Books of 2016: A Review

At the start of 2016, I had a list of 18 books I wanted to read during the year. I added 2 more during the year for a total of 20. Of these, I finished 7. Some of the rest, I am currently reading or plan to read this year; that is the subject of a later post.

Here are the books I read this year.

Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department
by the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

This report has been tremendously helpful for me to understand the Black Lives Matter Movement and the distrust many people of color have for the police. It is available as free PDF from the link above. My full review is forthcoming.

America’s Original Sin
by Jim Wallis

This is one of the two books I added mid-year. It is an exhortation to white Christians to learn about and combat the systemic injustices in our society that operate against people of color. One chapter is actually a summary of the Ferguson report. I suspect many people have probably decided on their opinion of this book based solely on the author’s name, but if that is not true, see my full review at Goodreads.

20160109_160052Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud
by Ed McGaa (Eagle Man)

This is a fascinating history of the two men written by a Lakota man whose experience as a combat veteran of Vietnam gives him valuable insights into these two warriors and the fights they led. It could use another round of editing, but I still recommend it.

brown-girl-dreamingBrown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

I listened to the audio book version of this “memoir in verse.” In these poems is much joy, curiosity, confusion, and other emotions of childhood. The author gives a captivating window into how she grew into a writer and storyteller despite some discouragement. I posted my full review earlier.

20160109_160034The Wounded Sky
by Diane Duane

This is an amazing book; it demonstrates the fun and depth that good science fiction writing can achieve.  I posted my full review earlier.



TegmarkOur Mathematical Universe
by Max Tegmark

Tegmark starts with an excellent popular overview of many fields of physics, especially cosmology, relativity, and quantum mechanics. He then transitions into the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis, which states that our physical universe isn’t simply described by math; it is a mathematical structure. Along the way, he gives the best explanation of the “many workds interpretation” of quantum mechanics I have ever read and postulates four levels of parallel universes. My full review is forthcoming.

20160109_101600Men are Like Waffles Women are Like Spaghetti
by Bill and Pam Farrel

My wife and I read this book together. The title refers to the authors’ analogy of how the male and female brains differ. According to them, men think in discreet categories (waffle boxes) while women’s thoughts are much more interconnected (like spaghetti strands). On one hand, this is a tremendous generalization; all people are unique, and no such statements could apply to all 3.5 billion members of a gender. On the other hand, my wife and I have found much of the material in this book useful for understanding and better loving each other.

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