Books I Read in 2011

In addition to keeping up with about 25 ongoing comic series, I managed to read 24 books in 2011.

I finished my project of reading all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, with:

  • Doctor No
  • Goldfinger
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • Thunderball
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  • You Only Live Twice
  • The Man with the Golden Gun
  • Octopussy and the Living Daylights

If you plan to read any, definitely start with Casino Royale. It’s the first and probably best of the series. After that, read From Russia with Love (John F. Kennedy’s favorite!). Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and You Only Live Twice make up a kind of “Blofeld” trilogy if you’re looking for some deeper cuts.

(As for the movies, I like all of the Connery movies, especially Doctor No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger. Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale is superb, and I like Pierce Brosnan a lot, especially in GoldenEye. Timothy Dalton was much better than the movies he was given, and I’ve never felt that the 70s/early 80s lent themselves to Bond’s character, so consequently never much cared for Roger Moore’s stuff. The Spy Who Loved Me has that cool underwater Lotus. I kept notes on all of the films as I watched them but don’t feel like going back to them right now. I think I liked about three of Moore’s. I know I very much don’t like Live and Let Die and Moonraker.)

I also read:

  • The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, all by Suzanne Collins and soon to be major motion pictures. I recommend them highly.
  • Stanley Kubrick Interviews, a great companion piece of sorts to the A Life in Pictures documentary.
  • Zero History by William Gibson, sort of the third part of Gibson’s “Blue Ant” books, though I liked Pattern Recognition, the first, best.
  • A few essays from What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman, which was uneven but I think I’ll probably read the sequel at some point.
  • Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre, a collection of stories by H.P. Lovecraft.
  • A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
  • Kraken by China MiĆ©ville
  • Embassytown by China MiĆ©ville
  • Supergods by Grant Morrison

As 2012 begins I’m part way into Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.