Reading Recap ’17


We’ve reached the end of 2017 and it’s time for my annual reading recap. 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 read one book about baseball.

For the eighth consecutive year, I have met or exceeded my goals. (Maybe I should raise them?) In 2017, I read or listened to 30 books. There was a lot of science and a lot of space – naturally. I read five biographies/memoirs about an astronaut, a writer, a TV actor, a stand-up comedian, and a rock ’n roll icon. If 2016 was my year to read about astronauts, then 2017 was my year for biographies/memoirs.

My classics included; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Call of the Wild, Of Mice and Men. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain was suggested to me by a fellow science teacher who said it was perfect for 2017 since a solar eclipse is a major element in the story. These were all excellent and I am amazed at how well these books hold up after all these years. I guess there’s a reason they are considered “classics.”

I read two baseball books last year: NPR Driveway Moments Baseball: Radio Stories That Won’t Let You Go and Lost Ballparks. Lost Ballparks was excellent – it explores the history of the baseball park with outstanding photos. I learned so much about ballparks across the country and Boston in particular.

The best book I read in 2017?  For me it was Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author by Herman Wouk. I say “for me” because I am so familiar with his work. I have41sncs6v8ql-_sx309_bo1204203200_ read almost everything this author has published. He relates the behind the scenes work on The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, War and Remembrance, and one my all-time favorites – Youngblood Hawke (I should probably hunt down the movie made from this book). If you don’t know the writer’s work, you might not appreciate the way I did.

Other favorites included; Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks – about, well…books; and Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

Here’s my complete list of the books I read in 2017 – I’ve indicated audiobooks and linked some of my favorites. I wonder what 2018 holds for me?

  • Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
  • So Close to Home: A True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During World War II
  • Belichick and Brady: Two Men, the Patriots, and How They Revolutionized Football
  • Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic15803728
  • The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
  • The Warmup Guy
  • NPR Driveway Moments Baseball: Radio Stories That Won’t Let You Go (Audiobook)
  • Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Audiobook)
  • Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds (Audiobook)
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Exoplanets : Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System (Audiobook)
  • Astronomy: The Heavenly Challenge (Audiobook)
  • For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time – A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics (Audiobook)
  • Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos 
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Audiobook)
  • Born to Run
  • Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author
  • Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War’s Greatest Untold Story–The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company (Audiobook)1441772758
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Audiobook)
  • The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion
  • Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc (Audiobook)
  • Tom Swift in the City of Gold (Audiobook)
  • Hidden Warships: Finding World War II’s Abandoned, Sunk, and Preserved Warships
  • Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life. (Audiobook)
  • The Call of the Wild (Audiobook)
  • Of Mice and Men (Audiobook)
  • Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
  • Lost Ballparks
  • Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy #1)
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)

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