I like the WordPress challenge to write one blog post a day, or a week. This is my attempt at getting off to a good start, with a quick post wrapping up 2010 in books. I had started off the year hoping to read 50 books, or at least surpassing my previous record of 40 books. I passed the 40 book mark in September, breezed past the 50 book mark in October, and ended the year completing 60 books, well past my goal. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
But, astute readers are assuredly wondering, were any of those 60 books good? Were they mere comic books, just trashy beach novels, or were they actually, to cop a phrase from Alton Brown, “good reads”? You can see my complete list here, and I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these books, most of which were definitely worth reading. One of the books was a graphic novel, which some people might derisively call a comic book, but, as this review points out, The Beats: A Graphic History is a full length graphic treatment on a serious subject.
Out of these sixty books, I find it hard to pick just a few best reads, but a few I would recommend to anyone. Jon Krakauer‘s Where Men Win Glory: the Odyssey of Pat Tillman is a fantastic book, deflating the glorious story of war promoted by the war-mongers and revealing the truth behind the headlines in Tillman’s story, an atheist in the foxhole, killed by friendly fire while on a truly difficult mission. Erik Larsen‘s Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America, which I reviewed earlier, is a wonderful look at fin de siècle America, and a true-crime masterpiece. And Scott Huler’s On the Grid: A Plot of Land, An Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make Our World Work is a real treat, looking at the unseen mysteries that lie all around us in the infrastructure that makes modern life so, well, modern. Also, it is about Raleigh, which earns it bonus points from me, since I live in the Triangle.
Previously on this blog I’ve discussed the pros and cons of e-readers. Thanks to my lovely wife, or Santa Claus if you prefer, I am now the proud owner of an Amazon Kindle. I’ll be posting soon my experiences with the Kindle – the good, the bad, and the ugly.