My 2014 in books

The list below is my year’s reading, apart from one or two books I started but abandoned, and whatever I’ve read for work. I seem to count years from Christmas to Christmas: the long week from Christmas eve to new year’s day is like the year’s sabbath.

  1. Gascoigne, B. (2003) Short history of the dynasties of China (china)
  2. Derry, J. (2013) Vygotsky: philosophy and education (philosophy)
  3. Scruton, R. (2011) Beauty, a very short introduction (philosophy)
  4. Matthews, D. (1985) Beethoven (music)
  5. Pinkard, T. (2012) Hegel’s naturalism (philosophy)
  6. Bolz-Weber, N. (2013) Pastrix (Christianity)
  7. Einstein, A. (1915, 1952) Relativity (physics)
  8. Jia, M. (2002/2014) Decoded (novel)
  9. Kadano, E. (1985/2003) Kiki’s delivery service (novel)
  10. Austen, J. (1813) Pride and Prejudice (novel)
  11. Schlingensiepen, F. (2009) Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance (Christianity)
  12. Lukacs, G. (1962) The destruction of reason (philosophy)
  13. Ferreira, P. (2014) The perfect theory (physics)
  14. Solzhenitsyn, A. (1967) Cancer ward (novel)
  15. Farmelo, G. (2009) The strangest man (physics)
  16. Ethridge, S. (2012) The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts (Christianity)
  17. Vermes, G. (2012) Christian beginnings (Christianity)
  18. Isaiah (Christianity)
  19. Bonhoeffer, D. (1940/1982) The Psalms: prayer book of the Bible (Christianity)
  20. Moore, W. (1989) Schrodinger: life and thought (physics)
  21. Clarke, A.C. (1973) Rendezvous with Rama (novel)
  22. Mann, T. (1902) Buddenbrooks (novel)
  23. Jeremiah (Christianity)


  • Reviewing one’s year’s reading is such a pleasant way to be mindfull! :D Thanks to people out here for specific recommendations and for the inspiration to try and be wide-awake in a calm way.
  • A couple of dozen is not a lot of books, but when I counted up I was surprised it came to that many. I love reading and I am prone to self-pity, bemoaning my lack of time to curl up with my book.
  • Not many novels. I’d recommend any of them apart from 8 (forgettable). The Kadano (9) is an almost perfect children’s novel, about a trainee witch leaving home and setting up on her own. The Clarke was recommended to me by my son, so I could hardly refuse.
  • The physics (13,15,20) was a bit of a detour but the book that started it off, the Perreira, was fantastic — possibly the best popular science book I’ve ever read. Readable prose; good explanations; no hard maths; no excitable gee-whizz silly metaphors; proper international scope.
  • The religious books affected me deeply, especially the Bolz-Weber, the Ethridge, and the Bonhoeffer biography. I can imagine reading each one again. Bolz-Weber helped me open out my conception of Christianity. Ethridge was a bold, direct challenge — specifically a reminder to think about my relationship with my wife.
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