This blogpost contains a list of books I’ve read during the year 2014, as well as links to blogposts on this site which I have written about the books.
Aside from links to relevant blogposts I’ve also added to the list a little information about the books – the numbers in the parentheses are the goodreads ratings I have given the books (for information about how to interpret those ratings, see incidentally the comments here and here), whereas the various letters following those numbers indicate which ‘type’ of book it is – ‘f’ = fiction, ‘nf’ = non-fiction. I have included the names of the publishers of the non-fiction books to the list as it didn’t take any mental effort to add this variable and it seemed to me like it might be relevant information, and I have also added the names of the authors of the fiction books as this also seemed like relevant information which was easy to add. Given that people reading along here can’t be expected to necessarily know all the publishers included, I have provided a link to some information about each of the publishers featured on the list – the link to the publisher is added the first place on the list where the publisher in question is mentioned – in order to make it easier to assess relatively fast which type of book it might be. Aside from these things I’ve written very little about each book; I have added a few other remarks here and there where they seemed relevant, but I’ve tried to keep such comments brief and to the point. If you don’t do this a post like this can get very long very fast.
I have not rated all the books on the list, but I have added the goodreads ratings in the great majority of cases where I have – usually the posts about the book will in the cases where no ratings are provided give you both some idea why I did not rate them and some idea as to what I think about those books. Books I have not rated often had some (to me) problematic features which I’ve felt somewhat ambivalent about. I have not blogged all the books I’ve read this year; this is partly because I decided a while back to limit fiction blogging to a minimum.
On the list below I have only included books which I have read in full and have actually finished, meaning that as usual some books are left out. I hope you’ll find the list helpful in terms of navigating the site and that it’ll make it easier for you to find stuff I’ve written here about things you consider interesting. This is probably also a good place to remind people of the existence of the category cloud in the sidebar (a lot of work went into making it as useful as it is now, so you’ll forgive me for pointing this resource out to you even if you’re already aware of its existence), as well as the search bar; there’s a lot of stuff on this blog at this point, but if you know how/where to look I’m not really sure it’s actually that difficult to navigate the site – at least I seem to manage reasonably well…
Okay, back to the list and the books. After the first 6 months of the year I’d read 53 books. As you’ll be able to tell from the list below, the complete list for the entire year contains 116 books. 46 (~40%) of the books are fiction, if you include both Lichtenberg and Cuppy in this category, which I’ve decided one probably should. That means that 70 (~60%) of the books were non-fiction. In terms of time expenditure this breakdown is of course highly misleading, as I spend much, much more time on non-fiction books than on fiction books.
Whereas I have not blogged all the books I’ve read, I have on the other hand also blogged/reviewed some of the books I did not finish. For this reason I have added an addendum at the bottom of the post with a few of those books and links to relevant blogposts and goodreads reviews. It should perhaps be noted that it usually makes sense to distinguish between two categories of unfinished books; books which are simply bad/terrible, and books which take a lot of work. Do not take the fact that I did not finish a book to necessarily be an indication that the book was bad; maybe it was just very long or took a lot of work (one example: I’ve read over 650 pages of the textbook Sexually Transmitted Diseases so far, yet I’m not even a third of the way through that book yet).
If you want to know what the books I’ve read actually ‘look like’ and you’d like to get some sort of a ‘big picture’ look at what one might think of as my ‘digital book shelves’, goodreads has a list here with cover views of many of the publications which feature on the list below. That list however also includes books I did not finish.
1. Pathophysiology of disease (5, nf. Lange medical text. Long, takes a lot of work compared to most of the other books on this list). I took a few quite long breaks from the book along the way, which is why the posts are somewhat spread out over time. I decided in the end to add all relevant posts about the book here, even the ones which were not written this year. Blog coverage here, here, here, here, here, and here.
2. The Complete Maus (4, f). Art Spiegelman. I was seriously considering not including this one on the list at all (is this even a book?), but on the other hand it took me significantly more time to read this thing than it took me to read Calvino so I figured I might as well add it to the list.
3. Why Women Have Sex (2, nf. Times Books. This is one of a few non-fiction books on this list which are not either academic publications or technical publications. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the book is written by two university professors; the level of coverage here is much lower than that of pretty much every other non-fiction book on this list. Blog coverage here and here.
6. Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (4, nf. Guilford Press psychology text. Long). Blog coverage here, here, and here. Note that I changed my mind about the goodreads rating after I’d written the last of my posts about the book.
7. Evolution of Island Mammals: Adaptation and Extinction of Placental Mammals on Islands (4, nf. Wiley-Blackwell biology text). Blog coverage here.
11. Death in the clouds (4, f). Agatha Christie.
14. Screening for Depression and Other Psychological Problems in Diabetes: A Practical Guide (2, nf. Springer). Blog coverage here.
16. The Daughter Of Time (4, f). Josephine Tey.
17. Cards on the Table (5, f). Agatha Christie.
18. A Practical Manual of Diabetic Retinopathy Management (2, nf. Wiley-Blackwell medical text). Blog coverage here.
19. The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe: Volume 1, 1700-1870 (3, nf. Cambridge University Press economics text). Blog coverage here and here.
21. Personality Judgment: A Realistic Approach to Person Perception (3, nf. An Academic Press psychology publication). Blog coverage here and here.
22. The Remains of the Day (5, f). Kazuo Ishiguro.
23. The Origin and Evolution of Cultures (5, nf. Oxford University Press. Takes a lot of work, but it’s an awesome book – “Highly recommended. Probably the best book I’ve read this year”). I added this book to my list of favourite books on goodreads. Blog coverage here, here, here, here and here.
24. What Did the Romans Know?: An Inquiry into Science and Worldmaking (2, nf. University of Chicago Press). Blog coverage here and here.
25. Bioterrorism and Infectious Agents: A New Dilemma for the 21st Century (3, nf. Springer medical text). Blog coverage here.
29. Lost in a Good Book (5, f). Jasper Fforde.
32. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (3, f). Philip K. Dick.
34. Military Geography: For Professionals and the Public (3, nf. Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press). Blog coverage here, here and here.
36. To Kill a Mockingbird (2, f). Harper Lee. Overrated.
37. Impact of Sleep and Sleep Disturbances on Obesity and Cancer (5, nf. Springer medical text). Blog coverage here and here.
39. Something Rotten (4, f). Jasper Fforde.
41. Plant Animal Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach (5, nf. Blackwell Publishing biology text). A really great book, high average goodreads rating. I added it to my list of favourite books on goodreads. Blog coverage here, here, and here.
43. Peril at End House (4, f). Agatha Christie.
48. Poirot Investigates (3, f). Agatha Christie. Unlike the other books by her on the list, this book is a collection of short stories, rather than a novel.
50. First Among Sequels (5, f). Jasper Fforde. Goodreads review: “(Maybe I shouldn’t give all these [Jasper Fforde] books five stars, but as long as they keep being awesome I’ll keep giving them five stars.)“. Blog coverage here.
53. Murder in Mesopotamia (4, f). Agatha Christie.
54. Discrete Time Stochastic Control and Dynamic Potential Games: The Euler Equation Approach (nf. Springer – Springer Briefs in Mathematics). Blog coverage here.
55. The Big Four (1, f). Agatha Christie. A terrible book.
58. The Mystery of the Blue Train (3, f). Agatha Christie.
60. Hypoglycemia in Diabetes – Pathophysiology, Prevalence, and Prevention (3, nf. Published by the American Diabetes Association). Blog coverage here.
62. The Emergence of Animals: The Cambrian Breakthrough (4, nf. Columbia University Press). Blog covereage here and here.
67. Death on the Nile (4, f). Agatha Christie.
69. A murder is announced (2, f). Agatha Christie.
71. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (3, nf. Harper Perennial Modern Classics). Blog coverage here and here.
72. The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (2, f). José Saramago.
73. Aging – Facts and Theories (Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology, Vol. 39) (1, nf. Karger). Blog coverage here and here.
74. Ecological Dynamics (4, nf. Oxford University Press). A good book to point to when talking to people who believe biologists don’t ever really use complicated mathematical tools. Good coverage of various basic model concepts. Blog coverage here.
76. A Pocket Full Of Rye (4, f.) Agatha Christie.
77. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (5, f). Agatha Christie.
79. The Body in the Library (3, f). Agatha Christie.
80. Appointment with Death (3, f). Agatha Christie.
81. The Gambler (2, f). Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Technically I didn’t finish the book in which the novel was included because I found the other novel included in that work, The Double, to be completely unreadable; but as The Gambler is a novel in its own right I decided it was okay to include it here.
82. Sad Cypress (3, f). Agatha Christie.
84. Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (1, nf. Springer). Blog coverage here and here.
85. Taken at the Flood (4, f). Agatha Christie.
86. The Hollow (4, f). Agatha Christie.
87. Sexual Selection in Primates: New and Comparative Perspectives (5, nf. Cambridge University Press). I added this book to my list of favourite books on goodreads. Blog coverage here and here.
88. Murder in the Mews (2, f). Agatha Christie.
89. They do it with mirrors (2, f). Agatha Christie. Way too easy to figure out – close to one star.
90. Unobserved Variables: Models and Misunderstandings (2-3?, nf. Springer – SpringerBriefs in Statistics). Blog coverage here.
91. Astrobiology of Earth: The Emergence, Evolution, and Future of Life on a Planet in Turmoil (3, nf. Oxford University Press).
93. The Labours Of Hercules (2, f). Agatha Christie.
98. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (f). Robert Heinlein. Almost didn’t read past page 15, the book is silly, but I managed to ignore the silliness long enough to finish it. If you’re interested in reading classic science fiction, Asimov’s stuff is in my opinion much better than Heinlein’s.
99. Appointment Planning in Outpatient Clinics and Diagnostic Facilities (2, nf. Springer – SpringerBriefs in Health Care Management and Economics)). I included a few comments about the book in the third paragraph of this post. More detailed coverage of related topics can be found here.
100. The Stars, Like Dust (4, f). Isaac Asimov.
101. Female Infidelity and Paternal Uncertainty: Evolutionary Perspectives on Male Anti-Cuckoldry Tactics (2, nf. Cambridge University Press). Blog coverage here.
102. The Currents of Space (3, f). Isaac Asimov.
104. Pebble in the Sky (2, f). Isaac Asimov. Time-travel, telepathy, mind-reading, laughably implausible biology – this book reminded me way too much of Heinlein.
105. Delusion and Self-Deception: Affective and Motivational Influences on Belief Formation (2, nf. Psychology Press). Blog coverage here and here.
106. Robot Dreams (2, f). Isaac Asimov. I prefer his novels to his short-stories, but on the other hand some of the included narratives I simply would not have finished if they’d been longer (many stories were too silly, implausible, etc. for me to like them much).
107. Origin and Evolution of Planetary Atmospheres: Implications for Habitability (2, nf. Springer – SpringerBriefs in Astronomy). Close to three stars, but the poor language of the publication made it difficult for me to justify giving it that rating. Blog coverage here.
109. The Big Over Easy (4, f). Jasper Fforde.
111. The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody (5, f? – I don’t really know how to categorize this one. ‘Humour’ is a more informative category than either ‘fiction’ or ‘non-fiction’). Will Cuppy.
112. The Fourth Bear (5, f). Jasper Fforde.
115. The Cambridge Handbook of Personal Relationships (2, nf. Cambridge University Press. Long). Please don’t draw strong conclusions about the book based on the 2-star rating before you’ve read my goodreads review. Blog coverage here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
116. Pyramids (3, f). Terry Pratchett.
Addendum – a few books I have not finished, but which I have reviewed/covered either on goodreads or on this blog:
The Changing Nature of Pain Complaints over the Lifespan (1, nf. Springer). Blog coverage here.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (nf. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing). Blog coverage here, here, and here (I include here only posts written this year – note that the first post to which I link has links to additional coverage as well).
Books I did not finish and did not cover either here or on goodreads (some of these are books I expect to finish in 2015):
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (nf. John Wiley & Sons). I’ve talked about this book a few times on the blog, but I’ve never really covered the book in any detail.
The State of Affairs: Explorations in infidelity and Commitment (1, nf. Psychology Press). Again I did technically post a review on goodreads, but once again the review did not add much information about the book.
Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook (nf. Psychology Press).
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