markbarnes 2015 thread

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

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markbarnes 2015 thread

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1markbarnes
Editat: des. 30, 2015, 12:29pm

Hello everyone! My reading has tended to be rather piecemeal over the years (too much dipping into reference books, or reading articles), and I plan to do things properly this year. I don't know if I'll reach 75 books, particularly as a fairly large proportion of the books I want to read weigh in at more than 500 pages. As a result, I'm setting a secondary target of 25,000 pages (which is equivalent to seventy-five 333-page books).

My reading habits are almost exclusively non-fiction. I'll probably mostly read Christian theology, with a fair amount of 20th century history (mainly WW2), and a smattering of tech (mainly the story of infosec). I also hope to read quite a bit of C. S. Lewis, and if I'm struggling to keep up I may revisit my Biggles collection. I'm also going to cheat slightly and include books I started in 2014 but didn't finish. I tend to have several books on the go at any one time, and will read a chapter or two from most at different parts of the day.

TOTAL — 75 books; 18,307 pages; approx. 5,164,779 words

January — 8 books; 2,676 pages; approx. 727,900 words
  1. Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs — 256 pages ()
  2. The Island by Victoria Hislop — 473 pages ()
  3. Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter — 448 pages ()
  4. Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger — 272 pages ()
  5. Enigma by Robert Harris — 470 pages ()
  6. The Ghost by Robert Harris — 384 pages ()
  7. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller — 277 pages ()
  8. The cross centered life by C. J. Mahaney — 96 pages ()

February — 15 books; 4,389 pages; approx. 1,385,554 words
  1. The Black Echo by Michael Connelly — 482 pages ()
  2. Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church's Responsibility in the External Call by Brian Croft — 106 pages ()
  3. Good mood, bad mood: Help and hope for depression and bipolar disorder by Charles D. Hodges — 191 pages ()
  4. A Journey by Tony Blair — 768 pages ()
  5. To the Grave by Steve Robinson — 326 pages ()
  6. What if?: Serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions by Randall Munroe — 303 pages ()
  7. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander — 190 pages ()
  8. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis — 227 pages ()
  9. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr — 198 pages ()
  10. Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke — 202 pages ()
  11. Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce — 245 pages ()
  12. Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps: How We're Different and What to Do About It by Allan Pease and Barbara Pease — 272 pages ()
  13. The Narnia Code: C. S. Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens by Michael Ward — 208 pages ()
  14. The Harcombe Diet for Men by Zoe Harcombe — 80 pages ()
  15. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas — 591 pages ()

March — 18 books; 4,092 pages; approx. 1,170,567 words
  1. First Overland: London - Singapore by Land Rover by Tim Slessor — 275 pages ()
  2. Bombs on Aunt Dainty by Judith Kerr — 336 pages ()
  3. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper — 128 pages ()
  4. When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch — 239 pages ()
  5. A Small Person Far Away by Judith Kerr — 227 pages ()
  6. Biggles goes to School by W. E. Johns — 193 pages ()
  7. Name Above All Names by Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson — 192 pages ()
  8. Biggles Flies South by W. E. Johns — 255 pages ()
  9. Broken-down House by Paul David Tripp — 223 pages ()
  10. The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse — 225 pages ()
  11. Dixie: The Autobiography of Dixie McNeil by Dixie McNeil — 192 pages ()
  12. Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine — 144 pages ()
  13. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand — 497 pages ()
  14. You Talkin' To Me? by Sam Leith — 304 pages ()
  15. A Very Present Help by William Dobbie — 135 pages ()
  16. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield — 153 pages ()
  17. Unreached by Tim Chester — 170 pages ()
  18. The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances by Alistair Begg — 204 pages ()

April — 2 books; 379 pages; approx. 110,848 words
  1. Sergeant Bigglesworth, C.I.D. by W. E. Johns — 188 pages ()
  2. Biggles Takes a Holiday by W. E. Johns — 191 pages ()

May — 3 books; 688 pages; approx. 145,620 words
  1. The New Calvinists by E. S. Williams — 74 pages ()
  2. Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul Tripp — 162 pages ()
  3. Your Life Can Be Better: Using Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD by Douglas A. Puryear — 452 pages ()

June — 2 books; 272 pages; approx. 71,931 words
  1. The Fight by John White — 230 pages ()
  2. Crazy Lazy by Alistair Begg — 42 pages ()

July — 2 books; 404 pages; approx. 78,562 words
  1. To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy by Michael Haykin — 224 pages ()
  2. Biggles in the Orient by W. E. Johns — 180 pages ()

August — 9 books; 2,115 pages; approx. 530,212 words
  1. Biggles Takes the Case by W. E. Johns — 189 pages ()
  2. The Time Crunch: What to Do When You Can’t Do It All by Greg Asimakoupoulos and John Maxwell — 158 pages ()
  3. Am I really a Christian? by Mike McKinley — 149 pages ()
  4. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris — 340 pages ()
  5. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn by Tim Challies — 110 pages ()
  6. Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse — 273 pages ()
  7. Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in All the Scripture by Trevin Wax — 128 pages ()
  8. Pompeii by Robert Harris — 416 pages ()
  9. Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts by Franklin Graham and Donna Lee Toney — 352 pages ()

September — 2 books; 672 pages; approx. 172,280 words
  1. The Plausibility Problem: The church and same-sex attraction by Ed Shaw — 176 pages ()
  2. Imperium by Robert Harris — 496 pages ()

October — 1 books; 158 pages; approx. 46,211 words
  1. Biggles Follows On by W. E. Johns — 158 pages ()

November — 6 books; 811 pages; approx. 221,256 words
  1. Incomparable: Explorations in the character of God by Andrew Wilson — 286 pages ()
  2. Jerusalem in the Year 30 A.D by Leen Ritmeyer — 72 pages ()
  3. Holy Sonnets 1 to 19 by John Donne — 22 pages ()
  4. Unbreakable: What the Son of God Said About the Word of God by Andrew J. Wilson — 78 pages ()
  5. Inshallah by Alys Einion — 307 pages ()
  6. Enjoy your prayer life by Michael Reeves — 46 pages ()

December — 7 books; 1,651 pages; approx. 538,833 words
  1. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller — 46 pages ()
  2. Biggles in the Gobi by W. E. Johns — 160 pages ()
  3. Lustrum by Robert Harris — 419 pages ()
  4. The Little Handbook for Perfecting the Art of Christian Writing: Getting Your Foot in the Publisher's Door by Leonard G. Goss and Don M. Aycock — 288 pages ()
  5. The First Days of Jesus: The Story of the Incarnation by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Alexander E. Stewart — 272 pages ()
  6. Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey — 416 pages ()
  7. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan — 50 pages ()

2markbarnes
gen. 7, 2015, 11:06am

3scaifea
gen. 7, 2015, 12:13pm

Hi, Mark, and welcome to the group!

4ronincats
gen. 7, 2015, 12:16pm

Ain't cheating! Most of us count our books as of the date we finish them, Mark. Welcome to the group!

5drneutron
gen. 7, 2015, 12:42pm

Welcome!

6markbarnes
Editat: gen. 28, 2015, 5:41am

The Island by Victoria Hislop



An enjoyable and moving read. (read review)

7markbarnes
gen. 14, 2015, 9:19pm

Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter



An excellent book that covers Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame, but also something of the geopolitical intrigue surrounding them. (read review)

8drneutron
gen. 15, 2015, 11:28am

Yeah, I enjoyed that one too.

9markbarnes
gen. 15, 2015, 7:23pm

>8 drneutron: Thanks for dropping by. Anything else you recommend on a similar theme?

10markbarnes
gen. 16, 2015, 8:05am

Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger



A fairly helpful book, with what appears to be a very sensible premise — that people in "simple" churches tend to grow more than those where church life is complex. (read review)

11thornton37814
gen. 17, 2015, 12:01pm

>10 markbarnes: I thought that book looked familiar. It was. I gave it the same rating as you did although I read it before I was posting reviews here.

12markbarnes
Editat: gen. 27, 2015, 8:01am

Enigma by Robert Harris



As a thriller, it doesn't quite reach the heights of Fatherland, but it's still a terrific page-turner (read review)

13markbarnes
Editat: gen. 28, 2015, 5:35am

The Ghost by Robert Harris



The pace is good, and the writing crisp, but the final plot-twist is not really enough of a twist, and I was left feeling slightly short-changed. (read review)

14markbarnes
gen. 28, 2015, 5:35am

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller



One of the best books I've read on prayer, and the best at helping us understand why we pray, and what prayer is for. (read review)

15markbarnes
gen. 29, 2015, 5:43pm

The cross centered life by C. J. Mahaney



A great reminder to keep the main thing the main thing. (read review)

16thornton37814
gen. 30, 2015, 9:38pm

>14 markbarnes: Sounds like a great book. I know I've seen that one in the bookstore.

17markbarnes
Editat: març 2, 2015, 6:04pm

18markbarnes
feb. 6, 2015, 10:50am

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly



I found the characters both likeable and believable, and after a relatively slow start the plot progressed fairly nicely. (read review)

19markbarnes
feb. 9, 2015, 6:15am

Good mood, bad mood: Help and hope for depression and bipolar disorder by Charles D. Hodges



Used carefully and pastorally, this book could give a lot of hope to many people. (read review)

20markbarnes
feb. 9, 2015, 6:49am

Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church's Responsibility in the External Call by Brian Croft



I'm not sure there's sufficient depth to convince the doubters, nor add much for those who already accept the basic principle. (read review)

21markbarnes
feb. 11, 2015, 8:48am

A Journey by Tony Blair



A 'must-read' if only to try and understand the huge influence that Blair's premiership has been on all of us. (read review)

22markbarnes
feb. 11, 2015, 8:50am

To the Grave by Steve Robinson



I enjoyed the first half or so, but the second half of the book rapidly degenerated into near farce. (read review)

23thornton37814
feb. 11, 2015, 2:01pm

>22 markbarnes: I know that some of my fellow genealogists really like Robinson's books, but I only gave the first one 2 stars. I hated it. I thought the genealogist sleuth was not in compliance with ethical standards of professional genealogists. I haven't been tempted to read the later ones in the series because of that.

24markbarnes
feb. 20, 2015, 5:55am

25markbarnes
Editat: feb. 20, 2015, 5:12pm

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander



Combines memorable characters with excellent humour and a relentless plot — all based in a mythical landscape that's deeply reminiscent of Wales. (read review)

27markbarnes
Editat: ag. 18, 2015, 10:34am

March — 18 books; 4,092 pages; approx. 1,151,043 words
  1. First Overland: London - Singapore by Land Rover by Tim Slessor — 275 pages ()
  2. Bombs on Aunt Dainty by Judith Kerr — 336 pages ()
  3. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper — 128 pages ()
  4. When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch — 239 pages ()
  5. A Small Person Far Away by Judith Kerr — 227 pages ()
  6. Biggles goes to School by W. E. Johns — 193 pages ()
  7. Name Above All Names by Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson — 192 pages ()
  8. Biggles Flies South by W. E. Johns — 255 pages ()
  9. Broken-down House by Paul David Tripp — 223 pages ()
  10. The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse — 225 pages ()
  11. Dixie: The Autobiography of Dixie McNeil by Dixie McNeil — 192 pages ()
  12. Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine — 144 pages ()
  13. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand — 497 pages ()
  14. You Talkin' To Me? by Sam Leith — 304 pages ()
  15. A Very Present Help by William Dobbie — 135 pages ()
  16. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield — 153 pages ()
  17. Unreached by Tim Chester — 170 pages ()
  18. The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances by Alistair Begg — 204 pages ()

28markbarnes
Editat: des. 30, 2015, 12:30pm

Having gone a bit nuts in the first three months of the year, I've slowed down to a crawl. From August on, however, I'm back up to speed, and I'm hoping to read 10 books a month in August through December to break the 100 books barrier by the end of the year.

April — 2 books; 379 pages; approx. 116,029 words
  1. Sergeant Bigglesworth, C.I.D. by W. E. Johns — 188 pages ()
  2. Biggles Takes a Holiday by W. E. Johns — 191 pages ()

May — 3 books; 688 pages; approx. 145,620 words
  1. The New Calvinists by E. S. Williams — 74 pages ()
  2. Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul Tripp — 162 pages ()
  3. Your Life Can Be Better: Using Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD by Douglas A. Puryear — 452 pages ()

June — 2 books; 272 pages; approx. 72,505 words
  1. The Fight by John White — 230 pages ()
  2. Crazy Lazy by Alistair Begg — 42 pages ()

July — 2 books; 404 pages; approx. 78,562 words
  1. To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy by Michael Haykin — 224 pages ()
  2. Biggles in the Orient by W. E. Johns — 180 pages ()

30markbarnes
des. 30, 2015, 12:29pm

September — 2 books; 672 pages; approx. 172,280 words
  1. The Plausibility Problem: The church and same-sex attraction by Ed Shaw — 176 pages ()
  2. Imperium by Robert Harris — 496 pages ()

31markbarnes
des. 30, 2015, 12:30pm

October — 1 books; 158 pages; approx. 48,371 words
  1. Biggles Follows On by W. E. Johns — 158 pages ()

32markbarnes
des. 30, 2015, 12:30pm

November — 6 books; 811 pages; approx. 221,256 words
  1. Incomparable: Explorations in the character of God by Andrew Wilson — 286 pages ()
  2. Jerusalem in the Year 30 A.D by Leen Ritmeyer — 72 pages ()
  3. Holy Sonnets 1 to 19 by John Donne — 22 pages ()
  4. Unbreakable: What the Son of God Said About the Word of God by Andrew J. Wilson — 78 pages ()
  5. Inshallah by Alys Einion — 307 pages ()
  6. Enjoy your prayer life by Michael Reeves — 46 pages ()

33markbarnes
Editat: des. 30, 2015, 12:31pm

With a bit of a late surge, and one or two very short books from my 'to read' pile, I managed to hit my target with a day to spare. Next year, I'll try and spread things out rather better!

December — 7 books; 1,651 pages; approx. 538,833 words
  1. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller — 46 pages ()
  2. Biggles in the Gobi by W. E. Johns — 160 pages ()
  3. Lustrum by Robert Harris — 419 pages ()
  4. The Little Handbook for Perfecting the Art of Christian Writing: Getting Your Foot in the Publisher's Door by Leonard G. Goss and Don M. Aycock — 288 pages ()
  5. The First Days of Jesus: The Story of the Incarnation by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Alexander E. Stewart — 272 pages ()
  6. Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey — 416 pages ()
  7. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan — 50 pages ()