Reading list for 2012!

Believe it or not but I have been reading books in 2011. Mostly on my Kindle, but I did forget to update this blog. However I thought it would be good to record, in no certain order, the list of books that I am aiming to read in 2012. It begins:

  1. The Odd Clauses: Understanding the Constitution Through Ten of Its Most Curious Provisions
  2. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World
  3. Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business
  4. Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
  5. The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
  6. Thinking, Fast and Slow
  7. Memoirs of a Cavalier
  8. The Ship-Wrecked Men
  9. Catch As Catch Can
  10. Candide
  11. All Around the Town
  12. All the President's Men
  13. The Ominvore's Dilemma
  14. 1812
  15. The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1
  16. The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 2
  17. The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 3
  18. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  19. You Only Live Twice
  20. The Man with the Golden Gun
  21. If A Pirate I Must Be - The True Story of Black Bart
  22. A Short History of the World
  23. Ten Great Religions
  24. Famous Adventures and Prison Escapes of the Civil War
  25. Buffalo Bill's Life Story
  26. JFK
  27. Auschwitz
  28. History Buff's Guide to the Civil War
  29. Salt: A World History
  30. All Creatures Great & Small
  31. Sufferings in Africa: The Incredible True Story of a Shipwreck
  32. The World is Flat 3.0
  33. Soccernomics
  34. Soccer Men: Profiles of the Rogues, Geniuses, and Neurotics Who Dominate the World's Most Popular Sport
  35. Unsolved Mysteries of America
  36. The Penguin History of Latin America
  37. The Penguin History of the United States of America
  38. The Enemy
  39. Slaughterhouse Five
  40. Best Little Stories from the Civil War

The First World War

This is not a book for those who want to read about individual battles et cetera. At its length there is no way this could be possible! Instead this book gives a balanced overview of the course of the war, not spending much time on any event but enabling the reader to come away with a decent account of the war. Of course this has made me hungry to actually read a blow-by-blow account of not only this war but the one which followed. In time...

The American

I saw the movie adaption of this book when it came out in September, and I thought it was great. But after listening to the book, I have to say that I think the book was better than the adaption. There are a number of reasons why. The character is more interesting, he moralises his actions more and being able to listen to his thoughts about Spaniards or French Catholics (as per the priest) is very interesting. His friendship with the priest is also more developed. We don't know his nationality in the book, and it seems quite high odds on him being an actual American. I also found the ending to be better, more dramatic and less Hollywood. It was more personally affecting.

This is a great book, and I am curious to find out if any other Martin Booth books are similar as I would love to read more. Great for those who love drama and intrigue and thrillers. I want to listen again some day.

One Second After

One Second After is a book that focuses upon the aftermath of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) strike that knocks out electricity for the United States and also renders impotent anything with electrical circuitry. It has freaked me out a little as to what I would do in an EMP strike, living in NYC with no farms around means it will not be easy to survive! Perhaps I will begin to stockpile ramen noodles and tinned foods. And a bicycle.

The story itself centers around an ex-Colonel in the US army who lives in a small town in the hills of North Carolina, and the attempts of his town to survive in this new world with no electricity and little food or tools for survival until help arrives. It makes you realise just how much we rely upon electricity for modern life, and the difference that it has made in the world. The story is also a pretty good drama, with intriguing story telling and characters who seem life like. I would recommend it to anyone to read. both as a story and the potential insight to a horrific world.

Aristotle and an Aardvark go to Washington

Perhaps reflecting the fact that I am more interested in politics than philosophy, I found this book a bit more interesting (and probably retained a bit more too) than the authors earlier book explaining philosophy through jokes. This book however is the same premise, but tackles politics. It is a good introduction to the topic, and one is somewhat the wiser from reading it. We all know that politicians tell lies - but what type of lies? Now one can know for sure. Recommended for lazy rainy days when there is not much to do but read something interesting.

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