Monday, March 10, 2014

Reading 2011

Reading list from 2011, scraped from my twitter account:

5 stars:
"Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. 5 stars. Brilliant. Perfect mix of story telling and popular science. Will make you want to run ...
"The New Organic Grower" by Eliot Coleman. 5 stars. The ultimate guide to market gardening. Some new ideas. Makes me want to try!
"Meat: A Benign Extravagance" by Simon Fairlie. 5 stars. A brilliant examination of livestock and farming systems. For the ag nerd.

4.5 stars:
"The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss. 4.5 stars. I wonder where it will go but don't care. Getting there is such a pleasure.

4 stars:
"Prosperity Without Growth" by Tim Jackson. 4 stars. An excellent look at how to move away from a growth economy. A must read!

3.5 stars:
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M Pirsig - 3.5 stars. Moments of brilliance, sometimes a slog.
"A Short History of Progress" by Ronald Wright. 3.5 stars. Good concise overview of failed civilisations but degrades into a rant and do ...
"Persepolis" by Marjane Sastrapi. 3.5 stars. A graphic novel. Great way to learn something of Iran's recent history.
"Sunbathing Naked" by Guy Kennaway. 3.5 stars. A dark comedy, sometimes painful, about psoriasis. Terrifying how bad it can get.
"Slow Death by Rubber Duck" 3.5 stars. Oh god, chemicals are everywhere. We'll all be rooned! Learnt a lot about what to avoid.
"Acacia" by DA Durham. 3.5 stars. Engaging. Ruthless. But the way the story is told makes it hard to get emotionally involved.
"The Lieutenant" by Kate Grenville. 3.5 stars. Beautifully written history brought to life, but a disappointing climax.
"The One-Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka. 3.5 stars. A great deal of wisdom, but we've learned very little of it.

3 stars:
"The Social Climbers" by Chris Darwin. 3 stars. A warts and all telling of mad foolishness: holding a dinner party on a 6800m mountain.
"The Carbon Diaries 2015" by Saci Lloyd. 3 stars. Carbon rationing. Natural disasters. Over the top, but readable.
"Bypass" by Michael McGirr. 3 stars. Who'd have though the Hume Highway could be so interesting. A comfortable and engaging read.
"Swallows and Amazons" by Arthur Ransom. 3 stars. An enjoyable flight of fancy. Should have read this when I was a kid.
"Life & Adventures of William Buckley" 3 stars. Amazing story. Reads like a litany of violent acts by the Aboriginals he lived with.
"The Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger. 3 stars. I didn't understand this book, but it's very well written.
"Biomimicry" by Janine Benyus. 3 stars. Fascinating in places, pedestrian in others. The promise in this book remains distant.
"The Longest Road" by Paul Pritchard. 3 stars. Not particularly engaging, but he must have a will of iron to keep pushing himself.
"Killing Mister Watson" by Peter Matthiessen. 3 stars. Fun to explore pioneering Everglades. Well told, but too few revelations.

2.5 stars:
"The Partner" by John Grisham. 2.5 stars. Somewhat clever light entertainment. Passable holiday reading.
"Riddley Walker" by Russell Hoban. 2.5 stars. Dialect requires concentration. Not much reward though! Didn't understand message.

2 stars:
"Pride of Carthage" D.A. Durham. 2 stars. Historically interesting but not all that engaging - I nearly have up on it.
"It's not about the bike" Lance Armstrong. 2 stars. Comes across as a typical arrogent American athlete. Bloody minded!

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