“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — Stephen King

Interior with Three Oranges. Oil painting by Frank Baker Holmes. Used with permission.

Over the years I have written repeatedly about the various audio books I am reading while commuting to work. I’ve also had more than one person dispute with me that listening to a book is not the same as reading it, but I would suggest that it has at least some similarity to reading in that your mind is engaging the ideas of a writer who has worked very hard to produce words to convey a story or idea or whatever.

What follows here is an incomplete list of books I listened to in 2010. I say incomplete because it is a record of the audio books I checked out of the Duluth Public Library, but does not include the audio books I listened to from the Superior Public Library. That library erases your record after you return items. Duluth does not so that I can review everything I have ever checked out.

The Duluth list did include many more audio books than this, but some I only listened to half or a third and some even less. Occasionally it might be a frame of mind that kept me from getting into a good book, occasionally the writing itself may have been uninteresting and on a few occasions the reader was simply annoying and I didn’t want to be in that person’s company for the duration.

My motivation for sharing this “dated” list came from assembling my 2018 audio book list. The idea of comparing and contrasting appealed to me.

Illustration by the author.

Anyways, here’s my 2010 list, including remarks on a few of the items. What amazes me at this moment is that eight years have passed since reading the books in this list, and some of the stories I recall as if they were read this fall. (OK, yes, a couple of these I did read a second time this year, so that will explain why a few are so fresh.)

  1. Billy Collins Live: A performance at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, April 20, 2005
    Collins, the National Poet Laurate at the time, was superb, as always.
  2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to String Theory by George Musser
  3. Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
    This was my second reading of Dylan’s autobiography. The first was when the book itself came out.
  4. An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina
    The Rwanda story that became the film Hotel Rwanda. Powerfully engaging.
  5. Siddhartha by Herman HesseProbably third or fourth reading.
  6. On Call In Hell: A Doctor’s Iraq War Story by Richard Jadick
  7. The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    The library has more Leonard audio books on tape than CD, and not enough to satisfy me.
  8. James Madison, the Fourth President by Garry Willis
  9. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    With its final chapter included, the chapter not included in Kubrick’s film version.
  10. The Accidental Billionaires: Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
    Now a film, the story of Facebook’s origins.
  11. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
  12. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  13. Appointment with Death: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
  14. A Pocketful of Rye by Agatha Christie
  15. The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie
  16. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  17. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
    Interesting novel about India today.
  18. Three Act Tragedy, A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
  19. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Author of Remains of the Day.
  20. Fierce Pajamas: Selections from an Anthology of Humor Writing from the New Yorker
  21. Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
  22. My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru
    Intriguing story of a Sixties radical whose past comes back to haunt him.
  23. Sideways by Rex Pickett
    Became the film… and yes, very well written.
  24. Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
    Hilarious novel about politics and more.
  25. Conquistador Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma and the Last Stand of the Aztecs by Buddy Levy
  26. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  27. Fidel Castro, My Life: An Autobiography by Fidel Castro
    Lengthy, detailed account with many interesting details about “the Revolution” and Cuba’s recent history.
  28. Spy Killer by L. Ron Hubbard
    Mediocre tripe, but I stuck with it just because.
  29. Plato & a Platypus Walk Into a Bar — : Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart
    Some interesting things but not for everyone.
  30. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President by Robert Dallek
    Good portrait of a president not high on everyone’s list, but who made the tough decisions required at a tough time in history.
  31. Superfreakanomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
  32. On The Wealth of Nations by P.J. O’Rourke
    Playful review of a significant book.
  33. Call Me Ted by Ted Turner
    I really enjoyed reading about his life, how he parlayed his father’s billboard business into a rather significant net worth.
  34. Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance by Tony Dungy
    Highly recommended, especially for young men.
  35. Taking Woodstock: A True Story of Riot, a Concert and a Life by Elliot Tiber
  36. The Man Who Loved China: Joseph Needham and the Making of a Masterpiece by Simon Winchester
  37. Eyewitness: 1910–1919 by Joanna Burke
    BBC production that made the decade come alive.
  38. Limitations by Scott Turow
  39. Yogi Berra by Allen Barra
    Detailed biography of a great ballplayer, rich with anecdotes and baseball lore. Author makes argument that Yogi Berra may have been the most important player in baseball history.

This list does not include the dozens of books I read in other formats. So many good books, and so little time.

Special shout out to my parents and grandmother who instilled in me an early love for reading.

Originally published at pioneerproductions.blogspot.com

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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