December is the month in which popular journals publish their “Ten Best Books of 2009”, as the New York Times did last week. I too use December to consolidate my reading for the year (which is usually between seventy to eighty books, some that are new and some that I am re-reading), collect my notes, and update my bibliographic and research software (I use Citation – but there are several good programs available).
Never wanting to be upstaged by the New York Times, here is my list of the “Ten Best Books I Read This Year”.
Appleman, Roy E. East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950. (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press), 1987.
Baggini, Julian. What’s It All About?: Philosophy & The Meaning of Life. (New York: Oxford University Press), 2004.
Bak, Per. How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality. (New York: Oxford University Press), 1997.
Coyne, Jerry A. Why Evolution is True. (New York: Viking), 2009.
Faust, Drew Gilpin. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf), 2008.
Hämäläinen, Pekka. Comanche Empire. (New Haven: Yale University Press), 2008.
Hamburger, Kenneth E. Leadership in the Crucible: The Korean War Battles of Twin Tunnels & Chipyong-ni. (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press), 2003.
Israel, Jonathan I. Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750. (New York: Oxford University Press), 2001.
Parkman, Francis. Montcalm and Wolfe: The French and Indian War. (New York: Barnes & Noble Books), 2005. First published 1884.
Stendhal. The Charter House of Parma. (New York: The Modern Library), 1999. First published 1839.