Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Books I read during 2011

These are the 85 books I read during 2011.

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

  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?

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

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

  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?

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

  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

  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.


What do you think?