Winter Reading 2011

Winter 2011 went from Thursday, December 22 to Monday, March 19, 2012 so 12.5 weeks. During that time I read 15 books. That amounts to approximately 1.2 books a week which is slightly below average for me. Since this list is coming so late, it’s best to just get into it without much ado.

Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City’s Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Florent Chavouet
Neat art, an artist’s charming personality, and an interesting place. When will Florent Chavouet come out with another book???

Steve Jobs (au) by Walter Isaacson
Ideal for those interested in the intricacies of product development. Much of the biography and personality of Steve Jobs can be gathered through his many magazine interviews over the years.

For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs (au) by Robert A. Heinlein
Ignoring major plot issues, Heinlein’s posthumously published early novel is notable for its social comment.

The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World, and the Way We Live Today (au) by Ted Conover
Slow at times, but satisfied my inclination for out-of-the-way locales and situations.

The Business and Culture of Digital Games: Gamework/Gameplay by Aphra Kerr
Adequate literature review of scholarly work on digital games. Recommended for academic heads only.

Tadao Ando: the Yale studio and current works by Tadao Ando
As a non-architect, I could not understand all of the intricacies here, but the essays helped and the photos were certainly good-looking.

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
I liked the narrator of this one from the beginning, but it was a little slow for my taste through the book’s middle. Added the “Literary Significance and criticism” and most of the “Lyman Ward” sections to the Wikipedia article.

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone
Not significant because its medium is visual (it’s a graphic novel), but because Gladstone is endearingly honest about the compromises journalists make.

Willie and Joe: Back Home by Bill Mauldin
Powerful post-WWII single-panel cartoons show difficulties returning veterans faced on the home front. The best panels throbbed with emotional power, the worst highlight specific political squabbles that have lost their meaning over time.

Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, et al.
Fun conceit, decent execution.

Lawrence Clark Powell by Gerald W. Haslam
Good for readers who don’t know much about Powell. Mostly repetitive for anyone with expertise.

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick
Can be dense for those unfamiliar with the subject, but definitely a worthwhile telling of the hard-science view of information.

The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens
Lush watercolors play in Evens’s masterful handling of narrative movement in a story that engulfs the reader in the alienation felt by the protagonist.

Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence Goldstone and Nancy Goldstone
Quick read about a couple’s early dabblings in the book world. Entertaining for book lovers and lovers of collecting.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Reread this book for the Jones Book Club. I loved it the first time when I listened to it, and felt the same way this time. A top-notch story.

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