Print Story Books I've Read This Year 2009
By TheophileEscargot (Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 12:45:26 PM EST) Reading (all tags)
See also 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

Non-fiction 58
SF 30
Non-SF fiction 28
Comics 7

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

This includes Teaching Company audio lecture series, since they're about book-length.

  1. Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine
  2. Children of Prometheus: The Accelerating Pace of Human Evolution by Christopher Wills.
  3. Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations by Kenneth W. Harl
  4. Economics of the Public Sector by Sara Connolly, Alistair Munro.
  5. Backroom Boys: The Secret Return of the British Boffin by Francis Spufford
  6. Cnut: Emperor of the North by M. J. Trow
  7. How to Read a Novel: A User's Guide by John Sutherland
  8. The Political Brain by Drew Westen
  9. On Writing by Stephen King
  10. A History of Warfare by John Keegan
  11. Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer
  12. Prone to Violence by Erin Pizzey
  13. Science Friction by Michael Shermer
  14. The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney
  15. Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations by Brian M. Fagan
  16. Mary Seacole by Jane Robinson
  17. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
  18. The Divided Self: Israel and the Jewish Psyche Today by David J. Goldberg
  19. The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus
  20. Line of Fire by Brian Paddick
  21. Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists by Luke Timothy Johnson
  22. Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
  23. Rights of Man: Great Thinkers and Great Movements by Paul Gordon Lauren
  24. A.D. 500: A Journey Through the Dark Isles of Britain and Ireland by Simon Young
  25. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
  26. Who Runs Britain? by Robert Peston
  27. The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman by Rachel Holmes
  28. From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity by Bart D. Ehrman
  29. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers by Kwame Anthony Appiah
  30. The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan
  31. A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine
  32. A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  33. How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson
  34. American Revolution by Allen C. Guelzo
  35. Selected Works by Cicero
  36. God and Mankind: Comparative Religions by Robert Oden
  37. Dialogues and Letters by Seneca
  38. Sink the Belgrano by Mike Rossiter
  39. Art of Critical Decision Making by Michael A. Roberto
  40. Gallimaufry by Michael Quinion
  41. Autobiography by Bertrand Russell
  42. Noodling for Flatheads: Moonshine, Monster Catfish and Other Southern Comforts by Burkhard Bilger
  43. Buy, Sell and Move House by Kate Faulkner
  44. Stage-Land by Jerome K. Jerome
  45. Vikings by Kenneth W. Harl
  46. Apache Dawn: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned by Damien Lewis
  47. Directing Plays by Don Taylor
  48. The Godwins: The Rise and Fall of a Noble Dynasty by Frank Barlow
  49. The Last Wrestlers by Marcus Trower
  50. Understanding the Fundamentals of Music by Robert Greenberg
  51. Lobscouse and Spotted Dog by Anne Grossman and Lisa Thomas
  52. The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome
  53. Failure to Quit by Howard Zinn
  54. Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
  55. Stoic Serenity by Keith Seddon
  56. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Lany
  57. Questions of Value by Patrick Grim
  58. English as a Global Language by David Crystal
  1. Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
  2. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
  3. The Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton
  4. Divided Kingdom by Rupert Thomsom
  5. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
  6. From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
  7. Lint by Steve Aylett
  8. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  9. The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
  10. The Waste Lands by Stephen King
  11. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
  12. Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  13. Song of Susannah by Stephen King
  14. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  15. The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
  16. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
  17. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
  18. The Shadow Hunter by Pat Murphy
  19. The Last Colony by John Scalzi
  20. Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
  21. Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer
  22. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
  23. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  24. Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo
  25. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  26. Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow
  27. Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch
  28. Flight by Sherman Alexie
  29. Transition by Iain Banks
  30. Flood by Stephen Baxter
Non-SF fiction
  1. The Naming Of The Dead by Ian Rankin
  2. Exit Music by Ian Rankin
  3. Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassen
  4. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
  5. A Red Death by Walter Mosley
  6. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  7. The Hundred Days by Patrick O'Brian
  8. The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
  9. Who Moved My Blackberry by Lucy Kellaway
  10. Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O'Brian
  11. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
  12. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  13. They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
  14. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
  15. The Girl on the Boat by P.G. Wodehouse
  16. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
  17. The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding
  18. The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
  19. The City and the City by China Mieville
  20. The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
  21. The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing
  22. The Coup by John Updike
  23. The Eagle's Conquest by Simon Scarrow
  24. The Damned United by David Peace
  25. The Cleft by Doris Lessing
  26. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  27. Rabbit Remembered by John Updike
  28. The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciasci
  1. Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher
  2. Aya De Yopougon by Marguerite Abouet, Clement Oubrerie
  3. Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazlewood
  4. Whiteout by Greg Rucka, Steve Lieber
  5. Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
  6. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen : Century 1910 by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
  7. Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan
Non-comics overall numbers:
All books

By type:
Books by genre

Bit down on last year, but still pretty high by historical standards.

Against Intellectual Monopoly has a couple of flaws: it's a little strident and a bit too dense to read easily. However, the content is enough to make it the book of the year. Written by actual economists it makes a powerful case, backed by extensive evidence, that copyright and patent are economically and creatively harmful. While that's widely believed, it's rare to see it so convincingly argued.

Also notable: John Keegan's impressively broad A History of Warfare, and modern stoic book A Guide to the Good Life.

The Gone-Away World is an entertaining, well-written debut post-apocalyptic novel. Otherwise it's the usual suspects: Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold continues with his bloody action-packed dark humour.

Lowlight: made the mistake of struggling through to the end of Stephen King's Dark Tower series: gets worse with every book as it staggers towards a dire ending. Wherever you are, bail out now.

Other fiction
Sadly, finished Patrick O'Brian's superb Aubrey/Maturin series of sea novels, but the last few aren't quite up to the early ones. Doris Lessing's Eighties classic The Good Terrorist was a great read. Winter's Bone has a great evocation of impoverished Appalachian life, and The Damned United was a fascinating psychological study.

Nothing of real note this year, apart from a re-read of Watchmen.

Well, that about wraps it up. See you in 2010!

< Data is gone | I've lost 10kg in the last month?! I want them back. >
Books I've Read This Year 2009 | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)
Dark Tower by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 01:04:39 PM EST
I liked the ending.  I could have done without the 3000 pages before the last 100.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
still feels like by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 01:46:54 PM EST
there were enough "other" story threads that didn't really get connected.. Or only tangentially connected, but not resolved etc..

(eg why the kids taken in Black House aren't part of the Breakers compound)

[ Parent ]
I gave up on the series by MartiniPhilosopher (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 02:58:18 PM EST
when he started to write himself into it. I've read other stories that do the same thing. None of them were good.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

[ Parent ]
why do you do this at the end of sept? by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 01:07:31 PM EST
do you do no reading in oct-dec?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
The Book Year starts in October by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 01:09:15 PM EST
It's a tradition or an old charter or something.
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 ]
the last few aren't quite up to the early ones by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 01:11:18 PM EST
True of most series.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 3) #6 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 02:32:11 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth

What did you think of Exit Wounds? by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 04:07:45 PM EST
It wasn't spectacular, but I'm surprised to find anyone else here has even heard of it, let alone read it.

Vive le Montréal libre.
Ah, I just realized its a link to your review by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 04:09:08 PM EST
I assumed those were amazon links.

I pretty much 100% agree with it.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
Wow by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 05:33:50 PM EST
I'd be ashamed to say how many I read in a year. In my defence the films take up a lot of time though. And the, erm, games.

It's political correctness gone mad!

And the masturbating. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #13 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:12:46 PM EST

Oh wait, that's me.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
So what's he doing by ambrosen (4.00 / 4) #16 Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 05:38:15 AM EST
while you masturbate him, then?

[ Parent ]
I miss having time to read by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:21:58 PM EST
I'm lucky to finish a book a month now.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
I was really disappointed by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:57:22 PM EST
by The City & The City.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
Hazlewood's inks have come a long way. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:41:17 AM EST
I think you're giving BofP too little credit here.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Possibly by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #17 Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:56:41 AM EST
I think it would have helped to have followed the whole storyline: but I just picked up a volume in the library.
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 ]
How do you manage to read so much? by Tonatiuh (4.00 / 2) #15 Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 04:29:40 AM EST
You seem to have a quite balanced lifestyle, with museums, work, family commitments, the lot, so how can you possibly read so much?

Any fast reading techniques?

Are you making it up :-P ?

I don't speed read by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:58:01 AM EST
But I don't watch much television; usually just when eating, ironing, exercising or doing something else that makes it hard to read.
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 don't track what i read by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 01:38:17 AM EST
but when i wasn't in school i could get through more than a book a week without blinking.

i should try theophile's tracking game some year and see what comes out.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Books I've Read This Year 2009 | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)