Books I’ve Read

Favourite books are James Joyce – Ulysses and Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men in a Boat. The year in every entry is the year I read the book.

Fiction

  • Alan Paton – Cry, the Beloved Country – 2008 – a touching novel on apartheid in South Africa
  • Alastair Reynolds – Revelation Space Series – 2012 – Great stuff, full review in ‘Science Fiction’.
  • Albert Camus – The Plague – 2006 – Camus used the incidence of a plague to delve into the human psyche
  • Albert Camus – L’Etranger – July 2010
  • Aldous Huxley – Brave New World – 2007 – A description of a possible Utopia, but is it a Utopia?
  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Translated from Russian by H.T. Willets) – Dec 2012
  • Andy Weir – The Martian – Summer 2015 – Riveting, personal. Very refreshing hard science-fiction. The opposite of the space operas I’m used to.
  • Arthur C. Clarke – Odyssey Series – 2005 – Science fiction
  • Agatha Christie – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd among others – 2003 – I find her books too dry but “The Murder…” is a classic.
  • Alexander McKee – The Friendless Sky – 2007 – A book on the lives of men who piloted fighter planes in WWI.
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Le Petit Prince – 2005 – Childlike wonder, innocence and questing.
  • Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead – 2008 – I don’t agree with her philosophy but her literary style is something to be admired.
  • Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson – Prequels and pre-prequels to the Dune Saga – 2007 – Do you want racy, scifi thrillers which will make you stick your nose in the book? Then these are for you. The Pre-prequels are The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade, The Battle of Corrin and the prequels are House Harkonned, House Corrino and House Atriedes.
  • Charles Stross – Accelerando – Highly aware science fiction – Jan/Feb 2013
  • Charles Stross – Glasshouse – March 2013
  • Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 2008?
  • Edgar Allan Poe – Collected Short Stories – 2006 – don’t remember which ones exactly but they include the Pit and the Pendulum.
  • E.M. Forster – A Passage to India – Sept 2016 – It was all right. I thought the Indian characters a little overwrought.
  • Enid Blyton – all her stuff, its great reading for children – 1998
  • Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea – 2007
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby – Summer 2011 – One of the most evocative books I’ve ever read. Fitzgerald takes great care to ensure meticulous reading is rewarded. Pause to savour the words and you will be rewarded with intricate imagery and feelings made real. The book was much clearer to me when I read it second time after coming to America. It is about American society, so living here before reading it definitely helps.
  • Frank Herbert – The Dune Saga – 2007 – truly amazing and possibly my favorite series. A creative blend of metaphysics, fantasy and science fiction. Recommended!
  • Franz Kafka – Assorted short stories – 2008?
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Brothers Karamazov – 2007 – The amount of wisdom this book contains is unbelievable…recommended!
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Love in the Time of Cholera – 2007(?)
  • George Martin – The Song of Ice and Fire – 2008 – a fantasy series in which magic plays less of a role, with a heavily intertwined and subtle plot.
  • George Orwell – Animal Farm – 2005
  • George Orwell – Down and Out in Paris and London – Sept 2010
  • George Orwell – 1984 – 2010
  • Gerald Durrell – My Family and Other Animals – 2002(?) – Excellent source of comedic relief, and very reassuring that we’re not along in our battyness.
  • Gerald Durrell – Mengerie Manor – 2002(?)
  • Guy de Maupassant – 2004 onwards – all his works, especially Ball of Fat and The Necklace
  • H.H. Munro – 2004 onwards – all this works, I like his style and irony
  • Hannu Rajaniemi – The Jean le Flambeur Trilogy – Summer 2013
  • Issac Asimov – 2003 onwards – The Foundation Series, I, Robot, lots of short stories, and parts of his Daniel Olivaw centered works…must complete reading it sometime.
  • Isaac Asimov – The Gods Themselves – Jan/Feb 2011 – Completely agree with the theme here. “Against stupidity the Gods themselves contend in vain.”
  • James Herriot – 2002(?) – Assorted works don’t remember which ones, but they’re excellent reading. Who knew you could bring alive being a vet?
  • James Joyce – Ulysses – 2009 – easily the greatest book ever written!
  • Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men in a Boat – 2004 – This is possible my favourite book, it had me in splits. I’m willing to bet that this will be the funniest book you’ve ever read, inspite of it being published in the 19th century its humour remains fresh are ever.
  • J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye – 2007
  • Joseph Heller – Catch 22 – Summer 2015 – Gradually reveals itself; you feel for the characters; paints a picture of absurdity
  • Jostein Gaarder – Sophie’s World – 2008
  • J.R.R. Tolkien – Lord of the Ring, The Silmarrion The Hobbit – 2003 – fantasy at its best
  • Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss – 2009
  • Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five, Cats Cradle – 2008 – The pointlessness of war and strife
  • Kim Stanley Robinson – The Mars Trilogy (Red Mars,Green Mars,Blue Mars) – 2009
  • Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace, The Death of Ivan Ilyich – 2008 – The 2nd book is an introspective on the nature of death and why we fear it.
  • Mordecai Richler – Barney’s Version – Oct-Nov 2010
  • Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash – Jan 2013
  • O’Henry – 2009 – Collected Short Stories
  • Paolo Bacigalup – The Windup Girl – Fall 2012
  • Philip K. Dick – Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said – Summer 2011 – It was a decent read, but I had high expectations for PKD this being my first read and it was below expectations.
  • Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle – Early 2015
  • Philip K. Dick – The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch – December 2011 – A rollicking journey through reality. What is reality? What is consciousness? What is illusion? What do you know? What exists? This books makes you feel these questions.
  • Philip K. Dick – V.A.L.I.S. – Dec-Jan 11/12 – A trip through PDK’s psyche. Really, there’s no other way to put it.
  • Pearl S. Buck – The Good Earth – 2006 – Its potrayal of human nature really struck me.
  • P.G. Wodehouse – 2004 – Really comic, the coincidences he comes up with are hilarious.
  • Rabelais – Gargantua & Pantagruel. Translated by M.A.Screech – late 2010 – Plein de joie de vivre. All the little touches and flourishes, the way the chapter names start with ‘How’ and are always followed by something ridiculous, the non-words, bon mots, absurd lists…
  • Roald Dahl – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Charlie & the Great Glass Elevator, Matilda and so on – 2000
  • Robert Jordan – The Wheel of Time Series – 2007
  • Richmal Crompton – William Series – 1996 – Simply hilarious, I think I’ve read ever single one
  • R.K. Narayan – Malgudi Days – 2005
  • Satyajit Ray – Feluda – 2005
  • Steven Errikson – Malazan Book of the Fallen (9 books) – 2008 onwards as they came out
  • Ted Chiang – Understand – 2013 – Beautiful little SF short story
  • William Gibson – The Sprawl(Neuromancer) Trilogy – Summer 2011 – This is amazing. It’s like science fiction leveraging the techniques used in realism to make you feel the future. Gibson’s descriptions are vivid such that you can feel their texture: set apart by his ability to convey not how the scene looks but how the impression the scene makes on your senses: literary impressionism is you may. This trilogy with it’s futuristic, tech-immersed world spawned the sub-genre of cyberpunk where tech has so permeated…even saturated everyday life…that humanity begins to fray a little at the edges, being transformed by its own creations.

 

Non-Fiction

  • Donald Neamen – Semiconductor Physics & Devices – 2011
  • Eric Roll – A History of Economic Thought – 2009
  • Geoffrey Miller – The Mating Mind – Jan 2015 – Novel perspective on how sexual selections can account for mysteries of human physiology and mental ability.
  • Gregory Mankiw – Principles of Microeconomics – 2012 – A light read – great if you want an introduction to Economics.
  • Jared Diamond – Guns, Germs, and Steel – Jan 2016 – Required reading. Illuminating account of why societies evolved the way they did in the past 10,000 years.
  • John Cleese – So Anyway – Sept 2016 – Enjoyable read as one might expect
  • John J. Macionis – Sociology – June-July 2010
  • Pierce Howard – The Owner’s Manual for the Brain – Summer 2012 – Gives you a good feel for how your brain works, is good at contrasting and presenting approaches, and emphasizes how research relates to your life. Comprehensive.
  • Robert P. Colwell – The Pentium Chronicles – Aug-Sept 2010
  • Thomas Hardy Leahey – A History of Psychological Thought – 2008
  • Thom Holmes – Electronic and Experimental Music – Spring 2012
  • Will Durant – Story of Philosophy – 2007 – A great introduction to Western Philosophy

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