My Year in Books: 2016

What with finishing my own book, I didn’t do nearly as much reading for pleasure as I would have liked. Here’s what I did (and didn’t) read in the year that was:

Most delicious alphabet soup of hardware: Feynman’s c-clamp, used to test o-ring resiliency as a member of the Rogers Commission, as described in his Why Do You Care What Other People Think?

It’s very different to listen to an audiobook without having first watched the TV episode based on it rather than the other way around: The Wench is Dead by Colin Dexter, read by Kevin Whately

Expected Philip Roth. Got Joseph Roth instead: Jacobo el mutante by Mario Bellatín

Book I wish I  lived my life in such a way so as to be able to have written: Teaching Plato in Palestine by Carlos Fraenkel

Not a guidebook but I put in a ton of sticky notes as I read and then walked around Jerusalem with it all the same: Till We Have Built Jerusalem by Adina Hoffman

I have dragged a copy with me on every single flight to Madrid that I have taken since 2004, this year being no exception (three flights to Madrid), and still haven’t actually managed to read: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

Two details about Finland that I found during my visit there to be surprisingly accurate: The close-knit-ness of the Jewish community, as illustrated in Behind God’s Back by Harri Nykanen; and the apparent predilection for hot pepper-flavored foods, as illustrated in The Core of the Sun by Johana Sinisalo

Art forger whose life and work make me want to go on a grand tour of Europe to see all the museums he duped: Reinholt Vasters, as profiled in Noah Charney’s The Art of Forgery

Book I started with high hopes but have been put off by the stultifying writing and therefore have no charming little tidbit with which to characterize it and, in fact, may not finish it in 2017: Tolkien and the Great War by John Gath

Favorite source of book recommendations: NPR’s Science Friday occasional science and sci-fi literature episodes

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