Open Thread – January 8th, 2011

By Razib Khan | January 8, 2011 1:35 am

What books are you planning on reading this year? I have The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel in the stack. Also, in case you’re curious:

My Pinboard page:
My Pinboard RSS:

The Pinboard app on my Evo means I’ve started archiving stuff from my phone too. I may start tagging at some point….

MORE ABOUT: Open Thread
  • US

    (I decided to comment primarily because I assumed you would gain information from this list about how the readership distribution looks like – you get a data point, not much but… – not because I thought other readers of this blog would be likely to find any of these books worth their time. That being said…)

    1. Proust, Swann’s Way.
    2. Baron d’Holbach, The System of Nature
    3. Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary
    4. Herodotus, Histories
    5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (comprising his plays and poems)
    6. Various books from Pratchett’s Discworld Series
    7. Aagaard, Excelling at combinational play [chess]
    8. (…more stuff from…) Batsford’s Modern Chess Openings.
    8. Clausewitz, On War
    9. A novel or two by Jane Austen, have yet to decide which.
    10. A book or two on biology-related stuff, most likely one I’m recommended on this blog or elsewhere. Probably a couple of economics-related books too.
    11. Anna Karenina
    12. What I happen to come across along the way.

    Btw, I already love the Brownpundits blog, great work!

  • James Winters

    Looks good. Some of the work I’ll be doing this year will tie in with some of the themes of this book. On a related note: the idea that translation software will allow for an expansion of heterogeneity is considered in a short sci-fi story by one of my former professors, Jim Hurford: Desperanto.

    As for my reading list, I’m afraid it’s very much restricted to linguistic-specific academic texts, although I might make an exception for Mark Changizi’s Harnessed.

  • anisogamy

    Dead Aid, by Dambisa Moyo
    Democracy as Freedom, by Amartya Sen
    Mothers & Others, by Sarah Hrdy
    Fatherhood, by Peter Grey & Peter Ellison
    Written in Stone, by Brian Switek
    Parentonomics, by Joshua Gans

    That should be enough to get me started.

  • Joshua

    1. Crucible of War, by Fred Anderson (monumental take on the Seven Years’ War as the main determinant of the course of North America, post-1700)
    2. Dance of the Photons, by Anton Zeilinger
    3. A New History of Western Philosophy, by Anthony Kenny (Oxford UP)
    4. Travelling Heroes, by Robin Lane Fox (700s BCE contact between Euboean Greeks and Eastern Mediterranean peoples as source of Greek mythos)
    5. What Makes Civilization?, by David Wengrow (Origins of cooking, homemaking, and grooming practices reveal distant connections between different regions, and between our time and prehistory)

    Been a lurker of yours for awhile, Razib, from way back in the earlier days. As a sciences major whose biggest hobby is reading history books, your blog (and Dienekes’) is the first I check in my RSS feed, before any others. Keep up the great work.

  • EcoPhysioMichelle

    I plan to read this Science of Kissing book as soon as I can get my hands on one. My uncle got me a copy of the Mahabharata for xmas but it’s about as heavy as a brick; it’ll probably take me the whole year to finish it. I’m almost finished with Luka and the Fire of Life, but since that’s a kids’ book I’m not sure it counts. 😛

  • Zora

    I’ll read whatever I’m proofreading at Distributed Proofreaders. At the moment that includes Haeckel’s Report on the Radiolaria and Studies in Islamic Mysticism :)

    I’ll probably read another hundred or so books, but I won’t know what they are until I download/borrow/buy them. On my nightstand at the moment: Vandermeer’s Booklife and Morier’s Hajji Baba of Ispahan. Digitizing as a sole effort: Pillars of the House by Charlotte Yonge. What do I *want* but can’t afford? The Quantum Thief by Rajaniemi and Cryoburn by Bujold.

  • gcochran

    1. Karres Venture, James Schmitz

    2. On the Ocean, Pytheas of Massilia

  • Mary

    Evolution for Dummies
    Genetics for Dummies
    reading now: Citizen by Simon Schama
    Europe Between the Oceans by Cunliffe
    Complete Works of Jane Austen
    Wolf Hall by Mantel

  • Tom Bri

    Zora, Cryoburn is now on line for free. Apparently legit too. Don’t know how that happened with a new release, but there it is.

    Scroll down and there is the complete Vorkosigan series, all on line for free.

    Geochran, you got good taste. Schmitz is good.

    For me, not much reading time these days. I did get a copy of Monster Hunter Vengeance from my daughter last week. Good, but not as good as Monster Hunter International, which was great. Too busy writing my own stuff right now to read much.

  • Randall Parker

    Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice. Reading it online. I’ve got it on my Android phone too.

    2011 is the year I’m going to shift as much book reading as possible to online. My problem so far: about 80% of the books I want to read do not have online editions.

  • Wade Nichols

    The books in the Landmark series edited by Robert Strassler:


    I’ve had them on my shelf for a while, and just started Herodotus during Christmas.

  • TGGP

    I was already reading James Scott’s “The Art of Not Being Governed” and Chris Coyne’s “After War” when I requested Lawrence Keeley’s “War Before Civilization”, based on my previous experience of having the library take over a month to transfer “The Rise and Decline of Nations”. But it arrived quicker than I expected and has taken priority. I plan to follow Keeley up with Gat.

  • Tom Bri

    Wade Nichols, all good books. Except I have not read Arrian, so no comment. Xenophon is a favorite.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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