Table of Contents

  1. The Books
  2. Analysis

The Books

In reading order, the books that I read during 2019 were as follows:

Author Title
Terence Kealey The Economic Laws of Scientific Research
Charles Wheelan Naked Economics
Bryan Caplan The Case Against Education
Marcus Aurelius Meditations
Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon
Michael Malice The New Right
Geoffrey Shaw The Lost Mandate of Heaven
Christopher Dawson The Crisis of Western Education
Cal Newport Digital Minimalism
Hans-Hermann Hoppe A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism
Isaac Asimov I, Robot
James Grant The Forgotten Depression

Analysis

Looking back at the books that I completed this year I came up with the following three ways to analyze them: by genre, by Flesch-Kincaid reading grade, and by google score. This is meant to help me look at my interests over the year, the relative difficulty of the books that I read, and their relative popularity.

Genre

I have been unable to locate a simple and authoritative list of book genres. My amateur attempt at categorization yielded the following six genres. * Economics * Philosophy * Self Help * Science Fiction * Political Non-Fiction * History

Sorting the books into these categories it is clear that economics books were a hit with my reading list for 2019, making up nearly 50% of the total.

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Flesch-Kincaid

Per Wikipedia, the Flesch-Kincaid grade level presents a score as a U.S. grade level to make it easy to judge the readability level of various books and texts.

This grade can be generated in R with the koRpus package function flesch.kincaid. This is easiest to do if you can load the files in as a text file, or PDF (using the pdftools package function pdf_text). The results of running this on 11 of my 12 books (one book is on loan to a friend and inaccessible to me) is as follows.

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Note that these scores may differ from other officially published metrics because I did not run the test on the entire text of each book (transcription efforts would take too long). For files that I could obtain digitally I did not clear out any references or licensing information that may impact the score.

Google Score

To assess the popularity of each book I googled the term "Book title" "Author name" for each of my 2019 books. I recorded the number of hits as of today (2019-12-22). This has clearly indicated that the oldest book (written up to 180AD) is also by far the most popularly referenced on Google search results.

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