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:: Friday, January 07, 2011 ::

Reading List 2010

Back from the dead, gusset blog lives! Please note that this blog has been superseded by the gusset tumblr but that the long neglected gusset.co.uk website is currently undergoing a major revamp, he says hopefully. To whet your appetite for the new year, here’s my traditional annual reading list post and some short commentary.

Charlie Ayers - Eat Yourself Smart Rare I read a cookery book cover to cover but this one has enough of interest to do just that
Dave Simpson - The Fallen I’ve fallen massively for The Fall in the last year or so and this book is an essential guide, if only the editions could keep up with the line-up changes
Kurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of Titan One of his best
Jean-Dominique Bauby - The Diving Bell & the Butterfly Not as dislikeable a character as the reviews would have it, absorbing read
Isaac Asimov - Second Foundation Read out of sheer determination more than anything, little to recommend it
Dr. Paul Parsons, Martin Rees, Susan Blackmore - 30 Second Theories Good bathroom book
Kurt Vonnegut - A Man Without A Country Very good collection of essays and short stories. The opening piece by his son tells a lot.
Lawrence Pomeroy - The Mini Story - Out of print story behind the design classic, for those interested in the mechanics only
David A. Vise - The Google Story Seems very out of date now, things are almost changing too fast here, see The Fallen
SPQR - Identity Protection – Nice little self-published number with some handy fake cash
Bill Drummond – 45 If Drummond isn’t one of your art heroes you should read this and re-evaluate your opinion, in my opinion
Augoyard / Torgue – Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds A dry academic work but a useful reference
Alison Benjamin & Brian McCullum - A World Without Bees They’re gone! No, it’s ok, they’re back again
Carly Wong - Post Box Portrait Another self-published work and one that has got Carly a lot of attention, go girl!
Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man And The Sea My first Hemmingway and definitely not the last
Mark Simmons - Bristol Black & White Beautiful photo book, sadly missing one amazing shot that he dared not include as shown during his lectures, hopefully later editions will right this
Bob Dylan - Chronicles (Vol 1) Fascinating writing style, as engrossing and enigmatic as his songs, I really hope there’s a Vol 2 on the way
Kurt Vonnegut - Armageddon in Retrospect Another great Veonnegut collection, although I’ve read some many this year they are now blurring
Charles Stross - Accelerando A rare abandoned read but I just couldn’t get into this, for too clichéd
J.G. Ballard - Empire of the Sun A brilliant dramatized story but I was a little disappointed to find out later how far it strayed from his real life experiences
Jon Ronson - Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness Not one of Ronson’s best but by separating it from reading close to the others (at Spokesy’s suggestion) it was much more enjoyable for it. “MONTY!”
Charles Jencks - Bizarre Architecture Dated photography of crazy buildings
Philip K. Dick - The Game Players of Titan Dick on cruise control but the usual invigorating torrent of ideas
Andrew M. Butler - The Pocket Essential Philip K. Dick Handy reference, although the plot summaries are simplified to the point they all seem the same. Maybe they are?
Kurt Vonnegut - Welcome to the Monkey House Thanks to Sarah for the loan. Some of these stories really stick with me
Louis & Joe Borgenicht - The Baby Owner's Manual The most readable baby care book I’ve found, not the most detailed reference tool but good starting point and easy to dip in and out of
Kevin Meredith - 52 Photographic Projects Lots of ideas to try in future, as childcare permits!
Gore Vidal - Myron Interesting but not amazing, less disappointing ending that Myra and good to see the character back but not outstanding
Kate Pollard - Totterdown Rising Considering the convoluted (and still ongoing!) planning arguments in this area this is a very readable summary of what happened during the road building period of the '60s and '70s and its effects on a community
Kurt Vonnegut - Galápagos Took a while to get into this one but enjoyable
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein Interesting to see all of the character background that is always missed out of screen versions, but light on detail and heavy on the illness and fainting. We may be desensitised these days but there are only so many times I can read that the creature is “too gruesome for words / for human eyes to behold” without getting annoyed that it is never described.

Previous: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

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