Best books of 2021

I’m not saying it needs to be privatised.

I’m saying there’s a middle way.

We always talk in the U.K. as if the US system and the NHS are the only options but in reality every other big European country works with private providers to manage demand whereas the NHS just rations care based on a central pot.

As much as the NHS is a UK institution, let’s keep this thread focused on best books!


To get us back on track here is another one from me -

The Spy and the Traitor - Ben Mcintyre

One of the best books I’ve read ever, let alone this year, is The traitor and the Spy by Ben Macintyre. I’ve thumbed my way through a fair few of his spy books over the years but The Spy & The Traitor is exceptional. A page turner that leaves you genuinely caring about the main character.

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One of the best books and authors I’ve read:

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

It’s a study of power, corruption and human nature.

The same author is working on a series about Lyndon Johnson and it’s most amazing as well.


Has anyone read a good book about, if not heavily featuring, Thomas Edison? He seems like a interesting man chap, genius but ‘complex’

Nikola Tesla > Thomas Edison.

But to answer your question, no I haven’t :rofl:

Not read them but I have heard people recommend

Check out the samples and see if it’s to your liking. The first one is by the author who did a whole series on Theodore Roosevelt.

(1) You are here to make money. No? Ok maybe at least laugh?

(2) Not a policy book. We talk about climate change, how many of us understand the basic physics of what is being talked about?

(3) This is a must read. It should help you think about the numbers that are thrown around. How much sense do they make? It might make you think a little about news cycles. It might make you think a bit more baselines. It might make you think about your own reactions - if you think that real numbers and facts change many people’s opinions: you might be surprised. It just might make you think. If you are a numbers person don’t be fooled by the fact that it is a layman’s book. The anecdotes are well chosen. Oh and the book is not about Finance - It may make you navigate general news a lot better.

(4) Pandemic. Oh no. How about some fiction about disease control? What does a philosopher do to that topic? He of course delves in to the human condition. A book that a more diligent me should have read years ago. I wish I could read this book in the language it was originally written in - French.

(5) If you are a science sceptic move along. Continuing on the theme of pandemics and you really want to know a tinny weeny bit more about the topic of our times read this book. It may even help you think about that Biotech investment you want to make. Dame Sarah Gilbert and Dr Catherine Green’s book is awesome.

(6) Deficit. Oh my god. Furlough. You are going to pay for it. Your children are going today for it. Your grandchildren are going to pay for it. Really? Well, try reading this book. It may make you think a little bit differently about money. And it is priced sufficiently low that I’d hope it won’t put you into debt.

(7) I decided to re-read this book once again. I enjoy the fact that every rereading makes me rethink what I pretend I know about economics. I can talk about economics over a pint. But one day I might be able to finally talk to my daughter about the economy.

Now I am going to cheat and mention two book’s that I have not read but they are my Christmas reads. I can’t wait

(8) The first one. Well I will just say ETF.

(9) The second one. I am troubled by the green wash I see in thematic ETF’s and the silly things that so many companies are coming out with at the moment. Of course people are trying to capitalise on all this green and social justice stuff to make a Bob or two out of you and me.


Just a reminder that if anyone is using Amazon to order anything, check out the Smile charitable donation option there. Just enter Smile in the search box and will take you to a page where they have some highlighted charities or you can search for one that you may prefer. Not huge amounts but every little helps I guess.
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I love this book and everything else Terry Pratchett wrote!
And it’s a good book about money too. (Among other things :wink:)

Another great book I read about money is by Morgan Housel:

The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness


I’m a fan of Tim Harford’s podcasts More or Less & Cautionary Tales but haven’t read any of his books. I’ve added this to my ‘to read list’ and will correct this oversight. Thanks @bitflip

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Looks a bit complex for me, have you got one with less words?

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@manoadamro I’m not usually a fan of short stories, but one of my favourite reads this year was Abercrombie’s ‘Sharp Ends’ (First Law World #7), which had some cracking stories with characters new and old from the First Law books.


More a work of art I’d say. Gold standard of autobiography. The LBJ stuff is unreal if you are into politics


A late arrival to the discussion - I found Bill Gates top 5

Has anyone these?

A Thousand Brains by Jeff Hawkins

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

Klara and the Sun - by Kazuo Ishiguro

Hamnet - by Maggie O’Farrell

Project Hail Mary - by Andy Weir


I haven’t read any of those. I have ordered another book he recommended, Vaclav Smil’s Numbers Don’t Lie

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One of my favourite novels ever:

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

A classic. Love it

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That looks brilliant, it’s now on my ever growing ‘to read’ list. Thanks @bitflip

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I read that recently. It was a great book!

I’m currently reading some Peter F Hamilton books, starting with Salvation.

I also enjoyed the Extracted series by RR Haywood, and the L4 Drop also by RR Haywood.

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