Author's note: I wrote this months ago and forgot to post it. Oops.
Last year I read (or listened to, after I hurt my wrists) 52 books as part of Foursquare's 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. It was really fun and ~3x more books that I've ever read in a single year. A quarter of the books were re-reads. Here are all the books.
My favorite books
On our tracking google spreadsheet we bolded books we liked. These are (most of) the books I bolded and why I liked them.
- Longitude — Best non-fiction book I read last year. I always knew that there was a big quest to find a way to determe longitude at sea (unlike latitude, which is easy to determine). The author is great at weaving together the story of the man who figured it out with the
- The Martian — Best fiction book I read last year. I couldn't get enough of the detailed problem solving in this book. This is my first re-read of this year.
- Packing for Mars – I read this immediately after the Martian, and I loved getting deep into the every-day aspects of what life is like for people in space (there's a whole chapter on dealing with poop)
- The Island at the Center of the World — I really loved learning about the origins of the names of places in NYC and the people who made it happened. Did you know Wall St was literally the street where the fort's wall was, or that Peter Stuyvesant had a peg leg?
- Ready Player One — This felt like a modern Snow Crash or .hack//sign with a lot of detailed 80s references that I didn't get thrown in. I wish there were more virtual world fiction, but this met my needs. — This was the first Sherlock Holmes novel. I found it really interesting to see the origin of a character I've seen recreations of so many times. Although probably normal for the time it was published, the writing is kind of racist.
- The Hunger Games trilogy — I had no idea the story was told from Katniss's perspective having only seen the movies. Hearing Katniss tell us her internal struggles made the story feel different and better than the movies.
- The Circle — Like any good dystopian novel, this one took some worries of modern society (connectedness, social media, gadgets, massive tech companies) and took them to a satirical extreme. The main character is a bit gullable, but it really works for the story.
Other books I read
These were books I liked, but weren't my favorites:
- The Secret Life of Codebreakers
- A Study In Scarlet
- Liars and Outliers
- The Hard Thing about Hard Things
- The Power of Habit
- The Tipping Point
- Liar's Poker
- My Korean Deli
- Skin Game
- The Sign of the Four
- Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
- Knives at Dawn
- The Ascent of Money
- The World Without Us
- In Other Worlds
I also read these books and didn't like them that much:
- I am Number Four
- The Power of Six
I read a bunch of books from the (terrible) Nightside series hoping it would be as fun as the Dresden Files. The The books were: "Something from the Nightside", "Agents of Light and Darkness", "Nightingale's Lament", "Hex and the City", "Paths Not Taken", "Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth"
The Hand of Chaos
Into the Labyrinth
The Seventh Gate