Peter Zhang

Books

Aug 1, 2021

Black Rednecks

Review Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a stimulating collection of essays on culture and race from Thomas Sowell, a renowned black, conservative intellectual. It traverses topics ranging from redneck...

Jul 29, 2021

Food Rules

Review Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is a pocket-sized manual on effective eating. Here’s the paperback and audiobook. Utility: ★★★★✰ (4/5) Writing: ★★★★✰ (4/5) Quite a useful guide that confirms a...

Jul 26, 2021

The Price We Pay

Review The Price We Pay documents Marty Makary’s perspective working with American healthcare. An established physician famous for working with Atul Gawande on WHO’s surgery checklists, Makary recounts his journey...

Jul 24, 2021

American Sickness

Review In An American Sickness, Elisabeth Rosenthal diagnoses our healthcare system with a serious case of bloated costs and misplaced priorities. A physician-journalist, she provides insightful examples from around the...

Jul 18, 2021

Locked In

Review John Pfaff’s Locked In is a clear-eyed, evidence-based examination of America’s criminal justice system. In contrast to the “Standard Story” (as told by Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow),...

Jul 13, 2021

Fossil Fuels

Review Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case to Fossil Fuels argues that oil, gas, and coal are net contributors to human welfare and should continue to be promoted. The book defends...

Jul 11, 2021

Racecraft

Review Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life is written by Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields, a pair of academics and sisters. Their work traces the development...

Jun 30, 2021

Noise

Review Noise, the new book by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony, and Cass Sunstein, examines the sources and impacts of inconsistent decision making. An insightful and original book, the authors invite...

Jun 21, 2021

The Everything Store

Review Brad Stone’s The Everything Store is a close look at the e-commerce giant Amazon and its founder-CEO, Jeff Bezos. Backed by decades of reporting from its infancy to 2014,...

Jun 16, 2021

Why We Sleep

Review Matthew Walker is a UC Berkeley professor, a sleep researcher, and the author of Why We Sleep. The book catalogs the best research to date on the mechanisms and...

Jun 14, 2021

Universality

Review Todd McGowan’s Universality and Identity Politics has advice for the Left. Today’s theorists are afraid of politics based on universality - it’s seen as homogenizing and emblematic of Nazism...

Jun 7, 2021

10% Happier

Review For years, Dan Harris was a cranky, cutthroat, coke-loving anchor on ABC News. Through a series of fortunate encounters with pop spiritual figures and “Jew-Bu”’s, he discovered and developed...

Jun 4, 2021

On Grand Strategy

Review On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis is a sweeping account of the history of war, a rollercoaster that takes the reader from ancient Persia to World War 2....

May 15, 2021

Halo Effect

Review The Halo Effect is Phil Rosenzweig’s response to decades of vague, ideological management books. He systemically sifts through case studies and past books, showing how they fall pray to...

Apr 12, 2021

Checklist Manifesto

Review Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto reviews the surprising utility of a simple checklist. While his personal background is in medicine, Gawande explores the triumphs of checklists in contexts ranging from...

Apr 9, 2021

Happiness Advantage

Review The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor is a practical guide to positive psychology. He draws on case studies from various settings around the globe to prove a simple point:...

Apr 3, 2021

Sapiens

Review Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari tells the story of the human race. It’s a case study in deep history, drawing on evolutionary biology, psychology, and the social sciences to...

Mar 25, 2021

Misbehaving

Review Richard Thaler’s legendary Misbehaving is personal biography, academic journey, and field survey wrapped into one. He recounts his struggles as a fledging researcher, his partnerships with other great minds,...

Mar 22, 2021

Deep Survival

Review Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzalez explores “Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why” with science and storytelling. While most of the book is in the context of the wilderness, its...

Mar 16, 2021

Perfectly Confident

Review Dan Moore’s Perfectly Confident is a decision-making book that dives into the literature behind confidence. As the title suggests, Moore takes the stance that some confidence is good, but...

Mar 13, 2021

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Review Samir Patel’s site is awesome and happens to be exactly what I was going for when I began my book reviews. I am sad that I have been outdone...

Feb 27, 2021

Influence

Review Robert Cialdini’s Influence is a classic book about marketing and psychology. Cialdini outlines six non-obvious “weapons of influence.” For each, he outlines when it’s used, why it works, and...

Feb 19, 2021

Age of Turbulence

Review Alan Greenspan’s The Age of Turbulence is a three part book. First, he recounts his intellectual journey as a consultant, advisor, and chairman of the Fed. Then, Greenspan lays...

Feb 9, 2021

Behave

Review I’m utterly floored. Robert Sapolsky’s Behave has achieved two firsts among biology textbooks: 1) providing a sweeping, meticulously researched account of human nature, and 2) keeping me thoroughly entertained...

Jan 21, 2021

#BreakIntoVC

Review I just finished Bradley Miles’ #BreakIntoVC. It’s a short, clearly-written book that boils down the essentials of venture capital. The book is sometimes a little disorganized and often moves...

Jan 18, 2021

Why We Dream

Review Alice Robb’s Why We Dream is a well-researched introduction to sleep, dreams, and lucidity. A great mix of personal stories, anecdotes, and research, the book is both entertaining and...

Jan 15, 2021

Cost-Benefit Revolution

Review Don’t let the dry reviews on the back cover deter you (Forbes says: “Clear, well-argued”). Cass Sunstein’s The Cost-Benefit Revolution is an awesome read for anyone interested in public...

Jan 6, 2021

The Subtle Art

Review Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a decent casual read packed with anecdotes about living a happier life. As you probably guessed from the...

Jan 3, 2021

Decision-Making

Introduction Recently, I noticed a common theme running through my reading list: I have an interest in decision-making. The attraction makes sense to me; my first semester of college has...

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