Distractions, Diversions, Books, Wines, Whiskeys and Other Stuff To Think About When You Should Be Doing Something Else.

On the Bookshelf: What I read in 2010

Books of 2010

I don’t really have exhaustive record keeping as to what exactly I was reading in the year 2010, though I do have a pretty fair list (and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep better track, and to write reviews more often). It isn’t exhaustive because I am sure for about a month or so, all I did was re-read a bunch of my old favorites by Gibson, Stephenson, Heinlein and a few others. That being said I have a few statistics that are probably pretty close to reality.

In 2010 I read 67 total books.

Even taking into account the books not on my list this means I was reading about one and a third books a week, or about five and a half books a month. That is, honestly, a faster rate than I thought it would be. I would consider myself to be a fast reader though speed is certainly not my goal. I do tend to mow through fiction though and I probably pick up time with those books that offsets my more deliberate non-fiction reading pace. 

42 Fiction books.

25 Non-fiction books.

I thought this number would be closer to even as I had been trying to alternate between fiction and non-fiction for a good portion of the year. I have a hard time reading too many non-fiction books (like two) in a row. I need fiction breaks in between to let my conscious and subconscious work on the things I learn. On the other hand, I’ll read nothing but fiction if I let myself. I guess a two to one fiction to non-fiction ratio is pretty good on that score.

22 Reviews (13 fiction and 9 non-fiction)

I reviewed a third of the books that I read in 2010, though most of those reviews came in the second half of the year. I had been using a Facebook application (most of the reason I could make this 2010 list to begin with) to post about books as I read them. These posts often included short thoughts about the books. Starting with my review of Extra Lives by Tom Bissell that capability ceased to function. As a result I began posting longer and more thought-out reviews here at Red Herrings. I think that is good for me as a thinker and as a writer and I will continue that practice. Frankly, I wrote more reviews in the second half of the year than I thought I did.

A list of titles as wells as links to my reviews of those books (where applicable) is below the fold:


Nothing Less Than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History – John David Lewis (My Review)

The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic – Robert L. O’Connell (My Review)

The Junior Officer’s Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars – Patrick Hennessy (My Review)

The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence – Paul Davies (My Review)

Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War – Matthew Gallagher (My Review)

They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq – Kelly Kennedy (My Review)

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do – Albert Laszlo Barabasi (My Review)

Rage Company: A Marine’s Baptism By Fire – Thomas P. Daly (My Review)

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It – Richard A. Clarke

Click: The Magic of Instant Connections – Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter – Tom Bissell (My Review)

The Invisible Gorilla : And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us – Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

The Edge of Physics:  A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe – Anil Ananthaswamy

The Books of Five Rings:  The Classic Guide to Strategy – Miyamoto Musashi (re-read)

War – Sebastian Junger

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century – Howard Bloom

Counterinsurgency – David Kilcullen

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel – Michio Kaku

No True Glory:  A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah – Bing West

Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry – P. W. Singer

The Quants:  How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It – Scott Patterson

What Americans Really Want…Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears – Dr. Frank I. Luntz

Give a Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform Our World – Wendy Smith


Echo – Jack McDevitt (My Review)

A Taint in the Blood – S. M. Stirling

Out of the Dark – David Weber (My Review)

The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson (My Review)

Zero History – William Gibson (My Review)

The High King of Montival – S. M. Stirling

Traps – Paul Lindsay

The Führer’s Reserve – Paul Lindsay

After America – John Birmingham (My Review)

Without Warning – John Birmingham (My Review)

Devils in Exile – Chuck Hogan (My Review)

The Map of All Things – Kevin J. Anderson (My Review)

The Left Hand of God – Paul Hoffman (My Review)

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead – Max Brooks (My Review)

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War – Max Brooks (My Review)

Makers – Cory Doctorow (My Review)

Elegy Beach – Steven R. Boyett

Ariel – Steven R. Boyett

A War of Gifts – Orson Scott Card

Fever Dream – Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

The Midnight Mayor: Or, the Inauguration of Matthew Swift – Kate Griffin

The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth

One Good Soldier – Travis S. Taylor

The Tau Ceti Agenda – Travis S. Taylor

One Day on Mars – Travis S. Taylor

The Lost Fleet: Victorious – Jack Campbell

I, Sniper – Stephen Hunter

Chaosbound – David Farland

Directive 51 – John Barnes (My Review)

The Desert Spear – Peter V. Brett

The Warded Man – Peter V. Brett (re-read)

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

Senator’s Son – Luke S. Larson

Wireless – Charles Stross

Impact – Douglas Preston

Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton

Live Free or Die – John Ringo

Broken Jewel – David L. Robbins

Freedom(TM) – Daniel Suarez

Daemon – Daniel Suarez

The Five Greatest Warriors – Matthew Reilly

Time Travelers Never Die – Jack McDevitt

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