I thought that I would keep a list of books that I have read each
month. This is for my own benefit since I have no idea as to the
quantity and quality of what I read. It's amazing how many books
one can listen to in this manner! I carry a backpack of books that I
am currently reading, and my car has books scattered everywhere. I'm
afraid that I have always been like this--reading constantly and
voraciously. I think, perhaps, it is a type of escapism? The
dates for the books below represent the times that I finished a book.
BOOKS CURRENTLY BEING READ:
Mere Christianity, 1952, C.S.
Virtual Light, 1993, William
Gibson (Part 1 of the Bridge Trilogy).
The Jungle, Sinclair
The Norwitch Horror
The Vampire Armand
Darwin, the Life of a Tormented
The Old Curiosity Shop,
April 15--April 30, 2006
Christ the Lord: Out of
Egypt, 2005, Anne Rice
The Vampire Lestat,
1988, Anne Rice. (Reread for the umpteenth time)
The Queen of the Damned,
1988, Anne Rice. (Reread for the umpteenth time)
The Godfather Returns,
2004 Mark Winegarden.
The Universe in a Nutshell,
May 1--May 15, 2006
The Theory of Everything, 2002.
Stephen Hawking. ) (May 1)
Taltos, 1988. Stephen
Brust. (May 2)
Cryptonomicon, 1999. Neal
The Darwin Conspiracy by
John Darnton, 2005, 309 pages
May 16-May 31, 2006
Quick Silver: The Baroque Cycle
#1, 2003, Neal Stephenson, 456 pages. (May 22)
Mona Lisa Overdrive, 1986,
William Gibson. (May 26)
Count Zero, William
DNA: the secret of life,
June 1-June 15, 2006
Diamond Age, Neal
Stephenson (June 3)
Strange Itineraries, 2005, Tim
powers, 206 pp. (June 2)
All Tomorrow's Parties,
1999, William Gibson. 339 pp.--Part 3 of the Bridge Trilogy (June 4)
Shakespeare: The Biography,
Peter Ackroyd (June 13).
June 15-June 30, 2006
Charles Darwin: The Power of
Place, 2002, Janet Brown. (June 27)
A Briefer History of Time.
Pattern Recognition, 2003.
William Gibson. 367 pp.
The Confusion: Book II of the
Baroque Cycle. Neal Stephenson.
The Artificial Kid, 1980. Bruce
July 1-July 15, 2006
The Path of Daggers (The
Wheel of Time, Part 8), Robert Jordan. (July 1)
The Sun Also Rises, 1926.
Ernest Hemingway (For the umpteenth time, July 8)
The Tokaido Road: A Novel
of Feudal Japan, 1991, Lucia St. Clair Robson (second time; July 10)
July 16-31, 2006 (I was on vacation from July 16-August 11 and have been
very busy upon my return so my reading has been cut back during this time.)
The Fallible Fiend
(1973?). L. Sprague de Camp
Harry Potter and the Twice
Harry Potter and the
Prisoner of Azkaban (second or third time)
August 1-15, 2006
Harry Potter and the Order
of the Phoenix (second or third time)
Genghis Khan: the Conqueror
of the World. Charles Lamb
August 16-31, 2006
Harry Potter and the Goblet
of Fire (second time, August 28)
September 1-15, 2006
591 pp. I finally, reluctantly finished this book, despite my
efforts to not devour it in one gulp! Did you ever read a book by an
author whom you admired very much, and the book was so good that you
stretched the experience out so that the enjoyment wouldn't be over with
so fast? This is one of those.
Blood and Gold. 2001, Anne
Rice, 554 pp. (third time, 10Sep) I reread her books all the
The Worthing Saga.1978. Orson
Scott Card, 463 pp. (third time, 10Sep) Another one of my favorite
September 16-30, 2006
A Short History of
Nearly Everything. 2004.
This is a surprisingly good book about the history of many of the great
ideas in science by an amateur. Everything he said seemed right on
the mark, and was very informative even in those areas which I am
familiar. His style is humorous and down to earth. Very good!
The Great Book of Amber
by Roger Zelazny. This is actually a compendium of TEN books
which I read almost constantly. I finished it again for the
umpteenth time the other day. It's always there to pick up in an odd
moment and it remains as one of my most favorite works in the SF genre.
See here for my page
on this magnificent work of fantasy.
This has been a disappointing two weeks as far as books go. I picked
up, half read and then abandoned several books--some very good and some
Breasts Wide Hips by Mo Yan falls very definitely into the former
category. I read half of it before it was due at the library and liked
it very much. It dealt with a family in China during the turbulent
days of WWII and afterwards. Perhaps I shall finish it some day. :)
October 1-15, 2006
Shadow of the Hegemon, 2000,
Orson Scott Card, 451 pages.
The Mummy Case, Elizabeth Peters. I shall very definitely read
more of Ms. Peter's mysteries dealing with archaeology, humor and mystery.
October 16-31, 2006
Murder on the Leviathan, Boris Akunin. Finished October 19
A great mystery story that made me mad at the end--the villain wasn't
A Fire Upon the Deep, 1992, Vinge, Vernor. 613 pp. Finished
October 19. Do you like the more traditional science fiction that
deals with great galactic civilizations, alien species, and an impending
catastrophe that could affect the entire galaxy? I simply had to limit
myself in reading this. It was one of those rare books that I want to
devour at one sitting. It didn't strike me this way at the begining,
but it grew and grew until it was absolutely riveting! Great
excitement, pathos, marvels...wow! Read it!
Something Rotten, 2004, Jasper Fforde. This
novel was almost
not read by me! You know the typical English humor? Sometimes it
can be a bit much, and just when I was about to stop reading it, it caught
my interest and I couldn't stop. In fact I plan on reading the rest of
the Thursday Next
Series by this author! Check it out, it's great fun! Finished on
November 1-15, 2006
Hunting Badger. New York: Harper, 1999, Tony Hillerman.
You HAVE read Tony Hillerman
haven't you? If you haven't, then I'm jealous because there is a
wealth of riveting books just waiting for you. Get to know Joe
Leaphorn and Jim Chee. I have read this before, but it was just as
good the second time around. Finished November 3.
The Sinister Pig. New York: Harper, 2005. 318 pp. Tony Hillerman. Listen to
A mysterious murder,
dope, and Officer Bernadette Manulito has transferred to
the Border Patrol. Will Sergeant Jim Chee and her ever solve their
I have read this before. (finished 8Novermber2006)
Jazz: A History of
America's Music, 2000, Jeffrey C.Ward and Ken Burns. 512 pp. (Finished
History of E=mc2
Nine Princes in Amber 1970. Roger Zelazny.
The Guns of Avalon 1972. Roger Zelazny.
The Silk Road, Jeanne Larsen, Henry Holt and Co.,1989.
December 1-15, 2006
The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How
Collective Wisdom Shapes Businesses, Economics, Societies and Nations.
James Surowiechi, 2004.
Falkenberg's Legions, Jerry Pournelle, 1990.
Prince of Mercenaries, Jerry Pournelle, 1980
Go Tell the Spartans, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling, 1991.
Prince of Sparta, Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling, 1993.
Sign of the Unicorn, 1975. Roger Zelazny
December 16-31, 2006
The Turkish Gambit, Boris Akunin, 1998 (Dec. 19, 2006)
Isaac Asimov's I-Bots: Time Was. Steve Perry and Gary A. Braunbeck,
The Hand of Oberon 1976. Roger Zelazny
The Courts of Chaos 1978. Roger Zelazny
Skeleton Man, 2004, Tony Hillerman.
(Dec. 26, 2006).
The Da Vinci
Code, Dan Brown, 2003.
January 1-15, 2007
Robert Heinlein, 1959. I have read this several times before beginning
right after it was published. Among some circles is "politically
correct" to attack this book and Heinlein in general. Makes me
The Song of Troy, Colleen McCullough, Orion, 1999. I really
like this author, especially her books on Rome. One of the best ways
to learn history is to get your interest whetted by a good historical novel
written by somebody who is accurate with the known facts. Whereas this
novel about the events in The Iliad isn't based upon historical facts per
se, it does offer insight into the historical Troy and its war with
the Achaean Greeks, giving the motive not as retribution for the kidnapping
of Helen but as the much more believable motive of economics and trade.
After reading this really delightful book, I was also much better able to
keep all those names straight! The characters of The Iliad form the
basis of other myths and dramas offering insight into the Greek psyche, and
I am glad to be able now to sort them out in my mind. (finished Jan. 10)
January 15-31, 2007
Devil. Anne Rice, 1995, 434 pp. Of course I've
read this several times before. This is one of the most interesting of
Rice's vampire books. Now that she has come back to her Catholic
upbringing, I wonder how she views this book which aroused quite a bit of
controversy. (finished Jan19, 2007)
Mao: The Unknown Story by
Jon Halliday 2005, Knopf, 832 pp. Mao was a beast, much worse than
the other more vilified villains of the twentieth century such as Stalin
Some Things You'll
Learn from Mao: The Unknown Story
1. Mao became a Communist at the age of 27 for
purely pragmatic reasons: a job and income from the Russians.
2. Far from organizing the Long March in 1934, Mao was nearly
left behind by his colleagues who could not stand him and had tried to
oust him several times. The aim of the March was to link up with
Russia to get arms. The Reds survived the March because Chiang
Kai-shek let them, in a secret horse-trade for his son and heir, whom
Stalin was holding hostage in Russia.
3. Mao grew opium on a large scale.
4. After he conquered China, Mao's over-riding goal was to
become a superpower and dominate the world: "Control the Earth," as he
5. Mao caused the greatest famine in history by exporting food
to Russia to buy nuclear and arms industries: 38 million people died.
6. He urged North Korea to invade the south to
further his wish to gain military aid from the Russians. He said
the Americans couldn't fight and would not abide large casualities.
He was totally indifferent to Chinese casualities.
7. He began the Cultural Revolution in order to
purge the current leadership of China which had grown more
8. He was directly responsible for the
deaths of as many as 70 million Chinese.
Wilderness by Gerald Hausman and Roger Zelazny, 1994. G. K. Hall &
Co., 321 pp. Zelazny, a wonderful SF writer, has teamed up with
the western writer Hausman to write this engrossing story of John
Coulter and Hugh Glass. Coulter if you don't remember was the
frontiersman who traveled to the Pacific Ocean with Lewis and Clark
and then became one of the most famous of the mountain men. He
is remembered especially for his race for life with the Blackfeet.
Naked and weaponless he was pursued relentlessly by these people for
almost 150 miles. Hugh Glass fought a grizzly with his knife and
was so severely mauled that he was left for dead by his compatriots.
Recovering consciousness and with a broken femur, his scalp half torn
off, and the bones of his ribs exposed on his back, he crawled over a
hundred miles to find help. He then went looking for his friends
who had abandoned him. Not only is this a fictionalized account
of these historical events, but Zelazny has with his inimitable style
which made him famous makes what could have been a straightforward
epic into an unforgettable uplifting spiritual story. Full of
incredible imagery, it was so engrossing that I read it transfixed in
a single evening.
Light. M. John Harrison, 2002. Trade
Paperback. 320 pp. Although I liked the book, I am totally
confused as to the
reviews it got. I mean it's good, but...well, nothing to rave
about. In fact, it was quite offensive at times and I felt as if
the author (which I have never read or heard of) was deliberately
trying to twang the strings of the reader.
in an Atom: Reason and Faith. 2005 , the Dali Lama. An excellent
inquiry into some of the basic ideas of science and how it relates to
the Dali Lama's faith of Buddhism. Read a New York Times review
here, and a response to the review
I can't imagine the leader of other faiths such as Christianity or
Islam being as open to scientific endeavors and conclusions as does
the Dali Lama.
Mark Twain, A
Life, Ron Powers. 2005. Free Press, 722 pp.
Excellent biography of what I believe to be America's greatest author.
Mazeway, Jack Williamson. 1990. I like Williamson...in
some ways. I've read his SF books on and off for many years.
February 16-28, 2007
Jackson: A Novel. Max Byrd. 1997, Bantam
Books, 421 pp. I enjoyed this historical fiction based on fact
by Byrd. I often prefer to be introduced into a historical
subject by fictiion which then leads me to additional research.
Mega Memory: How to Release Your Superpower Memory in 30 Minutes
Or Less a Day. Kevin Trudeau.
I find these sort of books interesting and useful. Trudeau has
nothing new in it, but he does present the subject in a fresh and
March 1-15, 2007
Shiloh, Shelby Foote. 1991. 226 pp. A riveting
account of one of the most bloody battles of the War Between the
States. A fictionalized account told from the viewpoint of
Anne Rice. 2000, Random House, 320 pp. I've read this several
times before. I read Rice's books for entertainment to fill in
the interstices. This particular book is one of my least
favorite of her Vampire Series.
March 16-31, 2007
Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist. Adrian Desmond
and James Moore. 1994, 804 pp. I have loved this book ever since I got
it back in 1996, and this is my sixth reading of it. I have read
many biographies of Darwin, but this is my favorite. The authors
do an excellent job of describing the life and motives of Darwin
against the social fabric of Britain during the early 1800s.
For a long involved, overly wordy and ultimately pompous review, see
Dante. R.W.B. Lewis Too bad I couldn't really get
biography of Dante. I struggled my way through it though.
Holmes: Three Tales of Avarice. Conan Doyle Three of his
most popular stories
William Gibson. 1996, 383 pps. This is one of my favorite books
by this author (see earlier discussion of him and the movement he
started). See his website
April 1-14, 2007
Armand by Anne Rice. 1998 Finished April 2, about the third
Mr. Darwin by David Quamen I was really irritated reading this
biography. I kept asking myself "Why did he write this thing?"
For anybody who has read Janet Browns autobiography of Darwin, or the
biography by Adrian Desmond and James Moore:Darwin: The Life of a
Tormented Evolutionist, this book is mostly a rehash of the two books,
sometimes sounding word for word as if he paraphrased these authors.
The only thing new that I noticed was that he brought in more
information on Wallace and the history of the Theory of Natural
Selection in the years following Darwin's death. Otherwise, save
your time and money and go straight to the above biographies.
Michael Palin. 2003
Darwin, Voyaging: A Biography by Janet Brown. Princeton
University Press, Princeton NJ. 1995. 605 pp. This is the
first volume of Ms. Brown's definitive work on the life of Darwin. I
found her second volume at Half Price Books at a great discount and
kept holding off getting this first book hoping that it would also
show up. I finally decided to buy it, but the first edition was
going for about $75 or so, and I ended up buying the second edition (a
paperbook!) for an outrageous price. I figured that I should
re-read her second volume in order now since I have finished her
first, and have started once again on it and am enjoying it immensely.
Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in
Everyday Life, by Thomas Moore. I suppose I should
re-read this since I didn't appreciate it that much. It
concentrated too much in my opinion in Jungian archetypes and ancient
LOOKS AS IF I HAVE READ 81 BOOKS THIS PAST YEAR; MUCH LESS THAN I
WOULD HAVE THOUGHT! I would have certainly thought that I read
at LEAST two books a week!
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