Master list of books I have read

This list is in the order of author surname. I began keeping lists of the books I read each year in 2004 but even then did not record every book I read until more recently so this remains a somewhat incomplete list.

Multiple dates after a book indicate that I’ve read it several times.

  1. Lloyd Alexander, The Arkadians. January 2006.
  2. David Allen, Getting Things Done. January 2008.
  3. James Allen, As a Man Thinketh. July 2017.
  4. James Altucher, Choose Yourself. August 2016.
  5. Giselle Liza Anatol (Editor), Reading Harry Potter (Critical essays). April 2004.
  6. Kristen Jane Anderson and Tricia Goyer, Life, In Spite of Me. 2012.
  7. Anonymous, Embracing Obscurity.January 2013, April 2018.
  8. ‘BB’, Brendan Chase. (with illustrations by D.J. Watkins-Pitchford), June 2006 (ISBN 0-416-58830-1).
  9. Craig Ballantyne, How To Set Goals. January 2017.
  10. Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 hours a Day. April 2016.
  11. Ingrid Betancourt, Even Silence Has an End. January 2011.
  12. Steve Biddulph, Manhood. January 2009.
  13. Steve Biddulph, Raising Boys (2nd Edition). February 2005.
  14. Steve Biddulph, The Secret of Happy Children. November 2005.
  15. Steve Biddulph, 10 Things Girls Need Most. June 2017.
  16. Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby, Hearing God’s Voice. January 2018.
  17. L.L. Barkat, Rumors of Water. April 2017.
  18. Mark Batterson, Circle Maker. May 2013
  19. Susan Rose Blauner, How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me. July 2014.
  20. Steve Bloem and Robyn Bloem, Broken Minds. May 2012.
  21. Micha Boyett, Found. 2015
  22. Tyler Braun, Why Holiness Matters. December 2016
  23. Wayne Breitbarth, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. October 2017.
  24. Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck, Live Your Calling. December 2014.
  25. Mary Helen Briscoe, Preparing Scientific Illustrations. June 2004.
  26. Susan McGee Britton, The Treekeepers. October 2004.
  27. Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code. July 2004.
  28. Randy A Brown, Easy Bible Marking Guide. August 2014.
  29. Sally Brown, Liz McDowell and Phil Race, 500 Tips for Research Students. April 2004.
  30. Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets. March 2011.
  31. John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress. November 2008, March 2013.
  32. John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. October 2008, January 2009.
  33. David D. Burns, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. May 2014.
  34. Timothy Butler, Getting Unstuck. May 2008.
  35. Tony & Barry Buzan, The Mind Map Book. January 2005.
  36. Susan Cain, Quiet. February 2016.
  37. Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing. August 2012.
  38. Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff at Work. April 2005.
  39. Captain E.G. Carre, Praying Hyde. January 2018.
  40. Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries. October 2016
  41. Harry E. Chambers, My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide. July 2017.
  42. Francis Chan, Crazy Love. December 2009.
  43. Tim Chester, The Message of Prayer. June 2009.
  44. Catherine Chidgey, In A Fishbone Church. November 2005.
  45. Catherine Chidley, Golden Deeds. January 2006.
  46. Dorie Clark, Reinventing You. April 2018.
  47. Geoff Coffey & Susan Prosser, FileMaker Pro 8 The Missing Manual. April 2006.
  48. Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. April 2008.
  49. Danny Cox and John Hoover, Seize The Day. February 2004.
  50. Carolyn Crane, Mind Games. November 2016
  51. Matthew Crawford, The Case for Working with Your Hands. September 2016.
  52. Michael John Cusick, Surfing for God. October 2017.
  53. Ed Cyzewski, Pray, Write, Grow. January 2017.
  54. Suzanne Davis, Ten Interesting Things About Human Behavior. January 2017.
  55. Jeremy Dean, Making Habits, Breaking Habits. January 2013
  56. Edward De Bono, Simplicity. June 2008.
  57. Edward De Bono, Sur/petition. February 2004.
  58. Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy. May 2014.
  59. Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter for Good. August 2012.
  60. Waris Dirie, Desert Dawn. May 2009.
  61. Garry Disher, Writing Fiction: An introduction to the craft. January 2004.
  62. Joni Eareckson, Joni. April 2004.
  63. David & Leigh Eddings, The Elder Gods. November 2016
  64. Robert Edric, Peacetime. April 2005.
  65. Nir Eval, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. March 2017.
  66. Fiona Farrell, Book Book. October 2005.
  67. Laurence Fearnley, Edwin + Matilda. 2012.
  68. Sinclair B. Ferguson, In Christ Alone. April 2010.
  69. Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Grace of Repentance. January 2017.
  70. Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Work Week. 20 March 2018.
  71. Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty. 2015
  72. Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett, When Helping Hurts. September 2012.
  73. Neil Fiore, The Now Habit. July 2008.
  74. Graeme Finlay, God’s Books, Genetics & Genesis. April 2005.
  75. Kenneth C. Flint, Isle of Destiny. November 2016
  76. Pat Flynn, Let Go. 2015
  77. Pat Flynn, Will It Fly?. April 2017.
  78. Janet Frame, Owls Do Cry. April 2004.
  79. Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. by 2012.
  80. Lawrence M. Friedman, Curt Furberg and David L. DeMets, Fundamentals of Clinical Trials. May 2004.
  81. Robert Fulford, The Triumph of Narrative. October 2004.
  82. Steve Gaines, Pray Like It Matters. September 2017.
  83. Peter Garrett, Big Blue Sky. January 2018.
  84. Michael E. Gerber, The E Myth Revisited. January 2004.
  85. Camilla Gibb, the petty details of so-and-so’s life. September 2004.
  86. André Gide, The White Notebook. January 2018.
  87. Francesca Gino, Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed. 2015
  88. Jocelyn K. Glei, Maximize Your Potential. 2015
  89. Seth Godin, The Dip. April 2008.
  90. Jeff Goins, Wrecked. September 2013
  91. Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith, The Cartoon Guide To Statistics. May 2004.
  92. Robert Greene, Mastery. February 2016
  93. Chris Guillebeau, $100 Startup. 2012.
  94. Nicky Gumbel, Questions of Life. March 2004.
  95. Lee Gutkind (Editor), Keep It Real. March 2016
  96. Johann Hari, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression. March 2018.
  97. Harvard Business School, Time Management. March 2006.
  98. Sally Helgesen, Thriving in 24/7. March 2006.
  99. Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea. 2012.
  100. Todd Henry, Louder Than Words. 2015
  101. David Hieatt, Do Open: How a simple email newsletter can transform your business. May 2017.
  102. Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich. January 2017.
  103. Susan D. Hill, Closer Than Your Skin. June 2008.
  104. Jim C. Hines, Libriomancer. October 2016
  105. Charles D. Hodges, Good Mood, Bad Mood. May 2014.
  106. Mark Holloway, The Freedom Diaries. January 2018.
  107. Anne Holm, I Am David. December 2005.
  108. Mark Hurst, Bit Literacy. July 2013
  109. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. November 2017.
  110. Bill Hybels, Too busy Not to Pray. July 2004, February 2005, May 2006.
  111. Eileen Jay, Mary Noble & Anne Stevenson Hobbs, A Victorian Naturalist, Beatrix Potter’s Drawings from the Armitt Collection. January 2018.
  112. Nancy Kehoe, Wrestling with Our Inner Angels. February 2016
  113. Cathy Kezelman, Innocence Revisited. 2015
  114. Bernadette Jiwa, Meaningful. 2015
  115. Bernice Koehler Johnson, The Shan: Refugees Without a Camp. 2012.
  116. Charles Johnson, The Way of the Writer. March 2018.
  117. Christine Johnston, The Shark Bell. October 2005.
  118. Christine Johnston, Goodbye Molly McGuire. September 2005.
  119. Christine Johnston, A Friend of Jack McGuire. September 2005.
  120. Christine Johnston, The Haunting of Lara Lawson. September 2005.
  121. David Jones, Pharmaceutical Statistics. May 2004.
  122. Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World. January 2016.
  123. Robert Jordan, The Great Hunt. February 2016.
  124. Robert Jordan, The Dragon Reborn. March 2016.
  125. Robert Jordan, The Shadow Rising. April 2016
  126. Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven. April 2016
  127. Robert Jordan, Lord of Chaos. April 2016
  128. Robert Jordan, A Crown of Swords. May 2016
  129. Robert Jordan, The Path of Daggers. May 2016
  130. Robert Jordan, Winter’s Heart. May 2016
  131. Robert Jordan, Crossroads of Twilight. May 2016
  132. Robert Jordan, Knife of Dreams. May 2016
  133. Robert Jordan, The Gathering Storm. June 2016
  134. Robert Jordan, Towers of Midnight. June 2016
  135. Robert Jordan, A Memory of Light. June 2016
  136. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis. March 2009.
  137. Howard M. Kanare, Writing the Laboratory Notebook. April 2004.
  138. Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA. 2015
  139. Guy Gabriel Kay, Tigana. April 2018.
  140. Crawford Kilian, Writing for the Web. February 2018.
  141. Carolyn King, The Natural History of Weasels & Stoats. May 2004.
  142. Carolyn M. King, Habitat of Grace. July 2005.
  143. Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book. June 2005.
  144. John Kirwin, All Blacks Don’t Cry. 2012.
  145. John Kirwin, Stand By Me. 2016.
  146. Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad. 2015
  147. Ruud Kleinpaste, Backyard Battlefield. January 2006.
  148. Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe. January 2018.
  149. Dean Koontz, Breathless. January 2018.
  150. Gregg Krech, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness. May 2014.
  151. Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map. January 2016
  152. Nigel Latta, Before your kids drive you crazy, read this! March 2009.
  153. Nigel Latta, Fathers Raising Daughters. June 2011.
  154. Joan Leaf, Fatal if Swallowed. April
  155. Yashua Levine, The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell. July 2017..
  156. C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet. March 2005.
  157. C.S. Lewis, Perelandra. July 2005.
  158. C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain. April 2005.
  159. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. May 2008.
  160. Nick Loper, Buy Buttons March 2017.
  161. Angerona S. Love, When Darkness Comes. July 2012.
  162. Brian Lomas, Easy Step by Step Guide to Stress and Time Management. March 2006.
  163. Tremper Longman, How To Read The Psalms. June 2011.
  164. Greg Lucas, Wrestling with an Angel. August 2011.
  165. Gordan MacDonald, The Effective Father. May 2009.
  166. Hugh McGuire and Brian O’Leary, Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto. September 2013
  167. Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God. November 2012.
  168. Juliet Marillier, Daughter of the Forest. August 2005.
  169. Gary Martin, Devotional Catalyst, Inspiration For Busy Christians. September 2012.
  170. Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. April 2014.
  171. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones. December 2016
  172. George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings. December 2016
  173. George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords. December 2016
  174. George R. R. Martin, A Feast for Crows. January 2017. 
  175. George R. R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons. February 2017.
  176. Sarah Martin, How to Breed a Rabbit. April 2017.
  177. Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. 2015
  178. Jeffrey J. Meyer, Time Management for Dummies. March 2006.
  179. Peter Michaelson, Why We Suffer. November 2012.
  180. Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. September 2017.
  181. Jonathan Miller, Demonsouled. February 2018.
  182. Jonathan Milligan, The 15 Success Traits of Pro Bloggers. 2015
  183. David Murray, How Sermons Work. September 2012.
  184. David P. Murray, Christians Get Depressed Too. 2012.
  185. Watchman Nee, Let Us Pray by. February 2017.
  186. Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View. October 2017.
  187. Richard O’Connor, Undoing Depression. May 2014
  188. Kevin M. O’Doherty, The Little Book of Thinking Errors. April 2017.
  189. Sean O,Neill, How to Write a Poem. July 2017.
  190. George Orwell, Animal Farm. January 2015
  191. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four. 1984, 1998, December 2017.
  192. Averil Overton, Stress Less. June 2008.
  193. JI Packer & Carolyn Nystrom, Guard Us, Guide Us. October 2009.
  194. Frank Page, Melissa: A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide. 2015
  195. Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country. January 2010.
  196. Pamela Paul, My Life with Bob. February 2018.
  197. Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlet, Evolution From Creation to New Creation. May 2005.
  198. Jim Phelps, Why Am I Still Depressed? April 2017.
  199. Doris Pilkington, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence.
    September 2016
  200. John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life. March 2008, November 2009.
  201. John Piper, Future Grace. February 2008.
  202. John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching. August 2008.
  203. Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times. October 2017.
  204. John Preston and Julie Fast, Get It Done When You’re Depressed. February 2014.
  205. Warwick Pudney and Judy Cottrell, Beginning Fatherhood. February 2009.
  206. Kit Reed, Mastering Fiction Writing. January 2004.
  207. Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You. March 2018.
  208. David Rees, How to Sharpen Pencils. July 2016.
  209. Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life. 2015
  210. Vaughan Roberts, Battles Christians Face. June 2017.
  211. Marilynne Robinson, Gilead. 2012.
  212. Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication. July 2008.
  213. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. October 2004.
  214. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. February 2005.
  215. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. October 2005.
  216. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. June 2005, December 2005, June 2009.
  217. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. July 2005, September 2005, July 2009.
  218. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix. June 2004, July 2005.
  219. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. August 2009.
  220. J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. January 2018.
  221. Derek Rowntree, Statistics Without Tears. May 2004.
  222. Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project. June 2014.
  223. Antoine de Saint Exupery, The Little Prince. September 2016
  224. Rosemary Sassoon, Improve Your Handwriting. April 2016
  225. Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World. July 2012.
  226. Hugh Scott, The Shaman’s Stone. May 2004.
  227. Gerald Seymour, Condition Black. January 2016
  228. Julien Smith, The Flinch. January 2017.
  229. Sean Smith, J.K. Rowling (A Biography). March 2004.
  230. Sherwood Smith, Wren To The Rescue. October 2004.
  231. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. April 2009.
  232. R.C. Sproul, Can I Have Joy in My Life? August 2017.
  233. Kio Stark, Don’t Go Back to School. 2014.
  234. Roger Steer, George Müller, Delighted in God. September 2008.
  235. John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men. June 2016
  236. Pamela Stephenson, Billy (The Complete Life Story Of A Comic Genius). August 2004.
  237. Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ. July 2005.
  238. William Styron, Darkness Visible. May 2011.
  239. Jon Swanson, Anticipation: An Advent Reader. January 2017.
  240. Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place. June 2004.
  241. Kyle Tennant, Unfriend Yourself. May 2013
  242. Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued. July 2016
  243. Mark Thornton, Meditation in a New York Minute. July 2008.
  244. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. June 2004.
  245. Leo Tolstoy, The Death Of Ivan Ilych. October 2012.
  246. Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. October 2004.
  247. Paco Underhill, Why We Buy (The Science of Shopping). February 2004.
  248. Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts. February 2011.
  249. Denis Waitley, Timing is Everything. January 2004.
  250. Daniel Walker, God in a Brothel. 2012.
  251. Sheila Walsh, Loved back to life. March 2018.
  252. David Watson, Fear No evil. April 2004.
  253. Bill Watterson, The Authoritative Calvin & Hobbes. Finished May 2004.
  254. K.M.Weiland, Outlining Your Novel. August 2016
  255. Edward T. Welch, Depression, A Stubborn Darkness. July 2011.
  256. Sam Wellman, Amy Carmichael: Selfless Servant of India. April 2016
  257. Elie Wiesel, Night. December 2009.
  258. Christie Wilcox, Bethany Brookshire, Jason G. Goldman, Science Blogging. April 2018.
  259. Samuel C Williamson, Hearing God in Conversation. April 2018.
  260. Wendy K. Williamson, I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar. 2012.
  261. Douglas Wilson, Wordsmithy. January 2017.
  262. Rebecca Wilson and Bronwyn Evans, A Passion for Life (Young New Zealanders Doing Business). January 2004.
  263. Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove, The Wisdom of Stability. March 2017.
  264. Ben Witherington, Jesus and Money. January 2016
  265. James Wood, How Fiction Works. May 2018.
  266. Desiree Woodland, I Still Believe. June 2012.
  267. Tony Woodlief, Somewhere More Holy. April 2011.
  268. William Paul Young, The Shack. 2012.
  269. Mary Frances Zambreno, A Plague of Sorcerers. November 2004.
  270. Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan, The Demise of Guys. August 2017.


  • Billy Collins, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems.
  • Billy Collins, Ballistics
  • Billy Collins, Picnic, Lightning.
  • Shirley Deuchrass, River Calls Me Home.
  • Robert Frost, A Boy’s Will.
  • Dave Harrity, These Intricacies. April 2018.
  • Seamus Heaney, District and Circle.
  • Seamus Heaney, Human Chain.
  • Patrick Jones, darkness is where the stars are.
  • Mary Karr, Sinners Welcome.
  • Philip Larkin, Collected Poems.
  • Owen Marshall, The White Clock.
  • Lynley Millar, The Catlins Collection.
  • Andrew Motion, The Customs House.
  • Emma Neale, Spark. February 2018.
  • Emma Neale, Tender Machines.
  • Bernard O’Donoghue, Farmers Cross.
  • Sylvia Plath, Ariel.
  • Luci Shaw, Scape.
  • Kenneth C. Steven, Iona.
  • Monica Taylor, Paper Boats.
  • Brian Turner, Taking Off.

Yearly reading lists:

Some of these posts contain more detail on what I thought of the books I’ve read.

Dead trees make better books

My 4th generation Kindle device died a miserable death several weeks ago. I was annoyed because I was enjoying a good book when the screen froze and refused to let me read any further. To finish the book I resorted to using the Kindle app on our laptop and on my phone, neither of which is good for my eyesight or posture.

The device itself was about six years old, probably an acceptable lifespan for this sort of technology (though for the sake of the planet they should be built to last much longer). I quite liked the simplicity of that model of Kindle as it has no touch screen so the reading experience relies on physical buttons to move forward and back through the pages of a book.  As Craig Mod points out, Kindle on iOS is a bit of a pig, the touch screen causes unnecessary confusion.

I’ve been using Kindles on and off ever since they launched. Our relationship has been contentious but I’ve always been seduced or re-seduced by their potential. At their best, they are beautiful devices. At their worst, infuriating. They are always so close to being better than they are. (Craig Mod)

A couple of the infuriations Craig mentions are accidental page turns and accidental bookmarks. I’d also add accidental highlighting and unintentional dictionary lookups. Maybe I’m odd, but I never lookup definitions of words on my Kindle, I have a much better dictionary app on my phone, or the good ole OED. Which brings me to the reading experience.

What I’ve noticed since my Kindle device died and I’ve returned to hardcopy books is that reading is so much easier in a paper book. Everything is where I expect it to be, I can refer to the table of contents while keeping a thumb at the place where I was reading from, flipping forward or back a few pages is effortless and intuitive. The rest of the time all the meta information of the book stays out of the way and I can read undistracted. Yet there remains a heap of information about what I’m reading on each page and in my hands that I process subconsciously and helps orient me to the context of what I’m currently reading. This occurs in ways that an electronic gadget does not replicate well.

What do I mean? Page numbers are an obvious thing, but they are given extra meaning by the weight of pages on each side – it’s easy to judge how far through the book I am without consciously looking. Print books don’t have 20 extra pages of filler crap at the end to pad out what is really just a pamphlet, that costs money in a physical object. Any additional pages at the beginning or end of a paper book are there for good reason.

More subtly, each page in a printed book gives information about context by the page layout, indentation, paragraph breaks, typesetting. Ebooks attempt to replicate these things, but aside from paragraph breaks, the fluid text flow of an ebook usually ruins the effect. Even paragraph breaks can become hard to spot in some ebooks.

It seems that what is being attempted with ebooks is to abstract the content of books away from the physicality of the book form. This is necessary to allow the text to reflow into the various container forms of differing devices. If we processed data in the same way as computers this might be effective for humans, but we are embodied beings with a long history of interacting with a physical world. Our senses and minds interpret information in context of a physical world of objects, people and the environment. Books may rely upon ideas, but I wonder if we maybe hunger to keep those ideas in a physical form, a specific book with a particular cover illustration underlined using my favourite pen while sitting on our blue sofa on an overcast day.

I’m glad that we have ebooks, they make books far more accessible to more people than ever, but I don’t think they are as good as physical books made of paper and cardboard. When I can afford it I will probably get myself a new Kindle device because I have hundreds of unread Kindle format books that I’ve previously purchased. The device is also great to have on hand if I may have time to read but don’t want to lug around five different books because I’m unsure which one I will want to read in a waiting room.

For convenience the Kindle is great, for a good reading experience paper is better.

Books I should read

I already have a list of books I’ve bought and need to read in order to justify spending money on them. That list alone is rather long, but then there are books that I know I should read because they are a significant part of the heritage of English literature, are classics, or would be good for me. I know that such a list of books one should read could easily get out of hand, everyone has some book they think everyone else should read, so I’m trying to limit this list to books that are strongly recommended by numerous sources.

This list will grow and morph as I add books, read books and hopefully become better for it. Once I read books on this list I will add them to my list of books I’ve read and delete them from here (and my giant to read list if appropriate).

  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Jane Austen, Emma
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • Saul Bellow, Seize the Day
  • Thomas Bernhard, Wittgenstein’s Nephew
  • Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
  • A.P. Checkhov, Ward No. 6
  • A.P. Checkhov, Rothschild’s Fiddle
  • A.P. Checkhov, The Lady with the Little Dog
  • A.P. Checkhov, The Bishop
  • A.P. Checkhov, The Seagull
  • J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello
  • Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
  • Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
  • Denis Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew
  • F.M. Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground
  • F.M. Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
  • F.M. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
  • George Eliot, Adam Bede
  • George Eliot, Middlemarch
  • Frederick Exley, A Fan’s Notes
  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom!
  • Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews
  • Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
  • Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
  • Theodor Fontane, Effi Briest
  • Henry Green, Caught
  • Henry Green, Loving
  • Knut Hamsun, Hunger
  • Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Thomas Hardy, Tess
  • Homer, Iliad
  • Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
  • Henry James, What Maisie Knew
  • Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
  • B.S. Johnson, Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry
  • James Joyce, Dubliners
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis
  • D.H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia
  • D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow
  • Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
  • Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
  • Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks
  • Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories
  • Guy de Maupassant, Pierre and Jean
  • Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
  • Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • Ian McEwan, Atonement
  • Robert McLoskey, Make Way for Ducklings
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  • V.S. Naipaul, A house for Mr Biswas
  • Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past
  • A.S. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin
  • Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
  • Joseph Roth, The Radetzky March
  • Philip Roth, Sabbath’s Theater
  • Philip Roth, The Counterlife
  • Norman Rush, Mortals
  • Norman Rush, Mating
  • Jose Saramago, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
  • W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants
  • Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • Stendhal, The Red and the Black
  • Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Italo Svevo, Confessions of Zeno
  • W.M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  • L.N Tolstoy, Hadji Murad
  • L.N. Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • L.N. Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  • John Updike, Terrorist
  • John Updike, Of the Farm
  • David Foster Wallace, Oblivion and other stories
  • Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
  • Virginia Woolf, The Waves
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse


2018 Reading

Updated: 21 June 2018

Slow Reads

There are some books that I intentionally read slowly in order to let their message sink in or to enjoy the experience of digesting smaller morsels that are rich in meaning.

  • Selected Poems by William Bronk (ISBN 0-8112-1314-5)
  • Second Sky by Tania Runyan (ISBN 978-1-62564-288-2)
  • The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins (ISBN 978-1-5098-3425-9)
  • Holy Bible (KJV)
  • Holy Bible (NIV)
  • Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth by Walter Bruggemann. 167 pages (ISBN 978-0-8006-3460-5).

The books I have read so far in 2018

This list is in the order that I read these books.

    1. The Freedom Diaries by Mark Holloway. 3/10 Finished 4 January 2018, 306 pages (ISBN 978-0-473-25184-0).
    2. Big Blue Sky, a memoir by Peter Garrett. 8/10 Really enjoyed this book, well written and about someone I’ve long admired. He manages to make even politics interesting, though confirms that I wouldn’t last 5 minutes in that realm. The Midnight Oil Great Circle tour in 2017 is a fitting way for Peter Garrett to round out his career. Finished 18 January 2018, 448 pages. (ISBN 978-1-76063-274-8)
    3. Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert. 7/10 A well written and understandable book about global warming. The conclusions of this book are actually quite frightening, especially as we are seeing more extreme weather events every year. Finished 22 January 2018, 320 pages (Kindle edition).
    4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. 7/10 Written as a play/stage production, a format I personally dislike to read. However, the story is reasonably interesting and brings out some more elements of certain characters. Finished 22 January 2018 (ISBN 978-0-7515-6535-5).
    5. Breathless by Dean Koontz. 6/10 An easy and enjoyable read but I found the story a bit disjointed jumping between seemingly unrelated plot lines which had an implied resolution but were not actually tied together by the conclusion of the book. Finished 23 January 2018 (ISBN 978-0-00-790986-5).
    6. Hearing God’s Voice by Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby 6/10 I enjoyed this book, practical and biblically based. Finished 25 January 2018, 288 pages (Kindle edition).
    7. Praying Hyde by Captain E.G. Carre. 6/10 I became interested to learn more about John Hyde while reading Hearing God’s Voice by Henry and Richard Blackaby. Hyde was certainly an extraordinary man of prayer. Finished 27 January 2018, 152 pages (Kindle edition).
    8. The White Notebook by André Gide. 4/10 I began reading this over a year ago and soon tired of the flowery, self obsessed writing. Finally finished it but not an enjoyable read. Finished 28 January 2018, 100 pages (Kindle edition).
    9. A Victorian Naturalist, Beatrix Potter’s Drawings from the Armitt Collection by Eileen Jay, Mary Noble & Anne Stevenson Hobbs. 7/10 A magnificent book featuring impressive scientific illustrations of fungi by Beatrix Potter. Her cute animal stories are only the tip of her amazing talents as an artist. Finished 29 January 2018, 192 pages.
    10. Demonsouled by Jonathan Miller. 5/10 I felt like a light read over the weekend and picked this up free in the Kindle store. It fitted the purpose, not especially well written but not bad and the storyline was interesting enough to keep me reading. Finished 4 February 2018 (Kindle edition).
    11. My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul. 8/10 I loved this book. It is effectively a story about the love of reading and contained numerous reader idiosyncrasies that I could identify with. Finished 18 February 2018, 256 pages (Kindle edition).
    12. Spark by Emma Neale Finished 21 February 2018 (ISBN 978-1-877448-19-5). (see Poems I have read in 2018)
    13. Writing for the Web by Crawford Kilian. 6/10  Picked up some useful tips and ideas of how to improve my writing. I will probably read this book again. Finished 23 February 2018, 176 pages.
    14. Loved back to life by Sheila Walsh. 7/10 My wife was reading this and had good things to say about it so I swiped it and read it myself. Reading this has caused me to think more about God and how depression has affected and been affected by my faith. Finished 12 March 2018, 240 pages (ISBN 978-0718021870).
    15. Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression by Johann Hari. 7/10The way this book is promoted lead me to think the author dismissed any biochemical basis for depression, but he does concede that neurotransmitters play some role. What he does do is to investigate reasonably thoroughly a bunch of other social and personal influences which cause people to become depressed, noting that when these factors are improved the depression lifts. For this reason it is an encouraging book, though is not promoting any sort of easy fix like taking a little tablet. Finished 13 March 2018, 336 pages (Kindle edition).
    16. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. 4/10 I have resisted this book for a long time, first I resisted even buying it because it seemed over hyped and I don’t particularly like how the author comes across on his podcast. Even after buying it for $4.99 on strong recommendation from people I respect, I’ve avoided reading it for over a year now. The book easy to read and follow but nothing particularly enlightening. I find Tim’s attitudes to be brash and in my view unethical. I could not conduct business in the way he advocates. Finished 20 March 2018, 416 pages (Kindle edition).
    17. The Way of the Writer by Charles Johnson 9/10 A treasure trove of advice and insights into writing. I will need to read this again. Finished 24 March 2018, 232 pages (ISBN 978-1-5011-4722-7).
    18. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke. 8/10 This is a good book. Every time I read from it I am inspired to spend time with God and read my Bible. Finished 25 March 2018, 224 pages (Kindle edition).
    19. Science Blogging: The Essential Guide by Christie Wilcox, Bethany Brookshire, Jason G. Goldman. 7/10 Finished 2 April 2018, 289 pages (Kindle edition).
    20. These Intricacies by Dave Harrity. 7/10 (see Poems I have read in 2018). Finished 5 April 2018, 60 pages (ISBN 978-1-4982-3693-5).
    21. Hearing God in Conversation by Samuel C Williamson. 8/10 An excellent book on the topic of hearing God’s voice, balanced and biblical. Finished 7 April 2018, 216 pages (Kindle edition).
    22. Reinventing You by Dorie Clark. 7/10 I found this a useful and interesting book because of the place I’m currently at in my life. It does seem to be targeted at a mostly business audience but still has some good advice. Finished 20 April 2018, 240 pages (Kindle edition).
    23. Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything by Anonymous 7/10 Finished 23 April 2018, 195 pages (Kindle edition).
    24. Tigana by Guy Gabriel Kay 7/10 Finished 30 April 2018, 692 pages (Kindle edition).
    25. How Fiction Works by James Wood. 6/10 An interesting book. It is a little bit pompous in tone, I can’t say I enjoy the writer’s style but I am learning. What it is making clear to me is how few of the great literary novels I have read, something I’d like to fix. This book does not actually discuss how fiction works but how literary novels work. Finished 17 May 2018, 191 pages (ISBN 978-1-845-95093-4).
    26. Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke. 7/10. Overall the intent of this book is to encourage Christians to read more, though I suspect most people who read books about reading books are already book readers. Something I have gained from reading this is that I need to be more intentional and strategic about planning the books I want to read, I’ve read too much junk which has not been of any lasting value to me. Finished 23 May 2018, 206 pages (Kindle edition).
    27. Adolf Hitler by Hourly History. 6/10. I picked this little Kindle book up as a freebie. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail but is a good overview. Finished 23 May 2018, 53 pages (Kindle edition).
    28. Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett. 10/10. Finished 26 May 2018, 405 pages (ISBN 978-0-85151-821-3).
    29. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug 7/10An enjoyable, light read about web usability, I learned some stuff and was reminded of a bunch of good practices. Finished 29 May 2018, 200 pages (Second Edition, 2006 ISBN 978-0-321-34475-8).
    30. Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 7/10. Finished 2 June 2018, 304 pages (Kindle edition).
    31. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordan D. Fee and Douglas Stuart 10/10. I got a lot out of reading this book, it is an excellent overview of Bible exegesis and interpretation while still being easy to read and aimed at the average Christian. Initially I thought I knew the Bible well enough to not need to read a book like this, but I’ve been humbled by how patchy my understanding actually is and have realised that my grasp of the literary structure of much of the Bible is quite thin. I highly recommend this book. There is actually a fourth edition published so try to find that if you can. Finished 12 June 2018, 275 pages (Third edition, 2003 ISBN978-0-310-24604-0).
    32. How to Choose a Translation for All its Worth by Gordan D. Fee and Mark L. Strauss 7/10. After reading How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, I became convinced that I should at least reconsider whether using the ESV translation of the Bible for my main Bible is the best choice so this book was good for informing me of what makes a good Bible translation. The authors are clearly biased towards the NIV and against the ESV but do put forward some good reasons why this is the case. After finishing this book I’m still undecided but reassured that any of the currently popular translations are actually good translations and the choice mostly comes down to personal taste. Finished 21 June 2018, 170 pages (Kindle edition).
    33. Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life by Sam Storms 6/10. A moderately useful little book about embracing the work of the Holy Spirit. Finished 22 June 2018, 272 pages (Kindle edition).
    34. The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today by Wayne Grudem 8/10. I found this a very useful discussion of what the New Testament gift of prophecy is, how it works and how it differs from prophecy in the Old Testament. This book is a solid read, with plenty of Bible references and footnotes. I now wish I had a hardcopy version of it because it is easier to check footnotes and references on paper and I’d like to have a copy on my shelf for reference. Finished 11 July 2018, 404 pages (Kindle edition).


Poems I have read in 2018

Last updated 12 July 2018

Poems that I have read in 2018

  • Ogre by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Spell by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Lucky dip by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Renewal by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Going to sleep by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Ride to Banburry Cross by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Mirror by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • The science fair by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • The first stone by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Chronoslide by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Abecedarian by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • The early life of Marc Chagall by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Yellow Opus by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Night feeds by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Exposure by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Skin by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Mansfield Park by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Kid gloves by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • The Annihilation of Matter by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Blue Spruces in Pairs, a Bird Bath Between by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • We want the Mark of Time by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • At Tikal by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • In deed by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Open home by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Divorce by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Buzz track by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Loving a mountaineer by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Traveller overdue by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Metonymy as an Approach to a Real World by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Anderson’s Bay by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Whakatane by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Reversal by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Lyric by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Cropped by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Ecology: A future history by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Truth as a Far Country; as a Piteous Ogre by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Embarrassment of riches by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Mend by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • In the swim by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Warm spell by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Water colours by Emma Neale (Spark).
  • Naming the stars by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • The Night Watch by William Bronk (Selected Poems). ★
  • In January by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • The jilted husband speaks by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Slave wall by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • The hole by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Contemplating the egg by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • My grandfather sings again by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Atropos by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • The Shuttle by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • At Cave Hill cemetery by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Northern Cross by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Where shadows come from by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Loving thy neighbour by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • You are sitting in the kitchen, only a witness by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Fathom by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Etymology by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • On prayer by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies). ★
  • Not My Loneliness, But Ours by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Virgin and Child With Music and Numbers by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Novena by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Was blind by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • On prayer #2 by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • To mark the place by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Trigger by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Hallelujah I’m a Bum by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Ghost story by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Natural order by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Confession by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • At Spofford Lake by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Pantoum breakfast scramble by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Bluegrass winter view by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Quanta by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • From the hammock by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Poem to usher in the season by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • At Pleasant Hill to visit Shakertown by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • After Chuck’s zen garden by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • Your days are waiting by Dave Harrity (These Intricacies).
  • The Outer Becoming Inner by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Certain beasts, Like Cats by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • The Summer Airs by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Aspects of the World Like Coral Reefs by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • The Nature of Musical Form by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • Tenochtitlan by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • La Coma de Piedra by William Bronk (Selected Poems).
  • God’s Folly by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • Groanings Too Deep For Words by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • Setting My Mind by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • Newness of Life by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • No One Can Boast by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • Awake, O Sleeper by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • Holy and Blameless by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • 1960 by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Lucky Cat by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Only Child by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Approach with Boldness by Tania Runyan (Second Sky).
  • Greece by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • The Night of the Fallen Limb by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Dream Life by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal). ★ ★
  • Cosmology by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Not So Still Life by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Bashō in Ireland by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Weathervane by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Species by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal). ★
  • Helium by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • The Money Note by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Henrik Goltzius’s “Icarus” (1588) by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Predator by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Sirens by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • The Bard in Flight by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Traffic by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Sixteen Years Old, I Help Bring in the Hay on My Uncle John’s Farm with two French-Canadian Workers by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • The Present by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal). ★ ★
  • On Rhyme by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal). ★ ★ ★
  • The Five Spot, 1964 by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • 2128 by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Bags of Time by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • One Leg of the Journey by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • A Restaurant in Moscow by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Tanager by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Bravura by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Santorini by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Early Morning by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Portrait by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Muybridge’s Lobsters by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Child Lost at the Beach by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • In Praise of Ignorance by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).
  • Microscopic Pants by Billy Collins (The Rain in Portugal).


How I slowly read the internet

Now that I’ve misled you with that headline, I should clarify that I slowly read select snippets of content from the internet. As my wife has told our kids, “You can’t watch the whole internet!” and neither could I read the whole internet (obviously).

The system

I am constantly finding stuff I want read on the internet. Much of it is from blog posts or news articles, some is reference material that I want to save, books I want to find more about before deciding whether to add them to my reading list, things I’d like to buy but cannot afford, quotes, poems, the list seems to be endless. Rather than deciding for certain whether I will actually read any of this stuff up front, I simply save it into Evernote, my default tool for consolidating all this junk into one place. I use a paid account (currently the Plus tier at US$44 per year) which allows me to save up to 1GB of new stuff per month which is sufficient for my needs. There is a free version but I always exceed the maximum amount you can save on that.

Evernote has a tool called the ‘web clipper’ which copies a web page and saves it to my list of notes. The way I typically use this is to save the ‘simplified article’ version which effectively grabs the text, some images (not always all of them, this can be annoying) but minimal formatting and usually it leaves comments and advertisements out. As part of this saved file the original web address is included, an essential factor in how I finally use these notes.

So I end up with a huge folder in Evernote which I call my ‘inbox’. This contains everything I’ve saved but not sorted into other folders (Evernote calls them notebooks). Aside from a few specific notebooks such as one I call my ‘wish list’ (for all those things I’d like but can’t afford) and ‘to watch’ (for videos I can’t legitimately watch on my work computer!) I just work directly from my inbox which is sorted so that the most recently modified items are at the top of the list. This sort order is key to how my process works.

The reading

When I have time to do some reading I simply begin with whatever is at the top of the pile of notes, if that’s not appealing at the moment I scroll down until I find something that is. Then my weirdness kicks in… As I read a paragraph and move onto the next one I plonk the cursor at the end of the stuff I have read and keep a finger on the delete key. Visually this looks slightly odd on the screen as the stuff I have read is slowly deleted and what I’ve not yet read gradually moves up the screen. It seems daft, but I find that by doing this it is much easier to visually keep my place in what I’m reading and the slowness of the delete action causes me to slow down my reading and actually read it rather than scanning as I do on a normal web page. It also functions as a bookmark because what I’ve already read is deleted so I just pickup at the top of the remaining text. If I need to go back to stuff earlier in the article I still have a link to the original article.


Because this is how I always use Evernote, my huge pile of 4244 notes (at exactly now, it will change throughout the day) is always sorted with what I most recently was reading at the top of the list. In most cases, what I want to look at first is likely to be the stuff in the top of this pile of notes so it’s reasonably easy to find. Other times I decide to let serendipity play a role and randomly scroll towards the bottom of my list to see what I saved a few years ago that is still in there. This can be a good way to find topic fodder for blog posts because it is a trove of interesting stuff that I’ve seen before, chosen to keep, but not done anything specific with it yet.

This is also where sorting of my notes tends to happen – once something has sat in my notebook for a while I’m in a better place to see whether it is worth reading or is a topic that is no longer of interest so can be safely thrown out. I find that such decisions are better made at leisure some time after the initial “Oh, I should read that,” moment has passed. It is an easy thing to clip stuff as I encounter it and then worry about sorting it later. (You may notice that this all works on the principle of the self-ordering heap, as I’ve written about previously.)


An inherent ‘limitation’ of this system is that the rate at which I read my notes is much slower than if I used something like Instapaper or Pocket, both of which I have used and are excellent ‘read-later’ apps. With those apps the rate at which I read is much faster, but there is a corresponding decrease in how much I remember. My Evernote approach is slower and clunky in comparison but the inefficiencies of reading slower, seeing the same article several times sitting on the top of my list and being sorted by last modified means that a sort of visual map is built in my mind of the topics I’ve been digging into recently and this can enable connections about stuff that is not topically related by is temporally related simply due to when I happened to see it in my list of notes.

Always an idea

I read to discover meaning.

Obviously there is meaning in the words I read. But there is much more than that. I keep reading to experience the jolt of realisation when something finally clicks.

It’s this jarring shock which keeps me searching, drives me to read more.

I read to not understand.

The emotional impact of a poem that baffles me.

Reading is an exploration of the human condition, seeking the edges, searching for the core. Pursuing a phrase that smacks me out of the mundane into profundity. It is a drug, an elusive hit hidden within text. When I find it tectonic shifts of insight occur, a tsunami washes away the dross of trivia.

The effect can last for hours, days, weeks even. Then the search continues for another hit, never knowing where it might be found; a web article, a book, a poem, graffiti in the street. I can’t describe what it might look like, could be a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph or a chapter.

Always it is an idea.

2006 Reading

A partial list of books that I read in 2006

  1. The Arkadians by Lloyd Alexander, January 2006 ISBN 0-525-45415-2
  2. Golden Deeds by Catherine Chidley, January 2006 ISBN 0-86473-384-4
  3. Backyard Battlefield by Ruud Kleinpaste, January 2006 ISBN 1-86941-691-0
  4. Time Management by Harvard Business School, March 2006 ISBN 1-59139-633-6. Mostly common sense really, not much real depth to any of the topics.
  5. Thriving in 24/7 (Six Strategies for Taming the New World of Work), by Sally Helgesen March 2006 ISBN 0-684-87303-6. All this book really told me is that my own intuition is better than what the life coaches have to say!
  6. Easy Step by Step Guide to Stress and Time Management by Brian Lomas, March 2006 ISBN 0-9532987-3-6
  7. Time Management for Dummies by Jeffrey J. Meyer, March 2006 ISBN 1-56884-360-7
  8. FileMaker Pro 8 The Missing Manual by Geoff Coffey & Susan Prosser, April 2006 ISBN 0-596-00579-2
  9. Too busy NOT to Pray by Bill Hybels, May 2006 ISBN 0-85110-896-2
  10. Brendan Chase by ‘BB’ (with illustrations by D.J. Watkins-Pitchford), June 2006 ISBN 0-416-58830-1

2005 Reading

Books that I read in 2005

  1. The Mind Map Book by Tony & Barry BuzanJanuary 2005 ISBN 0-563-48701-1
  2. Raising Boys (2nd Edition) by Steve BiddulphFebruary 2005 ISBN 1-876451-50-5
  3. Too Busy NOT to Pray by Bill HybelsFebruary 2005 ISBN 0-85110-896-2
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling February 2005 ISBN 0-7475-3849-2
  5. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. LewisMarch 2005 ISBN 0-330-02172-9
  6. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff at Work by Richard CarlsonApril 2005 ISBN 1-86325-184-7. Rather light and fluffy, mildly encouraging but really just common sense and nothing especially enlightening.
  7. Peacetime by Robert EdricApril 2005 ISBN 0385-602979
  8. God’s Books, Genetics & Genesis by Graeme FinlayApril 2005 ISBN-0-476-00651-1
  9. The Problem of Pain by C.S. LewisApril 2005 ISBN 0-00-624567-6
  10. Evolution From Creation to New Creation by Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlet May 2005 ISBN 0-687-02374-2. A very interesting and balanced discussion of the various viewpoints and what I consider to be a useful and probably fairly correct theory of how evolution and Christian theology can be reconciled
  11. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (illustrated by Nicola Bayley 2005) June 2005 ISBN 0-7445-8643-7
  12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingJune 2005 ISBN 0-7475-5099-9
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of The Pheonix by J.K. RowlingJuly 2005 ISBN 0-7475-5100-6
  14. Habitat of Grace (Biology, Christianity and the global environmental crisis) by Carolyn M. King July 2005 ISBN 0-9586-3998-1. I did not find this an easy book to read, partly due to writing style, but mostly because it challenged some very deeply held ideas and did not give much in the way of useful substitutes for all the Christian beliefs that it tried to demolish. From reading this book I end up wondering if the author would in fact be a Christian if that means believing in an historical Christ who was crucified and raised from the dead in bodily form. Some interesting ideas in this book, but really it has done absolutely nothing for my own faith.
  15. Perelandra by C.S. LewisJuly 2005 ISBN 0-02-086900-2
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingJuly 2005 ISBN 0-7475-8108-8
  17. The Case For Christ by Lee StrobelJuly 2005 ISBN 0-310-22655-4
  18. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet MarillierAugust 2005 ISBN 0-330-36193-7
  19. The Haunting of Lara Lawson by Christine Johnston September 2005 ISBN 1-86950-155-1
  20. Goodbye Molly McGuire by Christine JohnstonSeptember 2005 ISBN 1-86950-135-7
  21. A Friend of Jack McGuire by Christine Johnston September 2005 ISBN 1-86950-208-6
  22. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling September 2005 ISBN 0-7475-8108-8
  23. Book Book by Fiona FarrellOctober 2005 ISBN 1-86941-619-8
  24. The Shark Bell by Christine JohnstonOctober 2005 ISBN 0-14-301824-8
  25. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling October 2005 ISBN 0-7475-4629
  26. The Secret of Happy Children by Steve BiddulphNovember 2005 ISBN 0-85835-815-8
  27. In A Fishbone Church by Catherine Chidgey November 2005 ISBN 0-86473-335-6
  28. I Am David by Anne Holm December 2005 ISBN 0-7497-0136-6
  29. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling December 2005 ISBN 0-7475-5099-9