For many years, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of several bloggers who are trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve also wanted to find a good way for me to keep track of the books I’ve read. And it gives me a good reading target to shoot for.

Last year, I read 68 books, exceeding my goal by quite a bit. Or, more accurately, I listed 68 books that I read. I don’t list books that might reveal certain things I might (or might not) be working on.

In the previous year, the total number was 67.

I again found that I was starting and abandoning quite a few books. And I’m reading more audiobooks than ever before

You will also notice that I’ve been attempting to read the entire catalog of books of certain authors of detective stories. If you forced me to pick my top books for 2021 (in alphabetical order) that I’d recommend, I’d probably list:

1491, Charles C. Mann

A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander/strong>

Becoming a Writer Saying a Writer, J. Michael Straczynski

Brain-centric Design, Rich Carr and Kieran O’Mahoney

Four Lost Cities, Annalee Newitz

I Came as a Shadow, John Thompson

Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler

The Model Thinker, Scott Page

The Secret World of Weather, Tristan Gooley

This is How They Tell Me the World Ends, Nicole Perloth

Together We Will Go, J. Michael Straczynski

I’m doing the same thing in 2021. My approach is the same in previous years – I’ll simply update this post from time to time from time to time throughout the year as I finish books.

I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge every year and hope you find the list useful. And I encourage you to take the challenge yourself.

I welcome your recommendations of good books I might read this year.

As Bill Taylor says, “Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?” Challenging yourself to read 52 books is probably a good way to start to answer that question.


80. A Death in Tokyo, Keigo Higashino
79. Keys to a Successful Retirement, Fritz Gilbert
78. G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century, Beverly Gage
77. Dune, Frank Herbert
76. Nomads, Anthony Sattin
75. The Survivors, Jane Harper
74. Force of Nature, Jane harper
73. The Dry, Jane Harper
72. A heart Full of Headstones, Ian Rankin
71. Servants of the Damned, David Enrich
70. The Lost Man, Jane Harper
69. Breathless, David Quammen


68. The Last Campaign, H. W. Brands
67. The Shadow Murders, Jussi Adler-Olsen
66. Red Widow, Alma Katsu
65. The New Royals, Katie Nicholl
64. Pretty Good House, Dan Kolbert
63. The Rising Tide, Ann Cleeves
62. The Metaverse, Matthew Ball
61. Hell and Back, Craig Johnson
60. Fen, Bog & Swamp, Annie Proulx


59. Razorblade Tears, S. A. Cosby
58. They Knew, Sarah Kendzior
57. The Psychology of Money, Morgan Housel
56. The Peripheral, William Gibson
55. The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi, Keith Seifert
54. Smart Brevity, Jim Vanderhel, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz
53. MIndReader, David Lieberman


52. The Pioneers, David McCullough
51. Forensics, Val McDermid
50. Portrait of an Unknown Woman, Daniel Silva


49. Begin Again, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
48. The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
47. How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan
46. The Body, Bill Bryson
45. Troy, Stephen Fry


44. Butler to the World, Oliver Bullough
43. The Earth is All That Lasts, Mark Lee Gardner
42. The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman
41. Traitor King, Andrew Lownie
40. Born to Be Hanged, Keith Thomson
39. Work Clean, Dan Charnas
38. Advice for Future Corpses , Sallie Tisdale
37. River of Gods, Candice Millard


36. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, Anthony Iannarino
35. The Power of Crisis, Ian Bremmer
34. Democracy in Chains, Nancy McLean
33. Overboard, Sarah Paretsky
32. Hiding in Plain Sight, Sarah Kendzior


31. The Shame Machine, Cathy O’Neil
30. Mindset, Carol Dweck
29. Game Change, John Heilemann
28. Age of Cage, Keith Phipps
27. A Brief History of Equality, Thomas Piketty
26. The Palace Papers, Tina Brown


25. Lies My Mother Told Me, Melissa Rivers
24. The War that Made the Roman Empire, Barry S. Strauss
23. Satisfaction Guaranteed, Micheline Maynard
22. The Wizard and the Prophet, Charles C. Mann
21. You Need a Budget, Jesse Meacham
20. The Genesis Machine, Amy Webb
19. The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande
18. Origin, Jennifer Raff
17. From Strength to Strength, Arthur C. Brooks
16. Love in Amsterdam, Nicolas Freeling


15. The Proud Tower, Barbara Tuchman
14. The Art of War, Sun-Tzu


13. The Revolution That Wasn’t, Spencer Jakab
12. Surviving Autocracy, Masha Gessen
11. Cabin Porn, Zach Klein
10. The New Rules of Aging Well, Heryan Arkson
9. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, Robert Massie
8. Termination Shock, Neal Stephenson
7. Arriving Today, Christopher Mims


6. The Whole Art of Detection, Lyndsay Faye
5. The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly
4. The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino
3. Miss Moriarty, I Presume?, Sherry Thomas
2. Silent Parade, Keigo Higashino
1. A Midsummer’s Equation, Keigo Higashino

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

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