Every Book I Read in 2010

Here is a list of every book I read in 2010, I’ve noted whether or not I would recommend it, not recommend it, or recommend it for the enthusiast. If a book is recommended I think you would enjoy it whether or not you are particularly interested in the area. Recommended for the enthusiast means that if for some reason you share my obscure interests then this book will interest you.

I read 44 books this year, the most I have read in years. I blame that on spending half the year riding the bus between Washington and New York every weekend. This coming year I am making a concerted effort to finally get a grip on Spanish which means I’ll probably read significantly less.

The careful reader may notice some trends.

•    I read basically no “serious” fiction. If it didn’t have a murder or space ships, I didn’t read it. I’m going to try and be a little better about that next year, but books where assholes in Brooklyn talk about language aren’t nearly as interesting as books with laser.
•    I read a number of books on Judaism, Jewish history and the classical world. This is a trend I think will deepen in the New Year. I am very interested in history from around the birth of Christ to the codification of the Talmud. This is where so much of what shapes the western world started to get codified and I’d like to learn about lot more about the era. I am especially interested in the effect of greek philosophy on early Christian thinkers and the codifiers of the Talmud. Currently, I know next to nothing about this, but digging into this era is something I hope to do a lot more of in 2011.
•    The back half of the year includes a much higher percentage of not recommended books. I blame this on the library. I started actively using the library more this year which incentivised me to put books on hold as soon as I read about them in some review or other. Since I didn’t have to put down money, I picked up a lot of books I wouldn’t have otherwise and this lead to wasted reading.
•    I am reading all of Shakespeare’s plays in order of “publication” because this is the kind of obsessive thing I enjoy doing so fuck you.

Ok, the books:

1.    Rumple of the Bailey, John Mortimer – Recommended for the enthusiast.
2.    The Fire Engine that Disappears, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo – Recommended for the enthusiast.
3.    Master of Reality, John Darnielle – Recommended.
4.    The Sabbath, Abrham Joshua Heschel – Recommended for the enthusiast.
5.    Walking the Perfect Square, Reed Farrell Coleman – Recommended for the enthusiast.
6.    Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin – Recommended.
7.    Murder at the Savoy, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo – Recommended for the enthusiast.
8.    The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of Medieval Cathars, Stephen O’Shea – Recommended
9.    Solaris, Stanislaw Lem – Recommended for the enthusiast.
10.    Four Hasidic Masters and Their Struggle Against Melancholy, Elie Wiesel – Recommended for the enthusiast.
11.    Redemption Street, Reed Farrel Coleman – Recommended for the enthusiast.
12.    The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, Alison Hoove Bartlett – Recommended for the enthusiast.
13.    Clockers, Richard Price – Recommended.
14.    The Girl Who Played with Fire, Steig Larsson – Recommended
15.    Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Hershel Shank – Recommended for the enthusiast.
16.    He Died with His Eyes Open, Derek Raymond – Recommended for the enthusiast.
17.    Once a Runner, John L. Parker – Recommended for the enthusiast.
18.    The Bible Unearthed Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman – Recommended.
19.     The Finder Colin Harrison – Recommended.
20.    Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Gershom Scholem – Recommended for the enthusiast.
21.    Agincourt, Bernard Cromwell – Not Recommended.
22.    As a Driven Leaf, Milton Steinberg – Recommended for the enthusiast.
23.     Stones Fall, Iain Pears – Recommended for the enthusiast.
24.    Faceless Killers Henning Mankell – Recommended for the enthusiast.
25.    Born to Run, Christopher McDougall – Recommended for the enthusiast.
26.     The Turnaround, George Pelecanos – Recommended for the enthusiast.
27.    A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson – Not Recommended. I fucking hate Bill Bryson
28.    Farewell my Lovely, Raymond Chandler – Recommended for the enthusiast.
29.    The Family Trade, Charles Stross – Recommended for the enthusiast.
30.    The Tourist, Olen Steinhauer – Recommended for the enthusiast.
31.    American Tabloid, James Ellroy – Recommended for the enthusiast.
32.    Sophies World, Jostein Gaardner – Not Recommended
33.    Will in the World, Stephen Greenblatt – Recommended
34.    Again to Carthage, John Parker – Recommended for the enthusiast (but nowhere near as good as Once a Runner).
35.    Meditations, Marcus Aurelius – Recommended
36.    Henry VI Part 1, William Shakespeare – Recommended for the enthusiast.
37.    The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey – Recommended
38.    Know before Whom You Stand, Hayyim J. Angel – Not Recommended
39.    Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer, Garry Wills – Not Recommended
40.    The Network, Jason Elliot – Not Recommended
41.    Henry VI Part 2, William Shakespear – Recommended for the enthusiast.
42.    Why Mahler? Norman Lebrachy – Recommended for the enthusiast.
43.    Obama’s War, Bob Woodward – Not Recommended
44.    Jewish Literacy, Joseph Teluskin – Recommended.

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