More Books

Here are a few books I’ve read since writing Top 10 Most Important Books. My favorites come first.

ISBN: 0805076417
A Death In Brazil

Part travel book and part history book, A Death In Brazil traces back to when the Portuguese landed to the current day leadership of Lula, teaching you about the Brazilian psyche and culture. The author’s floral style and use of imagery is engaging and makes this book hard to put down. It competes with An African In Greenland as the best travel book I’ve read.

ISBN: 0393317552
Guns, Germs, and Steel

Excellent book on the history of humans before 1500 AD. It theorizes that differences in human population are not due to genetics or race but to different environments that affected adoption rates of plant and animal domestication, and technology. It attempts to answer why Europeans dominated the globe instead of more “primitive” societies like the Incas or Australian Aborigines.

ISBN: 0486264645
The Heart Of Darkness

The horror! The horror! Short but very beautifully written.

ISBN: 0805079114

Nemesis is the final book in Chalmers Johnson trilogy about American imperialism (the previous books are Blowback and The Sorrows Of Empire). If you only read one of the three books, it should be this one, which makes the case that militarization will lead to more American aggression; there will be further attacks on America through blowback of our foreign policy; the executive branch will seek increasing power to erode the Constitution; and bankruptcy will be an end result in what the author argues will be good for democracy.

ISBN: 0802142494
The Long Emergency

Kunstler paints a vivid picture of what will happen as the cheap fossil fuel era comes to an end. While it is alarmist in nature with geopolitical commentary on the Middle East I think is off the mark, this book does make you think about it the future and how a magic wave of free-markets and technology won’t save us. Basically, we’re fucked. For a preview of the topics in this book, I highly recommend you read Kunstler’s blog.

ISBN: 0192860925
The Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins makes a convincing argument that evolution selects for genes, not individuals, and that we are all simply robots for gene propagation. A couple of the middle chapters were tough to get through but this book offered a fresh but hopeless view on human life. This is where the concept of memes is first introduced.

ISBN: 1591841666
The Dip

A book by marketing guru Seth Godin, you can kill it in one hour at the bookstore. It had some helpful tips but nothing spectacular.

ISBN: 0060849827
Special Air Service (SAS) Survival Guide

Small pocket guide that I would like to have with me if I find myself away from ATM machines and McDonalds.

ISBN: 1597775029
Sex, Money, and Kiss

This book should be called Money, Money, and Kiss because there is no sex. Gene Simmons will teach you that money is the most important thing in the world (seriously) and how you need to be thinking about it at all times. He details how he monetized the Kiss brand in every way he could think of, like how he tried to make Kiss toilet paper. This book is not very good, but it did have a few gems, such as, “If you are not starving, you are still in the game,” and, “A man is called a catch because he’s trying to get away.” You can probably read this in one sitting at the bookstore.

ISBN: 0156031566
The Places In Between

This is a travel book about a man who makes a foolhardy trip on foot across Afghanistan a couple months after 9/11. I don’t like his writing style and it seemed like he was more concerned about the accomplishment of finishing the trip than doing it for the stated reason of retracing the steps of some ancient Afghan ruler. The highlight of the book is when he witnesses an Afghani wipe his ass with gravel after taking a shit. Not recommended unless you have an interest in the Middle East.


  1. inowpronounceyou August 1, 2007 at 10:57 am

    “Guns Germs and Steel” and “Heart of Darkness” I’ve read, and loved. Some of these others I might have to jump on. You’ve certainly got better taste in lit than in music…(Third Eye Blind…)

  2. Arjewtino August 1, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    I enjoyed the last list you gave us and bought a couple, reading Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman and hopefully reading soon An African in Greenland. Will have to check out A Death in Brazil.

    Are you on

  3. irina August 1, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    oh weird, i’m reading the selfish gene right now. it makes me never want to conform.

  4. abhi August 1, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    You should read Lord Jim after Heart of Darkness. Selfish Gene is excellent, and I really enjoyed Guns Germs and Steal but one must take it with a grain of salt – Diamond isn’t quite as impartial as you’d hope.

  5. tampa August 1, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Can we get back to tits and ass please?

  6. Jewcano August 1, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    When guys like Gene Simmons write books like that, it gives the rest of us Jews a bad name. Jesus, buddy, we know you like money. You came out with Dynasty, for Chrissakes. Now shut up and go home.

  7. Joe T. August 3, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Excellent book choices Roosh.

    Regarding “The Selfish Gene”, I don`t think it offers a hopeless view of human life at all.

    Rather, sociobiologz offers something truly amaying, and hopeful: a wholly non-religious, non-metaphysical argument for altruism.

    Sociobiologically speaking, organisms that don`t display the trait of altruism will be ostracized by the collective, and their genes will be weeded out of the population.

    That`s why the trait of altruism exists in so many animals, and persists in the human gene pool.

    Many ibertarian extremists, and those on the libertarian right, notably people loike “objectivist” philosopher Ayn Rand, have ridiculed altruism, arguing a philosophz of pure self-interest.

    I would counter-argue, from a purely non-religious, non-moralistic point of view, that these people will be the genetic refuse of humanity, destined to be weeded out of the collective for their lack of social skills and lack of a desire to “socialize” themselves and contribute to the commonweal.

    The arguments that “greed is good” and that selfishness (as opposed to altruism) is desireable, are a tragic mistake, and are usually made by losers lacking in social skills, who view themselves as somehow “exceptional”. If only society could be bent to their libertarian, selfish philosophy, they would be successful.

    The contrary is true. The very fact that they lack social skills and don`t want to make sacrifices, help those less fortunate, or give back to society, negates any talents they might have. The sociobiological imperative dictates that the collective will gang up on such losers and marginalize them, so they will never achieve whatever potential they think they have.

    I realize what I`ve said consists largely of generalizations, but they are valid generalizations.

    Sociobiology, to me, is full of hope, because it is the truth upon which everything else about humanity — from one-on-one human social interactions, to the rise and spread (and demise) of human civilizations, is founded.

    Good post, Roosh.

  8. Joe T. August 3, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Sorry for the fucked up typing (mixing up z`s and y`s)… I am in Zurich typing on a German QWERTZ keyboard!!

  9. adrian August 10, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    The Selfish Gene was more of an argument against group selection than against individual selection.

  10. Kyle August 24, 2007 at 5:51 am

    With regards to Kunstler and the rest of the peak oil crowd, I remain highly skeptical until these folks start buying lots of crude oil futures. If the world is about to run out of oil, then you’d be a complete fool not to(unless you objected to gaining wealth on some grounds, but seeing as that wealth could be directed towards any morally just cause you wanted I don’t find that a strong position).

    It costs Kunstler nothing to make these predictions (infact they generate book sales). If he starts putting his money where his mouth is, I’ll lend his opinion a lot more weight.