Spring Reading 2012

Spring 2012 began Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and ended Tuesday, June 19, 2012, so 13 weeks. During that time I read 18 books. That amounts to approximately 1.4 books a week which is average for me.

The Great Gatsby (au) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My re-reading of this classic was less than satisfactory. Though I liked it in high school, I now find a contrived plot and boring, aimless characters.

Have Space Suit — Will Travel (au) by Robert Heinlein
A typical Heinlein Juvie, which is to say, really good if you’re into that sort of thing.

“Excuse Me, But I Was Next…”: How to Handle the Top 100 Manners Dilemmas by Peggy Post
A quick etiquette refresher that told me what all decent people already know: Etiquette is about being considerate of others.

Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst (au) by Robert I. Sutton
A no-nonsense guide to being a Good Boss. Written without all that mushy stuff, but with enough anecdotes to make it worthwhile.

Rain: What a Paperboy Learned about Business (au) by Jeffrey Fox
An okay business fable. I enjoyed the idea of it being about a paperboy more than the execution.

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking edited by John Brockman
A catalogue of memes that might be more interesting in a decade as a way to look at today’s popular scientific thinking.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Not as good as Groff’s previous books, but good enough to recommend to folks who like slower-paced emotion-driven prose, set in a commune then semi-dystopia. Yeah, there’s a lot to this short book.

Rocket Ship Galileo (au) by Robert Heinlein
Not a favorite, this juvie has the type of far-fetched plot that places it with pulp adventure rather than Heinlein’s better-crafted tales for young men.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Upon re-reading this classic, I found at as good or better than when I first listened to Bradbury reading it. Poetic prose and powerful plot put F451 into a category few books fall into: I may reread it a 3rd time.

Double Star (au) by Robert Heinlein
A ham actor impersonating a well-known opposition leader makes for one of Heinlein’s very best books. A highlight of the author’s early period. Random fact: This is the 10th Heinlein book I’ve read/listened to. I’m not up to 12.

The Illustrated Man (au) by Ray Bradbury
Raw, active, with hints of the gothic, this book is ideal for the reader who wants to dive into Bradbury’s short stories. But be warned, some of the plots are quite ruthless.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Oh man, the whale! The first and last hundred pages of Moby Dick are perhaps the best pages in all of American literature. The rest is educational but middlish in terms of entertainment.

Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down by John P. Kotter
Useful business fable, the only downside being its limited scope.

Caves of Steel (au) by Isaac Asimov
The fact that it’s guided by logic doesn’t make Asimov’s Elijah Bailey mysteries any less entertaining. Though Heinlein is tops, of the Sci-Fi grandmasters, Asimov comes in second.

Vurt by Jeff Noon
Quick cyberpunk for teens with a fetching story idea.

The Man in the High Castle (au) by Philip K. Dick
This top-notch alt-history is unlike Dick’s other books in that it’s not a mind-bender. Doesn’t matter because until the plot peters out towards the end, Dick’s book is a believable and engrossing novel.

Who Killed Change?: Solving the Mystery of Leading People Through Change by Ken Blanchard, et al.
An example of everything that is wrong with business fables. The only thing that recommends it is that it’s short.

Horses and Men by Sherwood Anderson
From mediocre to timeless, these short stories live up to Winesburg, Ohio in spurts.

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