Books I Read in 2019

Bookshelf PornI read more non-fiction last year and was happy with what I read. Books are dated by the month I finished reading them, click hyperlinks for full posts.

February

  • Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). A boy and a runaway slave go on an adventure down the Mississippi River. A Great American Novel known for writing dialogue in the actual dialect of the time. Not as engrossing as I hoped. 4/5

April

May

  • Larry Gonick – The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution (2006).
  • Nicholas J Wade – Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors (2007). About the first migrations out of Africa and the founding of world populations. 4/5
  • Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind (2014). I cannot recommend this book enough. Everyone I know who read it loved it. 5/5

July

  • George RR Martin, Elio M Garvia, JR and Linda Antonson – The World of Ice and Fire (2014). About the fictional history of the Game of Thrones universe. Quite imaginative but I lost interest soon after the show finished. 4/5

August

  • John Mann – Attila: The Barbarian King Who Challenged Rome (2006) Less is known about this figure than we hoped but Man pads the pages with background and his trip to Mongolia. 4/5
  • Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell – Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead? (2016). A paperback transcript of the 2015 Munk Debates.  Interesting perspectives on an interesting question. Only 100 pages. 4/5.

October

 November

  • Time–Life Books – The March of Islam, AD 600-800 (1988). Discusses the Arab Caliphates, Byzantium, Charlemagne, Tang China, The Khmers and Early Japan. Interesting subject matter but the prose is too flowery at times. 3/5

December

See Also:

Books I Read in 2018

Image result for booksAside from blogging more, my goal was to watch less TV and read more books in 2018. The books are listed by the date I finished reading them.  Some I have done separate posts on, others I have not.

January

February

  • Maitland Edey – Lost World of the Aegean (1976). The archaeology of the Ancient Minoans and Early Greeks. Dated but informative. 3/5

April

  • Robert Bly – Iron John (1990). An allegorical interpretation of an old fairy tale suggesting what the ancient cultures can teach modern man. 3/5

May

  • Aldous Huxley – Island (1962). The utopia to Brave New World’s dystopia. 4/5

June

  • Barbara Kingsolver – The Poisonwood Bible (1998)A family saga of four girls and their missionary father in the Congo.  5/5
  • Thomas Sowell – Ethnic America (1981). Details the history and experiences of 11 American immigrant groups. Good on facts and figures, less so on future projections. 4/5

July

  • Paul M Handley – The King Never Smiles (2006).  A critical analysis of the modern Thai monarchy. Banned in Thailand. 5/5

August

  • Roland Tye – Weekender (2016). Five very different stories about five very different people one weekend in Edinburgh. The connection is revealed only at the very end. 5/5
  • JD Salinger – Catcher in the Rye (1951). Great American Novel about a rebellious teenager in the late ’40s. 5/5

September

  •  Ian Morris – The Greeks: History, Culture and Society (2010). This old textbook is a good survey of ancient Greece if a little dry. 3/5

October

  • Frederick Forsythe – the Dogs of War (1974). A business magnate hires a team of mercenaries to stage a coup in a fictional African country. Good, but not as good as Day of the Jackal. 3/5

December

  • Jared Diamond – Guns Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies (1997). Explains why civilization arose in some parts of the world and not others. An excellent read for history and anthropology buffs. 5/5
  • Frederick Forsythe – Day of the Jackal (1971). About an assassin hired to kill the president of France and the men chasing him. 4/5

See Also: