Thursday, December 31, 2015

MY BEST READS DURING 2015


One of the joys of life is reading, but there are more books than anyone could read in a lifetime.  Even very good books.  The books chosen by me come from a variety of sources that involve marketing, but also trusted advisors and randomness.  Suggestions are important to me so please feel free to steer me.

This year I read only 42 books a little over half of my normal and there are a few I would be pleased to recommend.   It is always difficult to compare apples and oranges, but I feel comfortable with "The Woman in White" as my favourite read amongst fiction and "Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind" as my favourite non fiction book.  That doesn't mean there weren't many other books I am glad to have read.

"The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins.  Interesting plotting and character development, but I liked the narrative style.  A series of narrators advance the story and often are at cross purposes.  Hard to believe it was written in 1860.

Canada Reads always gets my attention.  --personalities--I actually read "Ru", "Intolerable" and "The Inconvenient Indian"  interesting book defenders Martha Wainwright and Cameron Bailey amongsts others.  Cameron was especially effective in not only advocating for "Ru", but also understanding the merits and demerits of the other books.  If you love books it is wonderful to hear articulate people discuss the strengths and weaknesses of noteworthy book.

Hamilton Reads--"All my Puny Sorrows" by Miriam Toews (watched her in movie role).  A morbid book, but with some redeeming moments.

Nelson DeMille and "Radiant Angel" is suggesting Americans should be more concerned about Russians than Islamists and that harbour approaches are as dangerous  as the airwaves.  Reminds me he was very prescient regarding airplane terrorism.  See my blog on Nelson:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2012/05/tribute-to-nelson-demille-real-writer-i.html

Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize author with "A Strangeness in my Mind." helps explain an old lifestyle in Turkey, but also includes a modern perspective.

"The Girl on The Train" by Paula Hawkins.  I spotted it at Len and Cindy's for the traditional Christmas Eve birthday celebration.  Cindy has a tradition of loaning out books to whoever is interested.  We have taken advantage a few times.  A compelling read.

Margaret Atwood book, "Stone Mattress" recommended by my Facebook friend Vijayakumar MK Nair.  He has never failed me.  A good book.



"Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind" is an explanation of the way we are--the best book I have read this year, perhaps of several years.  Reminds me of Jared Diamond's book, but believe this is both more comprehensive and readable.

http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/12/sapiens-brief-history-of-humankind.html



A book strongly recommended on NPR was "Deep Dark, Down."  It was about the Chilean mining disaster that caught the world's attention.  Tremendous detail, but very well done to capture the human elements.  I want to see the movie.

"This Changes Everything" by Naomi Klein was revolutionary.  It helped persuade me to finally sell off my TransCanada Pipeline and Suncor stocks.  A must read book.  Read more here: http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/02/this-changes-everything-deserves-major.html

"Thrive" by Adrianna Huffington helped fine-tune a definition of success.  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/03/thrive-new-look-on-success-by-adrianna.html

"Thirteen Days in September" by Lawrence Wright.   A Jimmy Carter achievement explained in detail.  Read more http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/03/thirteen-days-in-september.html

"Eye of the Beholder"opened my eyes a little bit to appreciate my own visual perception and that the naked eye only sees so much and understands even less.  I ended up watching two films to explore this further.   Read more here:
lihttp://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/10/johannes-vermeer-art-and-science.html 

Kill the Messengers.  Will admit with credible detail confirmed my anti Steve Harper views.  Read more here http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/04/kill-messengers.html
 
Frank --memoirs of Barney Frank, a most interesting man.    http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/07/barney-frank-has-interesting-book-out.html

"The Rise of Robots" points the way to a depressing future, but one that perhaps can be ameliorated.  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/08/rise-of-robots.html

"The Entreprenurial State", puts a lie to the too often stated view that the government messes up business.  Well thought out.  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/07/the-entreprenurial-state.html

"Thieves of State" explains the importance of eliminating corruption.  Read more here:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/07/thieves-of-state.html

Kelly McGonigal the Upside of Stress--enjoyed previous book--an intelligent view of how to deal with inevitable stress.  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/09/the-upside-of-stress-can-help-you.html

"The Carbon Bubble" by Jeff Rubin refined his thinking on an important topic--the price of oil.  Get more on his views here:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2015/10/jeff-rubin-and-changing-role-of-fossil.html

Last book finished was "Syria" by John McHugo.  Syria is more complicated and although the U.S., France, Britain, Israel and others have much to answer for, there is guilt for the Syrian leaders that helped lead up to the mess we are all living with today.

I read a lopsided percentage of non fiction books, but I now appreciate there is much "truth" in a well written fiction book.  2016 should be a little more balanced.

to read about my best reads of 2014:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2014/12/books-remembered-from-2014.html

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