Reading is something I’ve always enjoyed, and I try to always have at least one book going. It has been a challenge while in school, but I find that reading before bed really helps to calm me down. Since I got a Kindle for Christmas in 2013, I’ve been on a classics-binge. There are so many free books available online! The only thing I find challenging is browsing. For now though, the steady stream of readily available titles on the Project Gutenberg website has more than enough to keep me satisfied!
Note: books with a asterix(*) next to them indicate books that I’ve read on my Kindle
- The Circle by David Edgars 1/2/14
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse * 1/11/14
- The Prince by Niccolo Machiabelli * 1/18/14
- A Short History of the World by H.G. Wells * 2/14/14
- Letters to His Son, 1749 by The Earl of Chesterfield * 3/27/14 (didn’t finish this one – it was dragging on and on. Might eventually go back to it)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald * 3/30/14
- Ninteen Eighty Four by George Orwell * 4/20/14
- Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne * 5/1/14
- Andersen’s Fairy Tales by H.C. Andersen 6/4/14
- The Art of War by Sunzi 6/18/14
- Map of Bones by James Rollands 6/13/14 – I actually read this book in one day! I didn’t have any plans, and this book was addicting. I’d call that a great day!
- Inferno by Dan Brown – I’d give this book an “eh”. It was so similar to previous Dan Brown books that it was a bit disappointing. I enjoyed the plot and the fun symbolism and history, but I’m getting tired of the cliches.
- Where Does it Hurt by Jonathan Bush 7/10/14 – another “eh” book. It was interesting, but not as captivating as I had hoped. I enjoyed the recommendations at the end, but other than that this book didn’t blow me away.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea* by Jules Verne 8/1/14 – The end of this really dragged on, but I still enjoyed it! A nice classic, and an easy read on the bus.
- The Mapmakers by John Noble Wilford 9/28/14 – This one took me a while to get through, but it was an absolutely fantastic read! The book spanned the history of cartography, and the end explored mapping beyond the Earth. I particularly enjoyed the first sections about mapping in antiquity. I also agreed with the authors discussion of the ‘completeness’ of mapmaking. It’s so odd to think that we don’t have perfect, accurate maps of the world yet. Although the book was published before Google maps! Regardless, I loved the breadth of this book, and the writing was fantastic. Not for everyone, but I really enjoyed this complete history. A book I’ll turn to again in the future, I think.
- In the Heart of the Sea by Nathanel Philbrick – I tore through this book; so addicting! This book told the story of a whaling boat that left from Nantucket in the 1800s. It was attacked by a whale (and later the inspiration for Moby Dick) but the survivors made it 93 days in rickety boats before they were rescued. An incredible story of the determination to survive.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – I enjoyed this classic read. The examples were a bit outdated, and I was really ready to be done with it by the end, but I think the insights were very valuable. I could easily read this book again and get a lot out of it all over again. This will be one I turn to again and again!
- Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap – I enjoyed this collection of short stories. A quick read, but still really interesting. The collection is in modern Thailand so certainly a new geographic region. I’d recommend this to a friend.
- Collapse by Jared Diamond – It seams unfair to put this as the first book I finished in 2015 since I spent most of the last month of 2014 trying to finish it! As I expected, this book was fantastic. I read excerpts of it while I was in college, and since then have wanted to go back and read the entire thing. Mission accomplished. I strongly recommend Diamond’s books – they provide an incredible overview of the interweaving in our complex world. Another Diamond book may be on the horizon later this year.
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo – this book was exceptionally sad, difficult to read at times, and one of those books that stays with you long after you read it. It’s exceptionally well written, and though I wish it were a novel, it is based on people and events in a Mumbai slum. The portrayal of their poverty is unfortunately true, and it’s absolutely exceptional to understand the circumstances they live though. Though it is wrenching, this book is absolutely worth the read.
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes* by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – this was such a fun read! I especially enjoyed it after watching the show because I could vividly picture the characters. The stories were short (the perfect amount to read before bed) and I loved the intrigue. Highly recommend for a light, easy read!
- Harry Potter 1 – What can I say? It’s summer, I have to reread Harry Potter.
- Harry Potter 2
- Harry Potter 3
- Harry Potter 4
- Harry Potter 5
- Harry Potter 6
- Harry Potter 7
- People of the Book – This was a slightly random, but very interesting read. I liked how this book darted between time periods and locations. It also introduced the interesting world of book conservation to me. Something new and different!
- The Hundred Secret Senses – I always love Amy Tan’s books. The book is the story of two sisters, one of whom knows the other better than herself. It challenges readers to question their own beliefs, which I thoroughly enjoyed. A very interesting and engrossing read.
- Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory – Whoa. This is not your typically Phillipa book. It’s dark, historically accurate and very engrossing, but not for the faint at heart. I enjoyed it, but don’t plan to read the rest of the trilogy. Though you never know – Phillipa is a master.