Sunday, January 3, 2010

Read in 2009, and A Bit on Social Networks

First of all, I'm getting a bit smarter about this. Last year I obliterated the "Read in 2008" list without preserving it. No great loss, of course. But to there are no regrets, here's the list from 2009, which is going away today:
  • Atomic Bazaar, the; by William Langewiesche
  • Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
  • Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
  • Beggar Queen, the; by Lloyd Alexander
  • Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
  • Chuck Amuck, by Chuck Jones
  • Colour of Magic, The; by Terry Pratchett
  • Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A; by Mark Twain
  • Daisy Chain, The; How Borrowed Billions Sank A Texas S&L, by James O'Shea
  • Dave Barry Turns 50, by Dave Barry (natch)
  • Disney's World, A Biography, by Leonard Mosley
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva, or The Bomb Party, by Graham Greene
  • E-Learning by Design, by William Horton
  • Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
  • Erewhon, by Samuel Butler
  • Eric, by Terry Pratchett
  • Everything You Need to Know Before You're Hijacked, by Dan McKinnon
  • Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett
  • Flying Dutch, by Tom Holt
  • From the Holocaust to Hogan's Heroes, by Robert Clary
  • God's Smuggler, by Father Andrew, with John and Elizabeth Sherrill
  • Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
  • Goldberg's Angel: An Adventure in the Antiquities Trade, by Dan Hofstadter
  • Great Escape, The; by Paul Brickhill
  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The; by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Gulag Archipelago, The; by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Hiroshima, by John Hersey
  • Imperial Earth, by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Jingo, by Terry Pratchett
  • John Paul Jones, by Samuel Eliot Morison
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
  • Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett
  • Making Money, by Terry Pratchett
  • Maria Looney and the Remarkable Robot, by Jerome Beatty, Jr.
  • Mirage, by Howard Fast
  • Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett
  • Moon-Spinners, The; by Mary Stewart
  • Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45, by Max Hastings
  • New Freedom, The; by Woodrow Wilson
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting Along in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Nixon: A Life, by Johnathan Aitken
  • Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, by Graham Allison
  • Online Education: Global Questions, Local Answers, edited by Kelli Cargile Cook and Keith Grant-Davie
  • Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, edited by Chip Kidd
  • Peter and the Starcatchers, by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry
  • Phantom of the Opera, The; by Gaston Leroux
  • Real Peace, by Richard Nixon
  • School for Scandal, The; by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  • Schulz and Peanuts, by David Michaelis
  • Sentinel, by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett
  • Telling the Truth, by Lynne Cheney
  • Thud! by terry Pratchett
  • Tortilla Flat, by John Steinbeck
  • Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett
  • Wanderer of the Wasteland, by Zane Grey
  • We Die Alone, by David Howarth
  • Wizard's Hall, by Jane Yolen
  • Wolfling, the; by Sterling North
This year, just to shake things up a little, I'm going to track the number of pages read. I don't know why this information is important, but as long as I'm tracking author and title, one more bit of information won't overload, now will it?

On to the social networking thing: I think I know why Facebook is winning the war. They're everything to everybody. You can either go there and put up photos and blog posts and play games and such, or take all of the crap you've got scattered across the Internet and pool it all in one place, from Blogger to Flickr to Twitter to -- and I'm still exploring this -- even boring your friends with your musical tastes and samples of, say, Burl Ives singing "Look At the Donut, Not the Hole." If that isn't a bit of vital social information, I don't know what it is.

So then comes the question: Which social networks do I keep up with? Good Reads, I have to confess, is on the brink of being dumped, not because it isn't useful, but because it's not necessarily social. I can brag about the books I'm reading well enough on Facebook and my blog and get the same kind of social interaction. Of course, you get out of these things what you put into them, and I've not put much into Good Reads as of late.

I should. It's a good site. But it just hasn't reached that critical mass, must-have for me yet.

Kind of like Uncharted for many, many people. It's there. But it's not yet one of those sites you absolutely have to visit every day for fear of missing something. That'll give us something to work on this year.


Maaike said...

I was going to post a list of what I read this last year, but I can't really remember them all. I have become a Kurt Vonnegut fan. Read any of his stuff? What did you think of "Unseen Academicals"? I didn't think it was one of his best.

Mister Fweem said...

I've read some of Vonnegut. Probably my favorite of his that I've read is "Mother Night." As for Unseen Academicals, yeah, it's not one of Pratchett's best. He lost a lot of steam dumping the Dean, the Bursar, and Big Mad Adrian in this one. Didn't really have that ensemble feel.

Anonymous said...

It will be great to watch Phantom of the Opera,i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.