What I read in 2011
I don't know about you, but sometimes I get into a bit of a book collecting frame of mind as opposed to book reading.
So, at the start of 2011, I decided to make an effort to read some of the books I had been collecting that involve some
of my hobbies and interests. That way, I might actually gain some knowledge and insight into said hobbies and interests
Here (in no particular order is the list of what I read in 2011.
The Quest for the Perfect Hive (A history of Innovation in Bee Culture) by Gene Kritsky
Girl, Interrupted (haven't seen the movie yet) by Susanna Kaysen
Driftglass by Samuel Delany
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven
The Sea Wolf by Jack London
Troublesome Minds by Dave Galanter (a Star Trek novel)
Bloodthirst by J.M. Dillard (a Star Trek novel)
The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
Night of the Living Trekkies by Anderson and Stall (better than I expected for what it is)
The Humbling by Philip Roth
Brightness Falls From the Air by James Tiptree Jr.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Successful Bonsai Growing by Peter Adams
Shekina by Kuspit and Nimoy (this is really just a book of photographs)
Router Joinery Workshop by Carol Reed
Bonsai in Your Home by Paul Lesniewicz
Biscuit Joiner Handbook by Hugh Foster
Advanced Origami by Michael G. LaFosse
Origami Art by Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander
Origami Bonsai by Benjamin John Coleman
501 Best Shop Tips for Woodworkers
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Polaris by Jack McDevitt
Prador Moon by Neal Asher
The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolf
Tower of Glass by Robert Silverberg
Three Roads to Quantum Gravity by Lee Smolin
The New Cool (A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts) by Neal Bascomb
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li
Deep Down Things (The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics) by Bruce A. Schumm (one of the better books
of it's kind that I have read)
The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider
I got these read by early October, then picked up The Histories by Herodotus, a Penguin Classics book. It is a
translation of Herodotus' that describes the war between the Greek city-states and the Persian army that took place
in the fifth century bc (along with lots of background info). His writings are from 30-50 years after the actual events.
It's one of those books where you need to read the 50+ pages of footnotes to assist your understanding as you go.
This book was really hard to read. With no real grounding in the era, the never ending listings of places and names of
men, their sons, daughters and on rare occasions, wives, it could knock me unconscious in a matter of 2-3 pages.
The first 400 pages were the worst, after that there were far fewer digressions because the war was beginning in earnest
and staying on topic made it much better. I didn't finish it until today, but I'm leaving it behind in my 2011 list, partly
because most of it was read in 2011, but more because I want to put it behind me. I did learn some interesting things
reading it though. I'll look at archaeological artifacts with a more appreciative eye because of it, too.
Herodotus - The Histories