Atrios has been listing the books he’s read this year, and this got me curious about which books I’ve read this year. The answer is that I don’t know. Some time ago I began using Nook as my regular e-reader because the Kindle app is a piece of crap on Windows tablets. And it turns out that Barnes & Noble makes it all but impossible to figure out when you bought a book. You can check your orders for the past six months, but they provide only order numbers, not book titles. I looked and looked, but unless I missed something obvious there’s no real way to know when you bought a particular book.
That’s kind of annoying—at least, for those of us who are easily annoyed. Anyway, take this list with a grain of salt, but here’s what I’ve read in the first half of the year, in chronological order:
- Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky
- Ethan Canin, A Doubter’s Almanac
- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop
- Connie Willis, Crosstalk
- Alice Dreger, Galileo’s Middle Finger
- Brian Stavely, The Emperor’s Blades
- Brian Stavely, The Providence of Fire
- Brian Stavely, The Last Mortal Bond
- Rob Sheffield, Dreaming the Beatles
- Joan Williams, White Working Class
- Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
- Cory Doctorow, Walkaway
- Charles Stross, Empire Games
- David Weigel, The Show That Never Ends
- Paul Beatty, Sellout
Did I also read one or two dead-tree books? I think I did! But I don’t remember what they were.
It’s mostly fiction. Political nonfiction (broadly defined) has become so partisan that I find I don’t enjoy it much these days. There are several books I liked on this list, but none that blew me away. I guess my top picks are A Doubter’s Almanac among fiction¹ and Galileo’s Middle Finger among nonfiction.
¹Assuming you get a kick out of novels about disturbed, world-class mathematicians, which I do.