Books I’ve read in 2011

Thought I’d do this again. I read 27 books last year, almost exclusively on my Kindle. Below is a list, in order of finish date (latest first). I highlighted five favorites and provided a bit of commentary.

  • How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost
  • Lady of Mazes, Karl Schroeder
  • The Well-Played Game, Bernie DeKoven1
  • The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Critical Play, Mary Flanagan
  • The Scar, China Mieville
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • Rework, David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy2
  • The transmigration of Timothy Archer, Philip K. Dick
  • The Divine Invasion, Philip K. Dick
  • Vermilion Sands, J. G. Ballard3
  • The Broom Of The System, David Foster Wallace
  • Number9Dream, David Mitchell
  • Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gold
  • Last Call, Tim Powers
  • Thoughts on Interaction Design, Jon Kolko
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  • The great Gatsby, Francis Scott Fitzgerald
  • Unit Operations, Ian Bogost4
  • I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Harlan Ellison
  • The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Get Shorty, Elmore Leonard
  • The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick5
  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Matt Ridley
  1. For its heartwarming humanism and great marriage of form and message. Most fun book about fun. []
  2. Beautiful, lyrical portrayal of the end of the world that hits you like a sledgehammer. []
  3. Unparalleled in the originality and believability of its envisioned future. No-one has a feel for near-future fashion and leisure like Ballard. []
  4. Tough but rewarding read that provides a solid framework for thinking about the aesthetics of all things procedural. []
  5. Essential PKD, deep meditation on what it means to be human wrapped in a scifi detective plot. []
 

Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer active in the area of play, society and technology. Currently, he is principal at Hubbub, a playful design consultancy and a studio for playful products. He lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands.