Sunday, October 30, 2011

Books Read in 2011

In 2009 and 2010 I tried to keep track of all the books I read to varying success. Normally I started the list in January, but I'd figure I'd give it another try. Here's to hoping I can remember everything I read this year:

The Sex Life of Cannibals
J Maarten Troost
I picked this one up off my shelf after a July visit to the Marshall Islands and meeting some Kiribati people in Palau. A fun read for ex-pats who have lived in the Pacific, but not a very flattering tale of life on isolated islands.

Getting Stoned With Savages
J Maarten Troost
I've spent a total of about 2 months in Fiji this year and half this book takes place there. I was excited to have done some of the things the author did, but I have yet to go to Beachcomber, the resort with topless, drunken college aged-girls. A fun read.

With The Old Breed
EB Sledge
Awesome. This is one of the books that was used as the basis for the HBO special The Pacific last year. This is supposed to be the best war memoir ever written.

Gaijin
James Clavell
I read Shogun in high school, but only got around to reading some of James Clavell's books recently. I'm a bit of a Japanophile, and this books has samurai and ninja up the wazoo.

Prey
Michael Crichton
Crichton was one of my favorite authors as a kid, probably my favorite. I read almost all of his books heading into college. But all his efforts in the last 10 years of his life were crap. Total crap. There's a reason none of his later books were turned into movies.

Catch 22
Joseph Heller
They say you either love this book or you hate it. I hated it. I really hated it. I still finished it, though. I've never been able to finish Moby Dick, however...

Taipan
James Clavell
This is the second book in Clavell's series about Asia (Gaijin is #3). It is a fictional account about the founding of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong triads. Whoa...

Pirate Latitudes
Michael Crichton
Quite possibly the worst Crichton book ever written. If it ever gets made into a movie, it will be a Pirates of the Caribbean rip off.

Tropical Depression
Arin Greenwood
A book about expats on Saipan. I loved it! I even wrote a newspaper article about it (you can google it, not worth looking of the url link). I just have too many of these awesome book reports to write. They all take so much time!

Obama's Wars
Bob Woodward
This book made me want to rip my eyes out. I read all of Woodward's books about the Bush Administration, but this one just seemed to go on and on and back and forth and on and on and blah, blah, blah. It made me wonder how the Obama Administration has done anything except fight the war in Afghanistan. It alone could take up their whole agenda.

Pearl of China
Anchee Min
I've never read The Good Earth. Maybe I should.

A Year in Provence
Peter Mayle
One day when I no longer work for an organization that shall not be named, I hope to publish a memoir on the creation of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. Until that day, I'll just read lots of other memoirs. This is the book that inspired the television series and several other books. A fun read, and mostly about food. Or maybe I just paid special attention to the food.

A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryce
Two guys who shouldn't be hiking the Appalachian Trail attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. Hilarity ensues.

Angela's Ashes
Frank McCourt
My Irish family is from Limerick, so this was like reading a family history book! Some day someone from Saipan will write a book like this.

Rum
Ian Williams
A history of rum in the New World. Is Mr. Williams English? I don't think I like English writers.

Demon Fish
Juliet Eilperin
A book about sharks. I work on sharks and I'm not supposed to talk about sharks on this blog.

Words of the Lagoon
RE Johannes
This should be required reading for any Micronesian who wants to catch a fish. Learn your culture!

That Used to be Us
Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbuam
If you do anything online, you should read everything Thomas Friedman writes. This book made me want to update my skill set to make myself more competitive in the international marketplace. Time to learn Photoshop and Final Cut...

Here Comes Trouble
Michael Moore
Michael Moore is one of the reasons why I'm a conservationist and not a scientist. Fight the man, dude! But really, a single passage in one of his books is why I ran for office and why I think it is my responsibility to make this planet a better place to live.

A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway
I am living proof that someone can live 30 years on this planet and not read a Hemingway book. I have lived a sad, pathetic life. One of the best books I've ever read, with perhaps the second best (worst) ending after Grapes of Wrath.

Catcher in the Rye
JD Salinger
This is a book Americans read before they go on killing sprees. I am not one of those Americans. Was I ever that angsty? No way.

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