As my loyal reader knows, I was on quite a reading kick in 2011. I challenged myself to read 52 books in 52 weeks and surpassed my expectation by reading 54 instead and starting my 55th before year-end.
So far this year, I have not been as active on the
reading circuit mostly because I have been working a ton and generally
busy with living (mostly all good things). But since I'm not dead, I
am still reading some books and now that the first quarter is up and at
this time last year I had already consumed 16 books, I am happy to
report I am on pace to read half of my output from last year and have
finished 8 books as of yesterday. Surprisingly, many of them have been
Non-Fiction. They will be listed below with commentary followed by my
reasons for reading this book at this time:
1) Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (306 Pages) - B+
This book came to me by my friend Bridget just bringing it over for me and Aubrey to enjoy.
2) Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (374 Pages) - A-
searched for this book since I had read about it on a number of message
boards and websites. I reserved it at the library and when it was made
available to me, I devoured this relatively large novel in days.
3) The Social Animal - David Brooks (376 Pages) - D
This was a book club book that I had to read.... Unfortunately
4) 11/22/63 - Stephen King (850 Pages) - A-
There is a sweetness to Stephen King's writing lately and
although I do not want to ruin anything with this book for anyone that
wants to read it, I will warn you there is an undertow of sadness within
I got this book as a Christmakah present
from Aubrey. It was only a matter of time before I found I had the 2-3
weeks required free to read this book. Once I started hearing positive
reviews for it, I knew this book would be the cure to my Social Animal
5) The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway (251 Pages) - C+
My friend Bridget is in the process of reading all of Hemingway's novels
as a challenge to herself this year. I was interested in reading him
too since I am not as well versed in the classics as I probably should
or the most part, I was not very impressed with this book.
It reminded me of the Great Gatsby which makes sense since it was
written around the same time and Hemingway and Fitzgerald were friends.
But the basic plot of spoiled rich kids traveling around Europe because
they're disassociated from The Great War and their place in the world
just seems very shallow. (Yes, I understand how that sounds coming from
a Blog who's sole purpose is to share ones insights, but I do not have
any delusions of being considered a Hemingway).
Overall, I was
kind of bored by the book and although I realize I probably am missing a
ton of symbolism and impressive writing style, I can't say I enjoyed
this book much and instead was thinking about when it would be over.
almost read this before reading 11/22/63, but Stephen King always wins
out. I tried this afterwards. I'm curious if most books after a King
book pale in comparison. Simply because for me, he is one of the best
in the field. This will have to be pondered over as I continue reading
Stephen King (Including next month's Wind Through The Keyhole)
6) Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson (571 Pages) - A
I then read the Biography of Steve Jobs. This book impressed
me more than I expected. Although he seemed to have been a difficult
person to work with, it was inspiring to read about someone who had a
vision that most others disagreed with and used his influence and drive
to create a product line that he thought was the correct way. His idea
of closing off his computer systems went against the "Hackers Code"
where they wanted an open source where people could poke around and
innovate, but it turned out to be a better business model than almost
There was a lot I didn't know about Steve Jobs
before this book and this book also opened up the idea of reading
Biographies to me, which I never really considered before. As long as
the character in question is interesting, I am excited to read more
biographies, including some by Walter Isaacson since he also wrote well
respected ones on Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin.
got this book for Aubrey for Christmakah. She had yet to read it and I
decided to be the guinea pig. Also, I was curious to know more about
Steve Jobs since I only knew the bare minimum of anecdotes.
7) Kill Alex Cross - James Patterson (365 Pages) - C+
I've written before on this blog, I have read all the Alex Cross
novels. They are not so much good, as they are fun and easy reads. I
guess I'm stuck coming back to every one of these (since I've already
invested 18 books of this character). I will always be curious about
what will happen next to my favorite DC Police-Man/FBI Agent. I will
always be curious about if Nana Mama will ever die, and what may happen
to his kids or his friend Sampson.
This book follows about three distinct story-lines that actually
did not really converge, but instead one was wrapped up well, one
appears to lead into the next book and develop a new major villain in
the series and one establishes something new for the Cross family.
These books are like Soap Operas to me, and everyone loves a good Soap Opera.
8) Life - Keith Richards (550 Pages) - B
Aubrey's sister left this book at our house and since I am open
to biographies now, I decided to try my hand at an autobiography. I
would not consider myself a Rolling Stones fan. I firmly park my car in
The Beatles garage, but after reading the book and loading up my ipod
with Stones CDs while reading, I feel I understand the band much more.
The Stones were an English band copying what they were hearing coming
out of America, mostly the Chicago and Southern Blues scene. Keith
Richards is a true guitarist and musician vs. The Beatles who are more
pop-oriented and song-writers.
Reading the book is a lot like
what I would imagine being with Keith Richards would be like. Fun, a
little disjointed with stories jumping around from one thing to the
other with only a loose narrative, but interesting.
If you only know The Rolling Stones hits like Start Me Up and
Satisfaction, then that's really only scraping the surface of the band.
They really thrive at their simple blues which are backed by Richards's
strong guitar skills. Since I play a little guitar and this book also appealed to me by him
explaining how he learned, and his migration over to 5-stringed Open G
tuning and why he felt that helped him develop his and The Stones
distinct sound over time.
I was not expecting to read this book at this time, but it
dropped into my hands and although it may be a little long, I was glad
to have read it.
I am now caught up in my readings through April 10, 2012. I am now reading another Book Club book that I am not excited about, but will muscle through so I can get to some others I'm more more excited about, as well as some that I'm not that were recommended to me by people that I trust.
We will see what happens throughout the rest of the year.