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Reading Diary for 1996
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985

  and earlier

"Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz"
by Donald L. Maggin
Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Stan Getz: A Life in JazzAffectionate, even apologetic, biography of great jazz saxophonist. (See full review.)

    "Nausea"
    by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • NauseaI didn't get around to reading this until long after college (hey, I still haven't read "Catch 22" ...), and was disappointed. It wasn't nearly as interesting as its reputation would suggest, nor as deep. His "Age of Reason" is a much better read. As novelists go, Sartre was one hell of an essayist ...

    "Einstein's Dreams"
    by Alan Lightman
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Einstein's DreamsA series of what-if vignettes, getting inside the head of Einstein as he first starts exploring his new views of the universe. Very worthwhile.

    "Inside the White House"
    by Ronald Kessler
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • Inside the White HouseSupposedly a behind-the-scenes look at daily life in the White House, it's just another titillating gossip fest. I already wasted enough time for both of us in reading this ...

    "The Simpson Trial in Black and White"
    by Tom Elias and Dennis Schatzman
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  • Hardcover
  • The Simpson Trial in Black and WhiteTwo reporters – one black, one white – had to share a seat at the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Their book reflected the racial divide in America over the trial. (See full review.)

    "Once a Warrior King"
    by David Donovan
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Once a Warrior KingMemoir of an Army officer's experience in Vietnam. Avoids all the stereotypes and two-dimensional myths of many books on Vietnam.

    "The Diamond Smugglers"
    by Ian Fleming
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • The Diamond SmugglersHis only non-Bond thriller (and based on reality), may not be quite as good a read as the 007 stuff but still better than most anything else in the genre.

    "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper"
    by John Allen Paulos
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • A Mathematician Reads the NewspaperPaulos takes a tough look at the basic mathematical illiteracy of the American media, and how the ignorance of reporters and editors of such basic subjects as statistics and polling leads to inaccurate and even invalid conclusions in daily news coverage.

    "To Kill the Leopard"
    by Theodore Taylor
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • To Kill the LeopardAction thriller set in World War II, a German U-boat hunts Allied shipping. Well-turned novel.

    "K is for Killer"
    by Sue Grafton
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • K is for KillerGrafton's Kinsey Milhone mysteries are fun, quick reads – besides, I've always had a soft spot for grown-up tomboys like Kinsey.

    "Drawing the Line"
    by Mark Monmonier
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Drawing the LineAn interesting history of mapmaking, although Monmonier tends to inject his politics into everything – bit of a cynic, frankly. Probably right, too ...

    "Multiple Wounds"
    by Alan Russell
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • Multiple WoundsAnother book set in San Diego, "Multiple Wounds" is a tight little mystery that, like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, moves beyond being a simple whodunit into something more lasting and moving.

    "The Holy Book of the Beard"
    by Duff Brenna
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • The Holy Book of the BeardA modern coming-of-age tale set in San Diego, "Holy Book of the Beard" has an edgy buzz to it, a mixture of urban noir and Southwestern openness. Heck of a good read.

    "P.S."
    by Jack Paar
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • P.S.Before Letterman and Leno was, of course, Johnny Carson. And before Carson was Jack Paar – probably the most brilliant conversationalist to ever host a television talk show. His books are a lot like his old "Tonight Show" – quick snippets and funny jokes with a heart-rending story coming out of nowhere.

    "The Origin of the Universe"
    by John Barrow
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • The Origin of the UniverseAn easy-to-understand look at the Big Bang; written at the same level as Carl Sagan's "Comsos." Probably easier to grasp than Stephen Hawking's book.

    "The Lost World"
    by Michael Crichton
    Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • E-book (Kindle)
  • The Lost WorldSequel to Jurassic Park – a pretty good tale, too, maybe even a better story than the original.