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106 reviews
540 helpful votes

I'm a sucker for good book recommendations. I'm always looking for them. The trouble is, I don't have a lot of time to read, and there aren't many books I actually like. Five Books offers a remedy of sorts--it tries to find clever people and asks them to recommend books about a subject on which they are meant to be expert.

For example, here's Jeremy Greenstock on diplomacy:

My critique is that the execution thus far is only so-so. They don't have the best people in most subjects (who wants book recommendations from B+ writers or politicians!) and often they don't seem to ask the right questions. For example, economist Tyler Cowen is not asked about his top 5 books on understanding macroeconomics, but rather he is asked for his top 5 books on "information" which seems a bit vague and not to be his real area of expertise.

Overall, neat idea, some good content, but I hope they get better. I need more books to read.

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