Books of the year, 2017

Tyler has given you his list. Mine, in order of quality:

Kevin Laland, Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony.

Richard Bookstaber, The End of Theory.

Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, Capitalism without Capital.

Aaron Ross Powell and Grant Babcock (eds.), Arguments for Liberty.

Tim O’Reilly, What’s the Future?

Note that Tyler and I both came out with books this year. His was The Complacent Class and mine was a new edition of The Three Languages of Politics. I do not think our lists overlap at all, which is unusual. UPDATE: a commenter points out that Tyler and I both recommend Capitalism without Capital.

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3 Responses to Books of the year, 2017

  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony is important but is disappointing in structure and language. To steal from my amazon review:

    This is one of those non-fiction books that really needs to begin like a trial, with an opening statement/opening chapter: “Your honor, I will show that X, Y, and Z are true and that A, B, and C are not …” So you can relate the 300 pages that come later to the 20 page “statement of the case” that comes before.

    There are too many passages like the following, “Particularly in environments that vary from one location to the next, culturally transmitted population-specific diversity among linguistically capable hominins creates the opportunity for the mutualistic exchange of goods” (p. 271). It is perfectly grammatical and it makes sense, but it sure doesn’t read well.

    If only the book had been written as well as Joseph Henrich’s The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter (2016), which covers some of the same ground.

  2. Nate says:

    Is this descending order of quality?

  3. MichaelG says:

    Capitalism without Capital is on both your list and Tylers.

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