TED Conversations

Matheus Campos


This conversation is closed.

How many books have you read this year?

Which of them deserve be in this discussion? Do you recommend it for anyone? Why?

  • thumb
    Jun 1 2012: Since buying my Kindle in 2010 I've not read a single paper book, but my reading has increased massively.

    In the last 12 months I've read the following e-books - all excellent and recommended.

    In no particular order...


    Txting:The Gr8 Db8 - David Crystal
    How to be Free - Tom Hodgkinson
    They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family - Oliver James
    A Book of Silence - Sara Maitland
    Out of Our Minds:Learning to be Creative - Ken Robinson
    How to Live Off-Grid - Nick Rosen
    Small is Beautiful - E F Schumacher
    Walden - Henry David Thoreau

    Bio and Travel

    Chasing the Monsoon - Alexander Frater
    Tales from the Torrid Zone - Alexander Frater
    Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl
    India's Undending Journey - Mark Tully
    Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
    The Corfu Trilogy - Gerald Durrell


    Expecting Someone Taller - Tom Holt
    The Far Pavilions - M M Kaye
    The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
    Ghostwritten - David Mitchell
    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
    The Help - Kathryn Stockett
    The Holy Man - Susan Trott
    A Patchwork Planet - Anne Tyler
    Harnessing Peacocks - Mary Wesley
    Carry On, Jeeves - P G Wodehouse
    Lord Arthur Savil's Crime - Oscar Wild
    Only the Innocent - Rachel Abbott
    Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson
    The Club of Queer Trades - G K Chesterton
    Dead Lagoon - Michael Dibdin
    Acqua Alta - Donna Leon
    The Complete Sherlock Holmes - A C Dolye
    Enigma - Robert Harris
    The Lighthouse - P D James

    History and Religon

    The Case for God - Karen Armstrong
    The Bible - Karen Armstrong
    Europe's Last Summer - David FromKin
    Europe at War 1939 - 1945 - Norman Davies
    Mao's Great Famine - Frank Dikotter
    Austerity Britian - David Kynaston
  • Jun 18 2012: I am a 14-year-old student in china and I am required to read so many books which are connected to Maths, Physics and Chemistry. We don't have time to read books such as Lords of Rings
    • thumb
      Jun 28 2012: hi Linfeng, i do understand what you meant, cause many students in China includig me face such kind of problems. we are under pretty pressure from school and must spend most of our time on homework or something like that. but i still believe there will be some little spare time you could find in your daily life anyway. if you can take well advantage of them , you will definitely make a big difference about reading. According to my experience, most of books which i have read were just finished during the scattered time in my life. i even treat it as a way to relax and flee from the boring schoolwork for the moment. if you really want to do something you can always find methods and save the time to do it, right?good luck
    • thumb

      Yan Li

      • 0
      Jun 28 2012: gosh, i am so surprised to see members as young as you on this forum, cool! Listen, never sacrifice your love for reading just for those required school works, but i bet you will do great since you realize the problem at such an early stage. :D
  • thumb
    Jun 16 2012: I have read 20-30 books but mostly aloud to my little girls :).
  • Jun 3 2012: I cannot help but think of people who I will never meet who I can try to understand through
    a book . Count Korzibisky in general semantics called this time binding. It makes us
    a sentient species. Of course, two thousand years ago or whatever - what were they saying
    really. Look at Marcus Aurielius the fifth of the five(8) good emperors. How do you put
    his writings into modern English or whatever.
  • Jun 1 2012: actually none
    I have to change
    my life is without a meaning
  • thumb
    Jun 21 2012: an appalling total of 2! Superfreakonomics, and "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared " by Jonas Jonasson. I definitely recommend it, and indeed I've passed my copy around twice already (so easy with paper back, yes paper!) It's about a centenarian who runs away from an old people's home and this old man is no ordinary guy... it's witty, funny, picaresque, and so uplifting, it beats any prozac-like drug.
    books... I've sort of lied, because I keep re-reading some classics, and this year, it's been Victor Hugo's poemes "Les contemplations', as to me that's everything poetry should ever be, and Voltaire's "Le Fanatisme" so modern that it's scary.
  • thumb
    Jun 14 2012: I read two books every week. Have read so much this year. I recommend 'Disgrace' by J M Coetzee; 'It's Time For Your Comeback' by Tim Storey; and 'Mere Christianity', 'Miracles' and 'The Problem of Pain', all by C. S. Lewis.

    I read 'The Testament' by John Grisham for the 2nd time this year, and it is still my best book by the author. I read 'The Last Juror' by the same author and love it.
  • thumb
    Jun 12 2012: I try to read a book a week, but sometimes end up taking such detailed notes and look up so many technical details I fall short. Also I often re-read books with a yellow notepad at my side (chuckle: guess it's obvious I'm mostly into non-fiction, huh.). I'd guess that in the last 12 months: 30-40 books; since January 1st, perhaps 15-20. It's hard to pin down which have been the best, since I tend to be selective.... Biggest 'discovery' was Charles Dickens, who I always thought of as 'the guy who wrote about Scrooge'. He's even better than Wilkie Collins! In the non-fiction arena, my most recent (and a fantastic) read was Barbara Tuchman's history of the first month of World War One: "The Guns of August". That one had me scouring the net for maps and looking up biographies and orders of battle on Wikipedia. I'm now re-reading Eric Newby's autobiographical tale about his 1938 trip round the world on one of the last commercial sailing ships. He was 18. The book: "The Last Grain Race". So many books... so little time.
  • thumb
    Jun 11 2012: Around 100 in the last 12 months. Mostly non-fiction. I`m now reading Daniel Kahneman`s "Thinking Fast and Slow" and I cannot believe how simple the concept is! And it started with Ian`s Albery work on automaticity in addictions through John Bargh`s articles on automaticity, even in something as important and worth being aware of as relationships, via Lindstrom`s books explaining why we buy and certain products to Ariely`s books on irrational decision making and now Kahneman`s theory for all this, or at least some of this.
    • thumb

      E G 10+

      • 0
      Jun 12 2012: Oh , you must be a computer .
    • thumb
      Jun 16 2012: Maja - If you like Daniel Kahneman's book, you might also like 'The Master and His Emissary' by Iain McGilchrist. In place of Kahneman's 'Systems1 and 2', McGilchrist refers to the right and left brain hemispheres to explain human behaviour, only in more detail, and then goes on to explain its relevance in Western Society.

      Both are real eye-openers in my opinion.
  • thumb
    Jun 4 2012: I've read 19 and whereas I usually focus on non-fiction, I've read a lot of fiction and biographies. Fun Bios include Dick Van Dyke's. Others worth reading are Howard Cosell's and Pat Buchanan's. Favorite non-fiction book this year is Lisa Randall's "Knocking on Heaven's Door."
  • thumb
    Jun 4 2012: I thought I was doing well having read 5 books so far this year; then I see everyone's list and wonder what I've been doing! I'm currently reading 2 books at the same time - one fiction, one nonfiction. Depending on my mood, I open the appropriate book.

    My favorite so far this year has been The Meaning of Night, by Michael Cox. It is his first book, and a very dark Victorian mystery. I'm currently reading Drift by Rachel Maddow, and the non-fiction book title escapes my mind just now. (It's also not that great, but I refuse to stop with the hope it will get better).

    I get about 45 min to an hour a day to read while I'm on the train to and from work.
  • thumb
    Jun 4 2012: I try to read at least one book per month. The book I loved most this year was "life of pie"
    I also liked Thousand splendid suns, Norwegian wood and Tipping point.
    this site is a really nice site where you can keep track of what you read and to find good book suggestions.
  • thumb
    Jun 3 2012: Probably +10, mostly fiction of various genres. I enjoy anything as long as its well written and intelligent (by my standards), particularly if it's a bit quirky by the likes of Haruki Murakami.

    By the way anyone who poo poo's genre fiction should take a look at some of the classics. Detective fiction - "Bleak house" by Charles Dickens, science fiction - "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. The list is endless, unlike a narrow mind.
  • thumb
    Jun 3 2012: I read one book, called "Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom" and this was an amazing book at the end...Even it doesnt make sense initially but slowly we ll be able to connect the dots at the end. A must read especially for the younger generation.
    It is all about philosophy in a simple way.
  • thumb
    Jun 3 2012: 1 ever week more or less
  • thumb
    Jun 3 2012: I read some fictions.
  • Jun 3 2012: Excellent, excellent question. I've lost track, but I'd say about a dozen. (I'm retired, so I have the time.) I'm currently reading "America on Trial" by Alan Dershowitz, an excellent book on the major trials of our history that have either established legal precedents, or shown up the weaknesses in our legal system. I recommend it to anyone interested in politics and the law. I'm also reading "Battle Cry of Freedom", a history of our Civil War given to me by a friend. Hey, I wrote a book! (14, actually). Wanna read mine? "Becoming Human in the Cosmos: The Purpose and Ultimate Destiny of Human Life" by Lee Hazelle. Available on Amazon Kindle. It'll set you back $5.
  • Jun 2 2012: I have read several books this year. My favorite being The Emperor of All Maladies. This book is the biography of Cancer and it's treatment. A wonderfully informative book. My next favorite is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. This book has inspired me to try the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • thumb
    Jun 2 2012: Unfortunately this year I could only read one book. The Kite Runner.
    • thumb
      Jun 2 2012: YOKES! That is not the one I would have reccommended for you, Rafi!
      • thumb
        Jun 3 2012: Can I ask why ?
        • thumb
          Jun 3 2012: Sure Rafi, I will answer almost anything I can for you because I admire you!
          I find the warlord character objectionable and it seems to me because the book was printed in the US so I worry that parts of it are propaganda. I love the unacknowledged son and his bravery and loyalty. I was offered the sequel while i was in the hospital in the form of a book on cd and I was not convinced that it would contribute to my healing. I would like to read it now though. I would love to see the kite festival!
      • thumb
        Jun 3 2012: Thank you Debra for explanation.

        I actually decided to read this book because whenever I was abroad specially in the subcontinent I was usually asked Have you read the the Kite Runner ? & when my answer was No. They were getting surprised how you live in Kabul have not read the Kite Runner . & I was kind a feeling embarrassed.

        Finally I read it but it also made me emotional on many occasions where I had experienced myself or had seen others in same situations. but overall I liked the book.
  • Jun 2 2012: lots of books after I have a kindle 4.
  • Jun 2 2012: only 1 book still in process。
  • Jun 2 2012: I would guess around 10, the most notable were.
    The Pleasure of Finding Things Out - Richard Feynman
    Physics for the Rest of Us - Roger Jones
    Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder
    • thumb
      Jun 2 2012: Hi Adam! I read one called Physics for Dummies.- I NEEDED TO!
  • Jun 2 2012: One, I can remember reading thirty in a month ... Oh, How time has passed.
  • thumb
    Jun 2 2012: We are serious readers around our house. I keep one by the bedside, in the toliet, in the livingroom, in the car, etc... anyone who knows me expects me to have a book in hand. I rotate books often but have never kept a count of how many. We do hard backs, e-books, soft cover, etc... I always try to read the book prior to seeing the movie (when it exists). My imagination is very vivid and I am sometimes disappointed in the movie.

    Neat topic. All the best. Bob
  • thumb
    Jun 1 2012: Not sure I could put an accurate number on it. However, the three most recent books that I highly recommend are The Power of Habit - a look at how habits form and how to change them, Imagine - a look at how creativity really happens, not the typical mythology about creativity and The Next Decade - a strategist's view of what the next ten year's might look like. I just got Quiet as part of today's TED book pack and look forward to hearing more about Susan Cain's thoughts on how introverts can operate in an extroverted world.
  • Jun 1 2012: Eleven, but five of them were associated with my studies
  • Jun 1 2012: 10 books, admittedly mostly fiction and none recent.
  • thumb
    Jun 1 2012: About 5 , and plainning to read 3 more once I'll finish this one :)
  • thumb
    Jun 1 2012: Well, I have read one so far but now I am actually trying to get thru another one.