List-o-Books: 2011

After reading 60 books in 2010, I was off to a roaring start reading books in 2011.  However, I am also now enrolled in Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts program of the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC.    The amount of reading and writing for this program, is daunting, even with only one course per semester.  While I will be reading a lot this year, I doubt I will come close to reading as many books as I did last year.  But, never say never.

In September 2012, I updated this list to include affiliate links to IndieBound. All the cool kids buy books from independent booksellers. It’s time to ditch those high-water pants, throw out the nerd glasses, and join the hipsters at your local independent bookstore. Tell them I sent you – that and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee.


  1. Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It
    by Jill Jonnes
  2. Thunderstruck
    by Erik Larson
  3. Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82
    by Elizabeth A. Fenn
  4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    by Rebecca Skloot
  5. The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom
    by Simon Winchester
  6. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
  7. Neuromancer
    by William Gibson
  8. Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History
    by Matt Taibbi
  9. Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society
    by Bill Bryson
  10. Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun
    by Erik Larson
  11. OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word
    by Allan Metcalf
  12. The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
    by A. J. Jacobs
  13. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
    by Isabel Wilkerson
  14. The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear
    by Seth Mnookin
  15. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
    by Wes Moore
  16. Unfamiliar Fishes
    by Sarah Vowell
  17. Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
    by Kevin Poulsen
  18. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression
    by Amity Shlaes
  19. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming
    by Mike Brown
  20. Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are
    by Bart D. Ehrman
  21. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
    by Brian Greene
  22. The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
    by Deborah Blum
  23. The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of 'Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park
    by Jack Lynch
  24. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
    by Sam Kean
  25. Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine
    by George M. Taber
  26. The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution
    by T. R. Reid
  27. Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World
    by Sarah Vowell
  28. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
    by Erik Larson
  29. Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us
    by Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman
  30. Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base
    by Annie Jacobson
  31. The Mind's Eye
    by Oliver Sacks
  32. Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World
    by Catherine E. McKinley
    A book review of
  33. Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid
    by Wendy Williams
  34. Casino Royale
    by Ian Fleming
  35. Bossypants
    by Tina Fey
  36. Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
    by Laurie Garrett
  37. American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee
    by Karen Abbott
  38. The Great Oom: The Mysterious Origins of America's First Yogi
    by Robert Love
  39. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts
    by Simon Garfield
  40. A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire
    by Sai Gaddam and Ogi Ogas
  41. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
    by Donovan Hohn
  42. Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission
    by Andrew Kessler
  43. A Planet of Viruses
    by Carl Zimmer
  44. Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory
    by Ben Macintyre
  45. Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border
    by Rachel St. John
  46. Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge
    by Max Brockman
  47. Humor Me: An Anthology of Funny Contemporary Writing (Plus Some Great Old Stuff Too)
    by Ian Frazier
  48. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
    by Siddartha Mukherjee
  49. The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy
    by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
  50. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean
    by Susan Casey
  51. Inflight Science: A Guide to the World From Your Airplane Window
    by Brian Clegg
  52. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011
    by Mary Roach and Tim Folger (Editors)
  53. Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks
    by Ken Jennings
  54. Worm: The First Digital World War
    by Mark Bowden
  55. With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful
    by Glenn Greenwald
  56. The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years
    by Sonia Shah
  57. The Best American Science Writing 2011
    by Rebecca Skloot, Floyd Skloot, and Jesse Cohen (Editors)
  58. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Book 1 of the Millennium Trilogy
    by Stieg Larsson
  59. Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic that Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries
    by Molly Caldwell Crosby
  60. The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives
    by Frank Moss