Book Lists ’09

Below are the lists of books I hope to read in 2009.  This includes a general list, audiobooks for listening, my annual Abraham Lincoln book, religious and spiritual readings for Lent, books by international authors for my Around the World for a Good Book project and the monthly offerings of my book club.  At the bottom of the page I will list the books I’ve actually read thus far this year as I’ve read them. You can also check out how I did last year on my Book Lists ’08 page.

I will try to adhere to Nancy Pearl’s Rule of 50, so I don’t waste time on books I don’t like, and maybe make it through every book here. More likely I’ll discover new books and newly released books and read them instead. I will add new books to the comments as I discover them. If you have any reading suggestions let me know in the comments.  I’ll be adding new books to read in future years all the time

While these are the books I’m reading this year, you can also look at a list of my favorite books of all time.

Books to Read in 2009

In the Summer Country by John Conlee (completed 1/6/2009)

Facing the Lion by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton (completed  2/17/2009)

Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden (completed 1/7/2009)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (completed 1/14/2009)

Harvard works because we do by Greg Halpern

A Mercy by Toni Morrison (completed 2/11/09)

unSpun: finding facts in a world of disinformation by Brooks Jackson (completed 2/1/2009)

Savage Pastimes by Harold Schecter

Dark Side of the Diamond by Roger Abrams (completed 4/25/09)

Playing Hard Ball: County Cricket and Big League Baseball by E.T. Smith(completed 4/17/09)

Left to Tell by Ilibagiza Immaculee

Time Traveler by Dr. Ronald L. Mallett (completed 11/18/09

American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent (completed 8/11/09)

Brilliant Orange by David Winner (completed 4/30/09)

Pedal Power by J. Harry Wray

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

Early Bird by Rodney Rotham (8/11/09)

Death at an Early Age by Jonathan Kozol

A Home on the  Field by  Paul Cuadros (completed 5/4/09)

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (completed 11/6/09)

Love and War in the Appenines by Eric Newby

The Frontier in American History by Frederick Jackson Turner

Where the Wild Things Were by William Stolzenburg (completed 8/3/09)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (completed 3/5/09)

Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn (completed 8/25/09)

The Comedians by Graham Greene

Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman (completed 11/15/09)

722 Miles by Clifton Hood (completed 8/18/09)

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

The Assist by Neil Swidely

The Old Iron Road by David Howard Bain

A Voyage Long & Strange by Tony Horwitz (completed 11/2/09)

Live from New York by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller (completed 11/22/09)

Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man by Dale Peterson (completed 1/4/2009)

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (completed 1/27/2009)

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro

The System of the World by Neal Stephenson – Book 6: Solomon’s Gold Book 7: Currency Book 8: The System of the World (completed 5/23/09)

Invisible Hook by Peter Leeson (completed 5/30/09)

The Day Wall Street Exploded by Beverly  Gage (completed reading as of 3/2/2009)

Cheesemonger: Life on the Wedge by Gordon Edgar


Getting Unstuck by Tim Butler (completed 1/27/09)

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (completed 2/12/09)

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (completed 2/3/09)

All the Shah’s Men by Stephen Kinzer (completed 7/2/09)

The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (completed 6/18/09)

Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean Carroll (completed 8/3/09)

Joy at Work by Dennis Bakke

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (completed 5/1/09)

Made to Stick by Chip Heath (completed 10/14/09)

Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston (completed 8/25/09)

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman  Rushdie (completed 5/28/09)

The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl (completed of 4/24/09)

Outposts by Simon Winchester (completed 6/26/09)

Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt (completed 4/20/09)

Little Book by Selden Edwards (completed 9/25/09)

The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth (completed 5/11/09)

Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast

Musicophilia : tales of music and the brain by Oliver Sacks (completed 3/9/09)

Poor People by William T. Vollmann

Company of Liars by Karen Maitland (completed 6/22/09)

The Journals of Lewis and Clark ed. by Gary E. Moulton

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (completed 8/18/09)

Don Quixote by    Miguel Cervantes

Lincoln Day

Lincoln at Gettysburg by Gary Wills (completed 12/15/09)

Lenten Reading

Faithful Dissenters by Robert McClory (completed 3/15/09)

A Portrait of Jesus by Joseph Girzone (completed 3/14/09)

Consistently Opposing Killing by Rachel McNair and Stephen Zunes (completed 3/23/09)

The Tent of Abraham by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Joan Chittister, OSB, and Murshid Saadi Shakur Chisti (completed 3/29/09)

Quest for the Living God by Sr. Elizabeth Johnson (completed 4/2/2009)

Blue like jazz : nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality by Donald Miller

Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America by Stephen Waldman (completed 4/11/2009)

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus by Geoffery Robinson

Around the World for a Good Book

Lebanon: The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (completed 6/19/09)

Romania: Little Fingers by Filip Florian (completed 7/31/09)

Pakistan: Salt & Saffron by Kamilla Shamsie (completed 6/28/09)

Sweden:    Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Nigeria: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

New Zealand: Dogside Story by Patricia Grace

Dominican Republic: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (completed 7/6/09)

India: The God of Small Things by Arundhuti Roy (completed 11/25/09)

Togo: An African in Greenland by Tété -Michel Kpmoassie (completed 7/13/09)

Chile: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Colombia: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Israel: See Under: Love by David Grossman

Denmark: Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg

Turkey: Snow by Orhan Pamuk (completed 10/12/09)

W&M Boston alumni book group

January:The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (read in 1996)

February: An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke (completed 2/5/09)

March: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

April: Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (completed 4/12/2009)

May: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (completed 5/11/09)

June: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (completed 6/1/2009)

July: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (completed 7/6/09)

August: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (completed 7/25/09)

September: Pharmakon by Dirk Wittenborn

October: Snow by Orhan Pamuk (completed 10/12/09)

November: Snow by Orhan Pamuk (completed 10/12/09)

December: The Garden of the Last Days by Andre Dubus III

Books Read in 2009

7 thoughts on “Book Lists ’09

  1. I noticed you read a book by Oliver Sacks. I really appreciate his books and I have a suggestion for another book: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales.
    It’s a very interesting book about mind mechanisms in presence of deficit/desease.

    Good the idea of including also audiobooks in a list to read/listen.


  2. ’78: The Boston Red Sox, A Historic Game, and a Divided City

    Baseball and Boston history. Two of your favorite topics.


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