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2019 Reading Journals


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Nonfiction bold. Usual disclaimer about time finished. (Also, since a lot of this reading is for teaching or for writing, no representation is made that I'm cozying up with fifty-odd books a year and absorbing every word).


Winters, Ben H. The Last Policeman

Mahaffey, James. Atomic Adventures: Secret Islands, Forgotten N-Rays, and Isotopic Murder—A Journey into the Wild World of Nuclear Science.

Burke, James Lee. The New Iberia Blues

Queen, Ellery. The Greek Coffin Mystery

Stout, Rex. Murder by the Book

Carr, John Dickson. Below Suspicion. 



Gardner, Erle Stanley. The Case of the Howling Dog

Quentin, Patrick. A Puzzle for Players

Queen, Ellery. The Siamese Twin Mystery 

Swift, Daniel. The Bughouse  (reread)



Goldstein, Bill. The World Broke in Two.  (reread)

Millay, Edna St. Vincent. A Few Figs from Thistles

Queen, Ellery. The Lamp of God (novella)

Rollins, James. Excavation

Jenkins, Philip. Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History. 



Stoker, Bram. Dracula.

Kurlander, Eric. Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich

Stein, Stephen J. Communities of Dissent; A History it Alternative Religions in America. 

Queen, Ellery. The Player on the Other Side (re-read)

Alison, Jane. Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative.



Spong, John Shelby. Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today.

Pratchett, Terry and Neil Gaiman. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. 

Bloom, Harold. The American Religion (re-read)



Ryan, Hugh. When Brooklyn was Queer. 

Vidal, Gore. Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal

Kenner, Hugh. The Pound Era



Bram, Christopher. Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers who Changed America

Frank, Marcie. How to Be an Intellectual in the Age of TV: The Lessons of Gore Vidal. 

Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940.

Behrendt, Jörg. Homosexuality in the Work of Gore Vidal.



Bloom, Harold. Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism.



Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick (re-read, ish--it's complicated)

Queen, Ellery. And on the Eighth Day. (re-read)

Vidal, Gore. Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir

Hoare, Philip. The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea.

Adams, Stephen. The Homosexual as Hero in Contemporary Fiction.

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick (re-read, ish--it's complicated)

Dolin, Eric Jay. Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Olson, Charles. Call me Ishmael 

Watts, Carl. Oblique Identity: Form and Whiteness in Recent Canadian Poetry



Grossman, Lev. The Magicians

Philbrick, Nathaniel. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale Ship Essex.

 Philbrick, Nathaniel. Why Read Moby-Dick?

Delbanco, Andrew. Melville: His World and Work.

Lewis, R.W.B. The American Adam (re-read)

Hitchcock, William I. The Age of Eisenhower

O’Donnell, James J. Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity.

Aristotle. Poetics



Busch, Briton Cooper. Whaling Will Never Do for Me: The American Whaleman in the Nineteenth Century.

Duncan, Mike. The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic.

Watts, Edward J. Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny. 

Holland, Tom. Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar

Lynch, David. Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Goldsworthy, Adrian. Augustus: First Emperor of Rome



Pietrusza, David. 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon—The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies.

Cook, Jonathan A. Inscrutable Malice: Theodicy, Eschatology, and the Biblical Sources of Moby-Dick.

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. (re-read)

Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time

Sackstein, Starr. Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School

Edited by NBooth
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*Indicates a re-read or partial read for work purposes.


Cross, Donna Woolforlk. Pope Joan

Scott, Kim. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss WIthout Losing Your Humanity

*Of Plymouth Plantation. William Bradford. 

*Journals of John Winthrop. 

*New England Canaaan, Thomas Morton

*The Autobiography, Ben Franklin. 


Hambly, Barbara. A Free Man of Color

*Crevecoeur, Hector St. John. Letters from an American Farmer

*Foster, Hannah. The Coquette. 

Spacks, Patricia Meyer. On Rereading.


*Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography.

Sittenfeld, Curtis. The Man of My Dreams.

*Brierly, Saroo. A Long Way Home. 


Hambly, Barbara. Fever Season.

*Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. 


Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Collected Short Works.

Child, Lee. Midnight Line.

Child, Lee. Past Tense.

Gladwell, Malcolm. David and Goliath. 


Dumas, Alexander. The Count of Monte Cristo


Robinson, Marilynne. Giliead

Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. Never Caught: The Washington's Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge


Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind.

Brown, Brene. Rising Strong.

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The Comedians by Graham Greene

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (after dinner read aloud)


The World's Largest Man by Harrison Scott Key (after dinner read aloud)

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein


Evil for Evil by James R. Benn

Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels

Educated by Tara Westover (after dinner read aloud)


The Return of the King by J.R.R> Tolkein


Rag and Bone by James R. Benn


Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love by Zack McDermitt (after dinner read aloud)

Slaughter House Five or the Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut


Driving Mr. Yogi by Harvey Araton


Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film

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Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight - about 250 pages longer than it needed to be, but still an essential read on the most historically significant black American of the 19th Century

Talking Pictures, by Ann Hornaday - loved it; great walkthrough of how she thinks critically about the different artistic facets of a finished film

Circe, by Madeline Miller - the best audiobook I've heard in months; a terrific "biography" of a mythical figure

The Kites, by Romain Gary - terrific coming of age novel before, during, and after WW2 in France

All Systems Red, by Martha Wells - novella about a sentient robot; didn't do much for me, despite being an award winner


Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, by Andrew Curran - very good overview of this seminal late Enlightenment figure, even if Curran isn't a prose stylist on the par of, say, Sarah Bakewell

Champlain's Dream, by David Hackett Fischer - besides being a solid bio of the father of Quebec, it's interesting to contrast his attitudes towards the First Nations with those of his English and Spanish settler contemporaries

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller - see Circe, above

Nevermoor, by Jessica Townsend - an OK Harry Potterish tale

Dear America, by Jose Antonio Vargas - touching informative autobiography by a Pulitzer-winning undocumented American


The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker - didn't live up to its hype for me

The End of Eddy, by Edouard Louis - coming of age memoir in rural poor France

How to Be a Good Creature, by Sy Montgomery - lovely memoir of important animals in the lives of a nature journalist

Uzumaki, by Junji Ito - manga horror

Shiver, by Junji Ito


The Lives of the Great Composers, by Harold Schonberg - superb

The Four Horsemen - transcript of the single in-person conversation held by Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, and Dawkins



Edited by Andrew

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa


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  • 3 weeks later...


Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History - Brian Stanley, 4.5/5

100 Great Leading Well Ideas - Peter Shaw, 3/5

Rome, Constantinople, Moscow: Historical and Theological Studies - John Meyendorff, 5/5

BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google - John Palfrey, 3/5

The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis - Alan Jacobs, 4/5

The Cross and the Lynching Tree - James H. Cone, 5/5

Edited by winter shaker

He finds no mercy

And he's lost in the crowd

With an armoured heart of metal

He finds he's running out of odd-numbered daisies

From which to pull the petals

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- Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God (1259) - by St. Thomas Aquinas

- The Rule of Saint Benedict (530) - by St. Benedict

- The Gods of Winter (1991) - by Dana Gioia

- The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy: Revised Edition (2018) - by Martin Mosebach

- American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll (2010) - by Bradley J. Birzer

- Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical (2003) - by John Waiss & James McCarthy

- Love the Postmodern Predicament: Rediscovering the Real in Beauty, Goodness, and Truth (2018) - by D.C. Schindler

- A Journey of the Mind: Collected Poems, 1945-2016 (2016) - by Helen Pinkerton


- The Hanging God (2018) - by James Matthew Wilson

- Introduction to Catholicism (2003) - by James Socias

- Interrogations at Noon (2001) - by Dana Gioia

- Introduction to Christianity (1968) - by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

- Norse Mythology (2017) - by Neil Gaiman

- Toward the Winter Solstice: New Poems (2006) - by Timothy Steele

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  • 3 months later...


On 1/26/2019 at 5:27 PM, winter shaker said:


The Cross and the Lynching Tree - James H. Cone, 5/5

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this book. 

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