Friday, December 31, 2010

My Books of the Year 2010

Not all of these were published in 2010, that was just when I read them for the first time.

1. Matt Ridley - The Rational Optimist - persuasive arguments about the history and future of human civilisation
2. Derren Brown - Memoirs of a Conjuror - warm mixture of memoir and assorted anecdotes, shot through with unexpected vulnerability. His explanation of his life philosophy brought a tear to my cynical eye
3. Christopher Hitchens - Hitch-22 - written with his usual panache but with added poignancy given the circumstances
4. Bill Bryson - A Walk in the Woods - the audio book was the perfect accompaniment to many long walks in the spring of 2010
5. Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles - eminently readable, but what did we expect?
6. Chris Stringer - Homo Britannicus - a history of the presence of humans on British soil, taking us on a breathless trek around the various sites of prehistoric habitation in Britain
7. Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Nomad - not as fascinating as the first volume of her memoirs, but that was to be expected. Nevertheless some interesting insights into her life, work and philosophy
8. David Aaronovitch - Voodoo Histories - A good summary of major conspiracy theories. The cover blurb promises deep analysis of the phenomenon, which was rather lacking, however.
9. Alan Alda - Things I Overheard Whle Talking To Myself - a very enjoyable audio book read by the author, in which he muses on life's big (and small) questions.
10. Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape - this started out promisingly as a manifesto for a new evidence-based morality, but lost its way a little in the second half

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