BooksRonRead2013

Books Ron read in 2013

Book titles link to the work's page on LibraryThing?. See also BooksRonRead.

Read 56 books in 2013. Didn't think I was going to make my milestone of at least a book a week, because I spent a lot of time writing and less time reading than usual, but decided to finish a lot of books I had already started in December and ended up reading 13 books that month.

I recommend almost every book on this list. If I don't like a book, I seldom finish it.

I don't like reviewing books as such, but I have started appending notes of a half dozen words or fewer to noteworthy entries.


  1. The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression, Eric Maisel, 2007, 9 Jan
  2. 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5 RND(1)); : GOTO 10, Nick Montfort et al., 2012, 15 Jan
  3. Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature, Daniel Levin Becker, 2012, 22 Jan, excellent survey of recent Oulipo work
  4. The End of Oulipo?: An attempt to exhaust a movement, Lauren Elkin & Scott Esposito, 2013, 29 Jan
  5. Design Fiction: A Short Essay on Design, Science, Fact and Fiction, Julian Bleecker, 2009, 2 Mar, seminal
  6. Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story, Jim Holt, 2012, 26 Mar (reread for book club)
  7. Chamber Music, James Joyce, 1907, 28 Mar, effectively Joyce's juvenilia
  8. Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams, 1990, 1 Apr
  9. Lucky Wander Boy, D. B. Weiss, 2003, 3 Apr
  10. Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy, Graham Harman, 2012, 24 Apr
  11. An Easy Introduction to the Slide Rule, Isaac Asimov, 1965, 30 Apr, very clear
  12. Terrible Nerd, Kevin Savetz, 2012, 1 May
  13. Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman, 1993, 17 May (partly reread)
  14. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Mary Roach, 2010, 29 May (for book club)
  15. More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Jen Campbell, 2013, 3 Jun
  16. Icarus at the Edge of Time, Brian Greene, 2008, 10 Jun
  17. Dystopian Love, Jay O'Connell, 2013, 10 Jul, highly readable collection by close friend
  18. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, 1958, 19 Jul (for book club)
  19. Summa Technologiae, Stanisław Lem, tr. Joanna Zylinska, 1964, 2013, 2 Aug, prescient but already coming to pass
  20. The Cardboard Universe: A Guide to the World of Phoebus K. Dank, Christopher Miller, 2009, 10 Aug, hilarious Philip K. Dick sendup
  21. Collections of Nothing, William Davies King, 2009, 14 Aug
  22. Installing Linux on a Dead Badger, Lucy A. Snyder, 2007, 16 Aug, very funny collection of linked stories
  23. The Last Policeman: A Novel, Ben Winters, 2013, 23 Aug, delicious apocalyptic police procedural
  24. Snuff: A Novel of Discworld, Terry Pratchett, 2012, 24 Aug
  25. Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II, Ben Winters, 2013, 26 Aug
  26. Machine Man, Max Barry, 2011, 7 Sep, hilarious transhumanism by Jennifer Government author
  27. Darwin: A Life in Poems, Ruth Padel, 2009, 12 Sep, heartbreakingly beautiul
  28. The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, 2013, 15 Sep, lots of practical info
  29. Microscope, Ben Robbins, 2011, 20 Sep, amazingly cool quasi-RPG
  30. Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything, Margaret Wertheim, 2011, 21 Sep, thought-provoking and quirky
  31. The Inquisitor's Progress: Through a Ladder of Worlds to a Vengeance on God (serialized in five parts), Paul R. Hardy, 2013, 23 Sep, everyone should read more Hardy
  32. A History of the Future in 100 Objects, Adrian Hon, 2013, 28 Sep, excellent; similar to my book's plan
  33. The Apocalypse Codex, Charles Stross, 2013, 12 Oct
  34. The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch, Thomas Thwaites, 2011, 24 Oct, jaw-slackening
  35. Do the Work, Steven Pressfield, 2011, 26 Oct
  36. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, Scott Adams, 2013, 28 Oct, less a jerk than you think
  37. Self-Reference ENGINE, Toh Enjoe, 2013, 8 Nov, thought-provoking; will reread
  38. The Islanders, Christopher Priest , 2011, 19 Nov, excellent; set in Dream Archipelago
  39. The Affirmation, Christopher Priest, 1981, 21 Nov, set in Dream Archipelago
  40. What?: Are These the 20 Most Important Questions in Human History--Or is This a Game of 20 Questions?, Mark Kurlansky, 2011, 21 Nov, don't bother
  41. Musonius Rufus on How to live, Ben White, 2012, 22 Nov (from ReadingPlan)
  42. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, Matthew B. Crawford, 2009, 25 Nov, bogs down but worth finishing
  43. Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age, William Powers, 2010, 27 Nov
  44. Live Like a Stoic for a Week: The Stoic Week 2013 Handbook, Donald Robertson, 2013, 2 Dec, can't wait for Stoic Week 2014
  45. Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Problems, Jules Evans, 2013, 3 Dec
  46. The Ant King: and Other Stories, Benjamin Rosenbaum, 2008, 4 Dec, brilliant
  47. The Dream Archipelago, Christopher Priest, 1999, 5 Dec
  48. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, Jon Ronson, 2011, 5 Dec
  49. Letters from a Stoic, Seneca (tr. Robin Campbell), 1969, 7 Dec
  50. The Fractal Prince, Hannu Rajaniemi, 2012, 7 Dec
  51. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, Stephen Greenblatt, 2012, 11 Dec, very cool; less philosophy than history
  52. Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes, Anders Nilsen, 2008, 13 Dec
  53. Missions For Thoughtful Gamers, Andrew Cutting, 2011, 17 Dec
  54. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, 2011, Nina Sankovitch, 18 Dec
  55. The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read, Stuart Kelly, 2006, 26 Dec, amazing but sometimes veers off topic
  56. The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction, Terry Eagleton, 2008, 31 Dec, short and clear; will reread