One year ago I decided that my blog was the must useful place to keep my reading list, and that proved to be a good choice. I’ve tried keeping reading lists in the past, but was never consistent in recording. This year, though, I managed to record each book and a couple sentences of synopsis and review. I don’t do much in the way of Top 10 lists, but this seems like one place where I have enough data at hand to make a year-end summary. So here goes.
Total books read: 85.
Total fiction: 68.
Total non-fiction: 17.
Total re-reads: 1.
The one notable series for this year was Harry Potter. I managed to resist the series until this year, but finally decided it was time to give them a try. I was glad I did; they were some very entertaining reads. I started Book 1 on July 11 and finished Book 7 on August 23, and managed to sneak six other books in during that six weeks as well!
A look at my non-fiction stuff betrays my interest in history and science, with a dabbling in music. No real surprises, I guess.
My Top 5 non-fiction reads of the year, in no particular order:
- The Everlasting Man – G. K. Chesterton. This is a classic, took me a while to read, but Chesterton is worth it.
- Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin makes history interesting. Very readable, interesting insights into an amazing man.
- Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior – Dick Couch. I’m a sucker for special forces/military stuff anyway, and this is an excellent look at what the Army Special Forces folks do.
- No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II – Doris Kearns Goodwin. Got started on DKG, read a second book. Good stuff once again.
- A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country – Larry J. Sabato. Some very interesting ideas here, including changing the number of senators/representatives and the lengths of their term, a proposal for a single six-year (extendable to eight-year via national referendum) term for president, and others.
My top 8 fiction reads, again in no particular order (I was going to list 10, but couldn’t find two more that lived up to the standards of these 8):
- Variable Star – Robert Heinlein & Spider Robinson. The title character goes on a “galactic bender”… yeah, and it’s a great story.
- Sun of Suns (Virga, Book 1) – Karl Schroeder. Schroeder manages to create a very believable, imaginative world for his story. I’ve got book 2 sitting in my to-read pile right now. Can’t wait.
- In War Times – Kathleen Ann Goonan. Goonan combines time travel, jazz, and World War II in a way that blows my mind. Easily my favorite non-series book of the year.
- The Children of Húrin – J. R. R. Tolkien. Tolkien does the classic epic better than anyone else.
- Magic Street – Orson Scott Card. Card has a gift for storytelling and imagination. This novel weaves some of the plot and ideas of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a delightful modern fantasy.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) – J. K. Rowling. I promised myself I’d only include one HP book in this list, and it had to be this one. It caps off the series brilliantly.
- Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present – Cory Doctorow. Most of the sci-fi short stories I’ve read up to this point have been older; it’s fun to read something written recently – the current-ness of the technology and ideas makes them even more believable and frightening.
- The Road – Cormac McCarthy. No, I didn’t read this one because Oprah recommended it. Andrew Peterson recommended it, too! 🙂 Chilling, spare, and yet ultimately hopeful.
Apparently I am a sci-fi nerd. It’s not that all I read is sci-fi… I guess those just stick out the most to me.
I’ll start a new list for 2008 once I finish my first book. Gotta see how my reading preferences change from year to year.