Reading done in 2011

December 28, 2011

The count for this year is 31.

The Kindle experience
I enjoyed reading on my new Kindle (thanks C!). I could read a 1000 page tome like Shogun just as easily as I read a comic book. I remember what trouble I took to make sure I didn’t crease the binding on my copy of the Lord of the Rings, its nice not to have to worry about that anymore.

One of the things I miss about physical books is the ability to rapidly go back and forth to brush up on some events from the previous pages – I haven’t been able to do that on the Kindle.

New genres, new forms

This year, I started reading Science Fiction and Poetry for the first time. I begun with classics of the science-fiction genre like Ender’s Game and Dune, both of which I enjoyed.

I am not a fan of poetry in general so I picked up something sufficiently low-brow – Bukowski’s Love is a Dog from Hell. I chose this volume over his others because both the title and the cover were interesting. The poems were amusing and a few of them were quite well-written. Most of the poems are anecdotes about drunkenness, sex and shit-stained underwear; it is by far the dirtiest book on my shelf.

Two fantasy series that I was looking forward to reading disappointed me. The anti-Catholic vitriol in the first book of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy made me uncomfortable and detracted from an otherwise good story which had stuff like daemons and armoured bears battling to the death. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series started off pretty weak with The Colour of Magic but I heard that other books like Guards! Guards! are much better so I will give the series another shot.

Best book: Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

A dark, serious and masterful novel.

Worst book: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The plot is unbelievable (even for fantasy) and the imagery is so childish at times that it made me cringe.

Fiction:

  1. Still William by Richmal Crompton
  2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  3. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  5. Hotel by Arthur Hailey
  6. Shogun by James Clavell
  7. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  8. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Grahame-Smith Seth
  9. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  10. Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
  11. Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  12. My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  13. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
  14. Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
  15. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  16. Three Famous Short Novels: Spotted Horses, Old Man, The Bear by William Faulkner
  17. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  18. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Biographies/Autobiographies:

  1. Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi by Dean Faulkner Wells
  2. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman

Poetry:

  1. Love is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski

Fantasy:

  1. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
  3. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  4. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Science Fiction:
  1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  2. Dune by Frank Herbert
  3. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Non Fiction:

  1. Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology by Devdutt Pattanaik
  2. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  3. Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
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