Best books of 2021

I read a lot. By a quirk of temperament, I dislike most of what I read. This is why I can’t come up with a top-10 list of books that I read this past year, because I didn’t like that many. But there were five I very much enjoyed. Note that these are not books published in 2021, they are the top five books that I happened to read over the past year:

Tao Jiang, Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China

Amy Olberding, The Wrong of Rudeness

Siep Stuurman, The Invention of Humanity

Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic

Cailin O’Connor, The Origins of Unfairness

Why are these books so great? You’ll have to read them to find out! I just wanted to extend thanks to the authors (or at least those still alive) for having made my year better than it otherwise would have been.


Best books of 2021 — 3 Comments

  1. Dear Dr. Health, I was wondering if you would be reading The Dawn of Everything? You came on my radar after the CBC podcast about scaling up empathy to work on large scales. David Wengrow seems to think this is possible and happened in the past based on his reading of archeology. I’m skeptical to be honest, but interested in reading the book and hearing your take. Thanks! Adam

  2. Joe, post more about what you’re reading. I would enjoy (and I’m sure many would too) reading small critical comment type posts on books you’ve read. If you’re not opening to positing critical comments then even just periodic posts about what you’re reading would be of interest.