2011 Reading List

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

This year was another good year for reading. Audio books helped me burn through novels while working on mind-numbing tasks, and I also found time to enjoy real paper books in a sun-dappled hammock.

Vengeance in Death

A great Roarke-centric episode in the absorbing Eve Dallas mystery series. I liked the balancing act with Summerset as well.
Holiday in Death

Another good addition to the series. J.D. Robb writes so well and really conveys true relationships between people well.

Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World

A great DIY inspiration. Filled with great and not so great stories of not being afraid to tackle projects yourself.

I Am America (And So Can You!)

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

A very good simple book on how to eat healthfully.

Conspiracy in Death

Darkly Dreaming Dexter: A Novel

The first Dexter novel. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, but rather than watch the show, being me, I had to read the book first.

Surface Detail (Culture)

A great Culture book. Very cool big idea and thoroughly enjoyable ship Minds, as usual. Gotta love SC scamps! I love Bank’s predictions of our future and the vast implications they hold. Really cool story. Banks still writes the best Sci-Fi around.

Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family

A good book on personal finance, but not as good as his later one, the Total Money Makeover.

Pattern Recognition

This was a fun read whose main character is super sensitive to upcoming fashion trends, and logo in particular. I love that she is frightened and nauseated everytime she sees the Michelin Man.

I Am Legend

A great novel of the trials of the mind…and vampires. Much better than the movie.

Loyalty in Death

Another great one from Nora Roberts. I love the way her characters interact with one another. And this is the one where two certain characters finally get together after building up the anticipation for two or three books. Very fun.

Witness in Death

What can I say about a series I’ve read 20 + of. I like it. I like the characters, the style, the setting, and her wonderful writing.

The Windup Girl

Pretty cool. Very different take on the future. I’ve read some of his short stories and this was different but not bad. The entire book builds to a great crescendo.

The Invisible Fist: Secret Ninja Methods of Vanishing Without a Trace

This book is hilarious. It gives one or two practical methods of not being seen (throwing sand in your enemies face) but the mystic stuff is a bit much.

Betrayal in Death

Seduction in Death

The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy)

This was a decent fantasy. Assassins are fun but I’m not down with magic as much as I used to be. I think I’ll give book 2 & 3 a miss.

Reunion in Death

Another great Dallas book. What can I say, I love ’em. This delved further into eve’s past. Very good.

Purity in Death

Another good mystery. I really enjoy the characters.

Partisan (Hostile Takeover, No. 2)

I can’t wait for the final chapter of the trilogy!

Portrait in Death

What can I say, another good Eve Dallas book. It’s getting to the point where I look forward more to the character development more than the actual mystery.

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (Vintage Departures)

A gripping account of Russia’s Far East and it’s mysterious tigers. It really focuses on one account of an attack. This tiger was pissed at a hunter. The tiger found his cabin in the taiga, and systematically urinated on and destroyed everything that had the man’s scent on it. Then sat out in front of the cabin and waited three days for this guy to come home. Then GRRRRRRR! After it gets the taste for Man flesh, it eats one or two more people, with one kill only leaving enough remains to fit in a shirt pocket. A great account of a crazy true story.
On the Beach (Vintage International)

A stark story of a post nuclear apocalypse world where only the Southern hemisphere has survived, but the nuclear fallout is slowly spreading southwards. It begs the question, how would you spend the last year of your life knowing it was your last? Would you continue going to your job? Planting a garden that will never grow? Fixing a car that you will never drive, because gas supplies ran out last year? Kind of depressing.

The Snow Empress: A Thriller (Sano Ichiro Novels)

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

I will venture to say that this will be the most fascinating, intriguing, and interesting book you will read this decade; never mind this year. From why we have salt and pepper on the table and not salt and cinnamon, say. Or why your stairs are built at the angle they are. You will find out forgotten tidbits about Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Jefferson, Queen Anne and Victoria.  This book is the best book of near- history (18th – 20th century) I have ever read. Every page is packed with astounding facts that you will be surprised how  many were forgotten until now. I know this is a tired cliche…but, If you read one book this year (which is terrible, last year I read over 60) read “At Home” by Bill Bryson. I just can’t say how cool this book is. That said, about one quarter of it is about architecture in one sense or another. But it’s so fascinating that even if you hate the history of building styles, Bryson’s wit and knack for researching the story behind the story will pull you along. READ THIS BOOK!
Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus Novels)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race

Imitation In Death

Another good Eve Dallas mystery. I’m proud to say that I called this one early on, but it wasn’t easy.

Out of the Dark

Ohhhh, this would have been such a good book except for the Deus ex machina. Almost the whole book is a great account of how Earth would be invaded by an advanced alien species in the near future (2013 ish) I love the fact that the aliens are normally used to conquering civilizations that are barely out of the dark ages, and so vastly underestimate how good we’ve become at blowing each other (and now them) up.  A great disaster tale about survival, preparation, guerrilla warefare, and… then there’s the ending. I may still read a sequel though, cause it was a fun read.

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

The God Engines

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye (v. 1)

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us (v. 2)

When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes

This was a VERY thorough guide on how to prepare for an emergency. He doesn’t specify what (tornado, flood, zombie apocalypse) but he goes through all the steps you need to survive a prolonged disaster when “the grid” goes down and the government fails to respond. It’s a shame he did such a good job cause this was the next book I was going to write.

The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology

This was a stellar collection of zombie short stories. Each one dealt with a slightly different aspect of the genre. Very good.

The Complaints

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

Revolutionary (Hostile Takeover)

This  was a great conclusion to the series. A vast political conspiracy with many intriguing characters.

The Deceivers

Fight Club: A Novel

Redemolished Alfred Bester Reader

Flying by the Seat of Your Pants: Surprising Origins of Everyday Expressions

Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way

Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money

Make Money with Small Income Properties

Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ: Get Smarter with Your Money

Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan (Lost and Found Omnibus)

Essentially a children’s book, this collection is so beautiful you can’t not read it. Shaun’s art is quirky and right up my alley.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

A good simple business book. If you can build 1,000 raving fans, you can take your enterprise wherever you want to go.

Germline (The Subterrene War)

A sweaty, in the trenches look at future warfare where superclones are the norm and envirosuits are necessary for survival in the wastelands of the modern battlefield.

Thuvia, Maid of Mars

The Chessmen of Mars

Manhattan Noir

A great collection of shorts in the best Noir tradition.

Visions in Death

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

The classic tale. My three year old loved it.

Reamde: A Novel

Neal Stephenson does it again. I would say I liked this better than “Anethem”. The whole plot unravels around a MMORPG where a group of hackers take over a users computer and steal their files to hold for ransom. The user then has to go into the game and pay 1,000 in-game gold, ($78) to get their files back. Except… they stole some files from the russian mafia. With great characters, locations, and cool tech, this book builds to a gripping conclusion that doesn’t disappoint.

Aftertime (Luna Books)

A so so zombie book with some interesting takes on what society may become and how a regular mom would go after her missing daughter.

Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1)

One of the best zombie books I have read.

The Starter (Galactic Football League, Volume II)

Deadline (Newsflesh, Book 2)

SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper

Missing in Death (In Death Series)

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