50 Books in 2011

Despite being a librarian, I don’t read as many books as I’d like or as I feel I should. Even in a library, reading a book at your desk somehow isn’t as acceptable as staring at a computer screen for 8 hours. So I’d like to read more books this year. I’d also like to not stay up until 5 a.m. playing StarCraft or World of WarCraft—not that I would ever, ever do such a thing.

My goal for 2011 is to read 50 books, a little less than a book a week. Here’s my list of books I’d like to read; some of these books have been on my shelves for a while now. Causes for concern are that all of the books listed below are non-fiction, and many of them have high page counts. In alphabetical order by author:

  1. Sumbul Ali-Karamali, The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing (2008)
  2. John Andews, Book of Isms: From Abolitionism to Zoroastrianism (2010)
  3. Muhammad Asad, The Road to Mecca (4th ed. 1980)
  4. Maggie Balistreri, The Evasion-English Dictionary (2003)
  5. Harm de Blij, Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism (2005)
  6. Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003)
  7. Ian Buruma, Inventing Japan: 1853-1964 (2003)
  8. Justin Catanoso, My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles (2008)
  9. Tyler Cowen, The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy (2009)
  10. R. Crumb (illustrator), The Book of Genesis (2009)
  11. Robert Downes, Planet Backpacker: Across Europe by Mountain Bike & Backpacking on Through Egypt, India & Southeast Asia . . . Around the World (rev. ed. 2009)
  12. Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive (2006)
  13. Deborah Fallows, Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language (2010)
  14. Karl W. Giberson, Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution (2008)
  15. Ernest Gowers, The Complete Plain Words (3d ed. 1988)
  16. Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard, On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America (2010)
  17. Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (2010)
  18. Joseph Heath, Filthy Lucre: Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism (2009)
  19. Darrell Huff, How to Lie With Statistics (1954)
  20. Ricky Jay, Cards as Weapons (1977)
  21. Harry Lorayne, Ageless Memory: The Memory Expert’s Prescription for a Razor-Sharp Mind (2007)
  22. John H. McWhorter, The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language (2001)
  23. James Martin, S.J., The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life (2010)
  24. John Medina, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (2008)
  25. Maria Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain (2002)
  26. Bonnie A. Nardi, My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft (2010)
  27. James Nestor, Get High Now (2009)
  28. Nicholas Ostler, Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World (2005)
  29. Nicholas Ostler, The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel (2010)
  30. Richard Pipes, Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution (1995)
  31. Rolf Potts, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (2003)
  32. John Quiggin, Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us (2010)
  33. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, What’s Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West (2004)
  34. John Renard, Responses to 101 Questions on Islam (1998)
  35. Philip Robins, The Middle East: A Beginner’s Guide (2009)
  36. Dennis Ross, Statecraft: And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World (2007)
  37. Sarah Ruden, Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time (2010)
  38. Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (2010)
  39. Michael Sells, Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations (2d ed. 2007)
  40. Peter Singer and James Mason, The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter (2006)
  41. Jim Steinmeyer, Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural (2008)
  42. Jim Steinmeyer, The Glorious Deception: The Double Life of William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo the “Marvelous Chinese Conjurer” (2005)
  43. Jim Steinmeyer, Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear (2003)
  44. Robert Sullivan, The Thoreau You Don’t Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant (2009)
  45. Bob Torres and Jenna Torres, Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World (2d ed. 2010)
  46. Bonnie Tsui, American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods (2009)
  47. Stephanie Vance, Citizens in Action: A Guide to Influencing Government (2009)
  48. Brad Warner, Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye (2007)
  49. G. Willow Wilson, The Butterfly Mosque (2010)
  50. Frances A. Yates, The Art of Memory (1966)

We’ll see how well this goes! I’m especially curious to see how my final list of what I actually manage to get through compares to this! And to see what books read weren’t on this list. When Tamora Pierce’s next Tortall book comes out or if John Maddox Roberts releases another SPQR mystery, I’ll definitely be reading that!

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