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. []

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.