Terrence Dorsey Writer. Editor. Nerd.

Reading List

I’ve started keeping this list of the books I’m reading. It’s not everything I pick up. Just the books I enjoy and actually finish. Maybe there’s something here you’ll enjoy, too.

Where possible, I have linked to reviews or related reading online rather than directly to online booksellers. I recommend supporting your local independent booksellers by purchasing your books there if at all possible. Mine is the fantastic Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT. Stop in and check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.

2017

Also, my younger daughter and I have been working through the J.R.R. Tolkien cannon, including The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers thus far. Reviews are linked somewhere below.

“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, by Peggy McIntosh

Blues People, by LeRoi Jones

Interaction of Color, by Josef Albers

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, by Eric Hoffer

In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Embracing Each Moment: A Guide to the Awakened Life, by Anam Thubten (reading with my meditation group)

2016

Hidden Figures: the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown

Kill ’Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul, by James McBride

The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough

Under the Skin, by Michal Faber

Sick in the Head, by Judd Apatow

Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson

All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

The Rise and Fall of American Growth, by Robert J. Gordon

Carrying on a family tradition, we’ve also been reading through J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series with my younger daughter. Still brilliant, but not including all the titles here for brevity.

2015

I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped in 2015 and did a poor job of keeping track as well, but here are some memorable highlights:

Lock In, by John Scalzi

Alias Omnibus, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos

Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

The Difference Engine, by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

Hard To Be a God, by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, by George R.R. Martin

Out of the Silent Planet, by C. S. Lewis

Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson

Von Dutch: The Art, The Myth, The Legend, by Pat Ganahl

2014

Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories, by Stefan Zweig

A Song of Fire and Ice box set, George R. R. Martin

Dust, Hugh Howey

The Elements of Programming Style, Brian W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger

Shift, Hugh Howey

War Stories, An Anthology of Military Science Fiction, edited by Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak

The C Programming Language, Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie

Wool, Hugh Howey

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, Neil Gaiman

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi

Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand

Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray (Also, see Roger Ebert’s original 1987 review of the Jonathan Demme film adaptation.)

Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Jon Meacham

Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

2013

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard

Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien

Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow

The Unix Programming Environment, Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike

Judge Dredd: Origins, John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Kev Walker

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman

Your First iOS App, Ash Furrow

James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity, Harry Ammon (see this review as well)

The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness, Harlow Giles Unger

A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr.

What Makes a Great Exhibition?, Paula Marincola

Thinking Contemporary Curating, Terry Smith

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl (with my daughter)

At the Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl (with my daughter)

Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

The Witches, Roald Dahl (with my daughter)

Matilda, Roald Dahl (with my daughter)

Danny the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl (with my daughter)

Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl (if you have a NYTimes account, read their original 1970 review)

Microserfs, Douglas Coupland

Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut (read this Vonnegut Review review as well)

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner

iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, Joe Conway and Aaron Hillegass

2012

The Racing Porsches. Paul Frère

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight, David A. Mindell

The Unredeemed Captive, John Putnam Demos

James Madison and the Making of America, Kevin Gutzman

The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction, William Doyle

James Madison, Richard Brookhiser (I don’t recommend this one.)

The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury

The Dellorto Superformance Tech Book, Bob Tomlinson

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Joseph J. Ellis

John Adams, David McCullough

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick

Coraline, Neil Gaiman (with my daughter)

Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow

Reamde: A Novel, Neal Stephenson

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (with my daughter this time)

The Bob Wilkins Scrapbook, Tom Wyrsch

Buying, Driving and Enjoying the Porsche 911 and 912, 1965-1973, James E. Schrager

Porsche 911 Performance Handbook, Bruce Anderson

1974-1989 911, 912E and 930 Porsche, Mark S. Haab

Freedom’s Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s, Robert Cohen

Vic Elford: Reflections on a Golden Age in Motorsports, Vic Elford

2011

Just a Geek, Wil Wheaton

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling (yes, again)

The Rule of Law, Tom Bingham

Six Easy Pieces, Richard Feynman

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, Aaron Hillegass

The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle

Makers, Cory Doctorow

The Long Ships, Frans G. Bengtsson

Ready Player One, Ernst Cline

Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture, Stephen Segal

The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart

Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes

The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf