Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review: what I was reading this year ...

2008-07-06-dscn4792So, lots of screen reading what with Flipboard on the iPad and HuffPost on the Android phone; and then throw in news feeds from TechCrunch, Mashable, Silicone Alley Insider, The Long Now Foundation, Memex 1.1, and lots of words were consumed.

Oh, and yes, I tried to keep up with some magazines, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, Wired, and The Atlantic (mostly in print, but also on the iPad).

But from the world of books (aka "the stuff between two pieces of cardboard" - though this year I actually read all my books on a Kindle), here was my 2012:
  • Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five or the Children's Crusade
  • Jerzy Kosinski, The Painted Bird
I started off the year by reviewing the horrors of WW II. These re-reads of three novels, from much different perspectives and styles, provide a good overview of the evils of warfare in any time or place. Inspiration came from the recent release of The Tin Drum in a new translation that was as full and rich as Ralph Mannheim's.

David Weinberger, Too Big to Know
Weinberger hits a home run with his newest book; clearly he holds the top spot of  "philosopher of the networked age.

Charles Dickens, Hard Times
It's Dickens/ bi-centenary and I wanted to fit in a few of his novels; this was the first one I'd every read (back in 1981?), and still one of my favorites.

William Spaniel, Game Theory 101
Still digesting and browsing through this one.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Palm Sunday
It was also a bit of a Vonnegut year; A good autobiographical collection of essays.

Anthony Burgess, 1985
Burgess can please or annoy, this was pleasing.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Galapagos
First time read of this novel for my Vonnegut year.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
More re-reads of Dickens.

Ray Bradbury, "The Playground"
An old story, just released in eBook form.

Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
Saw this book somewhere in social media and it sounded intriguing. A mystery involving book scanning, Aldus Manutius, a strange cult of booksellers all mix into a fun little romp.

Nick Cole, The Old Man and the Wasteland
A discovery in the Kindle Singles shop; very good post-apocalyptic story meets Hemingway.

Neil Gaiman, American Gods
An amazing work. Perhaps one of the best books of the past 20 years. Gaiman transcends any type of genre you may want to pigeonhole him into to create a truly great novel of America.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Cat's Cradle
More re-reads of  Vonnegut.

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
More re-reads of Dickens for the Christmas season.

Robin Sloan, Annabel Scheme
Needed to read this first work, more of a novella, by Sloan after enjoying Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore.

Hugh Howey, Wool Omnibus Edition (volumes 1-5)
Saw my colleague @Bathlander mention this on Twitter and picked it up for the Kindle. Self-published, it is a brilliant work of science fiction/futurism set in a world where the population lives in a giant silo that is sunk Over 150 stories into the earth. An earth where no one goes outside except those who break the rule of thinking about the outside and are sent with "wool" to clean the sensors that give the silo-dwellers a view of the bleak landscape ... and then die.

Charles Dickens, The Chimes
More re-reads of Dickens for the Christmas season.

Three shelves of books

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