Thursday, July 26, 2018

What I Read in 2008

As mentioned a few days ago,  I'm presently creating lists of books read for the first four years of this blog, from the days before I'd adopted that useful practice. I've discovered in the process that many titles trigger flashes of memory -- like sitting in the laundry room of my school on a wintry day, reading The Confessions of Max Tivioli, eating beef stroganoff, and waiting on my clothes to dry.  It's very curious, the things brains choose to retain..    2008 was the year that history began to assert its right to the throne, through surprisingly it and science were still evenly matched. It was also the year that I really got into Isaac Asimov: the "science fiction" category was 100% Asimov.


  • Naturalist,E. O. Wilson
  •  Personal Memoirs, US Grant
  • It’s Been a Good Life, Isaac Asimov
  • Carl Sagan: A Life, Keay Davidson
  • The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin’, Bill Zehme
  • Sinatra: the Artist and the Man, John Lahr
  •  I, Asimov, Isaac Asimov

Classics and Literary

  •  The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Harry Potter Universe, Tere Stouffer
  •  Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare,Isaac Asimov
  •  Books that Changed the World, Robert B. Downs
  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • Asimov's Guide to the Bible Volume I, Isaac Asimov
  • Great Books, David Denby

Fantasy, Horror, and Speculative

  •  How Few Remain, Harry Turtledove
  • The Great War: American Front,Harry Turtledove
  • The Great War: Walk in Hell, Harry Turtledove
  • The Great War: Breakthrough,Harry Turtledove
  • Blood and Iron, Harry Turtledove
  • The Center Cannot Hold, Harry Turtledove
  • The Victorious Opposition, Harry Turtledove
  •  Return Engagement, Harry Turtledove
  •  Drive to the East, Harry Turtledove
  •  The Grapple, Harry Turtledove
  •  In at the Death, Harry Turtledove
  •  Fatherland, Robert Harris
  • The Two Georges, Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss
  •  Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
  • Firestarter, Stephen King
  • In the Balance, Harry Turtledove
  • Upsetting the Balance, Harry Turtledove
  • Striking the Balance, Harry Turtledove
  •  Colonization: Second Contact, Harry Turtledove
  • Colonization: Down to Earth, Harry Turtledove
  •  The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordian

General Fiction

  • The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Andrew Sean Greer
  • Playing for Pizza, John Grisham
  • Jailbird, Kurt Vonnegut
  •  World Made by Hand, James Kunstler

Historical Fiction

  •  Garden of Beasts, Jeffery Deaver
  • The Steel Wave, Jeff Shaara
  •  Blood of Flowers, Anita Amirrezvani
  • The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa


  • Greece and Rome: Builders of Our World, Paul MacKendrick
  • France 1814-1919: The Rise of a Liberal-Democratic Society, John B. Wolf
  •  Sinister Touches: The Secret War Against Hitler, Robert Goldston
  • The History of the S.S, G.S. Grabel
  • Washington's Secret War, Thomas Fleming
  • The Trial of Madame Caillaux,Edward Berenson
  •  Thomas Jefferson: Author of America,Christopher Hitchens
  •  1776, David McCullough
  • The Making of the Middle Ages, R.W. Southern
  • Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen
  • Since Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen
  •  No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  •  Surviving Auschwitz, Primo Levi
  •  The Story of the Titanic, As Told By Its Passengers
  •  The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, Roy Porter
  • Life in a Medieval Castle, Frances and Joseph Gies
  • Communism, Richard Pipes
  • Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages, Frances and Joseph Gies
  •  Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel, Frances and Joseph Gies
  •  Life in a Medieval Village, Frances and Joseph Gies
  •   Women in the Middle Ages, Frances and Joseph Gies
  •  The Knight in History, Frances Gies
  • Collapse, Jared Diamond
  •  The Echo of Greece, Edith Hamilton


  •  The Jerk with the Cell Phone, Barbara Pachter and Susan Magee
  • Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor by Isaac Asimov
  •  Me of Little Faith, Lewis Black
  •  When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris
  •  Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris
  •  Wampeters, Foma, and Granfallons, Kurt Vonnegut

Mysteries and Thrillers

  •  The Appeal, John Grisham
  •  More Tales of the Black Widowers, Isaac Asimov
  • Tales of the Black Widowers, Isaac Asimov
  • Murder in the Lincoln Bedroom, Elliot Roosevelt
  • The Undertaker's Window,Philip Margolin
  •  Asimov’s Mysteries, Isaac Asimov
  • Banquets of the Black Widowers, Isaac Asimov
  • Puzzles of the Black Widowers, Isaac Asimov

Politics and Civic Interest

  • Why Lincoln Matters, Mario Cuomo 
  •  Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,Jimmy Carter
  • The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
  •  Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau
  •  Hard Call, John McCain
  • Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken

Religion and Philosophy

  • God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens
  • For the Love of Life, Erich Fromm
  • Writings on an Ethical Life, Peter Singer
  • The Art of Living, Epictetus -- trans. Sharon Leben
  • Armageddon in Retrospect, Kurt Vonnegut
  •  This I Believe, Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
  • This I Believe II  Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
  • The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz


  • Science Firsts,Robert Adler
  •  Darwin's Ghost,Steve Jones
  • The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
  • The History of Science from the Ancient Greeks to the Scientific Revolution, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Moser
  • Charles Darwin: the Naturalist Who Started a Scientific Revolution, Cyril Aydon
  • The History of Science in the 18th Century, Ray Spangenburg and  Diane Moser
  • The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
  • The History of Science in the 19th Century, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Moser
  • The Blank Slate, Stephen Pinker
  • The History of Science from 1895 to 1945, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Moser
  • Darwin, his Daughter, and Human Evolution, Randal Keynes
  • The History of Science from 1945 to the 1990s,Ray Spangenburg and Diane Moser
  • The Neanderthal Enigma, James Shreeve
  • The Universe in a Nutshell, Stephen Hawking
  • Primates of the World, Rod and Ken Preston-Mafham
  •  The Rise of Reason, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Kit Moser
  • The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
  •  The Age of Synthesis, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Kit Moser
  • The Ascent of Science, Brian L. Silver
  •  Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer
  •  Buy Jupiter and Other Stories, Isaac Asimov
  • Great Feuds in Science, Hal Hellman
  • Almost Everyone's Guide to Science, Joshua Gribbin
  •  Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer
  •  Modern Science, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Kit Moser
  • Science Frontiers, Ray Spangenburg and Diane Kit Moser
  •  Where Do We Go From Here?, ed. Isaac Asimov
  •  The Pinball Effect, James Burke

Science Fiction

  • The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories, Isaac Asimov
  • Nine Tales from Tomorrow, Isaac Asimov
  •  Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  •  I, Robot; Isaac Asimov
  •  Second Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  • Foundation and Empire, Isaac Asimov
  • Foundation’s Edge, Isaac Asimov
  • Foundation and Earth, Isaac Asimov
  • Prelude to Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  •  Forward the Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  • Nightfall, Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverburg
  •  Nemesis, Isaac Asimov
  •  Robot Dreams, Isaac Asimov
  •  The Winds of Change and Other Stories, Isaac Asimov
  •  The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov

Society and Culture

  •  Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century, Neil Postman
  • Rules of Civility, George Washington
  • A Life of Her Own, Emilie Carles

Star Trek and Star Wars 

  • Star Trek Academy: Collision Course,William Shatner
  • ST DS9: Trial by Error, Mark Garland
  • Death Star, Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
  • Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn

Technology and Society

  •  Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology, Neil Postman


    1. Bravo! I’m impressed with both the scope of reading and the record keeping. I cannot remember what I read last week! Here’s your next challenge:;rate each reading on an academic 100 point grade scale. Good luck!

    2. My project at the moment is to apply the same set of labels across my reading, from 2007 to the end of 2017, and then create a line graph to chart the rise and fall of history, science, etc!

      Even on goodreads I'm a little hesistant to rate books I read ages ago -- unless they left me with strong memories I tend to just assign 3 and 4.. (Goodreads uses a 1 to 5 star system, no half-star gradients. )

    3. Asimov and Turtledove; haven't read the latter, but yes on the former... i've got a copy of his Shakespeare book and have used it as a reference; mainly while reading the plays... impressive and eclectic list; it'll be fun to see the graphs!

      1. Well, I've gotten everything from 2007 - 2010 listed and labeled. All that remains is to dump all of my 2011 - 2017 lists into excel and get them sharing the same tags as the others!

    4. That's a lot of Asimov and a LOT of *Turtledove*. I'm impressed that your brain didn't explode!

    5. I LOVED Asimov, still do. I think I got through the Turtledove mostly because a friend of mine had encouraged the addiction -- I was reading from his library, basically!


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