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text 2020-07-04 20:30
Happy Independence Day -- and, my Freedom and Future Library

REPOSTING FOR UPDATED READING LIST

-- I can hardly believe it's been two years since I started this.

 

And I hope this year's elections will contribute to undoing some of the damage done in the past four years and go some way towards restoring the U.S. to what the country used to be.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

 

_______________________________________

 

 

Books read are checked off, with the year of reading added in parentheses (and with everything read prior to 2018 just marked like that, since 2018 was the year when I came up with this project.)

 

_______________________________________

 

 

 

Could there possibly be a better day on which to finally follow up on my Freedom and Future Library post?

 

Truth be told, I'd been hoping to compile this much faster, but RL threw a major spanner in the works pretty much all of last week and both of the past weekends.  But, anyway, here we are at last.

 

Thank you once more to everybody who contributed ideas and suggestions!  A special thank you to Knight of Angels, whom some on BookLikes may remember as Troy, and who instantly took up the baton and came up with a magnificent Freedom and Equality Library in the space of a single day, which I'm shamelessly including in mine in its entirety (as I am also including everybody else's reading recommendations, of course). -- This list contains plenty of books that are new to me, as well as a number of books (and shorter texts) that I've already read but am planning to revisit, or have been revisiting every so often already anyway.

 

So, here is the complete list in alphabetical order -- in the coming days, I'm planning to also break it down into topical reading lists, to make it somewhat easier to parse.  English titles of the books included in my library in another language are given in parentheses.

 

 

Edward Abby

     - Desert Solitaire

 

John Adams

     - Revolutionary Writings, 1755-1783 (2 volumes)

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

     - Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

     - Half of a Yellow Sun √ (2018)

     - We Should All Be Feminists √ (2020)

 

Madeleine Albright

     - Fascism: A Warning
     - Madam Secretary: A Memoir
     - The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on Faith, God and World Affairs

     - Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948

 

Svetlana Alexievich

     - Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

     - The Unwomanly Face of War

     - Voices from Chernobyl

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

     - Heretic
     - Infidel
     - Nomad

 

Isabel Allende

     - De amor y de sombra (Of Love and Shadow) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Akhil Reed Amar / Les Adams

     - The Bill of Rights Primer: A Citizen’s Guidebook to the American Bill of Rights

 

Amnesty International, Neil Gaiman, Matt Haig, and Others

     - Here I Stand: Stories that Speak for Freedom

 

Maya Angelou

     - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

 

Kofi Annan

     - Interventions: A Life in War and Peace √ (2019)
     - We the Peoples: The 2001 Nobel Lecture √ (prior to 2018)

 

Jean Anouilh

     - Antigone √ (prior to 2018)

 

Louise Arbour

     - War Crimes and the Culture of Peace √ (prior to 2018)

 

Hannah Arendt

     - Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics / Civil Disobedience / On Violence / Thoughts on Politics and Revolution
     - Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil √ (prior to 2018)

     - The Origins of Totalitarianism
     - The Portable Hannah Arendt

     - Thinking Without a Banister: Essays in Understanding, 1953-1975


Anthony Arnove, Colin Firth, David Horspool

     - The People Speak: Voices That Changed Britain


Thomas Asbridge

     - The Greatest Knight


Ed Asner / Ed. Weinberger

     - The Grouchy Historian

 

Aristophanes

     - The Complete Plays, especially:

        - The Birds
        - Clouds

        - The Knights
        - Lysistrata √ (prior to 2018)

 

Aristotle

     - The Politics
     - The Nicomachean Ethics

 

Timothy Garton Ash

     - Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World

 

Assemblée constituante (France)

     - Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (1789) (Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen) √ (prior to 2018)


Assemblée nationale (France)

     - Articles constitutionnels (1789) / Constitution de France (1791) (Constitutional Articles of 1989 and Constitution of 1791) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Margaret Atwood

     - Freedom

     - Hag Seed √ (2019)

     - The Handmaid's Tale √ (prior to 2018)

     - The Testaments √ (2019)

 

Akram Aylisli

     - Stone Dreams

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

     - My Own Words

 

Bernard Bailyn

     - The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

 

James Baldwin

     - Collected Essays
     - Giovanni's Room
     - If Beale Street Could Talk

 

Edward Ball

     - Slaves in the Family

 

John Dudley Ball

     - In the Heat of the Night √ (prior to 2018)

 

Pat Barker

     - The Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration / The Eye in the Door / The Ghost Road)

 

Violet Barungi, Felix Chami, and Ayeta Anne Wangusa (eds.), Various Authors

     - Tears of Hope: A Collection of Short Stories by Ugandan Rural Women

 

Violet Barungi and Hilda Twongyeirwe (eds.), Various Authors

     - Beyond the Dance: Voices of Women on Female Genital Mutilation

 

Violet Barungi, Hilda Twongyeirwe, and Rebecca Salonen (eds.), Various Authors

     - Taboo: Voices of Women in Uganda on Female Genital Mutilation

 

Gary Jonathan Bass

     - Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals

 

Mary Beard

     - Women & Power: A Manifesto

 

Simone de Beauvoir

     - Le deuxième sexe (The Second Sex)

     - Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter)

 

Zdenka Becker

     - Samy

 

Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat

     - Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin-Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence

 

John Bercow
     - Unspeakable √ (2020)

 

Louis de Bernières

     - Birds Without Wings √ (prior to 2018)

 

Preet Bharara

     - Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law

 

Benazir Bhutto

     - Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography

 

Kai Bird / Martin J. Sherwin

     - American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

 

Black Hawk

     - The Autobiography of Black Hawk

 

Ray Bradbury

     - Fahrenheit 451 √ (prior to 2018)

 

Taylor Branch

     - America in the King Years 1954-63: Parting the Waters

     - America in the King Years 1963-65: Pillar of Fire

     - America in the King Years 1965-68: At Canaan's Edge

 

Willy Brandt

     - Erinnerungen (My Life in Politics) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Bertolt Brecht

     - Antigone: In a Version by Bertolt Brecht

     - Der Aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui ) √ (prior to 2018)

     - Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (Mother Courage and Her Children) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter

     - The Nixon Tapes (2 volumes: 1971-72 & 1973)

 

Dee Brown

     - Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

 

Susan Brownmiller

     - Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape

 

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

     - Four Noble Truths

 

Thi Bui

     - Best We Could Do

 

NoViolet Bulawayo
     - We Need New Names

 

Edmund Burke

     - Reflections on the Revolution in France

 

Pete Buttigieg

     - Shortest Way Home

 

Clayborne Carson (ed.), Various Authors

     - Reporting Civil Rights

 

Rachel Carson

     - Silent Spring

 

Aimé Césaire

     - Discours Sur Le Colonialisme

 

William H. Chafe, Raymond Gavins, Paul Ortiz, Robert Parris

     - Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South

 

Ruoxi Chen

     - The Execution of Mayor Yin and Other Stories from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

 

Winston Churchill

     - Their Finest Hour

 

Marcus Tullius Cicero

     - An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom (Philippicae) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Selections from the Writings of Cicero

 

Christopher Clark

     - The Sleepwalkers

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates

     - Between the World and Me

 

Andrew Cockburn

     - Kill Chain

 

Sara Collins

     - The Confessions of Frannie Langton

 

James Comey

     - A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

 

Arthur Conan Doyle
     - Danger!  √ (2019)

 

Maryse Condé

     - Moi, Tituba sorcière (I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem)

 

Richard Condon

     - The Manchurian Candidate √ (prior to 2018)

 

Members of the Constitutional Congress

     - The Constitution of the United States (1787) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Gordon Corera

     - Intercept

 

Rory Cormac

     - Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy

 

Charlie Craggs

     - To My Trans Sisters

 

Stephen Crane

     - The Red Badge of Courage

 

Caroline Criado-Pérez
     - Invisible Women


Juana Inés de la Cruz

     - La Respuesta (The Answer) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Euclides da Cunha

     - Rebellion in the Backlands

 

Dalai Lama XIV

     - Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

     - Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
     - The Power of Compassion: A Collection of Lectures √ (prior to 2018)

 

Edwidge Danticat

     - Breath, Eyes, Memory

 

Danny Danziger, John Gillingham

     - 1215: The Year of Magna Carta

 

Charles Darwin

     - The Origin of Species

     - The Voyage of the Beagle

 

Richard Dawkins

     - The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution

 

John W. Dean

     - The Nixon Defense

     - The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment That Redefined the Supreme Court

 

Michel Debré, Comité Consultatif Constitutionnel

     - Constitution de la 5e République française (1958) (Constitution of the Fifth French Republic)

 

Daniel C. Dennett

     - Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

 

René Descartes

     - Discours de la méthode

 

Jared Diamond

     - Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed √ (prior to 2018)

 

Jared Diamond, James A. Robinson

     - Natural Experiments of History

 

Fyodor Dostoevsky

     - The Grand Inquisitor √ (prior to 2018)

 

Frederick Douglass

     - Autobiographies / Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

 

Frederick Douglass, James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Olaudah Equiano, Nat Turner, William W. Brown, Henry Bibb, Sojouner Truth, William Craft, Harriet Jacobs, and J.D.Green; William L. Andrews and Henry Louis Gates (eds.)

     - Slave Narratives

 

Philip Dray
     - At the Hands of Persons Unknown

 

W.E.B. Du Bois

     - The Souls of Black Folk

 

Daphne Du Maurier
     - Rule Britannia

 

George B. Dyson

     - Darwin Among The Machines: The Evolution Of Global Intelligence

 

Angela Eagle, Imran Ahmed

     - The New Serfdom

 

Wolfram Eilenberger

     - Zeit der Zauberer (The Time of the Magicians)

 

Albert Einstein

     - Essays in Humanism

 

T.S. Eliot

     - Murder in the Cathedral

 

Joseph J. Ellis

     - American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic
     - Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation √ (prior to 2018)

 

Ralph Ellison

     - Invisible Man

 

Mona Eltahawy

     - Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

     - Selected Essays √ (prior to 2018)

 

Bernardine Evaristo

     - Girl, Woman, Other √ (2020)

 

Ronan Farrow

     - War on Peace

 

Sebastian Faulks

     - Birdsong
     - War
     - A Week in December

 

Gaël Faye

     - Petit pays (Small Country) √ (2020)

 

Ann Fessler

     - The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Their Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade 

 

Joachim Fest

     - Hitler √ (prior to 2018)

 

Lion Feuchtwanger

     - Die Geschwister Oppermann (The Oppermanns)

     - Die Jüdin von Toledo (Raquel, the Jewess of Toledo / A Spanish Ballad) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Jud Süß
     - Narrenweisheit oder Tod und Verklärung des Jean-Jacques Rousseau ('Tis Folly to Be Wise, or, Death and Transfiguration of Jean-Jaques Rousseau)

 

John E. Finn

     - Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights

 

Helen Fitzgerald

     - Viral

 

Patrick Flanery

     - I Am No One

 

Moderata Fonte

     - The Worth of Women √ (prior to 2018)

 

Aminatta Forna

     - The Memory of Love  √ (2019)

 

John Foxe

     - Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

 

Pope Francis, Dominique Wolton

     - A Future of Faith: The Path of Change in Politics and Society

 

Anne Frank

     - The Diary of Anne Frank √ (prior to 2018)

 

Viktor E. Frankl

     - Man’s Search for Meaning

 

Benjamin Franklin

     - Writings

 

Marilyn French
     - The Women's Room √ (prior to 2018)

 

Betty Friedan

     - The Feminine Mystique

 

Thomas L. Friedman

     - The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
     - The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

 

Max Frisch

     - Biedermann und die Brandstifter (The Firebugs) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Francis Fukuyama

     - The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

 

Mary Fulbrook
     - A Small Town Near Auschwitz: Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust

 

Alexandra Fuller

     - Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight √ (2019)

 

Richard Buckminster Fuller

     - Critical Path

 

Ernest J. Gaines

     - A Lesson Before Dying

 

John Kenneth Galbraith

     - The Great Crash, 1929

 

Joachim Gauck

     - Freiheit (Freedom) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Winter im Sommer -- Frühling im Herbst: Erinnerungen (Winter in Summer -- Spring in Fall: Memoirs)

 

Charles de Gaulle

     - Mémoires de guerre (War Memoirs)

 

William Gibson

     - Pattern Recognition

 

Richard J. Goldstone

     - For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator √ (prior to 2018)

 

Mikhail Gorbachev

     - Memoirs
     - Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World

 

Al Gore

     - The Assault on Reason: How the Politics of Blind Faith Subvert Wise Decision-making
     - An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It

 

Stephen Jay Gould

     - Bully for Brontosaurus

     - Ever Since Darwin

     - The Panda's Thumb

 

Philip Gourevitch

     - We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

 

Carrie Gracie
     - Equal

 

David Graeber

     - Debt: The First 5,000 Years √ (prior to 2018)

 

Katharine Graham

     - Personal History

 

George Grant

     - The American Patriot’s Handbook: The Writings, History, and Spirit of a Free Nation

 

Ulysses S. Grant

     - Memoirs and Selected Letters

 

Lewis Grassic Gibbon

     - Spartacus

 

Toby Green

     - A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution

 

Allen C. Guelzo

     - The American Mind

 

Michihiko Hachiya

     - Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-September 30, 1945

 

Sebastian Haffner (ed.), Various Authors

     - Versailles 1919: Aus der Sicht von Zeitzeugen (Versailles 1919: Seen Through the Eyes of Contemporary Witnesses)

 

Jonathan Haidt

     - The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

 

Matt Haig

     - Notes on a Nervous Planet

 

Alex Haley

     - Roots: The Saga of an American Family √ (prior to 2018)

 

Alexander Hamilton

     - Writings

 

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

     - The Federalist Papers

 

Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and others, Bernard Bailyn (ed.)

     - The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification: September 1787-August 1788 (2 volumes)

 

Zahra Hankir (ed.), Christiane Amanpour (foreword), Various Authors
     - Our Women on the Ground

 

Yuval Noah Harari

     - Money

 

Nino Haratischwili

     - Die Katze und der General (The Cat and the General)

 

Kate Harding

     - Asking for It: Slut-shaming, Victim-blaming, and How We Can Change America's Rape Culture

 

Luke Harding

     - The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man

 

Melissa V. Harris-Perry

     - Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

 

Stephen Hawking

     - A Brief History of Time

 

Michael V. Hayden

     - Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror

 

Natalie Haynes
     - A Thousand Ships

 

Seamus Heaney, Sophocles

     - The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles’ Antigone

 

Joseph Heller

     - Catch-22
     - Something Happened
     - Work

 

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

     - Das Leben der anderen (The Lives of Others) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Alexander Herzen

     - My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

 

Hermann Hesse

     - Narziß und Goldmund (Narcissus and Goldmund)
     - Siddhartha √ (prior to 2018)

 

Rolf Hochhuth

     - Juristen (Lawyers) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Andrew Hodges

     - Alan Turing: The Enigma


David E. Hoffman

     - The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy

 

Tom Holland

     - Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

 

Selina Hossain

     - River of My Blood

 

David Howarth

     - We Die Alone

 

Wilhelm von Humboldt

     - Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen (The Sphere and Duties of Government / The Limits of State Action)

 

David Hume

     - An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
     - Essays: Moral, Political and Literary

 

John Hume

     - A New Ireland: Politics, Peace, and Reconciliation

 

Aldous Huxley

     - Brave New World √ (prior to 2018)

 

Samuel Hynes, Anne Matthews, Nancy Caldwell Sorel (eds.), Various Authors

     - Reporting World War II: American Journalism 1938-1946

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

     - Basic Rules of the Geneva Conventions and Their Additional Protocols

 

Peter H. Irons

     - Brennan Vs. Rehnquist: The Battle for the Constitution

 

Michael Isikoff, David Corn

     - Russian Roulette

 

Hamid Ismailov

      - The Devils' Dance

 

Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

     - The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation

 

Thomas Jefferson

     - Writings

 

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Andrew Jackson, and others, John Grafton (ed.)

     - The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865 √ (prior to 2018)

 

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Otis, John Dickinson, Samuel Adams, Joseph Galloway, Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Samuel Seabury, Thomas Hutchinson, and others, Gordon Wood (ed.)

     - The American Revolution: Writings from the Pamphlet Debate 1764-1776 (2 volumes)

 

Dan Jones

     - Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty

 

Reece Jones

     - Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move

 

Ernst Jünger

     - In Stahlgewittern (Storms of Steel)

 

André Kaminski

     - Nächstes Jahr in Jerusalem (Kith and Kin)

 

Hasnain Kazim

     - Post von Karlheinz

 

Patrick Radden Keefe

     - Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

 

John Keegan

     - The Face of Battle

 

China Keitetsi

     - Child Soldier: Fighting for My Life

 

Sarah Kendzior

     - The View from Flyover Country

 

John F. Kennedy

     - Let the Word Go Forth: Speeches, Statements, and Writings 1947 to 1963

     - A Nation of Immigrants
     - Profiles in Courage

 

Robert F. Kennedy

     - Thirteen Days

 

Navid Kermani

     - Ausnahmezustand: Reisen in eine beunruhigte Welt (State of Emergency: Travels in a Troubled World)
     - Einbruch der Wirklichkeit: Auf dem Flüchtlingstreck durch Europa (Upheaval: The Refugee Trek through Europe)

     - Entlang den Gräben: Eine Reise durch das östliche Europa bis nach Isfahan (Along the Trenches: A Trip Through Eastern Europe to Isfahan)

    - Vergesst Deutschland!: Eine patriotische Rede (Forget Germany!: A Patriotic Speech)
     - Zwischen Koran und Kafka: West-östliche Erkundungen (Between Quran and Kafka: West-Eastern Affinities)

 

Ian Kershaw

     - Hitler: A Biography

 

John Maynard Keynes

     - The Economic Consequences of the Peace

     - The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
 

Martin Luther King Jr.

     - A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

     - Letter from the Birmingham Jail √ (prior to 2018)
     - Why We Can't Wait √ (prior to 2018)
 

Naomi Klein

     - No Is Not Enough

 

Helen J. Knowles

     - The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty

 

Arthur Koestler

     - Darkness at Noon

 

Clea Koff

     - The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo √ (prior to 2018)

 

Eugen Kogon

     - Der SS-Staat (The Theory and Practice of Hell) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Ted Koppel

     - Lights Out: A Cyberattack: A Nation Unprepared: Surviving the Aftermath

 

Mark Kurlansky

     - 1968: The Year That Rocked the World

 

Tony Kushner

     - Angels in America

 

Stanley I. Kutler

     - The Wars of Watergate

 

Aung San Suu Kyi

     - Freedom from Fear

 

John Le Carré

     - The Spy Who Came in from the Cold √ (prior to 2018)

 

Denis Leary

     - Why We Don’t Suck and How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches

 

Harper Lee

     - To Kill a Mockingbird √ (prior to 2018)

 

Hyeonseo Lee

     - The Girl with Seven Names √ (2019)

 

Ursula K. Le Guin

     - No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

 

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

     - Nathan the Wise, Minna von Barnhelm, and Other Plays and Writings √ (prior to 2018)

 

C.S. Lewis

     - The Screwtape Letters √ (prior to 2018)

 

Michael Lewis

     - Liar's Poker

     - The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

 

Sinclair Lewis

     - It Can't Happen Here

 

Savyon Liebrecht

     - Die Banalität der Liebe (The Banality of Love) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Juliette Lichtenstein

     - Permanence du discours sur Israël

 

Michael Lienesch

     - In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement

 

Mark Lilla

     - The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics

 

Abraham Lincoln

     - The Gettysburg Address √ (prior to 2018)
     - Selected Speeches and Writings

 

Astrid Lindgren

     - Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren: Tagebücher 1939-1945 (A World Gone Mad: The Diaries of Astrid Lindgren, 1939-45) √ (2019)

 

John Locke

     - Second Treatise of Government
     - Political Writings

 

James W. Loewen

     - Lies My Teacher Told Me

 

Chris Lowney

     - A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain

 

Martin Luther

     - Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen (The Freedom of a Christian) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings

 

Margaret MacMillan

     - Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

 

William MacAskill

     - Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference

 

Tony Macaulay

     - Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles

 

Niccolò Machiavelli

     - The Prince

 

Okky Madasari

     - The Years of Voiceless

 

James Madison

     - Writings

 

Mairead Corrigan Maguire

     - The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland

 

Eve Makis
     - The Spice Box Letters √ (2020)

 

Malcolm X

     - The Autobiography of Malcolm X

 

David Mamet

     - Glengarry Glen Ross √ (prior to 2018)

 

Peter C. Mancall

     - Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution

 

Nelson Mandela

     - Long Walk to Freedom

 

Abby Mann

     - Judgment at Nuremberg

 

Heinrich Mann

     - Der Untertan (Man of Straw) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Klaus Mann

     - Mephisto √ (prior to 2018)

 

Thomas Mann

     - Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (Reflections of an Unpolitical Man) √ (prior to 2018)
    - Deutsche Hörer! Radiosendungen nach Deutschland aus den Jahren 1940-1945 (Listen, Germany! -- Letters to German listeners broadcast on BBC in 1940-1945) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Marcus Aurelius

     - Meditations

 

Joyce Marlow (ed.), Various Authors

     - Votes for Women: The Virago Book of Suffragettes

 

Milton Sanford Mayer

     - They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 √ (prior to 2018)

 

Sarah McBride

     - Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality

 

John McIlwain

     - Magna Carta In Salisbury

 

Bethany McLean, Joe Nocera

     - All The Devils Are Here: Unmasking the Men Who Bankrupted the World

 

Francesca Melandri

     - Alle, außer mir (original title: Sangue giusto -- "The Right [or Just] Blood")

 

Maria Rosa Menocal

     - The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

 

Maria Rosa Menocal, Raymond P. Scheindlin, Michael Sells (eds.), Various Authors

     - The Literature of Al-Andalús

 

Fatima Mernissi

     - Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in a Muslim Society

 

Jamie Frederic Metzl

     - Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

 

Martin Middlebrook

     - The First Day on the Somme

 

John Stuart Mill

     - On Liberty

     - The Subjection of Women

 

Frank Millar

     - David Trimble: The Prince of Peace

 

John Milton

     - Areopagitica and Other Writings

 

Nadifa Mohamed

     - The Orchard of Lost Souls

 

Michel de Montaigne

     - Essays

 

Amanda Montell
     - Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language

 

Montesquieu

     - De l'esprit des lois

 

Anne Moody

     - Coming of Age in Mississippi

 

Thomas More

     - Utopia √ (prior to 2018)

 

James McGrath Morris

     - Eye On the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press

 

Toni Morrison

     - Beloved √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Song of Solomon
     - The Bluest Eye
     - Race
     - The Origin of Others

 

John Mortimer

     - The Anti-Social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Fascist Beast √ (prior to 2018)

 

Lisa Mosconi
     - The XX Brain

 

Mo Moulton

     - Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World For Women  

 

Scholastique Mukasonga

     - Notre-Dame du Nil (Our Lady of the Nile)

 

John Muir

     - Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth / My First Summer in the Sierra / The Mountains of California / Stickeen / Essays

 

Una Mullally (ed.), Emmet Kiran, Aisling Bea, Tara Flynn, Lisa McInerney, Louise O'Neill, Caitlin Moran, Anne Enright, and Sinéad Gleeson

     - Repeal The 8th

 

Herta Müller

     - Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel)

 

Miyamoto Musashi

     - The Book of Five Rings

 

Azar Nafisi

     - Reading Lolita in Tehran

 

Taslima Nasrin

     - No Country for Women

     - Revenge

     - Shame

 

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

     - The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

 

Muna Ndulo

     - Security, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation: When the Wars End

 

Viet Thanh Nguyen
     - The Sympathizer

 

Viet Thanh Nguyen (ed./contrib.), Various Authors

     - The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives

 

Anthony Nott

     - Investigating Organised Crime and War Crimes

 

Sara Novic

     - Girl at War

 

Bill Nye

     - Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

 

Barack Obama

     - Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

     - The Audacity of Hope
     - We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama

 

Michelle Obama

     - Becoming √ (2019)

 

Lawrence O'Donnell

     - Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics

 

Keith Olbermann

     - Truth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American Values

 

Iris Origo

     - War in Val d'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944

 

Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans Montpensier

     - Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle

 

George Orwell

     - Animal Farm √ (prior to 2018)

     - 1984 √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage

 

Nicholas O'Shaughnessy

     - Marketing the Third Reich: Persuasion, Packaging and Propaganda

 

Carl von Ossietzky

     - Rechenschaft: Publizistik aus den Jahren 1913-1933 (roughly equivalent with the English language compilation The Stolen Republic: Selected Writings)

 

Ovid

     - Gedichte aus der Verbannung (Tristia, Epistulae ex Ponto)

 

Thomas Paine

     - Collected Writings: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets / Articles & Letters

 

Dexter Palmer

     - Version Control

 

Parlamentarischer Rat

     - Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1949) (German Constitution) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Blaise Pascal

     - Pensées

 

J.J. Patrick

     - Alternative War

 

Robert O. Paxton

     - The Anatomy of Fascism

 

Iain Pears

     - The Dream Of Scipio √ (prior to 2018)

 

Shimon Peres

     - Battling for Peace: A Memoir

 

Markéta Pilátová

     - Der Held von Madrid (The Hero of Madrid)
     - Mit Bat'a im Dschungel (In the Jungle with Bat'a)

 

Christine de Pizan

     - Le Débat Sur Le Roman De La Rose (The Debate on the Romance of the Rose) √ (prior to 2018)
     - La Cité des Dames (The City of the Ladies) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc (The Ballad of Joan of Arc) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Valerie Plame Wilson

     - Fair Game √ (2018)

 

Plato

     - The Republic

 

Thomas Powers

     - Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb

 

Dith Pran and Kim DePaul (eds.), Various Authors

     - Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors

 

Terry Pratchett
     - Guards! Guards! √ (2019)

 

Helen Prejean

     - Dead Man Walking √ (prior to 2018)

 

Qiu Miaojin

     - Last Words from Montmartre

 

Claudia Rankine

     - Citizen: An American Lyric 

 

Christoph Ransmayr

     - Die letzte Welt (The Last World)

 

Jody Raphael

     - Rape Is Rape

 

Dan Rather, Elliot Kirschner

     - What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism

 

Slavomir Rawicz

     - The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

 

Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen
     - Tagebuch eines Verzweifelten (Diary of a Man in Despair)

 

Christopher Reeve

     - Nothing is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life

 

Kathy Reichs

     - Grave Secrets √ (2019)

 

Tom Reiss

     - The Black Count √ (2019)

 

Erich Maria Remarque

     - Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) √ (prior to 2018)

 

T.R. Richmond

     - What She Left

 

Jon Ronson

     - The Elephant in the Room: A Journey into the Trump Campaign and the “Alt-Right”

 

Reginald Rose

     - Twelve Angry Men √ (prior to 2018)

 

Joseph Roth

     - Unter dem Bülowbogen: Prosa zur Zeit (roughly equivalent with the English language collection What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933)

 

Philip Roth

     - The Plot Against America

 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

     - Les Confessions
     - Du Contrat social

     - Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)

     - Émile, ou, de l'éducation

     - Les Reveries Du Promeneur Solitaire (Reveries of the Solitary Walker)

 

Philip Rucker & Carol Leonnig
     - A Very Stable Genius

 

Salman Rushdie

     - East, West √ (prior to 2018)

     - Home
     - Shame √ (prior to 2018)
     - Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991
     - Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002
 

Joanna Russ

     - How to Suppress Women's Writing

 

Carl Sagan

     - Cosmos
     - Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

 

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

     - Le Petit Prince √ (prior to 2018)

 

Andrei Sakharov

     - Memoirs

 

Zainab Salbi

     - Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam

 

Carl Sandburg

     - Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years

 

Ben Sasse

     - Them: Why We Hate Each Other -- And How to Heal

 

Marjane Satrapi

     - Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood & The Story of a Return 

 

Dorothy L. Sayers

     - Are Women Human? √ (prior to 2018)

     - Gaudy Night √ (prior to 2018)
     - Love All √ (2020)

 

Sydney Schanberg

     - The Killing Fields

 

Barry Scheck, Jim Dwyer, Peter Neufeld

     - Actual Innocence √ (prior to 2018)

 

Friedrich von Schiller

     - Don Carlos √ (prior to 2018)

 

Bernhard Schlink

     - Der Vorleser (The Reader)

 

Helmut Schmidt

     - Sechs Reden (Six Speeches) √ (prior to 2018)

 

Inge Scholl

     - Die Weisse Rose (The White Rose)

 

Erwin Schrödinger

     - 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism'

 

Tom Schulman

     - Dead Poets Society √ (prior to 2018)

 

A. Brad Schwartz

     - Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News

 

André Schwarz-Bart

     - Le dernier des Justes (The Last of the Just)

 

Seneca

     - Letters from a Stoic

 

Julia Serano

     - Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity

 

William Shakespeare

     - Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power √ (prior to 2018)

     - Uneasy Lies The Head: William Shakespeare on Power √ (prior to 2018)

     - The Merchant of Venice √ (prior to 2018)
     ... but really: The Complete Works √ (prior to 2018)

 

Kamila Shamsie

     - Home Fire √ (2018)

 

Ntozake Shange

     - For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf

 

George Bernard Shaw

     - Saint Joan

 

William L. Shirer

     - The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

 

Anna Maria Sigmund

     - Die Frauen der Nazis (Women of the Third Reich)

 

Ignazio Silone

     - Bread and Wine

 

Peter Singer

     - Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter
     - The Life You Can Save: How to Play Your Part in Ending World Poverty

     - Practical Ethics

 

Adam Smith

     - An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations

 

Helen Zenna Smith
     - Not So Quiet...: Stepdaughters of War

 

Zadie Smith

     - Feel Free: Essays

 

Timothy Snyder

     - On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons form the Twentieth Century

 

Takuan Soho

     - The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman

 

Rebecca Solnit

     - Men Explain Things to Me

 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

     - The Gulag Archipelago √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005

 

Sophocles

     - Antigone √ (prior to 2018)

 

Vladimir Sorokin

     - Der Zuckerkreml (Sugar Kreml)

 

Sonia Sotomayor
     - My Beloved World √ (2020)

 

Dale Spender

     - The Writing or the Sex?: Or, Why You Don't Have to Read Women's Writing to Know It's No Good

 

Art Spiegelman

     - The Complete Maus

 

Norman Spinrad

     - Bug Jack Barron

 

Ron Stallworth

    - Black Klansman

 

Saša Stanišić

     - Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert (How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone) √ (2020)
     - Herkunft (Origin) √ (2020)

 

Alexander Starritt
     - We Germans

 

John Steinbeck

     - The Grapes of Wrath √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath √ (prior to 2018)

 

Gloria Steinem

     - Moving Beyond Words: Essays on Age, Rage, Sex, Power, Money, Muscles: Breaking the Boundaries of Gender

 

Joseph E. Stiglitz

     - Globalization and Its Discontents

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe

     - Uncle Tom’s Cabin √ (prior to 2018)

 

Barry Strauss

     - The Spartacus War

 

Susan Stryker

     - Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution

 

Rachel Swaby

     - Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World  

 

Emma Talbott, Meera Bowman-Johnson, Veronica Kugler, Phiroozeh Petigara, Blaire Topash-Caldwell, Nashormeh Lindo, Michelle "Mush" Lee, Jennifer De Leon, Lisa Jones, Natalie Baszile, Nayomi Munaweera, Massimo Mila, Belva Davis, America Ferrera, Porochista Khakpour, Miriam Ching Yoon Louie, Musimbi Kanyoro, Deborah Santana, Samina Ali, Marian Wright Edelman, and Lalita Tademy

     - All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God)

 

Natasha Tarpley

     - I Love My Hair!

 

Max Tegmark

     - Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

 

Janne Teller

     - Krieg: Stell dir vor, er wäre hier (War)

 

Sheri S. Tepper

     - Six Moon Dance

 

Reg Theriault

     - How to Tell When You're Tired: A Brief Examination of Work

 

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

     - Petals of Blood

 

Angie Thomas

     - The Hate U Give

 

Mike Thomson

     - Syria's Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege

 

Henry David Thoreau

     - Civil Disobedience √ (prior to 2018)

     - Walden √ (prior to 2018)

 

Jacobo Timerman

     - Preso sin Nombre, Celda sin Numero (Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number)

 

Alexis de Tocqueville

     - Democracy in America

 

J.R.R. Tolkien

     - The Lord of the Rings √ (prior to 2018)

 

Robert Tressel

     - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

 

George W.S. Trow

     - Within the Context of No Context

 

Dalton Trumbo

     - Johnny Got His Gun

 

Chogyam Trungpa

     - Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery

 

Sojourner Truth

     - The Narrative of Sojourner Truth

 

Barbara W. Tuchman

     - The Guns of August

     - The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

 

Kurt Tucholsky

     - Das Tucholsky Lesebuch (The Tucholsky Reader)

     - Tucholsky in Berlin: Gesammelte Feuilletons 1912-1930 (Collected Feature Articles)

 

Patricia Justine Tumang and Jenesha de Rivera(eds.), Various Authors

     - Homelands: Women's Journeys Across Race, Place, and Time

 

Katy Tur

     - Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

 

Desmond Tutu

     - No Future Without Forgiveness

 

Mark Twain

     - Mark Twain’s Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race

 

Hilda Twongyeirwe (ed.), Various Authors

     - I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival

     - Nothing to See Here

 

Lao Tzu

     - Tao Te Ching

 

Sun Tzu

     - The Art of War √ (prior to 2018)

 

Morihei Ueshiba

     - The Art of Peace

 

United Nations

     - Charter of the United Nations √ (prior to 2018)

     - Statute of the International Court of Justice √ (prior to 2018)
     - Universal Declaration of Human Rights √ (prior to 2018)

 

Ayu Utami

     - Enrico's Love Story

 

Sandra Uwiringiyimana

     - How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child √ (2019)

 

Walter Van Tilburg Clark

     - The Ox-Bow Incident √ (prior to 2018)

 

Mario Vargas Llosa

     - Conversación en la Catedral

     - Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society

     - La fiesta del chivo

     - Making Waves

 

Vassillis Vassilikos

     - Z

 

Timur Vermes

     - Er ist wieder da (Look Who's Back)

 

Andrei Volos

     - Hurramabad

 

Voltaire

     - Candide √ (prior to 2018)

 

Michael Walzer

     - Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations

 

George Washington

     - Farewell Address √ (2018 and prior)

     - Writings

 

George Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, Benedict Arnold, and others, John H. Rhodehamel (ed.)

     - American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence

 

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglas, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gregory Suriano (ed.)

     - Great American Speeches

 

George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Lee, Daniel Webster, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Chief Joseph, Grover Cleveland, Booker T. Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, J. Robert Oppenheimer, John F. and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Betty Friedan, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and others, Ted Widmer (ed.)

     - American Speeches: Political Oratory from Patrick Henry to Barack Obama (2 volumes)

 

George Washington, Queen Elizabeth I, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mahatma Gandhi, Clarence Darrow, Emmeline Pankhurst, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, George S Patton, Stalin, Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, George W. Bush, and others, Simon Sebag Montefiore (ed.)

     - Speeches That Changed the World

 

Edward J. Watts

     - Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny

 

Richard von Weizsäcker

     - Vier Zeiten: Erinnerungen
     - Im Gespräch mit Ulrich Wickert: In der Freiheit bestehen

 

Lindy West

     - Shrill
     - The Witches Are Coming

 

Theodore H. White

     - Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon

     - The Making of the President 1960

     - The Making of the President 1972

 

Colson Whitehead

     - The Underground Railroad

 

Elie Wiesel

     -  The Night Trilogy: Night / Dawn / The Accident (Day)

 

Samantha Wilcoxson
     - Luminous

 

Oscar Wilde

     - The Decay of Lying: And other Essays √ (prior to 2018)

 

Paul R. Williams

     - Peace with Justice?: War Crimes and Accountability in the Former Yugoslavia

 

Garry Wills

     - Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America

 

Jay Winik

     - April 1865: The Month That Saved America

 

Michael Wolff

     - Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

 

Mary Wollstonecraft

     - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman √ (prior to 2018)

 

Gordon S. Wood
     - Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

 

Bob Woodward

     - Shadow

     - The Last of the President's Men

 

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

     - All the President's Men

 

Virginia Woolf

     - Liberty

     - A Room of One's Own √ (prior to 2018)
     - Street Haunting and Other Essays
     - The Waves

 

Jonathan Wright

     - Gustav Stresemann: Weimar's Greatest Statesman

 

Richard Wright

     - Black Boy
     - Native Son
     - Injustice

 

Robert Wright

     - The Moral Animal

 

Paul Yoon
     - Run Me to Earth

 

Muhammad Yunus

     - Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

 

Fareed Zakaria

     - In Defense of a Liberal Education

 

Yevgeny Zamyatin

     - We

 

Gerhard Zeillinger

     - Überleben: Der Gürtel des Walter Fantl (Survival: Walter Fantl's Belt)

 

Howard Zinn

     - Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology

     - A History of the American Empire

     - A People's History of the United States
     - A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
     - The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy

 

Émile Zola

     - J'accuse √ (prior to 2018)

 

Shoshana Zuboff
     - The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

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text 2020-07-03 03:55
2020 Mid-Year Reading Review and Statistics
L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot
The Daughter Of Time - Josephine Tey
The Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett
Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo
Small Country - Gaël Faye,Sarah Ardizzone
Shakespeare's Local - Pete Brown
Love All - Dorothy L. Sayers
Green for Danger - Christianna Brand
My Beloved World - Sonia Sotomayor
Unspeakable: The Autobiography - John Bercow

What with the pandemic still very much ongoing, BL acting up again, MR's and Char's resulting posts re: BookLikes, the BL experience, and moving back to Goodreads, this feels like a somewhat odd moment to post my half-yearly reading stats.  I hope it won't be the last time on this site, but I fear that the community to which I've belonged for almost a decade -- longer than to any other online community -- and which, most recently, has played a pivotal role in making the Corona pandemic more bearable to me, is on the point of breaking up.  And frankly, this is making me incredibly sad.

 

Book-wise, too, the pandemic has had a huge impact on my reading; for three out of the past six months, I pretty much exclusively withdrew into Golden Age mystery comfort reads, because I just didn't have it in me to tackle anything else.  Though I suppose in comparison with others, who went into more or less full-fledged reading slumps, I can still color myself lucky.

 

That said, the past six months' reading highlights definitely included all of the buddy reads, both for the shared reading experience and for the books themselves -- as well as a number of books that I read either before the pandemic began or in the very recent couple of weeks ... though I'm tempted to list every single favorite Golden Age mystery that I reread during the pandemic, too; in addition to a whole number of new discoveries.  So, without further ado (and roughly in reverse chronological order):

 

Highlights:

The Buddy Reads:

Jean-François Parot: L'énigme des blancs-manteaux (The Châtelet Apprentice)

The first of Parot's Nicolas le Floch historical mysteries set in 18th century Paris.  Nicolas is a Breton by birth and, on the recommendation of his godfather, a Breton nobleman, joins the Paris police force under the command of its (real) Lieutenant General Antoine de Sartine, one of the late 18th century's most influential statesmen and administrators. --  Parot was an expert on the period and a native Parisian, both of which elements clearly show in his writing, and I'm already looking forward to reading more books from the series.

 

French-language buddy read with Tannat and onnurtilraun -- we're now also looking into the possibly of "buddy-watching" the (French) TV adaptation starring Jérôme Robart.

 


 

The pandemic buddy reads; including and in particular:

Josephine Tey: A Daughter of Time (with BT's and my individual add-on, Tey's play Dickon, written under the name Gordon Daviot, which likewise aims at setting the record straight vis-à-vis Shakespeare's Richard III) -- A Daughter of Time was a reread; Dickon was new to me.

* Georgette Heyer: No Wind of Blame (the first of the Inspector Hemingway mysteries -- also a reread);
* Agatha Christie: Towards Zero and Cat Among the Pigeons (both likewise rereads);
* Ngaio Marsh: Scales of Justice (also a reread; one of my favorite Inspector Alleyn mysteries);
* Cyril Hare: Tenant for Death (the first Inspector Mallett mystery -- new to me);
* Patricia Wentworth: The Case Is Closed (Miss Sliver book #2 -- also new to me; this isn't a series I am reading in publication order).


Dorothy Dunnett: The Game of Kings
(book 1 of the Lymond Chronicles

16th century Scotland; the adventures of a main character somewhere between Rob Roy, Robin Hood and Scaramouche (mostly Scaramouche), but it also features a range of strong and altogether amazing female characters.  Another series I'm looking forward to continuing.

 

The first buddy read of the year, together with Moonlight Reader, BrokenTune, and Lillelara.

 

My Individual Highlights:

Bernardine Evaristo: Girl, Woman, Other

Heaven knows the Booker jury doesn't always get it right IMHO, but wow, this time for once they absolutely did.  If you haven't already read this, run, don't walk to get it.  And though initially I was going to say "especially if you're a woman (and from a minority)" -- no, I'm actually going to make that, "especially if you're a white man".

 

Saša Stanišić: Herkunft (Origin) and Gaël Faye: Petit pays (Small Country)

Two autobiographical books dealing with the authors' genocide experience, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Burundi, respectively. Stanišić's account -- an odd mix of fact on fiction, which does lean pretty strongly towards the factual, however -- asks, as the title indicates, how precisely our geographical, ethnic and cultural origin / sense of "belonging" defines our identity; and it focuses chiefly on the refugee experience and the experience of creating a new place for oneself in a new (and substantially different) country and culture.  Faye's short novel (barely longer than a novella) packs an equal amount of punch, but approaches the topic from the other end -- it's a coming of age tale looking at the way our cultural identity is first drummed into us ... and how ethnic stereotypes and hostilities, when fanned and exploited, will almost invariably lead to war and genocide.

 

   

 

Josephine Tey: The Inspector Grant series, Dickon, and Miss Pym Disposes

Having already read two books from Tey's Alan Grant series (The Daughter of Time and The Franchise Affair) as well as her nonseries novel Brat Farrar in past years, and Miss Pym Disposes at the beginning of this year, I took the combined (re)read of The Daughter of Time and the play Dickon during the pandemic buddy reads (see above) as my cue to finally also read the rest of the Inspector Grant mysteries.  And I'm glad I finally did; Tey's work as a whole is a paean to her much-beloved England -- and though she was Scottish by birth, to a somewhat lesser degree also to Scotland --; a love that would eventually cause her to bequeathe her entire estate to the National Trust. -- Though the books are ostensibly mysteries, the actual "mystery" element almost takes a back seat to the land ... and to its people, or rather to people like those who formed Tey's personal circle of friends and acquaintances.  And it is in creating characters that her writing shines as much as in the description of England's and Scotland's natural beauty.

 

Pete Brown: Shakespeare's Local

Another book that I owned way too long before I finally got around to reading it; the discursive -- in the best sense --, rollicking tale of one London (or rather, Southwark) pub from its earliest days in the Middle Ages to the 21st century, telling the history of Southwark, London, public houses, and their patrons along the way.  The title is glorious conjecture and based on little more than the fact that the pub is near the location of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (combined with the equally demonstrable fact that Shakespeare loved a good ale and what today we'd call a pub crawl) ... so it's highly likely that, like many another celebrity over the centuries, he'd have had the occasional pint at this particular inn, the George, as well.

 

Dorothy L. Sayers: Love All

A delightful drawing room comedy that was, owing to its completion during WWII, only performed twice during Sayers's own lifetime and never again thereafter, which is utterly unfair to both the material and its author -- topically, this is the firmly tongue in cheek stage companion to such works as Gaudy Night and the two speeches republished under the title Are Women Human?  (I'd call it feminist if Sayers hadn't hated that term, but whatever label you want to stick on it, its message comes through loud and clear and with plenty of laughs.)

 

Christianna Brand: Green for Danger

One of the discoveries of my foray into the realm of Golden Age mysteries; an eerie, claustrophobic, psychological drama revolving around several suspicious deaths (and near-deaths) at a wartime hospital in Kent during WWII.  None of Brand's other mysteries that I've read so far is quite up to this level, but she excelled in closed-circle settings featuring a small group of people who all genuinely like each other (and really are, for the most part, likeable from the reader's -- and the investigating policeman's -- perspective, too), and in this particular book, the backdrop of the added danger arising from the wartime setting adds even more to the tension.  It's also fairly obvious that Brand was writing from personal experience, which greatly enhances every single aspect of the book, from the setting and the atmosphere to the individual characters.

 

Sonia Sotomayor: My Beloved World

Sotomayor's memoirs up to her first appointment to the Federal Bench.  What a courageous woman!  A trailblazer in every sense of the word -- a passionate advocate for women, Latinos/-as (not just Puerto Ricans), those hindered in their career path by a pre-existing medical condition (in her case: diabetes), and more generally, everybody up against unequal odds.  Fiercely intelligent and never satisfied with second best (for herself and others alike), she nevertheless comes across as eminently likeable and open-minded -- on the list of people I'd like to meet one day (however unlikely), she shot right up to a top spot after I'd read this book; in close vicinity with Michelle Obama.

 

John Bercow: Unspeakable

Bercow's time as Speaker of the House of Commons was doubtlessly among the more remarkable periods in the history of the British Parliament, both on account of his personality and of the momentous decisions taken during those years; and his unmistakeable style jumps out from every page of his memoir -- as well as every minute of the audio edition, which he narrates himself.  The last chapter (his attempt at outlining the odds for Britain post-Brexit) was already obsolete before the Corona pandemic hit; this is even more true now.  However, the vast majority of the book makes for a fascinating read, not least of course because of his insight into the politics -- and politicians -- of his time (he is neither sparing with the carrot nor with the stick, and some of his reflections, e.g., on the qualities of a "good" politician / member of parliament, would constitute ample food for thought for politicians anywhere).

 

Statistics:

As I said above, the one thing that definitely had the biggest impact on my reading in the first six months of 2020 was my three-month long "comfort reading" retreat into the world of Golden Age mysteries.  So guess what:

 

Of the 129 books I read in the first six months of 2020, a whopping 63% were Golden Age and contemporary mysteries -- add in the 10 historical mysteries that also form the single biggest chunk of my historical fiction reading, you even get to 91 books or 70.5%.

 

I am rather pleased, though, that -- comfort and escape reading aside and largely thanks to a number of truly interesting memoirs and biographies -- the number of nonfiction books is roughly equivalent to the sum of "high brow" fiction (classics and litfic).

 

Another thing that makes me happy is that my extended foray into Golden Age mysteries was not overwhelmingly limited to rereads; these accounted for only 28% of all books read (36 in absolute figures), a percentage which is not substantially higher than my average in the last two years.  At the same time, as a comparatively large number of Golden Age mysteries are not (yet?) available as audiobooks -- not even all of those that have been republished in print in recent years --, and as I have spent considerably less time driving to and from meetings and conferences than in the past two years, the share of print books consumed is higher than it was in 2018 and 2019.

 

 

 

Given the high percentage of comfort reading, it's no surprise that my star ratings are on the high side for the first half of 2020 -- the vast majority of the books were decent, if not good or even great reads.

 

Overall average: 3.7 stars 

 

However, my Golden Age mystery binge also had a noticeable effect on the two statistics I'm tracking particularly: gender and ethnicity.

 

As far as gender is concerned things still look very good if you just focus on the authors: 88 books by women (plus 5 mixed anthologies / author teams) vs. 36 books by male authors; hooray!  However, inspired by onnurtilraun, I decided to add another layer this time and also track protagonists ... and of course, if there is one genre where women authors have created a plethora of iconic male protagonists, it is Golden Age mystery fiction; and all the Miss Marples, Miss Silvers, Mrs. Bradleys and other female sleuths out there can't totally wipe out the number of books starring the likes of Hercule Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, Roderick Alleyn, and other male detectives of note.  Then again, the Golden Age mystery novelists actually were ahead of their time in not only creating women sleuths acting independently but also in endowing their male detectives with equally strong female partners and friends, so the likes of Ariadne Oliver, Agatha "Troy" Alleyn, and of course the inimitable Harriet Vane, also make for a significantly higher number of books with both male and female protagonists.  Still, the gender shift is impossible to miss.

 

  

(For those wondering about the "N / A" protagonist, that's Martha Wells's Murderbot, who of course is an AI and deliberately created as gender-neutral.)

 

And of course, since there isn't a non-white author to be found among the Golden Age mystery writers (or at least, none that I'm aware of and whose books figured as part of my reading during the past couple of months), the ethnicity chart goes completely out of the window.  Again, as long as you just look at the number of countries visited as part of my Around the World reading challenge (and if you ignore the number of books written by authors from / set in the UK and the U.S.), the figures actually still look pretty good -- and yes, the relatively high number of European countries is deliberate; I mostly focused on authors from / settings in the Southern Hemisphere last year, so I figured since tracking ethnicity was substantially impacted by the mystery binge this year anyway, I might as well make a bit of headway with the European countries, too.

 

Yet, there is one interesting wrinkle even in the comparison of author vs. protagonist ethnicity; namely, where it comes to the non-Caucasian part of the table: It turns out that the number of non-white protagonists is slightly higher than that of non-white authors, because I managed to pick a few books at least which, though written by white authors, did feature non-white protagonists.  Make of that one what you will ... 

 

   

 

Nevertheless, for the rest of the year, the aim is clear ... catch up on my Around the World reading challenge and build in as many books by non-Caucasian authors as possible!

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review 2020-04-11 17:00
Year of Expanded Reading: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The Sun Is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

I read this for my book club -- wasn't particularly interested in it going in, so not surprised it only earned three stars from me.

It's a one-day-long love story type of thing, all happening on the day before the female lead is set to be deported. Putting aside the fact that whirlwind, "instant" love stories don't do much for me, this book required a HUGE suspension of disbelief when it came to how much happened in this one day. Like, I don't know about you, but I get 24 hours in my days. These guys seemed to get like 85. The main characters were well-drawn and their relationship is something I maybe could have gotten behind if it had been more of a slow burn. And yeah, I get that teenagers feel epic love for someone they potentially just met, but I'm not a teenager anymore so I don't have to get behind it.

I did like the insight into the experiences of Korean and Jamaican immigrants. All the perspective hopping into minor characters' heads felt a little too artsy-fartsy for my tastes, like this book really wanted to be an indie film.

Well written and a good pick if you like this sort of thing, but it just wasn't for me.

This happened to comply with my Year of Expanded Reading goal to read books by non-white and/or non-American authors. Nicola Yoon is a Jamaican-American author married to a Korean American, which shows how she could portray both perspectives with so much nuance and insight.

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review 2020-04-05 14:51
Year of Expanded Reading: The Inner Voice of Love by Henri J.M. Nouwen
The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom - Henri J.M. Nouwen
It was amazing how pertinent some of these meditations felt to our current situation -- there was one in particular that seemed to be written about social distancing -- when they were written in the 1980s. The reflections were really beautiful, and they are meant to be read and digested slowly. I kind of abused the format of the book because I can really only read uninterrupted during one part of my day, so I read quite a few of them at once when I got my daily "reading time." But if I had known the format beforehand, perhaps I would have adjusted my reading schedule so that each reflection could be savored.

Although many of the essays remained relevant to things I am facing in my life right now, I also saw how they would have spoken to me at different points in my life, too. In particular, this book would be a particular balm to someone who had recently suffered through rejection or unrequited love. The primary theme is about building up your inner sense of self-worth so that you are less dependent on the approval of others.

This is part of my Year of Expanded Reading, which is a focus on reading books by non-white and/or non-American authors. Nouwen was a Dutch priest who spent his life in Holland, the U.S., Peru, and France. Because of the universal spirituality of Catholicism and the "Western" ideologies of the Netherlands, this book did not push me too far outside my comfort zone culturally.
 
 
 
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review 2020-01-27 15:28
Booknote: Pizza
Pizza : over 100 innovative recipes for crusts, sauces, and toppings for every pizza lover - Pippa Cuthbert

Link to my review of this book. If you are a home cook/baker and pizza enthusiast, this may be for you.

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