One of my 2019 goals was to keep a list of books I read, and I am pleased to say I managed to keep the list. Two main reasons I wanted to do this. Firstly, my main channel for learning about interesting things is via personal recommendation, so by publicising my list it makes it easy for my friends to see what I liked and disliked. But secondly I increasingly rely on my posts here as my own historical record of what I was thinking.

So here is how I filled my head this year.

  • The New Silk Roads, Frankopan
  • Reise zum Mittelpunkt der Erde, Verne
  • Never Lost Again, Kilday
  • Drohnenland, Tom Hillenbrand
  • Company of One, Paul Jarvis
  • Habitat, Peter Cawdron
  • Fünf Wochen im Ballon, Verne
  • Der Spion, der aus der Kälte kam, John le Carre
  • A Legacy of Spies, John le Carre
  • The Shortest History of Europe, John Hirst
  • Shoe Dog, Phil Knight
  • Flash Boys, Michael Lewis
  • Centennial, James Mitchner
  • Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson
  • The Two-Headed Eagle, John Biggins
  • Der Kaffeedieb, Tom Hillenbrand
  • Band of Brothers, Alexander Kent
  • Riddle of the Sands, Erskine Childers
  • Texas, James Mitchner
  • Agent Running in the Field, John le Carre
  • Antarktika, Kim Stanley Robinson

A bit of history and lots of science fiction and historical fiction, which perhaps both are expressions of a desire for escapism against the dreariness of modern times. Mitchner is great for helping see a long-term perspective. Centennial was a good read, but also excellent for learning about Colorado, which is where we usually now go when in the US.

Favorite book of the year was Aurora, which stimulated my thinking quite a bit. A close second was Drohnenland. Indeed Hillenbrand was the discovery of the year in terms of “new to me” authors. Look forward to reading more from him. In terms of fun, The Two-Headed Eagle won, and next year I will try to close out that series.

What should I read in 2020? All suggestions gladly received.