Books I Read in 2014

Here’s my annual list of books I read this year. I tend to read mostly nonfiction, but this year I read six whole novels, which is a lot for me. As always, I followed my interests wherever they took me.

Early in the year, during the Oscar season, I got into books about movies. Early spring was dominated by Richard Evans’s Third Reich trilogy, about 2,000 pages in all, but worth it. In late spring/early summer I got into science and communications; summer was history and fiction; after a fall trip to Walt Disney World, I re-read a terrific Walt Disney biography; and the last part of the year was British monarchs and more fiction.

Here’s my list:

  • Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light, Patrick McGilligan (first few chapters)
  • How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond, James Monaco (first half)
  • Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven’s Gate, the Film that Sank United Artists, Steven Bach (1/27-2/8)
  • Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage, Will Swift (mid-February to 3/6)
  • Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941, Lynne Olson (3/9?-3/23)
  • The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard J. Evans (3/23-3/28) (re-read)
  • The Third Reich in Power, Richard J. Evans (3/28-4/6)
  • The Third Reich at War, Richard J. Evans (4/6-4/24)
  • Thinking the Twentieth Century, Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder (4/24-5/3)
  • The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet, Robert M. Hazen (5/11-5/18)
  • The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner (5/24-6/3)
  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Tim Wu (6/5-6/14)
  • Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, Susan Crawford (6/17?-28)
  • The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, Christopher Clark (7/1-7/25)
  • The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, Rick Perlstein (7/29-8/24)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami (9/1-9/8)
  • 10:04, Ben Lerner (9/8-9/12)
  • The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (9/14-9/27)
  • Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, Neal Gabler (10/4-11/4?) (re-read)
  • Victoria: A Life, A. N. Wilson (11/8?-11/23)
  • The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince, Jane Ridley (11/24-12/6)
  • All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (12/6-12/12)
  • The Metropolis Case, Matthew Gallaway (12/13-12/22)
  • The Good Lord Bird, James McBride (12/22-12/27)
  • Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877, Brenda Wineapple (currently reading)

(Here’s last year’s list.)

4 thoughts on “Books I Read in 2014

  1. I enjoyed it – it combined short biographies of people like Claude Shannon, William Shockley, etc. with the stories of some of their discoveries – semiconductors, transistors, radar, etc. Very interesting.

  2. I liked The Good Lord Bird, which is the only one on your list that I’ve read. How was All the Light We Cannot See? I know it’s gotten rave reviews. Years ago, I read Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks, which is also a novel about John Brown.

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