03 January, 2020

Every Book I Read in 2019


2020 has arrived. This means it is time for my annual tradition: listing every book I read the year previous, with my ten favorites bolded. You can find my past entries here (2018), here (2017), here (2016), here (2015), here (2014), and here (2013). As in those posts, I list the books in the approximate order in which I finished them. Some of these books (like the poetry ones) I read bit by bit over several months. One—Majorie Garber's outstanding Shakespeare After All—I started five years ago.

For this year's post I have included a url for every book read; the ten best (according to nothing but my own subjective judgement) are bolded and given a link. I only count books that I finished for the first time this year as eligible for "ten best books of the year." A more condensed list of books that I started but did not finish can be found at the bottom of the post.

You will notice that I read a lot of Shakespeare this year. This was sort of accidental. Early in the year I found myself with an evening to kill in a Siem Reap hostel. I had purchased several books on Theravada Buddhism to read while in Cambodia, but as I sat in hostel lobby, sweating in the heat of the Cambodian dry season at its height, exhausted from a day spent being punched about by Khmer boxers, I discovered I just did not have the energy to devote myself to Buddhist scriptures. I looked for something more light hearted on my kindle and found the cheap electronic copy of Shakespeare's works (minus Henry VIII, Two Noble Kinsmen, and Edward III) I had picked up several years before. That would do. Soon I had blasted through the comedies. At that point I figured I might as well read the rest of the Shakespearean corpus now that I have the comedies down. Over the rest of the year I read according to these figurings.

I wrote several blog posts about Shakespeare over the year, though I am afraid I do not have anything deep to say about Shakespeare as a whole. I will say that I thought King John was an excellent play and I do not at all understand its poor reputation. The other shocker of the corpus was Hamlet. I read Hamlet first in high school—and thought it entirely unremarkable. So unremarkable, in fact, that it is one of the books that I read in high school but which I cannot recall what my teenage self thought about it. (In contrast, my teenage self had very strong opinions about Wuthering Heights, The Awakening, Heart of Darkness, Nineteen Eighty-Four and the dozen or so other books he read during my junior and senior years, and I remember these keenly). This reading could not have proved a greater contrast: the play shook me. Hamlet was a deeply emotional and unsettling experience this year. The play is the same. The difference is found in myself. In fact, I do not think the play would have had the same impact had I reread in just two years earlier. But my life has changed greatly in those two years, and Hamlet spoke to those changes in a way few other works of literature have managed.

Which should make you wonder: how many great works of literature have you read, but failed to appreciate, simply because you were not in the proper life stage to appreciate them?

EVERY BOOK I READ IN 2019

David Chandler, History of Cambodia, 4th ed. (Routledge, 2007). https://amzn.to/31ENqvd

Frank Dikkotter,  The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957 (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2013). https://amzn.to/2Ko80uh

---, The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962—1976 (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2016). https://amzn.to/2RiEKFU

Shi Ji, 杨家将的故事 (Beijing: Sinolingua, 2017). https://amzn.to/2SWKiZP
---, 岳飞的故事 (Beijing: Sinolingua, 2017). https://amzn.to/2SWKiZP
---, 三侠五义的故事 (Beijing: Sinolingua, 2017). https://amzn.to/2SWKiZP

Homer, Odyssey, trans Samuel Butler (London: CA Fieflied, 1900).https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Odyssey_(Butler)

William Shakespeare,  Sonnets in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

David Chandler, The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992). https://amzn.to/2WPPM6T

Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Volume 1, Integration on the Mainland: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800–1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). https://amzn.to/2L0hlYL

William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---As You Like It in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Chanrithy Him, When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001) https://amzn.to/2WQ8DyC [Related Post]

William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, King of Britain in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---Measure for Measure in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Merchant of Venice in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Two Gentleman of Verona in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Philip Coggan, Spirit Worlds: Cambodia, The Buddha, and the Naga (Oxford: John Beufoy Publishing, 2015). https://amzn.to/2Io8UoA

Alain Fressanges, Khmer Sayings (Phnom Penh: Khmer Community Development NGO Publishing, 2014). https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/16044486-khmer-sayings

William Shakespeare, A Midsummers Night Dream in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---Much Ado About Nothing in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Asanga Tilakaratne, Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2013).

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Romeo and Juliet in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Titus Andronochus in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Jianhua Bai, Juyu Sung, Janet Zhiqun Xing, Beyond the Basics: Communicative Chinese for Intermediate and Advanced Chinese Learners (Boston: Cheng & Tsui, 2008). https://amzn.to/2ZOlXGH

William Shakespeare, King Richard II in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Henry IV, part I in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Henry IV, part II in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Kamala Tiyavanich, In the Cool Shade of Compassion: The Enchanted World of the Buddha in the Jungle (New York: Shambhala, 2018). https://amzn.to/31PHqzU

Dean Karalekas, Identity and Transformation: Perceptions of Civil-Military Relations in the Republic of China (Taiwan), Phd. diss, National Chengchi University (2016).

R. James Goldstein, The English Lyric Tradition: Reading Poetic Masterpieces of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2017). https://amzn.to/2FirOLH

Wayne Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat2nd. ed.(Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000). https://amzn.to/2FfVRmU

William Shakespeare, King Henry V in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Andrew Yang, The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income is Our Future (New York: Hatchett Books, 2018). https://amzn.to/2XsguHa [Related Post]

Amanda Holton, ed., Tottel’s Miscellany: Songs and Sonnets of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Sir Thomas Wyatt, and Others (New York: Penguin Books, 2014). https://amzn.to/2Xth5bD

T.C. Locke, Barbarian at the Gate: From The American Suburbs to the Taiwanese Army (Taipei: Camphor Press, 2014). https://amzn.to/2RjrrVV

Tom Stoppard.The Coast of Utopia, vol I: Voyage (London: Grove Press, 2003). https://amzn.to/2RprWxB

—, The Coast of Utopia, vol II: Shipwreck (London: Grove Press, 2011) https://amzn.to/2RprWxB

—, The Coast of Utopia, vol III: Salvage (London: Grove Press, 2007) https://amzn.to/2RprWxB

Lawrene Freedman, Strategy: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) https://amzn.to/2XmrC8c [My book review]

Dafydd Fell. Government and Politics in Taiwan,2nd ed.(London: Routledge, 2018). https://amzn.to/2KWzvKZ

Thomas G. Mahnken, Travis Sharp, Billy Fabin, and Peter Kouretsos, Tightening the Chain: Implementing A Strategy of Maritime Pressure in the Western Pacific (Washington DC: CSBA, 2019). http://tiny.cc/1pkaiz

Michael A. Hunzeker, Alexander Lanoszka, Brian Davis, Matthew Fay, Erik Goepner, Joseph Petrucelli and Erica Seng-White. A Question of Time: Enhancing Taiwan’s Conventional Deterrence Posture (Arlington, VA: Center for Security Policy Studies, 2018) . http://tiny.cc/3qkaiz

Sean O’Niell. How to Write a Poem: a Beginner’s Guide. (Createspace: 2014). https://amzn.to/2QKgcFT

François Bougon. Inside the Mind of Xi Jinping.Translated by Actes Sud (London: Hurst and Co., 2018). https://amzn.to/35MIXYz [My book review]

Jonathan T. Ward. China’s Vision of Victory. (Washington DC: Atlas Media, 2019). https://amzn.to/2r0f1td [My book review]

Elizabeth Economy. The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). https://amzn.to/2L95SVX

Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella in Delphi Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney (Delphi Classics: 2013). https://amzn.to/2Qo5UMR

Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, reprint ed (New York: Harper Colins, 2008). https://amzn.to/37TWhML

Eric Setzekorn, Rise and Fall of an Officer Corps: The Republic of China Military, 1942-1955 (Tulsa: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018). https://amzn.to/2R7iqRu

Xi Jinping, On The Governance of China, vol I (Shanghai: Foreign Languages Press, 2015) https://amzn.to/37QsYdO [Related Post]

William Shakespeare, King John in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Henry VI, Part One in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Henry VI, Part Two in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Henry VI, Part Three in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Richard III in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

David Frum, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, An Inside Account (New York: Random House, 2003). https://amzn.to/2XZTjSg

Ross Babbage, Stealing a March: Chinese Hybrid Warfare in the Indo-Pacific: Issues and Options for Allied Defense Planners, vol I (Washington DC: CSBA, 2019). http://tiny.cc/j7kaiz

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Hamlet in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Micah Sifry and Christopher Cerf, The Iraq War Reader: History, Documents, Opinions (Touchstone, 2003). https://amzn.to/2DvVFib

James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking Press, 2004). https://amzn.to/2OCcGxN

Cai Zong-qi, ed., How to Read Chinese Poetry in Context: Poetic Culture from Antiquity Through the Tang (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018).

Howard C Godddard, The Meaning of Shakespeare, Volume 1 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951). https://amzn.to/35MxfNB

William Shakespeare, Othello in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Macbeth in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, King Lear in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

---, Timon of Athens in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

A.C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth (New York: Penguin Classics, 1991). https://amzn.to/2rGxaw6

Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, The Enigma of Reason (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017)。https://amzn.to/2LaEF5g

William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra. in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

William Shakespeare, Coriolanus. in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Peter Baker, Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House (New York: Random House, 2013). https://amzn.to/2QoyVbo

John E Dowling, Understanding the Brain: From Cells to Behavior to Cognition (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2018). https://amzn.to/37SkRxg

Dale Knutston, Strike Warfare: An Introduction to Non-Nuclear Attack by Air and Sea (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2012). https://amzn.to/2RkXPYd

Emerys Jones, New Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991). https://amzn.to/2r02l5D

Michael A Fuller, An Introduction to Chinese Poetry (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018). https://amzn.to/2ssXfix

Stanislas Dehaene, Consciousness and the Brain (New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2014). https://amzn.to/35LmT0v [Related Post]

Nguyen Du, Song of Kieu, trans Timothy Allen (New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2019).https://amzn.to/2QpGgYh

Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Michael Mazaar, Leap of Faith: Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy (New York: Public Affairs: 2019). https://amzn.to/2sLIesD

Colleen McCullough, First Man in Rome (New York: Harper Colins, 1990) https://amzn.to/39G9ycK

Shakespeare, The Tempest in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kirkland, WA: Latus ePublishing: 2011). https://amzn.to/2L9K1xG

Majorie Garber, Shakespeare After All (New York: Anchor Books, 2005). https://amzn.to/37OSssd

Howard C Godddard, The Meaning of Shakespeare, Volume 2 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951). https://amzn.to/35MxfNB

Aaron Poochigian, Mr.Either/Or (Wilkes-Barre, PA: Ecrustan Press, 2017). https://amzn.to/35hcwRm

Ashley Townshend, Brendan Thomas-Noone, and Matilda Steward, Averting Crisis: US Defence Spending, Deterrence and the Indo-Pacific (Sydney: United States Studies Center, 2019). https://tinyurl.com/y4szg8a5


I also read in part, if not whole, McAdams, Vanguard of the Revolution; Vu, Vietnam's Communist Revolution; Moyan, Triumph Forsaken; Bhiiku Bodhi, In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses;  Frank Smith, Muk Khmer; several of Speak Like Khmer's reading booklets; Morgan, ed., Oxford History of Britain; Bloom, Shakespeare;  Riggs, The World of Marlowe; Allen, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s; Nordeen, Air Warfare in the Missile Age; Ricks, Fiasco; Bush, Decision Points; Rice, No Higher Honor; Bacevich, America's War on the Great Middle East; Farrell and Newman, Of Privacy and Power; Barnhart, Japan Prepares for Total War; Reporters Without Borders, China's Pursuit of a New World Media Order; 周婉窈,  少年臺灣史; 雷海宗,  中國的兵; Cai, How To Read Chinese Poetry; Rouzer, An Introduction to Literary Chinese; Barnes, Chinese Through Poetry; Diechart, Partisan Cultural Stereotypes; Clark, Mindware; Flynn, Existentialism: A Very Sort Introduction; Ames, The Emotional Mind.

3 comments:

Nathan Taylor said...

Pretty sure you're already aware, but Hugo Mercier has a new book coming out Jan 28. Of course I've pre-ordered it. Reminded of this by seeing Enigma of Reason on your list. One of my all time favorites. Changed my views on how/what reason works.
https://www.amazon.com/Not-Born-Yesterday-Science-Believe-ebook/dp/B07W62V5WP

Kaplan Family said...

awesome! great list!

uair01 said...

I quite liked:
Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics von Stephen Greenblatt (Autor)
https://www.amazon.de/Tyrant-Shakespeare-Politics-Stephen-Greenblatt/dp/0393635759/ref=sr_1_2?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=tyrant+shakespeare&qid=1578178023&sr=8-2

And during spring cleaning I found this book. Have yet to read it:
Where There's a Will There's a Way: Or, All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Shakespeare
von Laurie Maguire (Autor)
https://www.amazon.de/Where-Theres-Will-Way-Shakespeare/dp/1857883969/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=shakespeare+maguire&qid=1578178227&sr=8-1