Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Readings 2010

From time to time I comment here on the various audio books I am reading while commuting to work. I've had more than one person dispute with me that listening to a book is not the same as reading it, but I would suggest that it has at least some similarity to reading in that your mind is engaging the ideas of a writer who has worked very hard to produce words to convey a story or ideas or whatever.

What follows here is an incomplete list of books I have listened to. I say imcomplete because it is a record of the audio books I checked out of the Duluth Public Library, but does not include the audio books I listened to from the Superior Public Library. That library erases your record after your return items, Duluth does not so that I can go back in time and review everything I have ever checked out.

The Duluth list did include many more audio books than this, but some I only listened to half or a third and some even less. Occasionally it might be a frame of mind that kept me from getting into a good book, occassionally the writing itself may have been uninteresting and on a few occasions the reader was simply annoying and I did not want to be in that person's company for the duration.

Anyways, here's my 2010 list, including remarks on a few of the items.

1. Billy Collins Live: A performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, April 20, 2005
Nation's Poet Laurate is superb, as always.
2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to String Theory by George Musser
3. Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
This was my second reading of Dylan's autobiography. The first was when the book itself came out.
4. An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina
The Rwanda story that became the film Hotel Rwanda. Powerfully engaging.
5. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Probably third or fourth reading.
6. On Call In Hell: A Doctor’s Iraq War Story by Richard Jadick
7. The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
The library has more Leonard audio books on tape than CD, and not enough to satisfy me.
8. James Madison, the Fourth President by Garry Willis
9. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
With its final chapter included, the chapter not included in Kubrick's version.
10. The Accidental Billiionaires: Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Now a film, the story of Facebook's origins.
11. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
12. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
13. Appointment with Death: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
14. A Pocketful of Rye by Agatha Christie
15. The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie
16. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
17. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Interesting novel about India today.
18. Three Act Tragedy, A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
19. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro
Author of Remains of the Day.
20. Fierce Pajamas: Selections from an Anthology of Humor Writing from the New Yorker
21. Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
22. My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru
Intriguing story of a Sixties radical whose past comes back to haunt him.
23. Sideways by Rex Pickett
Became the film... and very well written.
24. Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
Hilarious novel about politics and more.
25. Conquistador Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma and the Last Stand of the Aztecs by Buddy Levy
26. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
27. Fidel Castro, My Life: An Autobiography by Fidel Castro
Lengthy, detailed account with many interesting details about "the Revolution" and Cuba's recent history.
28. Spy Killer by L. Ron Hubbard
Mediocre, but I stuck with it just because.
29. Plato & a Platypus Walk Into a Bar--: Understanding Philosphy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart
Some interesting things but not for everyone.
30. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President by Robert Dallek
Good portrait of a president not high on everyone's list, but who made the tough decisions required at a tough time in history.
31. Superfreakanomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
32. On The Wealth of Nations by P.J. O’Rourke
Playful review of a significant book.
33. Call Me Ted by Ted Turner
34. Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance by Tony Dungy
Highly recommended, especially for young men.
35. Taking Woodstock: A True Story of Riot, a Concert and a Life by Elliot Tiber
36. The Man Who Loved China: Joseph Needham and the Making of a Masterpiece by Simon Winchester
37. Eyewitness: 1910-1919 by Joanna Burke
BBC production that made the decade come alive.
38. Limitations by Scott Turow
39. Yogi Berra by Allen Barra
Detailed biography of a great ballplayer, rich with anecdotes and baseball lore.
Cut paper picture of the Buddha by author/artist Ellen Sandbeck.

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