2017 Reading List
December 26, 2017
Overall, another good year of reading. One thing I noticed this year that I want to correct next year is the range of topics and time periods I seem to indulge in. Next year I’d like to be more structured and better plan my reading; thinking about the topics I want to read about and keeping up to date on new and upcoming texts.
by Dervla Murphy
Dervla Murphy retells her difficult upbringing and young adult life in Ireland. A brutally honest autobiography by my favourite travel writer.
by James Joyce
I’ve been fascinated with James Joyce this year. Dubliners paints a picture of Ireland at the turn of the 20th century through 15 short stories exuding realism.
by Oscar Wilde
The magic of Oscar Wilde never fails to satisfy. I particularly enjoyed The Rose and Nightingale.
by Franz Kafka
My first taste of the troubled mind of Kafka. I think this book highlights how absurd and unpredictable life can be.
by Jessica Abel
A fun graphic novel about public radio and how to create good stories.
by Lawrence Weschler
This book explores the life and work of Robert Irwin and it really helped me understand art—especially art that I would have previously dismissed without much thought. Robert’s work is particularly interesting—a fascinating career.
by Roy MacLeod
A collection of essays discussing theories and facts about the great library. Some essays better than others.
Another fascinating adventure with the wonderful Dervla Murphy. A hardened vagabond and an incredibly inspiring women.
by James Joyce
Ulysses was difficult to read (I’m sure you haven’t heard that before) but it stands out as a truly unique piece of literature. I enjoyed reading it, but finished it feeling like I needed a second round—I think I’ll give it a year, though.
by Neil Gaimen
This was good, but I really struggled to get into it and I don’t know why. It has all the makings of great Gaimen fantasy but I never quite got drawn into the story.
by Walter Isaacson
Loved this. A fascinating overview of some of the pioneers of modern computing. From Ada Lovelace to Licklider to Gates.
by Blake Crouch
Yes! Really suspenseful fiction. Kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
by Katie Hafner & Matthew Lyon
Another fascinating piece of text on the beginnings of the Internet.
by Mitchell Gordon
It’s interesting reading these books ~50 years after they were written to compare projections of that time with today. Economics, population growth, urban expansion, transportation have in some cases blown their expected projections.
by Tim Urban
Tim Urban making difficult topics easy to understand. If you want to learn about brain machine interfaces, start here.
by Christopher P. McKay & Margarita M. Marinova
This is a more technical insight into making Mars habitable, which is interesting. It was, however, published in 2001 so some of the research and data has most likely changed.
by Yuval Noah Harari
A fairly broad and digestible account on the history of human kind.
by Garry Kasparov
A really fascinating look at AI from the perspective of a chess Grandmaster. A lot of focus on Kasparov’s matches against Deep Blue—the chess-playing computer built by IBM.
by Jane Jacobs
As ever, Jane Jacobs takes a compassionate and spirited approach to discussing the topic of urban planning.
by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Regardless of what is said about Hillary Clinton in the press, she comes across a genuine and caring person. It’s without a doubt she would’ve been a better president than he who got elected, she was robbed.
by Noam Chomsky
Several interviews and conversations with Chomsky. A lot of repeated points due to the nature of this “pamphlet series”. Time would be better spent reading Chomsky’s other work.
by Oliver Sacks
This was great. Sacks takes a seemingly straightforward scenario and explores it to its fullest. His medical descriptions and his storytelling are very enjoyable.
by Timothy D. Snyder
A lot of good lessons in this book.
by Howard Zinn
The history lesson they don’t teach in schools, American schools anyway. A pretty dense look at America’s history from Columbus right through to the turn of the 20th century, recommend if you’re into history of class, capitalism, racism, war, politics.
by James Joyce
Probably the most accessible of Joyce’s work. This follows the early life of Stephen Dedalus, one of the main characters in Ulysses.
by Oliver Sacks
The final body of work from the great Oliver Sacks. Quite abstract, looking at many different areas of life and science but with the same Oliver Sacks charm I’ve grown to love.
If you'd like to stay up-to-date with my blog, or subscribe to my monthly newsletter please sign up to my mailing list.