Monday, December 29, 2014

My Reading Year 2014

HERE'S a list (probably incomplete, and not in any particular order) of books I've read this year. I'm not sure which ones I like best; the top ten should include the works of Marilynne Robinson, William Faulkner, and, well, of pretty much everyone else in this roster. Jhumpa Lahiri was a surprising discovery for me; her simple prose evokes so many complex emotions. I read The Interpreter of Maladies once in a while, and I get a different insight from it every time. Roddy Doyle, the Irish writer, famous for The Barrytown Trilogy of which The Commitments is the first, is a happy addition to the Funniest Writers list I'm compiling—a list that already includes David Sedaris and PG Wodehouse. Also included in my 2014 reading diet are essay and short story collections, like Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs and Faulkner's Go Down, Moses. The New Yorker anthology, Secret Ingredients, features the best magazine articles about food; I enjoyed that immensely, too. Spiritually, I've benefited from Jon Bloom's Not by Sight—great retelling of Biblical stories Christians have come to love. Overall, a great year for reading.

  1. Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  2. What Happens When I Pray? By Thomas Goodwin and Benjamin Palmer, abridged by Dr. N. Needham
  3. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  4. My Struggle: Book One by Karl Ove Knausgaard
  5. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
  6. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  7. Fury by Salman Rushdie
  8. All That Is by James Salter
  9. Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
  10. King of the World by David Remnick
  11. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  12. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  13. The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths by David Robertson
  14. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  15. About A Boy by Nick Hornby
  16. The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
  17. Dune by Frank Herbert
  18. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  19. The Letter Killers Club by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
  20. Barrel Fever by David Sedaris
  21. Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn
  22. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  23. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
  24. Not by Sight by Jon Bloom
  25. Open Secrets by Alice Munro
  26. When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper
  27. The Plague by Albert Camus
  28. Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
  29. Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
  30. Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink, edited by David Remnick
  31. The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira by César Aira
  32. Light in August by William Faulkner
  33. Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner
  34. The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen
  35. The Inferno by Dante, translated by Robert Pinsky
  36. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  37. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

I don't normally include books related to my medical training, but part of the reason why I hadn't dwelt too much on non-academic material was that I had the Medical Boards to prepare for. I didn't enroll in an expensive review course, but I found the following books, most of which I read from cover to cover (except, obviously, Harrison's, for how can one ever finish the entire thick unit on Infectious Disease?) extremely useful—even enjoyable, to a degree. I kept asking myself why I hadn't I discovered them before. If I had, then our lessons in med school would've been easier to understand, and I would've had an easier time in the exams because I would know which topics to focus on. In a sense, the books that appear in this special list do offer a certain sense of enjoyment, especially to the medical student who struggles with the overwhelming deluge of information he has to assimilate.

  1. Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Easy by Mark Gladwin.
  2. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th Edition
  3. Atlas of the Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter
  4. Clinical Anatomy by Systems by Richard S. Snell
  5. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews Series: Biochemistry
  6. Physiology by Linda S. Constanzo
  7. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 by Tao Le
  8. Katzung and Trevor's Pharmacology Examination and Review: Eight Edition by Bertram G. Katzung
  9. Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease by Richard Mitchell, et al.

What books have you read this year?



Blogger ahmad said...

I never really make a list of the books I have read, perhaps I should try remembering them one by one from now on haha. (excluding the medical-related one of course!)

Tue Dec 30, 10:18:00 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanna borrow Secret Ingredients and the Dawkins Letters! Saw your name on Jason's guest list. Hoped to see you at the wedding but alas. -aSha

Wed Dec 31, 03:17:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Pen and paper (in this case, a computer) is better than the sharpest memory. So make a list; you'll be surprised at the number of books you've read.

Fri Jan 02, 03:05:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

I had to miss it, as I was on duty, Ate. Sure! But when will we see each other again? Soon, I hope.

Fri Jan 02, 03:06:00 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemme know if there's a church activity you're going to that I might be able to attend. Next time might be a wedding in March but I don't think we want to lug books out of town. -aSha

Sat Feb 07, 07:47:00 PM GMT+8  

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