Scott Douglas’ Terse Bloviation

Archive for December, 2015

Books Completed in 2015

Below is a list of books I finished reading this year. After each I’ve given a one-word read-it-or-not guidance to a hypothetical friend with similar tastes or interests. ALL CAPS means emphatically so. (The list doesn’t include books I started but abandoned; I can’t recall all of them, but they would obviously merit a “no.”)

When I maintained a similar list in 2012, it was split 50-50 between fiction and nonfiction. This year it’s more like 3-1 in favor of fiction. As my work has become increasingly just-the-facts straightforward, when I read at night for pleasure I’m much more interested in being transported to a well-crafted world than in being told how to think about topic X.

Each section is in chronological order of completion.

FICTION
The Natural—Bernard Malmoud | Yes
State of Wonder—Ann Patchett | No
Gould’s Book of Fish—Richard Flanagan | NO
Station Eleven—Emily St. John Mandel | No
The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac—Sharma Shields | YES
The Fahrenheit Twins—Michael Faber | Yes
The Crimson Petal and the White—Michael Faber | YES
Dog Gone It—Spencer Quinn | NO
The Box Garden—Carol Shields | Yes
The Keep—Jennifer Egan | No
The Stone Diaries—Carol Shields | YES
The Happiest People in the World—Brock Clarke | NO
Blue Angel—Francine Prose | YES
Unless—Carol Shields | Yes
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932—Francine Prose | No
Goldengrove—Francine Prose | No
Dressing Up for the Carnival—Carol Shields | Yes
36 Arguments for the Existence of God—Rebecca Newberger Goldstein | NO
Fludd—Hilary Mantel | Yes
Fates and Furies—Lauren Groff | NO
Larry’s Party—Carol Shields | Yes
A Place of Greater Safety—Hilary Mantel | Yes
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh—Michael Chabon | Yes

NONFICTION
Meb for Mortals—Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas | Yes (buy it, I don’t care if you read it)
Buddhism Without Beliefs—Stephen Batcheler | Yes
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets—Simon Singh | No
On Writing—Stephen King | Yes
The Lobster Gangs of Maine—James Acheson | No
Teller of Tales (Arthur Conan Doyle bio)—Daniel Stashower | No
Poverty Creek Journal—Thomas Gardner | YES
Listening to Jazz—Jerry Coker | Yes

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