other collections of interviews with founders. The closest you can get is probably books about specific startups. Hard Drive, about Microsoft, is good.

  • Founders at Work

    Jessica Livingston

    Now available in paperback—with a new preface and interview with Jessica Livingston about Y Combinator! Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now. What was it like when they were just a couple friends with an idea? Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company. Where did they get the ideas that made them rich? How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover? Nearly all technical people have thought of one day starting or working for a startup. For them, this book is the closest you can come to being a fly on the wall at a successful startup, to learn how it's done. But ultimately these interviews are required reading for anyone who wants to understand business, because startups are business reduced to its essence. The reason their founders become rich is that startups do what businesses do—create value—more intensively than almost any other part of the economy. How? What are the secrets that make successful startups so insanely productive? Read this book, and let the founders themselves tell you.

    @LauraHuangLA I recommend this one, although for people interested in starting startups, my recommendation would be not to go to business school. https://t.co/shzEWlNiHz

  • Born Red

    Gao Yuan

    Book recommendation: https://t.co/XuFuv47YI5

  • Small Wonder

    Walter Henry Nelson

    Chronicles the history of the popular German automobile the Volkswagen Beetle up to 1970, including its origins, its favor in the Nazi party, and the involvement of Britain and the U.S. in its production and marketing.

    @Suhail https://t.co/hKhafGvAAF

  • One of the principal resources for study of Italian Renaissance art and artists, Vasari's Lives offers colorful, detailed portraits of the era's most representative figures. This single-volume edition spotlights 8 prominent artists.

    @ShriramKMurthi I recommend Vasari's Lives.

  • The only complete edition.

    @Austen https://t.co/sPgGsyGIz8

  • The Country Wife

    William Wycherley

    The resourceful hero of The Country Wife is Horner, the scourge of stupid husbands and the hope of unhappy wives. Through a single simple ruse Horner helps one woman after another settle accounts with a foolish spouse. Margery, the country wife, upsets his plans when she learns the manners of the city and begins to apply them herself. The Regents Restoration Drama text is based on the first edition of 1675, the last edition to enjoy Wycherley’s attention. By the time the second edition appeared he was in prison for debt, having enjoyed too much of his success at the royal court.

    Reading Wycherley's "The Country Wife." I don't think you could get away with writing that play now. Strange to think we're more conservative in 2019 than people were in 1675.

  • The Launch Pad

    Randall Stross

    If you're interested in the history of YC, I think this book is good. (I say "I think" because I haven't read all of it, but the bits I've read seem pretty good.) https://t.co/ruQiKb32uZ

  • The Launch Pad

    Randall Stross

    @iamslick @pranavsinghvi @Airbnb @stripe https://t.co/ruQiKb32uZ

  • A one-armed computer technician, a radical blonde bombshell, an aging academic, and a sentient all-knowing computer lead the lunar population in a revolution against Earth's colonial rule

    @michael_nielsen @rivatez I've been thinking about this, and it was probably The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which made me want to work on AI, which led to Lisp.

  • Everything around us is turning into computers. Typewriters, phones, cars, letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls "an intellectual Wild West."

    @BrianMKeenan https://t.co/9w86qTlREI

  • The Roman leader's memoirs recount his campaigns against the Gallic tribes conducted between 58 and 50 B.C

    @nathanbraun I knew people would ask that, and the problem is that it would take an essay to answer. An essay I will definitely write. Meanwhile: My Family and Other Animals, The Conquest of Gaul, Franklin's autobiography.

  • A memoir of an English boy growing up on the Greek island of Corfu recounts the author's humorous adventures as he collects all kinds of animals and insects and brings them back to the house, much to his family's dismay.

    @nathanbraun I knew people would ask that, and the problem is that it would take an essay to answer. An essay I will definitely write. Meanwhile: My Family and Other Animals, The Conquest of Gaul, Franklin's autobiography.

  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs. Although it had a torturous publication history after Franklin's death, this work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of autobiography ever written.

    @nathanbraun I knew people would ask that, and the problem is that it would take an essay to answer. An essay I will definitely write. Meanwhile: My Family and Other Animals, The Conquest of Gaul, Franklin's autobiography.

  • Barbarian Days

    William Finnegan

    Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses -- off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves.

    If you read books, read William Finnegan's Barbarian Days. It's one of those rare books that divide your life into two parts: before you read it, and after. https://t.co/BTODaei5hr

  • Barbarian Days

    William Finnegan

    Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses -- off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves.

    William Finnegan's _Barbarian Days_ is so good that I find myself looking forward to getting home so I can read more of it. https://t.co/BTODaei5hr

  • When John McPhee met Bill Bradley, both were at the beginning of their careers. A Sense of Where You Are, McPhee's first book, is about Bradley when he was the best basketball player Princeton had ever seen. McPhee delineates for the reader the training and techniques that made Bradley the extraordinary athlete he was, and this part of the book is a blueprint of superlative basketball. But athletic prowess alone would not explain Bradley's magnetism, which is in the quality of the man himself—his self-discipline, his rationality, and his sense of responsibility. Here is a portrait of Bradley as he was in college, before his time with the New York Knicks and his election to the U.S. Senate—a story that suggests the abundant beginnings of his professional careers in sport and politics.

    @Austen A Sense of Where You Are.

  • A Mind at Play

    Jimmy Soni

    Chronicles the life and times of the lesser-known Information Age intellect, revealing how his discoveries and innovations set the stage for the digital era, influencing the work of such collaborators and rivals as Alan Turing, John von Neumann and Vannevar Bush.

    @Grady_Booch This looks promising https://t.co/O6sPmsmDmy

  • Everything around us is turning into computers. Typewriters, phones, cars, letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls "an intellectual Wild West."

    @synopsi https://t.co/I5WQ5uK8bh

  • Bibliography.

    @mikebala @mckaywrigley Bartlett's Making of Europe, White's Medieval Technology and Social Change, Fletcher's Quest for El Cid to start with.

  • Offering the depth and breadth of the larger edition, a concise, beautifully illustrated, conveniently sized edition combines intellectual, economic, cultural, and political history in a volume that is international in scope and ranges from prehistory to the present.

    @randallb You could try reading e.g. Roberts's History of the World, but these broad surveys inevitably feel like textbooks. IMO it's better to take a bunch of "core samples" on individual topics. https://t.co/4OHp4rEk0z

  • A Prefect's Uncle

    P. G. Wodehouse

    Long before British humor master P.G. Wodehouse created the popular novel series based on the much-beloved character Jeeves, he sent up his native country's private school culture in A Prefect's Uncle. When the mischievous prankster Farnie arrives on campus of tony Beckford College and his shocking true identity is revealed, much hilarity ensues.

    @hschhaya The MCC match in A Prefect's Uncle.

  • Based on the author's Slade lectures given at Oxford University in 1975-76.

    @mckaywrigley White's Medieval Technology and Social Change, Fletcher's Moorish Spain, Johnson's Wing Leader, Girouard's Life in the English Country House, Liddell Hart's The German Generals Talk.

  • The German Generals who survived Hitler's Reich talk over World War II with Capt. Liddell Hart, noted British miltary strategist and writer. They speak as professional soldiers to a man they know and respect. For the first time, answers are revealed to many questions raised during the war. Was Hitler the genius of strategy he seemed to be at first? Why did his Generals never overthrow him? Why did Hitler allow the Dunkirk evacuation? Current interest, of course, focuses on the German Generals' opinion of the Red Army as a fighting force. What did the Russians look like from the German side? How did we look? And what are the advantages and disadvantages under which dictator-controlled armies fight? In vivid, non-technical language, Capt. Liddell Hart reports these interviews and evaluates the vital military lessons of World War II.

    @mckaywrigley White's Medieval Technology and Social Change, Fletcher's Moorish Spain, Johnson's Wing Leader, Girouard's Life in the English Country House, Liddell Hart's The German Generals Talk.

  • Moorish Spain

    Richard Fletcher

    Tells the story of a vital period in Spanish history which transformed the culture and society, not only of Spain, but of the rest of Europe as well.

    @mckaywrigley White's Medieval Technology and Social Change, Fletcher's Moorish Spain, Johnson's Wing Leader, Girouard's Life in the English Country House, Liddell Hart's The German Generals Talk.

  • Wing Leader

    Johnnie Johnson

    The thrilling story of the top scoring Allied fighter pilot of World War II 'Johnnie' Johnson, who served with Fighter Command squadrons throughout the war, scoring his 38th and final victory in September 1944. From the moment the author joins his first operational Spitfire squadron in August 1940, the reader is taken on an epic journey through the great aerial fighter actions of the war including the Battle of Britain, sweeps across the Channel and over France, Dieppe and Normandy; and finally, operations across the Rhine and into Germany itself.

    @mckaywrigley White's Medieval Technology and Social Change, Fletcher's Moorish Spain, Johnson's Wing Leader, Girouard's Life in the English Country House, Liddell Hart's The German Generals Talk.

  • Apart from naturalist Gerald Durrell (the youngest) and Larry (Lawrence Durrell, the novelist), the family of Gerald comprised their widowed mother, the gun-mad Leslie, and diet-obsessed sister Margo together with Roger the dog. This title offers an autobiographical account of five years in the childhood of Gerald.

    @devonzuegel My Family and Other Animals. (I was disappointed. Most of his other books aren't about his family, and I didn't like those as much.)

  • In his volume of critical essays The Government of the Tongue, Seamus Heaney scrutinizes the poetry of many masterful poets. Throughout the collection, Heaney's gifts as a wise and genial reader are exercised with characteristic exactness, and we are reminded, above all, of the essentially gratifying nature of poetry itself.

    Correction: Government of the Tongue. The author's name doesn't appear in the book, but according to the Internet he was Richard Allestree (https://t.co/3J5OkcmABJ).

  • The Hobbit

    J.R.R. Tolkien

    This lavish gift edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic features cover art, illustrations, and watercolor paintings by the artist Alan Lee. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. Written for J.R.R. Tolkien's own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.

    @bsdphk We've already read The Hobbit twice.

  • Guns, Sails and Empires

    Carlo M. Cipolla

    Guns, Sails and Empires is that rarity among works of history: a short book with a simple, powerful thesis that the entire book is devoted to proving. Carlo Cipolla begins with the question, "Why, after the end of the fifteenth century were the Europeans able not only to force their way through to the distant Spice Islands but also to gain control of all the major sea-routes and to establish overseas empires?" (19) He quickly dismisses motive as a causal factor: motive to circumvent the "Moslem blockade" had existed in earlier centuries as well, but motive without means is empty. Cipolla identifies two developments that provided the means for Europeans to finally succeed beyond their wildest dreams: ships seaworthy enough to reach distant seas; and powerful cannon that could be carried by these ships.

    @mattknox @starsandrobots I suspect if you'd read Guns, Sails, and Empires and Plagues and Peoples, little in Guns, Germs, and Steel would surprise you.

  • Plagues and Peoples

    William McNeill

    Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history as seen through the extraordinary impact--political, demographic, ecological, and psychological--of disease on cultures. From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, the history of disease is the history of humankind. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter has been added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his new introduction to this updated editon. Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening. "A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement" (Kirkus Reviews), it is essential reading, offering a new perspective on human history.

    @mattknox @starsandrobots I suspect if you'd read Guns, Sails, and Empires and Plagues and Peoples, little in Guns, Germs, and Steel would surprise you.

  • "Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

    @mattknox @starsandrobots I suspect if you'd read Guns, Sails, and Empires and Plagues and Peoples, little in Guns, Germs, and Steel would surprise you.

  • The Spectator

    Joseph Addison

    @dillchen Yesterday I read (bits of) The Spectator, The Hobbit, an anonymous chronicle of the Third Crusade, and a Wodehouse story.

  • The Hobbit

    J.R.R. Tolkien

    This lavish gift edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic features cover art, illustrations, and watercolor paintings by the artist Alan Lee. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. Written for J.R.R. Tolkien's own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.

    @dillchen Yesterday I read (bits of) The Spectator, The Hobbit, an anonymous chronicle of the Third Crusade, and a Wodehouse story.