Megan McArdle has the idea of going to your Amazon history and seeing what the first thing you ordered was.
Apparently, I did not mess around. I ordered:
Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? : Baseball, Cooperstown, and the Politics of Glory by Bill James. This is still the gold standard for HOF discussions and I re-read bits of it frequently.
The Law by Frederic Bastiat. This is one of the books that has guided my political philosophy.
The Tenth Insight : Holding the Vision : Further Adventures of the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. This was a gift for my sister, who is into new-age crap.
The Death of Common Sense : How Law Is Suffocating America by Philip K. Howard. Howard is someone conservatives should pay more attention to. He’s a progressive who believes in government and is incredibly frustrated with the way it is hamstrung by too many rules, too little authority and no accountability. It isn’t often I site a progressive as a big influence, but Howard is.
The Crying of Lot 49 : A Novel (Perennial Fiction Library) by Thomas Pynchon. Read on the advice of my English major girlfriend of the time. Not a bad read.
Lost Rights : The Destruction of American Liberty by James Bovard. Bovard is a radical libertarian even by my standard. But he has credibility on the subject since he has gone after both Democrats and Republicans. A compilation of constitutional abuses that is enraging. This is a big part of the reason I am against the War on Drugs and was instantly suspicious of the excesses in the War on Terror.
Slow Learner : Early Stories by Thomas Pynchon. A gift for said English major girlfriend.
Fear and Loathing : On the Campaign Trail 72 by Hunter S. Thompson. Kind of long but an interesting insight into the ’72 election from a radical liberal.
Looking over that list, I must say that I hit the jackpot on my first Amazon order. Of the five books I ordered for myself, all were good and at least three have been critical to my thinking.