I have always loved reading. Sadly in the past decade I haven't set aside time to read on a regular basis. This all changed in 2008.
I made it one of my daily goals to read get in bed by 10pm and read for an hour before falling asleep. I accomplished that goal more times than not last year. In doing so I read 21 books.
As you will see in the list below, I read mostly non-fiction. This year I'm changing it up a little bit. I am reading one work of fiction and one non-fiction in parallel. I try and switch back and forth each night, but I've really been hooked on PHP 5 Objects, Patterns and Practices. I guess that says something about me that I find it more interesting than the other book I'm reading: The Vicar of Wakefield.
Here is an un-ordered list of the books I read last year, I likely forgot a few, but you get the idea:
- An Empire of Their Own - After rediscovering my faith and interest in Judaism I starting reading everything I possibly could about it. This book, although not specifically about Judaism, covers the immigrant Jews who created Hollywood. Great read if you're interested in Jews, the motion picture industry or both.
- Fast Food Nation - My wife read this book a few years ago and stopped eating beef and fowl that wasn't free-range, organic and grass-fed. I finally got around to reading it and I no longer eat beef or poultry that wasn't raised the way animals were intended to live: on an open range, eating grass and being happy. If you read this book you'll understand why. Basically, feeding herbivores meat, blood and guts from other animals or of their same species, is a horribly disgusting practice that has a wide range of frightening ramifications.
- The Clarinet and Clarinet Playing - Last year I picked up the clarinet again and decided to learn a bit more about it. This book had amazing reviews on Amazon and they were spot on. I will likely read this book every year or two.
- The Wicked Son - This book is part of the Nextbook series. I decided to read it because my Temple decided to start a book club. I enjoyed the book and I will actually be re-reading it so it's fresh in my head for the discussions.
- History of the Jews of Los Angeles - This is a great book from the 1970s about the history of... ok you get the idea. Great read.
- The Elements of Journalism - A very interesting and informative discussion about bias and public perception of the media.
- The Artful Edit - This book has helped me immensely. I recommend it for any writer, aspiring or otherwise.
- The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law - This book is mostly a dictionary reference on accepted spellings of common people, places and things. There is also some good stuff about the law included.
- Photojournalism Sixth Edition - This is the best book I've ever read about Photojournalism. Amazing. I have both the 5th and 6th editions.
- Ansel Adams' The Camera - This should be required reading for any photographer.
- Ansel Adams' The Negative - This is also great reading, although obviously somewhat dated and becoming more and more obsolete.
- Ansel Adams' The Print - [See previous comment]
- The Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism - This book has become almost too dated to be worth reading. I'm guessing the AP is working on a new edition if they haven't already released one.
- How to Photograph Absolutely Everything - This book was pretty good, I would recommend it for beginning photographers.
- The Pragmatic Programmer - This is a wonderful book. I'm going to re-read this one soon.
- Treasure Island - This was the only tome of fiction I read last year. It's an awesome book and a quick and enjoyable read.
- Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills - I re-read this last year. Filled with great tips for mountaineering, it is critical knowledge for me when it comes to Search and Rescue.
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism - Despite this series derogatory name, this book was actually really insightful and informative. Keep in mind though that it was written by an Orthodox rabbi so a large portion of it doesn't apply to people like myself who are Reform Jews. It was still very interesting to read.
- The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays - This children's book was actually quite informative and fun to read.
- The Associate Press Guide to News Writing - This nice short read helped me improve my news-writing tremendously. If you write any type of news, or even blog, you should definitely pick this one up.
- Getting Things Done - I believe this was the second or third time I've read this book. As I mentioned before, this one changed my life.
- What's Your Poo Telling You - This was one of my birthday presents from Penelope. A great little book about poops.
If you're interested in what I'm reading, click here to see my Good Reads profile. I'd love to hear what you're reading, so please post a comment below or link up with me on Good Reads.