Books I’ve Read

I set a goal of reading 36 books each year. That’s three books each month, slightly less than one book per week.

Reading is important and offers readers an advantage over those who don’t read. I’ve been engaged in this kind of yearly reading program since 1997.

How many books will you read in 2017?

2017 Booklist-


Deepa Iyer – We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

James Carroll – An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us


Linda Andrews – Please Bring Soup To Comfort Me While I Grieve

Judy Brizendine – Stunned by Grief: Remapping Your Life When Loss Changes Everything

Mark Baumer – the money i can’t use in my bank account (50 books in 50 weeks series)

Mark Baumer – I am a Road (second reading)

Joanna Howard – Foreign Correspondent


bell hooks – The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

Daniel Borzutzky – The Performance of Becoming Human

Claire Donato – Burial

Crystal Zevon – I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon

Max Porter – Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

David Shield – War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict


Harold S. Kushner – When Bad Things Happen To Good People

bell hooks – All About Love: New Visions

Aidan Levy – Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed

Joan Didion – The Year of Magical Thinking

Mary Karr – Now Go Out There (and get curious)


Tracy Daugherty – The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion

John Doe & Tom DeSavia (and friends) – Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk

Rick Ankiel (and Tim Brown) – The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life

Angela Y. Davis – Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

Charles Bukowski – On Writing (edited by Abel Debritto)

Roger Rosenblatt – Making Toast: A Family Story


David Foster Wallace – String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant – Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Roxanne Gay – Bad Feminist


Richard Brautigan – Revenge of the Lawn

Barry R. Norman – Flipping Point: Thoughts on “Why Bother?”

Rebecca Solnit – Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Paula Bomer – Mystery and Mortality: Essays on the Sad, Short Gift of Life

Evelyn Hampton – The Aleatory Abyss


William D. Milller – A Harsh and Dreadful Love: Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement

Rebecca Solnit – Men Explain Things to Me

Kate Hennessy – Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved By Beauty

Ernest Becker – The Denial of Death

Mark Bray – Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook

Mel Piehl – Breaking Bread: The Catholic Worker and the Origin of Catholic Radicalism in America

Mary Karr – The Art of Memoir


Anne Gisleson –The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading

Melanie Joy – Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism

John Cheever – The Stories of John Cheever


Melanie Brooks – Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art From Trauma

Ibram X. Kendi – Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Tom Rath – Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work and Life

John C. Maxwell –  How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

Angela Davis – Angela Davis: An Autobiography


Stephen Burt – the poem is you: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them

Dominic Johnson – The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art

Claudia Rankine – Citizen: An American Lyric

C.D. Wright – One With Others

C.D. Wright – Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil

Donald M. Murray – The Lively Shadow: Living With the Death of a Child


Marjorie Perloff – Poetics in a New Key: Interviews and Essays (edited by Jonathan Y. Bayot)

C.D. Wright – Steal Away (selected and new poems)


2016 Booklist-


Todd B. Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener – The Upside of Your Darkside: Why Being Your Whole Self—Not Just Your “Good” Self—Drives Success and Fulfillment

Mark Binelli – Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis

Sherry Turkle Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Charles Murray – Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010


Chris Guillebeau – The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

Clifford R. Murphy – Yankee Twang: Country and Western Music in New England


Jonathan Franzen – Purity

Kate McCarty – Distilled In Maine: A History of Libations, Temperance & Craft Spirits

William F. Buckley – Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations 

Jim Goad – The Redneck Manifesto: How Hillbillies, Hicks, and White Trash Became America’s Scapegoats

Philip Weinstein – Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage

Barbara Ueland – If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit


Lois Weis – Class Reunion: The Remaking of the American White Working Class

John Maxwell – Leadership 101: What Every Leader Needs To Know

Jon Fine – Your Band Sucks: What I Saw At Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear)

Ann Coulter – Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn America Into a Third World Hellhole 

John Ed Pearce – The Colonel: The Captivating Biography of the Dynamic Founder of a Fast Food Empire


Greg Gutfield – Not Cool: The Hipster Elite And Their War On You

Sandra E. Lamb – Writing Well for Business Success: A Complete Guide to Style, Grammar, and Usage at Work

Robert Pike – Tall Trees, Tough Men


Jeffrey P. Greenman, Read Mercer Schuchardt, Noah J. Toly – Understanding Jacques Ellul

Neil Postman – Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology


Jay Parini – Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal

Jeff Passan – The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports

Theodore Dalrymple – Our Culture, What’s Left Of It: The Mandarins and the Masses


Tom Vanderbilt – Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

Shawn Green (w/ Gordon McAlpine) – The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH


Atul Gawande – Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

George Monbiot – How Did We Get Into This Mess? Politics, Equality, Nature


Daphne A. Brooks – Jeff Buckley’s Grace (33 1/3 Series)

Isa Chandra Moskowitz – Appetite for Reduction

Vine Deloria, Jr. – We Talk, You Listen

Mark Baumer – I am a Road

Neal Barnard – Breaking the Food Seduction

Michael Greger (w/ Gene Stone) – How Not To Die


Paul Buhle – Marxism in the United States: A History of the American Left

Noam Chomsky – On Anarchism

Ernest Mandel and George Novak – The Marxist Theory of Alienation (Three Essays)

Robert Paul Wolf – In Defense of Anarchism

Deepa Kumar – Islamaphobia and the Politics of Empire

Eula Biss – On Immunity: An Inoculation


Daniel T. Rogers – Age of Fracture

Sarah Kendzior – The View from Flyover Country: Essays


2015 Booklist-


Rick Perlstein – Nixonland: The Rise Of A President And The Fracturing Of America

Anthony Gierzynski w/ Kathryn Eddy – Harry Potter and the Millennials: Research Methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation

Beth Macy – Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local—and Helped Save an American Town

John Gould – Farmer Takes A Wife


E.B. White – Writings From The New Yorker 1927-1976

Scott Elledge – E.B. White: A Biography

Cynthia M. Duncan – Worlds Apart: Poverty and Politics in Rural America (2nd edition)

John Marshall – Wide-Open World: How Volunteering Around The World Changed One Family’s Lives Forever


Nicholas Carr – The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Disrupted Cities: When Infrastructure Fails (edited by Stephen Graham)

Barry B. LePatner – Too Big To Fall: America’s Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward

Russ Baker – Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America

Ivan Turgenev – Fathers and Sons

Bob Herbert – Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America


Catherine Tumber – Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World

Gore Vidal – The Last Empire: Essays, 1992-2000

Tom Perrotta – Election

Walker Percy – Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Susan Jacoby – Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of The New Old Age

Nicholas Butler – Shotgun Lovesongs


David Graeber – The Democracy Project: A History, A Crisis, A Movement

Linda Tirado – Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America

James Howard Kunstler – World Made By Hand

James Howard Kunstler – The Witch of Hebron (World Made By Hand Series)


James Howard Kunstler – A History of the Future (World Made By Hand Series)

Gore Vidal – 1876 (a novel)

John Coski – The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem


Dwight Jon Zimmerman (art by Greg Scott) – Steve McQueen: Full-Throttle Cool

James M. McPherson – For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War

Jonathan Franzen – Farther Away

Patrick Martins with Mike Edison – The Carnivore’s Manifesto: Easting Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat


John Durant – The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

Ann Coulter – ¡Adios, America!: The Left’s Plan To Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hell Hole

Bruce Catton – Waiting for the Morning Train

Fernando Ferfal – The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse

Michael Savage – The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language, and Culture


Matt Taibbi – The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

Daniel J. Flynn – A Conservative History of the American Left

Derek and Dylan Volk – Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum

David Horowitz – The Black Book of the American Left, Volume I: My Life and Times


Muriel Gillick – The Denial of Aging: Perpetual Youth, Eternal Life, and Other Dangerous Fantasies

Roberta M. Gilbert – Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions

David Horowitz – Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey

Wes McNair – Mapping the Heart: Reflections on Place and Poetry


Donald J. Palmisano – On Leadership: Essential Principles for Success

Michel Houellebecq – Platform

Sam Harris – Letter to a Christian Nation


Mark Bowden – Black Hawk Down: A Story Of Modern War

Robert Spencer – The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)

Kenneth Roberts – Don’t say that about MAINE!

Katherine C. Grier – Pets in America: A History

David McCullough – Truman

Stephen Harrod Buhner – Vital Man: Natural Health Care for Men at Midlife


2014 Booklist-


Thomas Wolfe – “You Can’t Go Home Again”

Elizabeth Evans – “Thomas Wolfe” (Literature & Life Series)

Edward Said – “The Edward Said Reader”

Joseph Conrad – “Heart of Darkness”

Grace Lee Boggs – “The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century”


John Kretzmann & John L. McKnight – “Building Communities From the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing A Community’s Assets”

Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson – “Rework”

Maureen Ogle – “Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer”

Jennifer Egan – “A Visit from the Goon Squad”

Kevin Kerrane – “Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting”


Philip Caputo – “The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean”

Kelly James-Enger – “Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success”

Mark LaFlamme – “Worumbo”

Maureen Ogle – “In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America”

Harry G. Frankfurt – “On Bullshit”

Melanie Warner – “Pandora’s Lunchbox: How PROCESSED FOOD Took Over the American Meal”

Kevin Sheridan – “Building a Magnetic Culture”


Charlie LeDuff – “Detroit: An American Autopsy”

Allan “Chip” Teel – “Alone and Invisible: Averting Disaster in Aging America”

Bruce Weber – “As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires”

Josh Christie – “Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland”

Ron Currie, Jr. – “Everything Matters!”

Lee Gutkind – “The Best Seat In Baseball, But You Have To Stand!”


Michael Shuman – “Local Dollars, Local Sense”

Robert M. Collins – “More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America”


Earl Hamner, Jr. – “Spencer’s Mountain”

Marcus Aurelius – “Meditations: Living, Dying and the Good Life” (translated by Gregory Hays)

John Taylor Gatto – “The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher’s Intimate Investigation Into The Problem of Modern Schooling”

Sally Lerman – “Lobster Rolls of New England: Seeking Sweet Summer Delight”

George Smith – “A Life Lived Outdoors: Reflections of a Maine Sportsman”

Kate McCarty – “Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine”

Paul L. Knox and Heike Mayer – “Small Town Sustainability: Economic, Social, and Environmental Innovation”


David D. Joyce – “Howard Zinn: A Radical American Vision”

Howard Zinn – “A People’s History of the United States (1492-Present)” Note: This is a re-read.

James Sullivan – “Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon”

John Hope Bryant – “How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class”

Gordon L. Weil – “The Good Man: The Civil War’s ‘Christian General’ and His Fight for Racial Equality”


Susan Conley – “The Foremost Good Fortune”

C. Stewart Doty – “The First Franco-Americans: New England Life Histories From the Federal Writers’ Project 1938-1939”

Meg Wheatley – “Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World”

Phillip Lopate – “To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction”


Thomas E. Patterson – “Informing The News: The Need for Knowledge-based Journalism”

Phillip Lopate – “Portrait Inside My Head” {essays}

Ranya Tabari Idliby – “Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie: Being Muslim in America”

Barbara Garson – “Down The Up Escalator: How the 99% Live in the Great Recession”

David Dante Troutt – “The Price of Paradise: The Costs of Inequality and a Vision for a More Equitable America”

J. D. Salinger – “The Catcher in the Rye”

Zadie Smith – “White Teeth”


Sasha Abramsky – “American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment”

Steve Almond – “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto”

Wes Moore – “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates”

Richard Russo – “That Old Cape Magic”

Mike Davis – “Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City”

Dave Eggers – “The Circle”

Reza Aslan – “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”

Lily King – “Euphoria”

Lauren Clark – “Crafty Bastards: Beer In New England from the Mayflower To Modern Day”


Michael Eric Dyson – “Race Rules: Navigating The Color Line”

Donald Fagen – “Eminent Hipsters”

Joe R. Feagin – “Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations”


David McCullough – “Brave Companions: Portraits in History”

David Shields & Shane Salerno – “Salinger”

Stephanie Schorow – “Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits”

Hunter S. Thompson – “Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist 1968-1976”

Hunter S. Thompson – “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72”

Norman Mailer – “Miami and the Siege of Chicago”


You can also see the books I’ve read during the past two years.



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