Reading Recap ’15


We’ve reached the end of another year and it’s time for my annual reading recap, this time for 2015.

I start each year with several goals:

  • I want to read a minimum of 20 books,
  • I want to read at least one classic,
  • I try to reach one book about baseball.

In 2015 I blew away my goals. I read (or listened too (because my commute sentences me to about 3 hours a day getting to and from work)) 34 books in 2015.

My classics included; Frankenstein, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man and To Kill a Mockingbird. I enjoyed each of these and am still 51grMGCKivL._SX307_BO1,204,203,200_surprised at how well the works of HG Wells hold up after a hundred years.

I seldom reread books but I revisited Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood’s End this year. Both of the Arthur C. Clarke science fiction classics were great. I wish the reviews of the two Rama follow-ons were not so awful, I will probably never read them. Rendezvous with Rama was such a well executed story, with just the right balance between mystery and science that I hate to shake my feelings about the book with poor sequels.

My baseball books were the biographies of Don Zimmer and Pedro Martinez. They were enjoyable reads. It was gratifying to be allowed a peek behind the curtain to understand what was really going on with these two baseball legends during their careers.

The best books I read in 2015?

I have a tie for runner up – What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions and The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of 611-2Y5bzFL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. These books cover some similar ground. They are interesting and engaging looks at, mostly, chemistry.  They are both fun reads for the nonscientist as well as a science teacher, like me.

Top choice? It has to be The Martian. This book is funny, insightful, dead on with the science of Mars (with two 41-YkFaghDL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_notable exceptions allowed for the sake of a good story). It was wonderful. I have recommended it to everyone I know and have received positive feedback from all who have read it. The movie was excellent and true to the spirit of the book.

Here’s my complete list of the books I read in 2015. I have included links to some of my favorites. I wonder what 2016 holds for me?


What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang 

The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew  

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble  

Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You  

A Little History of the World  

Track of the Scorpion  

Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System  

“Aurora: CV-01”: The Frontiers Saga Ep.#1  

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman  

Zim: A Baseball Life  

Jump the Shark: When Good Things Go Bad  

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements  

Rendezvous with Rama 

To Kill a Mockingbird – As it turn out, the book does not end in a fiery plane crash.

Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free 

What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions  

Einstein: His Life and Universe  

Neptune’s Eye – A story set in Woods Hole by a local author. Think Clive Cussler with a local slant.




How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution  

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness51O7Qa9liKL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

The Martian 

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges  

The Island of Dr. Moreau 

The Invisible Man  


At the Edge of Uncertainty: 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise  

What is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology 

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness  

Childhood’s End  

Who Goes There? – The novella that spawned The Thing, a movie I love.

One Response to “Reading Recap ’15”

  1. 1 Random Thoughts From Shipguy

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