The 100 Books Of 2012

I had a goal to read 100 books in 2012. I’ve only done it once before. When I started on my bachelors degree last fall, I started wondering if I’d make it. Audio books have helped. It also helped reading certain books while following a set schedule. Writing and publishing tomes like We Are Not Alone and The Hero’s Journey were read for pragmatic reasons. Some books, such as One World and Death of a Salesman were read for academic purposes.

There are some not listed here because I simply didn’t finish them. Why list them if you didn’t care to finish them?

So what were my favorites? Nerve was a fantastic look into the science and biological processes of fear. The Count of Monte Cristo was a classic I’ve long wanted to read. But my absolute favorite was the audio version of Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, a very candid and self-critical look at the Rolling Stones from the inside. 1491 should be required reading in all history courses. Everything we’ve been taught about the Americans who lived here before Columbus, including what Indians often say on the subject, is mostly wrong. Revisionist history? No, that’s what we’ve been taught for too long.

Notice I read the Bible this year. It’s a project I did several times in the 1990’s. In an age when hypocrites, both believers and unbelievers alike, brow beat us over the head with misquotes, out-of-contact verses, and outright lies, I like being able to say, “Nope. That’s not in there. If it is, you took it out of context.”

What was I disappointed in? Some of the presidential bios were a letdown. The men they portrayed tended to be obscure, and the authors failed to bring them out of that obscurity. Similarly, I wasn’t too thrilled with Dinner at Mr. Jefferson’s. The book tried to shine a light on a political deal that shaped almost every aspect of our life in America since 1790. Unfortunately, it relied too much on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s book is quite good, but I listened to the audio of Dinner thinking “I’ve already read Chernow’s book.” I was also unhappy to have to read The Communist Manifesto, which reads like a left-wing version of the pap served up by a hundred right-wing columnists today. I don’t like extreme political positions. This one, like every other extreme position, ignores a lot of common sense.

I won’t be doing 100 books this year. There’s too much on my plate. I do hope to read presidential bios and memoirs up to George H.W. Bush. I’m stopping there because pretty much every book written about Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama are extremely biased, usually less accurate than Bernie Madoff’s tax returns, and not worth lining a cat box. I plan to finish reading what’s on my bookshelf, but I’ll be happy to get 52 books in this year.

1 The Bible – New International Version various authors
2 Head Stone Ken Bruen
3 Nerve Tyler Clark
4 Stardoc SL Viehl
5 Microsoft: The First Generation Cheryl Tsang
6 Dead Money Ray Banks
7 Frankenstein Mary Shelley
8 The Talisman Stephen King & Peter Straub
9 Clapton Eric Clapton
10 Benjamin Harrison Charles W. Calhoun
11 Like Love Ed McBain
12 AC/DC Tom McNichol
13 Ten Plus One Ed McBain
14 Axe Ed McBain
15 The Constant Gardener John LeCarre
16 The Hidden Reality Brian Greene
17 In the Light of You Nathan Singer
18 Skeleton Crew Stephen King
19 William McKinley Kevin Phillips
20 1776 David McCullough
21 Miami Purity Vicki Hendricks
22 Slide Ken Bruen & Jason Starr
23 In Her Name: First Contact Michael R. Hicks
24 The Count of Monte Cristo Alexander Dumas
25 Life Keith Richards
26 It Stephen King
27 Our Man in Tehran Robert Wright
28 One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com Richard L. Brandt
29 Theodore Rex Edmund Morris
30 1491 – New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Charles C. Mann
31 Don’t Bite the Hook Pema Chodron
32 The Autobiography of Mark Twain Mark Twain
33 The Writer’s Journey Christopher Vogler
34 The Civil War: A Narrative – Part 1 Shelby Foote
35 The Civil War: A Narrative – Part 2 Shelby Foote
36 Jimmy Bench Press Charlie Stella
37 A Walk Among the Tombstones Lawrence Block
38 Save the Cat Blake Snyder
39 The Civil War: A Narrative – Part 3 Shelby Foote
40 Time’s Fugitive Jennette Marie Powell
41 The Eyes of the Dragon Stephen King
42 William Howard Taft Mark Painter
43 Alexander Hamilton Ron Chernow
44 Red Shirts John Scalzi
45 Pronto Elmore Leonard
46 Wild Bill Dana King
47 Prodigal Child E. David Moulton
48 The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three Stephen King
49 It’s Not About the Coffee Howard Behar & Janet Goldstein
50 Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up (Audio) Dave Barry
51 Woodrow Wilson and the Politics of Morality John Morton Blum
52 Woodrow Wilson: From Princeton to the Presidency W. Barksdale Maynard
53 Earth: A Visitors Guide to the Human Race Jon Stewart, et al.
54 Future Babble Dan Gardner
55 Last Days of Marilyn Monroe Donald H. Wolf
56 Blood Work Michael Connelly
57 Divorced from the Mob Andrea Giovino
58 The Awareness and Other Deadly Tales Terrie Farley Moran
59 Emma Jane Austen
60 Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes Edited by Stanley I. Kutler
61 Misery Stephen King
62 My Horizontal Life Chelsea Handler
63 The Tea Pot Dome Scandal Laton McCartney
64 The Thin Man Dashiell Hammett
65 Rain Fall Barry Eisler
66 The Barefoot Executive Carrie Wilkerson
67 The Trinity Game Sean Chercover
68 1968: The Year that Rocked the World Mark Kurlansky
69 The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain
70 The Tommyknockers Stephen King
71 One World Edited By Chris Brazier
72 Dark Horse: The Private Life of George Harrison Geoffery Giuliano
73 I Was Told There Would Be Cake Sloan Crosley
74 Calvin Coolidge David Greenberg
75 Sleeping Beauty Ross McDonald
76 The 4% Universe Richard Panek
77 All Our Yesterdays Robert B. Parker
78 The Concrete Maze Steven Torres
79 Stiff: The Curious Life of Cadavers Mary Roach
80 The Time Machine HG Wells
81 The Dark Half Stephen King
82 Dinner at Mr. Jefferson’s Charles A. Cerani
83 Herbert Hoover William E. Leuchtenburg
84 We Are Not Alone Kristen Lamb
85 Failure Is Not an Option Gene Kranz
86 Hemingway: A Writer’s Life Catherine Reef
87 The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels
88 It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll Geoffery Giuliano
89 More Information Than You Require John Hodgman
90 Shoedog George Pelecanos
91 Five Weeks in a Balloon Jules Verne
92 Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller
93 Four Past Midnight Stephen King
94 Healthy Eating Penny Steward
95 FDR Jean Edward Smith
96 A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
97 The Devil’s Right Hand JD Rhoades
98 Day of Wrath Jonathan Valin
99 He Who Hesitates Ed McBain
100 Doll Ed McBain
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