Print Story Books I've Read This Year 2007
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:14:44 AM EST) Reading (all tags)
See also 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.

Non-fiction 46
SF 33
Non-SF fiction 24
Comics 17

The List
Title links to my diary, author links to amazon.


  1. What's It All About? Philosophy and the Meaning of Life by Julian Baggini
  2. Civilisation by Kenneth Clark
  3. Inside Out by Nick Mason
  4. The Rebel Sell by Joseph Heath, Andrew Potter
  5. The Harem Within by Fatima Mernissi
  6. Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
  7. The Fall of the Roman Republic by David Shotter
  8. The Know-it-All by A.J. Jacobs
  9. History of Ancient Rome by Garrett G. Fagan
  10. As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela by Mark Thomas
  11. Warfighting: The US Marine Corps Book of Strategy by U. S. Marine Corps Staff
  12. Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment by Alan Charles Kors
  13. The New Critical Idiom : Science Fiction by Adam Roberts
  14. Economics by Timothy Taylor
  15. Early Middle Ages by Philip Daileader
  16. Fiddlers and Whores: The Candid Memoirs of a Surgeon in Nelson's Fleet by James Lowry
  17. Revolutions in the Earth: James Hutton and the True Age of the World by Stephen Baxter
  18. Salaam Brick Lane: A Year in the New East End by Tarquin Hall
  19. The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R. Delany
  20. Peoples and Cultures of the World by Edward Fischer
  21. Renoir, Paris and the Belle Epoque by Karin Sagner-Duchting
  22. High Middle Ages by Philip Daileader
  23. Is anyone really normal? Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology by Drew Western
  24. God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution by John Haught
  25. The Age of Consent by George Monbiot
  26. Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Rise of Nations by Andrew C. Fix
  27. Power over People: Classical and Modern Political Theory by Dennis Dalton
  28. Holland by Adam Hopkins
  29. Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz
  30. Europe and Western Civilization in the Modern Age by Thomas Childers
  31. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
  32. Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard
  33. The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph A. Tainter
  34. From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History by Kenneth J. Hammond
  35. The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Ali A. Allawi
  36. Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning by David Zarefsky
  37. Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Roy Jenkins
  38. Jarhead by Anthony Swofford
  39. Affluenza by Oliver James
  40. Great Ideas of Psychology by Daniel N. Robinson
  41. History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century by Timothy Taylor
  42. Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century by Paddy Ashdown
  43. A History of Capitalism: 1500-2000 by Michel Beaud
  44. African Experience: From "Lucy" to Mandela by Kenneth P. Vickery
  45. The Rough Guide to Belgium and Luxembourg by Martin Dunford,Phil Lee
  46. Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  1. The Zero Stone by Andre Norton
  2. Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell by Pat Murphy
  3. The Godwhale by T. J. Bass
  4. The Family Trade by Charles Stross
  5. Toward the End of Time by John Updike
  6. The Hidden Family by Charles Stross
  7. The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross
  8. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  9. Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton
  10. Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton
  11. Air by Geoff Ryman
  12. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  13. Glasshouse by Charles Stross
  14. Emperor by Stephen Baxter
  15. The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds
  16. Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
  17. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  18. Conqueror by Stephen Baxter
  19. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
  20. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
  21. Death Masks by Jim Butcher
  22. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
  23. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
  24. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
  25. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
  26. White Night by Jim Butcher
  27. The Modern World by Steph Swainston
  28. Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb
  29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  30. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Micahel Chabon
  31. The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb
  32. Fool's Fate by Robin Hobb
  33. Cell by Stephen King
Non-SF fiction
  1. Headcrusher by Alexander Garros, Aleksei Evdokimov
  2. Shadow Without a Name by Ignacio Padilla
  3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  4. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  5. Terrorist by John Updike
  6. Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
  7. Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
  8. The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth
  9. The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks
  10. Saturday by Ian McEwan
  11. Weight by Jeanette Winterson
  12. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
  13. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
  14. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  15. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  17. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
  18. War Trash by Ha Jin
  19. Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
  20. Imperium by Robert Harris
  21. The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian
  22. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
  23. Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian
  24. These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach
  1. Little Nemo by Winsor McCay
  2. Batman: As the Crow Flies by Judd Winick, Dustin Nguyen, Richard Friend
  3. Ex Machina: the First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris
  4. The Flash: Crossfire by Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins
  5. Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima vol 1 by Keiji Nakazawa
  6. A Right to be Hostile by Aaron McGruder
  7. Superman: Infinite Crisis by Joe Kelly etc
  8. Vimanarama by Grant Morrison
  9. Barefoot Gen: The Day After vol. 2 by Keiji Nakazawa
  10. Judgment Day by Alan Moore, Rob Liefeld
  11. Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories: Bk. 2 by Alan Moore
  12. Terra Obscura vol. 2 by Alan Moore
  13. Barefoot Gen: Life After the Bomb vol 3 by Keiji Nakazawa
  14. American Splendor: Another Day by Harvey Pekar
  15. Future Shocks by Alan Moore
  16. Batman: Year 100 by Paul Pope
  17. 300 by Frank Miller
Non-comics overall numbers:
2007 books

By type:
2007 books by genre

In a stunning reversal, overall numbers are up this year, at least if you count Teaching Company lecture courses as books.

Non-fiction. Two books stand out here. "The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by" Ali A. Allawi explains what went wrong in painstaking detail. Not brilliantly written but coming from an Iraqi interim government minister it's very much an inside account. "Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century" is a much les depressing book by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paddy Ashdown. This is almost a practictioners guide for how to do, or not do, humanitarian interventions.

SF. The "Dresden Files" detective/contemporary fantasy novels by Jim Butcher had a bit of a lacklustre beginning in "Storm Front", but pick up the pace to become a great example of how to write a good fantasy series. Each book has a satisfying self-contained plot and ending, but there are also longer storylines woven through the series: a very difficult trick to pull off. Also has a very carefully-built world and a fast pace. Well worth a look: this is the kind of crossover that's hard to do and you rarely see done this well.

Best SF novel was "Air" by Geoff Ryman. Though it came out few years back, before the Mundane SF manifesto, this book encapsulates its best points: realism, believable characters and relationships, but still with a sense of wonder.

Mainstream fiction. An unoriginal choice, but "Saturday" by Ian McEwan has to be the winner there. A one-day novel, blending a slice of life with dramatic events, robust but very well-written. Other good ones: Sarah Waters gritty WW2 lesbian novel "The Night Watch" and the tense "Terrorist" by John Updike.

Comics. "Barefoot Gen", the semi-autobiographical Hiroshima survivor's story is compelling, though not exactly an easy read with betrayal coming from all sides.

Well, that's all, folks. See you next year!

< Breakfast | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Books I've Read This Year 2007 | 23 comments (23 topical, 0 hidden)
Dude by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:25:18 AM EST
That's 103 books (not counting the comics mind you) read over 9 months which comes out to 11.44 books per month which is about one book every 2.62 days????

So, pray tell, are you actually reading every word or are you some kind of freak speed reader? Seriously, I can kill a good book of about 300 pages over the weekend if it's real good and I get sucked into it, but that's only because I'm not at work on those days.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

12 months by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:31:20 AM EST
I usually post these at the start of October (few days early this year).

I tend to read fast, several words at a time, but I don't skim or speed-read. The numbers are up this year because of audiobooks.

I think it's like mental arithmetic. I'm pretty terrible at that, but I know other people who can do it many times faster than me, and are still much more accurate.

Also, I'm not the most prolific reader on HuSi. IIRC Merekat and Vulch read more than me, and I think a couple of others do as well (possibly CRwM). They just don't go on about it as much...
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Well still by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:40:08 AM EST
103 books over 12 months is 8.58 BPM or one book every ~3.49 days. That's cranking pretty good.

Also - I'm not sure saying you read an audiobook isn't some sort of oxymoron or something along those lines.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
Counting children's books by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #8 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:24:58 AM EST
I may approach that, I can knock off a Magic Treehouse in a night.

[ Parent ]
Slacker by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 12:13:11 PM EST

I'm at 106 from the start of January, plus 3 or 4 of them (first two Harry Dresdens and The Atrocity Archives) twice. I used to reckon on 4 books a week, half new and half rereads, but I spend too much time spodding on the laptop these days so the rate has dropped. I'm making an effort to spod less and read more at the moment and it's picking up again.

[ Parent ]
varies by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:40:43 AM EST
But I'm between 80 and 120, depending on how busy I am in a year. Didn't keep a tally this year though I expect it is down due to practically no commute.

[ Parent ]
I've ranged from 63 to 103 by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:57:40 AM EST
Some of the top shelfarians are scary though. No idea how they manage to read so much...
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I'm at 23 so far by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:09:41 AM EST
I figure I may hit 30 for the year.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
I'm at around 20 by garlic (4.00 / 1) #22 Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 05:39:02 AM EST
and my gf is at around 30. Thanks for the tracking list idea mr. Snail -- it's an interesting thing to keep track of.

[ Parent ]
me neither by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:29:13 AM EST
Abs. human max with nothing else to have to do I would calculate as 2x400 page novels a day. I think if I kept that up for more than 2 weeks, I'd hate reading.

[ Parent ]
I read by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 05:00:42 PM EST
About 50-70 a year.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Driving by priestess (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 12:58:31 PM EST
People who drive read less. People who don't drive read on the bus/train. If you take an hour a day to get to work and back, that's 240 hours of reading every year just for the work commute.

I just read a test-page of a random book off of my shelf, and it was 61 seconds. So that's a page a minute or 14400 pages of text each year, about 30 books a year just during the journey to work.

Throw in all the times traveling across town to get to a friends house/the-pub/the-theatre/movies and the occasional cross-country trip to visit family and you can pretty easily read 50 books during the time a driver would spend the wheel.

I read magazines as well, that's why my numbers are quite low.

Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
comic suggestions by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:37:41 AM EST
Scalped, Wasteland and Loveless are all pretty good new series. I'd rank them in that order. They should be (or soon be) available in TPB format.

My list so far by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:35:45 AM EST
# Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew by Samuel Fromartz
# The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs
# The Curse of the Holy Pail : An Odelia Grey Mystery by Sue Ann Jaffarian
# Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
# Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France by Floyd Landis
# Critique of Criminal Reason: A Mystery by Michael Gregorio
# French Revolutions : Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore
# Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson.
# The Mystery of Cloomber by Arthur Conan Doyle
# Star Begotten : A Biological Fantasia by HG Wells
# Conan Doyle Detective : The True Crimes Investigated by the Creator of Sherlock Holmes by Peter Costello
# That Man Who Saved Britain : A Personal Journey into the Disturbing World of James Bond by Simon Winder
# Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800 by Jeff Sypeck
# And Then Then There Were None by Agatha Christy
# Alexander the Corrector : the tormented genius whose Cruden’s Concordance unwrote the Bible by Julia Keay
# The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
# Shady Ladies: Nineteen Surprising and Rebellious American Women by Suzann Ledbetter
# World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
# The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
# Total Chaos by Jean-Claude Izzo (trans. Howard Curtis)
# House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
# The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
# Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich (trans. by Keith Gessen)
# The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

It's a shorter list this year because of all the hubub with renovations and whatnot.

Currently reading: The Salem Branch. Review so far: meh.
Heat, pressure, and time: the three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

I always get by blixco (4.00 / 2) #11 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:36:42 AM EST
great material from your reading lists.  I've been glancing sidelong at that Updike book for a while now.  I'll have to go pick it up.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
And, by the Updike book by blixco (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:39:30 AM EST
I mean Terrorist.  I've read the Rabbit books, but it's been quite a while.

Working on Foucault's Pendulum at the moment.  That and the first ten Travis McGee novels.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by husiacct (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 10:33:56 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by husiacct

Every year I read by johnny (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 04:32:38 PM EST
Cheap Complex Devices several times over. It's my favorite book. Either that or I'm compulsive.

I read about a dozen self-published books each year.   Many of them are pretty poor. But there were a couple of good ones this year.  Actually I really enjoyed Limited Engagement too. (I wonder what somebody like Theophile would make of this book. It intrigued me because of my personal connection to the story. In fact, I had a hard time putting the book down.)

Harriet McBryde Johnson's Too Late to Die Young was as good as its title. I left it in a taxi, alas, immediately upon finishing it.

I read the twelve novels of A Dance to the Music of Time fairly recently; not sure if in the last 12 months.  I liked How the Scotts Invented the Modern World. . .

There's probably a few dozen others that I read this year but am drawing a blank on them now -- obviously I'm not in the same organizational league as some of you guys any more than I'm in the same league reading-wise.

Well. There now. I was only going to make that little joke about Cheap Complex Devices, and I've done gone and made a whole inventory.
... this is dreamworld after all... it isn't? Shit.

Starting to like Geoff Johns' stuff. by Horatio Hellpop (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 07:58:48 PM EST
I'm lobbying for his canonisation, for bringing back Hal Jordan.

"You can't really know something until you ruin it for everyone." -some guy who used to have an account here

Did you see by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 12:49:09 AM EST
Reason did an article on folk economics.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Seems interesting by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #20 Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 01:46:09 AM EST
Though I'm not that convinced by his "democracy is bad because people don't understand economics" schtick.

Also, if you talk to anyone in any profession, they tend to say much the same thing. Talk to a teacher and they say the government ruins education because politicians don't understand it, talk to a doctor and they'll tell you healthcare is a mess because politicians don't know what's going on, etc etc. Problems like power corrupting tend to mean that non-democracies don't tend to run those things any better though.

[ Parent ]
He didn't make an awful lot of it anyway by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #21 Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 04:32:02 AM EST
It's not clear whether he actually believes, Kent Brockman style, that democracy doesn't work, or whether it is more the professional gripe you describe above. I thought the comparison of his list with yours was the interesting bit anyway, clicking back to your old diary it appears I wrote a lengthy comment essentially saying "me too".

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

[ Parent ]
VS2FP. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 05:40:42 AM EST

Books I've Read This Year 2007 | 23 comments (23 topical, 0 hidden)