I read some great books in 2015, both fiction and non-fiction.
My highlights include: David Graeber’s Utopia of Rules, Julia Blackburn’s Threads: The delicate life of John Craske and Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves
But, I always have a long list of books I want to read; my reading to-do list.
So, I thought I would begin to create a list of the top books I want to read in 2016.
Paul Ford The Secret life of Web Pages
I loved Ford’s book length article What is Code, I even wrote a post called Liquid Infrastructure about it, so I can’t wait for his book to come out in June 2016. The Secret Lives of Web Pages is, the blurb tells us, the definitive book on the web page: what it is, why it happened, and how to understand it.
Clay Shirky Little Rice
Little Rice is the translation of Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi. Although not a big name in the West, Xiaomi is a giant in China and Asia, and one of the biggest mobile phone manufacturers in the world. In this book Shirky explores the company and how China must navigate a path between cheap copies and cutting-edge innovation.
David Graeber Debt: The First 5000 Years
Graeber is an ‘Anarchist Anthropologist’ who is a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. I really enjoyed his Utopia of Rules, so I’m keen to follow it up with this volume that explores the relationship between debt and social institutions over the past 5000 years. It also has a lot to say about contemporary Britain and the age of austerity that we find ourselves in.
Other non-fiction books I have on my list for this year include:
On the Move by Oliver Sacks
More Human by Steve Hilton
Gene Kim et al The Phoenix Project
My first fiction choice for 2016 is a bit of a hybrid. Its a novel about DevOps. What’s not to like! I hadn’t heard of this novel before reading Matt Jukes Favourite Books of 2015 post. But the story of how an IT middle manager is promoted out of his comfort zone into VP of IT Operations is a winner in my book.
Nell Zink Mislaid and The Wallcreeper
There has been significant buzz around these novels, with Zink becoming the toast of literary circles in 2015. The novels are said to combine oddness and beauty in the writing and a forensic attention to detail and observation that sounds difficult and intriguing.
Alice Oswald Memorial
I am a huge fan of Oswald’s poetry, especially her early work including The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile and Dart. This volume is Oswald reimagining Homer’s Illiad, which given her brilliance as a poet makes this an exciting prospect.
Other works of fiction for 2016 include:
Anything by China Mieville (although lots of people have suggested The Scar).
So, we’ll see how I get on, and I might even try and update this post as I start to tick some of these off my list!