Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Books I read during 2011

These are the 85 books I read during 2011.

Ratings:
**** Highly recommended
*** Recommended
** Meh
* Don't bother


85. Graceling, Kristin Cashore ****

84. Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order), Aaron Allston **

83. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Steven Pinker ****

82. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick ****

81. The Walking Dead, Vol. 13: Too Far Gone, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

80. The Walking Dead, Vol. 12: Life among Them, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

79. The Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear The Hunters, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

78. The Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We Become, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

77. The Walking Dead, Vol. 9: Here We Remain, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

76. The Walking Dead, Vol. 8: Made to Suffer, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

75. The Walking Dead, Vol. 7: The Calm Before, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

74. The Walking Dead, Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

73. The Walking Dead, Vol. 5: The Best Defense, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

72. The Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories, Rudyard Kipling ***

71. Bossypants, Tina Fey ***

70. The Walking Dead, Vol. 4: The Heart's Desire, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

69. The Walking Dead, Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

68. The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

67. The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye, Robert Kirkman, et al. ****

66. The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle ****

65. Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet, John Bradshaw ****

64. Life Itself: A Memoir, Roger Ebert ****

63. 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, Kostya Kennedy **

62. Contagious, Scott Sigler ****

61. Infected, Scott Sigler ****

60. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand ****

59. The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman ****

58. The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman ****

57. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman ****

56. Coming of Age in Mississippi, Anne Moody ****

55. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins ***

54. The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard ***

53. Slugging It Out in Japan: An American Major Leaguer in the Tokyo Outfield, Warren Cromartie with Robert Whiting ***

52. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens ****

51. A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin ****

50. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins ***

49. A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin ***

48. The Samurai Way of Baseball: The Impact of Ichiro and the New Wave from Japan, Robert Whiting ***

47. A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin ****

46. The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, Hannah Nordhaus ***

45. The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, Seth Mnookin ***

44. A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan ****

43. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald, et al. ***

42. SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper, Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin ***

41. A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition, Ernest Hemingway ****

40. The Wolfling, Sterling North ****

39. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins ***

38. The Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly ***

37. Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, Marcus Luttrell ***

36. A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin ****

35. A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin ****

34. Life, Keith Richards ****

33. The Help, Kathryn Stockett ****

32. An Exclusive Love, Johanna Adorján ****

31. Comeback, Richard Stark ****

30. Firebreak, Richard Stark ****

29. Lemons Never Lie, Richard Stark ***

28. All Things Wise and Wonderful, James Herriot ***

27. God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible, Adam Nicolson ***

26. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson ****

25. The Science of Battlestar Galactica, Patrick Di Justo and Kevin Grazier ***

24. The Memory Chalet, Tony Judt, ****

23. Flashfire, Richard Stark ****

22. Backflash, Richard Stark ***

21. True Grit, Charles Portis ****

20. The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean ****

19. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, Alexandra Horowitz ***

18. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas ****

17. The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us, Sheril Kirshenbaum ***

16. Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, Mark Twain ****

15. My Life As a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft, Bonnie Nardi **

14. Joan Jett, Todd Oldham *** (review)

13. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott ****

12. Blindsided: Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear, Jim Cole with Tim Vandehey **

11. Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart ****

10. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Atul Gawande ***

9. The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, Thomas Larson ***

8. Moon Knight, Vol. 1: The Bottom, Charlie Huston ***

7. The Elephant to Hollywood, Michael Caine ***

6. Sleepless, Charlie Huston ***

5. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann ****

4. My Dog Tulip, J. R. Ackerley ****

3. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, Chelsea Handler ***

2. The Natural History of Unicorns, Chris Lavers ***

1. Children of Dune, Frank Herbert ****

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12 comments:

  1. The only one of those I have read is True Grit, but I read westerns almost exclusively.

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  2. I haven't read many westerns since I read my dad's old Zane Grey books when I was a kid. Do you have any recommendations?

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  3. I've read quite a few of these, Chris. I even got into a nice email conversation a while back with Charles Mann after writing a review of 1491. True Grit and Life are on my list this year. Thanks for posting them.

    I really like keeping track on Goodreads. If you're ever looking for recommendations, I have a bunch there.

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  4. Not sure how much I buy Mann's description of the extent to which Native Americans modified their environments, but it's a fascinating idea and there's tons of other good stuff in there. What really struck me from an ex-Mormon POV is how utterly irrelevant the Book of Mormon is to any discussion of actual pre-Columbian history.

    True Grit is wonderful, and Life is quite entertaining. It doesn't have the depth of insight you find in a truly great biography, but I feel like I know a lot more now about drugs, guitar playing, and the Stones.

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  5. Living on the Mississippi, I found his descriptions of the sheer numbers of people living along the nation's largest waterway prior to 1491 to be staggering. I asked him how true that section was and he pointed me to published papers, however he was interested in a particular conclusion and selected studies and theories that maximized the result. It's still fascinating to consider.

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  6. Yeah, I also noticed he tended to do that. But as you say, the ideas are fascinating.

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  7. You're 5 books ahead of me this year. A Movable Feast is one of my favorites.

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  8. I really enjoyed A Moveable Feast. It was interesting to read about all those people on Wikipedia for background while doing it.

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  9. I think you had to read James Herriott to balance the universe with Chelsea Handler.

    And, now will you read Charles Mann's 1493?

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  10. Thanks for reminding me! 1493 is now in my library queue.

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  11. Impressive reading list! Is 85 books/year about normal for you? I'd be happy with 30, though I fell quite short last year.

    Thanks a bunch for marking which ones you recommend, too. Think I'll go look for the Larson book on Sam Barber now... that' up my alley! ;oD

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Smorg,

    I've been keeping track for five years, and I've gone 86, 102, 123, 108, and now 85, so it's actually a bit of a drop off from the past three years. I attribute it mainly to getting Netflix Instant; instead of relaxing with genre fiction, I streamed movies and TV shows.

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What do you think?