The books of the year

At the beginning of the year I set myself a goal of 50 books. I managed 45, which isn’t bad considering there were a couple of months where I was re-reading old favourites only.

I’m not going to go into the level of detail Paul Randal did, rather I’m just list the books read, the genre and give my top 3 of the year.

Top 3:

  1. Princeps’ Fury: Book Five of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher  I’m adoring the entire Codex Alara series. Well written, strong character, interesting form of magic and looks like a climactic ending. The last book should be in my post box in a couple of weeks.
  2. Sabriel (Abhorsen) by Garth Nix Actually the entire series belongs here. They’re apparently teenage books, but they’re complex and deal with adult themes.
  3. In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality by John Gribbin Exceptional take on the birth of quantum physics, minimal to no maths skills required. It’s written for the layman and is part history, part physics.

Complete list:


Science Fiction

Other fiction


Goal for 2011… 50 books.


  1. Kalen Delaney

    Ok,I’m taking your word for it and I just ordered the first book of the Codex Alera series for my Kindle. We’ll see ….

    Are you planning on reading the rest of the books in Card’s Homecoming series? I can bring them to you at the Summit if you like.

  2. Jack Corbett

    Cool. You read a book about the Appalachian trail. I used to live right on the trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

  3. Gail (Post author)

    Kalen, just note that the first book of Alara’s a little slow. Pace picks right up in the second, third and beyond are a wild ride.

    I read the first book of Homecoming a long time ago, I would like to finish the series. If you’re willing to loan the books for a long time I would be interested

  4. Kalen Delaney

    I have the Homecoming books on my Kindle now so I can’t loan the print books for as long as you like.

  5. Pingback: Favorite Non-Tech Books Read in 2010 | Noel NOT NULL;

  6. Mark

    I’m also interested to know more, OK something, about quantum mechanics. So I’m going to order In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality. That looks good. I’m reading Life by Keith Richards right now. 🙂

  7. Mark

    Gail, the In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat book that you said was in your top 3 for the year is phenomenal! Thanks for the suggestion. It even covers how electronics work on an atomic level. I’m sure this won’t be the last book I read on physics.

    – Mark

  8. Gail (Post author)

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    I also recommend anything by Carl Sagan. “The Demon-haunted world” is especially good, though not exactly a science book

  9. Mark

    I chose a book that Paul Randal recommended highly, even if it is over 800 pages: Shantaram. It’s first seven chapters are golden – just fantastic. But I’m 500 pages into it and it’s still very good. Have you read it or do you plan to?

  10. Gail (Post author)

    I haven’t and I wasn’t planning to, but will take a look now.

  11. Mark

    The paperback’s cheap here in the US – only about 8 dollars.

    The book is semi-autobiographical. The author is not someone I would typically like; a former bank robber and addict. But he isn’t easy on himself, which helps redeem him. His angle on humanity and humor is unique and actually refined. He has a large vocabulary, but isn’t flamboyant with it. It’s also exceptionally witty, here is an example: (paraphrasing) “You know the difference between news and gossip? The news is -what- happened, gossip is how much they -enjoyed- it.”


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