Books read in 2012


Each year for the last four years I have kept a running tally of the books that I have read. The list has been a useful tool for understanding my own reading habits and interests. I have noticed that I tend to read little serious fiction. In contrast, the non-fiction that I read tends to be quite heavy. Poetry and plays come and go while graphic novels are a relative constant.

If a book is on the list that means that I read each and every page in it. Usually, I read parts of another dozen or so books. This year that number was probably closer to three dozen. There were lots of books for courses and papers that I read part but not all of. None of them are on this list.

The best book I read this year was probably James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time.” It is one of my favorite all time books and this was my second time reading it. I suspect that I will return to it again. Usually there is a clear worst book on the list. This year I am not so certain. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “The Minister’s Wooing” and Du Bois’s “John Brown” are both clunkers but both also have their merit. Du Bois’s “Dark Princess” is a crappy novel but it has some interesting political ideas and utility for understanding the mid-career Du Bois. So maybe I should be grateful that last year I didn’t read, all the way through, any truly bad books.

The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
Jazz, Toni Morrison
On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Sardine in Outer Space Vol. 1, Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar
Martin Luther King, the Inconvenient Hero, Vincent Harding
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Next, Stieg Larsson
The Prophethood of All Believers, James Luther Adams, edited by George K. Beach
Tribal Church; Ministering to the Missing Generation, Carol Howard Merritt
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
Queen & Country Declassified, Greg Rucka
Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin
No Name in the Street, James Baldwin
Tyree Guyton: Come Unto Me, Keith Romaine (editor)
Sardine in Outer Space Vol. 3, Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar
Sardine in Outer Space Vol. 2, Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar
The Lives of Margaret Fuller, John Matteson
Saying Goodbye; A Time of Growth for Congregations and Pastors, Edited by Edward A White
Running Through the Thistles; terminating a ministerial relationship with a parish, Roy Oswald
The Importance of Being Seven, Alexander McCall Smith
House of Mystery Vol. 1; Room and Boredom, Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturgis
Freak Angels Vol. 4, Warren Ellis
Freak Angels Vol. 5, Warren Ellis
Emerson; The Mind on Fire, Robert Richardson, Jr.
Sardine in Outer Space Vol. 6, Emmanuel Guibert
Walking, Henry David Thoreau
Patterns of Preaching; A Sermon Sampler, Ronald J. Allen
The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches, Matsuo Basho, translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa
Bertie Plays the Blues, Alexander McCall Smith
Little Vampire, Joann Sfar
The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford
The Devil Finds Works, James Baldwin
The Green Knight, Iris Murdoch
Why I Write, George Orwell
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
My Friend Dahmer, Derf Backderf
Sandman: the Dream Hunters, Neil Gaiman (adapted by P. Craig Russell)
Native America, Discovered and Conquered; Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny, Robert J. Miller
Henry Thoreau; A Life of the Mind, Robert Richardson, Jr.
Chantrelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares; The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms, Greg Marley
Rumpole for the Defence, John Mortimer
Rumpole and the Golden Thread, John Mortimer
Dr. No, Ian Fleming (Audio Book)
Flight, Sherman Alexie (Audio Book)
Neonomicon, Alan Moore
Rumpole’s Last Case, John Mortimer
Thematic Preaching; An Introduction, Jane Rzepka and Ken Sawyer
Rumpole of the Bailey, John Mortimer
The Trials of Rumpole, John Mortimer
Rumpole’s Return, John Mortimer
The Machine in the Garden, Leo Marx
The Suppression of the African Slave Trade, W.E.B. Du Bois
Playing in the Dark, Toni Morrison
The Philadelphia Negro, W.E.B. Du Bois
The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, Carol Karlsen
Masterless Mistresses; The New Orleans Ursulines and the Development of a New World Society, 1727-1834, Emily Clark
The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois
Great Soul, Joseph Lelyveld
John Brown, W.E.B. Du Bois
Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women’s Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century, edited by William L. Andrews
The Minister’s Wooing, Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Gift of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois
Letters & Papers from Prison; New Greatly Enlarged Edition, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Martin & Malcolm & America; A Dream or a Nightmare, James Cone
Dark Princess, W.E.B. Du Bois
Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World, Anthea Butler
Dusk of Dawn, W.E.B. Du Bois
On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess, a Pequot, William Apess, Barry O’Connell (editor)
Hopedale; From Commune to Company Town, 1840—1920, Edward K. Spann
Spy: The Inside Story of How the FBI’s Robert Hanssen Betrayed America, David Wise
The World and Africa, W.E.B. Du Bois
Political Theology, Carl Schmitt
Sunshine on Scotland Street, Alexander McCall Smith
La Reine Margot (Queen Margot), Alexander Dumas

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