Gary’s Bookshelf

I have been inspired by Dan Russell’s book dinners at a variety of professional meetings. I often come with a list of 10 or more books that I’ve read recently, yet the format of Dan’s dinners allows me to mention at most two. So I thought I’d create a space where I could share more of the books that I’ve enjoyed. We have estimated that at our peak we owned about 35,000 books, but as we move deeper into our retirement we’ve been pruning our collection. We acquire books to read, now or later, or to reference.

My comments should be read as those of an enthusiastic novice. I mostly read now in areas where I am not an expert. It’s the lifelong fun I’ve had of learning new things, exploring new domains, reading what the “experts” have to say about something I’m interested in. I have to believe that more expert reviewers would have very different things to say. But I write these for people like me, who are eager to learn about things they are interested in, but not professionals. There are other places to find out what the experts have to say about the books that appear here.

I’ve created 14 categories (so far):

There may be other categories that emerge, or I may split some that are getting very large (like History and Biography). I am updating the lists of books in these categories continuously. I am always reading, and there is a huge backlog of things I’ve read earlier that I’ll try to add (though that often takes some element of re-reading to get my head back in them again). I encourage you to check in periodically to see what’s new.

If you have comments or suggestions, please e-mail me at