Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reading Log - 2016

December 2016

The books I finished reading in December 2016:

December 2016 Reading: photo by Cliff Hutson
December 2016 Reading: photo by Cliff Hutson

A Year of Books

I read a total of fifty-four books in 2016. This puts me about 35% ahead of David Allen, who was the impetus for my starting to track my reading. My list, in chronological order:

Books Read - 2016
  1. “Go, A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design," Chip Kidd
  2. "Black Cherry Blues," James Lee Burke
  3. "Shock Wave,” John Sandford
  4. “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” Irving Stone
  5. “Dark of the Moon,” John Sandford
  6. “Heat Lighting,” John Sandford
  7. “A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams,” Michael Pollan
  8. “Rough Country,” John Sandford
  9. “Fight Club,” Chuck Palahniuk
  10. “Bad Blood,” John Sandford
  11. “Mad River,” John Sandford
  12. “Storm Front,” John Sandford
  13. “Deadline,” John Sandford
  14. “Faceless Killers,” Henning Mankell
  15. “Caesar, Let the Dice Fly,” Colleen McCullough
  16. “Red Gold,” Alan Furst
  17. “The Rosie Effect,” Graeme Simsion
  18. “After I’m Gone,” Laura Lippman
  19. “On the Beach,” Nevil Shute
  20. “Landfall,” Nevil Shute
  21. ”Sayonara Slam,” Naomi Hirahara
  22. “The Dragons of Eden,” Carl Sagan
  23. “The Postman,” David Brin
  24. "Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats,” Georgia Dunn
  25. “The Little Sister,” Raymond Chandler
  26. “Moscow Rules,” Daniel Silva
  27. "A History of the End of the World,” Jonathan Kirsch
  28. “An American Genocide,” Benjamin Madley
  29. “The Sixth Extinction,” Elizabeth Kolbert
  30. “Cooked,” Michael Pollan
  31. “The Man in the High Castle,” Philip K. Dick
  32. “Personal,” Lee Child
  33. “Make Me,” Lee Child
  34. “In a Sunburned Country,” Bill Bryson
  35. “Hogs Wild,” Ian Frazier
  36. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” Philip K. Dick
  37. “The Mother Tongue,” Bill Bryson
  38. “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” Bill Bryson
  39. “Pied Piper,” Nevil Shute
  40. “The Harvest Gypsies,” John Steinbeck
  41. “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” George V. Higgins
  42. “Ecotopia,” Ernest Callenbach
  43. “The Devil’s Star,” Jo Nesbo
  44. “Biophilia,” Edward O. Wilson
  45. “Hold Tight,” Harlan Coben
  46. “Reversible Errors,” Scott Turow
  47. “Last Train to Istanbul,” Ayse Kulin
  48. "Escape Clause," John Sandford
  49. "The Wrong Side of Goodbye," Michael Connelly
  50. “W is for Wasted,”Sue Grafton
  51. “Heat Wave,” Richard Castle
  52. “Orphan X,” Gregg Hurwitz
  53. "Susie’s Seniors Dogs,” Erin Stanton
  54. "Shop Cats of New York,” Tamar Arslanian
It is fair to say that I am glad that I read all of these, as I have reached a point in my life where I no longer finish a book that I start but then has no appeal for me. However,  not all of them were enjoyable. “An American Genocide”, for example, was very disturbing. But, it opened my eyes to a part of California  history of which I was unaware, and gave me a new perspective in which to frame the work I do in ethnobotany.

Sheer entertainment was found in the Virgil Flowers mysteries by John Sanford. I guess I put the entire series under my belt just this year. Bill Bryson offers both humor and information, so his books were a real treat. (His "A Walk in the Woods" is one of my all-time favorites.)

Picking the best book of this year's lot is a bit problematic, but the nod goes to "Pied Piper" by Nevil Shute. He is probably best known for "On the Beach", which is also on my list. However, I choose "Pied Piper" as I found the story more compelling; and I strongly identified with the protagonist. He and I are the same age, seventy years old. It seems that was considered to be much more ancient in the early days of World War II than it is today. (I like to think that 70 is the new 50, anyway.)

Also near the top was “The Rosie Effect” by Graeme Simsion  However, it was not as good as "The Rosie Project" which tied at number one for me last year.

I am starting 2017 with a pile of eleven books that I intend to get around to reading. The one that has been in it the longest is “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty, which I acquired back in May 2014. This might be the year for it.


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