My Reading List

Life presents us with a lot of puzzles.  The good news is that you are not the first person to ever deal with the trials of life.  There are plenty of smart and creative people who came before and figured out a lot of great stuff.

That’s why I read a lot, and why I think you should, too.  You’ll learn new things from each book, of course. These ideas will cross-fertilize and become part of the tapestry of your world view. Learning from a wide-variety of subjects and experiences is a great way to become smarter and broaden your perspective.

Since March 2008, I have kept a list of the books I have read.  I started this after reading that Art Garfunkel has kept a list of every book he has read since June 1968.  My list is not perfect; some items have slipped through the cracks.  It is close to accurate, though. Books marked with an asterisk (*) are favorites.  Books marked with an “R” are rereads.

I encourage you to do the same.  It allows you to maintain a record. It also allows you to review periods of your life, to see how interests have risen, developed, ebbed, and flowed.  It allows you to remember particularly busy and productive times, as well as unproductive and slow periods.  It also allows you to review the list for books that should be reread or revisited as appropriate.  I only wish I had started sooner, instead of at age 32.

2017

January

Ten Restaurants That Changed America – Paul Freedman
The Sea Wolves: a History of the Vikings – Lars Brownworth

February
Small Stream Trout Fishing – Dave Hughes
Trout Flies – Dave Hughes
Trout Rigs and Methods – Dave Hughes
Essential Trout Flies – Dave Hughes
Living Within Limits – Garrett Hardin

March

* Brown Dog – Jim Harrison
* Zen and the Art of Archery
Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon

April

The Lessons of History – Will and Ariel Durant
Show Your Work – Austin Kleon
Krishnamurti: The Essential Collection – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – Carlo Rovelli

2016

January

Walking – Henry David Thoreau (R)
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs – Lisa Randall
* Islam and the Future of Tolerance – Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz
The Power Broker – Robert Caro
* Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Busy – How to Thrive in a World of Too Much – Tony Crabbe
* Meditations – Marcus Aurelius (R)
Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World – Paul Carteledge
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future – Ashlee Vance
Information: A Very Short Introduction – Luciano Floridi
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport

February

* Seeking Wisdom: Darwin to Munger – Peter Bevelin
Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
The Gervais Principle – Venkatesh Rao
* The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
The End of Jobs – Taylor Pearson
Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion

March

Tempo: Timing, Tactics, & Strategy in Narrative-Driven Decision Making – Venkatesh Rao
* The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival – John Valiant
The Way of Men – Jack Donovan

May

* ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror – Michael Weiss & Hassan Hassan
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
My Southern Journey – Rick Bragg

June

The Character of Physical Law (Messenger Lectures) – Richard Feynman
The Origins of Virtue – Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist – Matt Ridley

July

Tribe – Sebastian Junger
* Theodore Roosevelt and the River of Doubt – Candice Millard
* Poor Charlie’s Almanac – Charlie Munger

August

Illusions – Richard Bach
Influence – Richard Cialdini
Lying – Sam Harris

September

* The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
Churchill – Paul Johnson
The Mushroom Hunters – Langdon Cook

October

David Quammen – The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
Ego is the Enemy -Ryan Holiday
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari

November

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy (reread)
Hell’s Angels – Hunter S. Thompson
Don’t Shoot the Dog! – Karen Pryor

December

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius (reread)
Guide to the Good Life – William Irvine
The Lessons of History – Will Durant and Ariel Durant

2015

January

Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird – Rucker and Erickson
Walking – Thoreau
Prune – Gabrielle Hamilton
Sibley’s Birding Basics
Bourbon – Dane Huckelbridge
The Faraway Nearby – Rebecca Solnit

February

* A Field Guide to Getting Lost – Rebecca Solnit
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Ganawande
* The Art of Stillness – Pico Iyler

March

Wild – Cheryl Strayed
The Strange and Terrible Reasons I Run Long Distances – Michael Walsh
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Ready to Run – Kelly Starrett
The Unbreakable Runner – Brian MacKenzie

April

Peterson’s Guide for New Birders
Move Your DNA – Katy Bowman
Alignment Matters – Katy Bowman
The Strange Case of Rachel K – Rachel Kushner
Ongoingness – The End of a Diary – Sarah Manguso
Embrace the Suck – Stephen Madden

May

Girl in a Band – Kim Gordon
Leaves of Grass – Whitman

June

Hemingway on Fishing – Ed. By Nick Lyon

July

Force of Nature – Laird Hamilton
* Natural Born Heroes – Christopher McDougall
The Belly of Paris – Emile Zola

August

On Food and Cooking – Harold McGee
Radical Acceptance – Tara Brach
Farewell, My Subaru – Doug Fine
The Whole Beast – Fergus Henderson
La Bonne Table – Ludwig Bemmelmens
Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan Millman
* Desert Solitaire – Edward Abbey
* Waking Up – Sam Harris
* Letter to a Christian Nation – Sam Harris
Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert
Free Will – Sam Harris

September

Way of the SEAL – Mark Divine
Bruce Lee – Words from a Master
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman – Feynman

October

* Book of Five Rings – Musashi
* Blood Meridian – McCarthy (R)

November

Dropping Ashes on the Buddha – Seung Sahn
Memoirs – Gen. U.S. Grant

December

The Iliad – Homer
* Thinking in Numbers – Daniel Tammet
The Koran
Poverty Creek Journal – Thomas Gardner
Heat – Bill Buford

2014

January

Blue Highways – William Least Heat Moon

February, March, April

It’s Complicated
The Big Disconnect
The Secrets of Happy Families
The Negroni – Gaz Regan
* The Art of Learning – Josh Waitzkin

May

* A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
The Four Hour Body – Tim Ferris

June

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig
* Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
Man on Extremely Small Island – Jason Koo
America’s Favorite Poem – Jason Koo
Zen and the Art of Running – Larry Shapiro

July

* The Green Hills of Africa – Hemingway
The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene
The Black Swan – Nassim Taleb

August

Memoirs – W.T. Sherman
Giving Good Weight – John McPhee
Washington – Ron Chernow

September

Cool Tools – Kevin Kelly
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko – Daniel Pink
* The End of Faith – Sam Harris
Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson
Tipis and Yurts
What Technology Wants – Kevin Kelly

October

* The Way of Zen – Alan Watts
* Asia Grace – Kevin Kelly
The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay – Hooman Majd
The Hard Thing about Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
* A Walk in the Woods- Bill Bryson
The Invisible Landscape – Terrence McKenna
* The Shortness of Life – Seneca
* Essentialism – Greg McKeown

November

* Letter to a Christian Nation – Sam Harris
Plutarch – How to Profit by One’s Enemies
The Ravenous Brain – Daniel Bor

December

The Founding Fish – McPhee
A Christmas Carol- Dickens

2013

January

The Elegant Universe – Brian Greene

February

On the Map – Simon Garfield
Pekar’s Cleveland – Harvey Pekar
Maphead – Ken Jennings
Mozart – Alfred Einstein

March / April

Colonel Roosevelt – Edmund Morris

June

Boys Themselves – Richard Hawley
Zeitoun – Dave Eggers

July

Getting Things Done – Dave Allen
The Headmaster’s Papers – Richard Hawley
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
* The Corner – David Simon

August

The LIfe and Times of the Hotel Athenaeum – Thomas Dorey
Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman (audio)
Markets and Morality – Michael Sandel

September

Daily Ritual – Habits of Artists

October and November

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power – Jon Meacham

2012

January

How My Heart Signs (Bill Evans bio ) – Peter Pettinger

February

Hemingway’s Boat – Paul Hendrickson

March

This is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper

April

Fly Fishing the Midlife Crisis – Howell Raines

May

Zen Mind, Beginner Mind –  Suzuki

August

The Radicalism of the American Revolution – Gordon Wood
The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing – Kirk Deeters / Charlie Meyers

September

Zen Mind, Beginner Mind – Suzuki
Moonwalking with Einstein – Joshua Foer

October

Zen and the Way of the Sword – Winston King
Reveries of the Outdoor Man – Bill Wolf
The World that Made New Orleans – Ned Sublette

November

* The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris
* The Way of Zen – Alan Watts
Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays – Christopher Hitchens
Castle – David MacCauley

December

god is not Great – Hitchens

2011

January

The Sportsman’s Wilderness – Ridge Press anthology
Tough Men, Tall Trees – Robert Pike *
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
From My French Country Table – Dorie Greenspan
The Harley-Davidson Reader – Michael Dregni

February

Gonzo: A Tribute to HST – Anita Thompson
* Big Sur – Kerouac
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail – HST
Nags Headers – Susan Rountree
Panic Attack!: art in the punk years – Mark Sladen
* Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess – Fischer
Visions of Gerard – Kerouac

March

Maggie Cassidy – Kerouac
Fish and Shellfish – James Peterson
Annals of the Former World – James McPhee
The Vintage Mencken – compiled  by Alistaire Cook
Washington Rules – Andrew Bacevich

April

* Soul on Ice – Eldridge Cleaver
The Seagull – Chekov
Democracy Matters – Cornel West
Hopes and Prospects – Chomsky

May

* Heart of Darkness – Conrad
Race Matters – Cornel West
Frank Lloyd Wright biography (returned book before writing down author)

June-July-August-September

The Wind-up Bird Chronicles – Murakami

October

The Monster of Florence – Preston
Bright Lights, Big City – McInernay
Homage to Catalonia – Orwell

November

* PrairyErth – William Least Heat Moon
Ghosts of Manilla – Mark Kram

December

A Christmas Carol – Dickens
How to Be a Man – Glenn O’Brien

2010

January

In Our Time – Ernest Hemingway
Lowboy – John Wray
Pale Fire – Nabokov
Tristessa – Kerouac
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men – DFW
Tumble Home – Amy Hempel

February

If You Liked School, You’ll Love Work – Irvine Welsh
True at First Light – Hemingway
Simple Justice – Richard Kluger
* L’Etranger – Camus
* Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures
Whitney Biennial 2008
Night Wraps the Sky – Vladimir Mayakovsky
Consider the Lobster – DFW
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again – DFW

March

* A Farewell to Arms – Hemingway
Essays in Zen Buddhism – DT Suzuki

April

The Grizzly Maze – Nick Jans
City of Thieves – Daniel Benioff
The Next 100 Years – George Friedman
* River Horse – William Least Heat Moon

May

The Catastrophist – Ronan Bennett
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
Hoare – The Whale
The Paris Review – Interviews, Vol. 1

June

* Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Marukami
Shooting digital : pro tips for taking great pictures with your digital camera – Mikkel Aaland
Cooking by Hand – Paul Bertoli
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
In Reverence of Wood – Eric Sloane
Papa: Hemingway in Key West – James McLendon
Audubon Guide to North American Weather

July

* Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges
An Age of Barns – Eric Sloane
Seasons of America’s Past – Eric Sloane
For Spacious Skies: A Meterorological Sketchbook of American Weather – Eric Sloane
Coming into the Country – John McPhee
The Founding Fish – John McPhee

August

Macbeth – Shakespeare
The Undiscovered Self – Jung
Symbols and the Interpretations of Dreams – Jung
Let the Great World Spin – Colum McCann
What I Talk About when I Talk About Running- Murakami

September

* For Whom the Bell Tolls – Hemingway
Camouflage – Tim Newark/Jonathan Miller
The Lost City of Z – David Grann

October

God and Man at Yale – William F. Buckley, Jr.
Born Losers – Scott Sandage

November

Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris

December

Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris

2009

January

Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
Mao II – Don DeLillo

February

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

March

Watchmen – Alan Moore
* The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
The Rules of Attraction – Bret Easton Ellis
Drown – Junot Diaz
Collected Stories – John Cheever
* Child of God – Cormac McCarthy
Outer Dark – McCarthy

April

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis
Dry – Augusten Burroughs
* The Crossing – Cormac McCarthy
Cities of the Plain – Cormac McCarthy
* Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates

May

* The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Death in the Afternoon – Ernest Hemingway

June

The Reader – Bernhard Schlink
* The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams
* The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Collected Poems of Charles Bukowski
Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

July

Collected Stories – Amy Hempel
Under Kilimanjaro – Ernest Hemingway

August

The Library at Night
USA Trilogy – John Dos Passos (not finished – return to later)

September

* Roads to Quoz – William Least Heat Moon
* Blue Highways – William Least Heat Moon
American Road Trip – Ilf & Petrov
Integrated  Design in Contemporary Architecture – Kiel Moe
The Maine Woods – Thoreau

October

Islamic Art & Culture – A Visual History – Naser D. Khalili
Mannahatta: a Natural History of NYC – Eric Sanderson
The Iliad – Homer

November

December

* A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
Getting to Know the General – Graham Greene

2008

March

All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy
The Road – Cormac McCarthy

April

* Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

May

* Selected Poems – ee cummings

June

Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Population 485 – Michael Perry
Elements of Cooking – Michael Ruhlman

July

Diary – Chuck Pahalniuk
Our Man in Havana – Graham Greene
* The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving
Glengarry Glen Ross – David Mamet
The Invention of Morel – Adolfo Bioy Cesare

August

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – CG Jung
* Post Office – Charles Bukowski
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
The Subterraneans – Jack Kerouac
* Desolation Angels – Jack Kerouac
ABC of Reading – Ezra Pound
The Dhammapada – Buddha
The Rest is Noise – Alex Ross

October
* Meditations in an Emergency – Frank O’Hara
Ariel – Sylvia Plath

November

* A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
Factotum – Charles Bukowski

December

Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolano
In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
The Orchard Keeper – Cormac McCarthy

One thought on “My Reading List”

  1. i started keeping a list too! i was buying books that i’d already read…. now i can refer to my list! i quickly scanned your list. interesting mix.

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