Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My reading goal for 2011 was the same as 2010, to read twenty-four books during the year. I did it! I finished twenty-six books and read half of two books (shown in gray). Is that twenty-seven? I hope to read a similar number this year.


A good portion of my books still have to do with adventure. I’m still enjoying myself, so what not?

Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu – Laurence Bergreen

Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West – D’Arcy Jenish

The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty – Caroline Alexander

The Devil’s Mariner – Anton Gill

Fatal Passage: The True Story of John Rae, the Arctic Hero Time Forgot – Ken McGoogan

Ancient Mariner: The Arctic Adventures of Samuel Hearne, the Sailor Who Inspired Coleridge’s Masterpiece – Ken McGoogan

Pictorial Journey on the Old Mekong: Cambodia, Laos and Yunnan – Louis Delaporte and Francis Garnier

Race to the Polar Sea: The Heroic Adventures of Elisha Kent Kane – Ken McGoogan

The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville, the World’s Greatest Traveler – Giles Milton

Exotic Pleasures: Fascicle III, Curious Scientific and Medical Observations – Engelbert Kaempfer


Last year I read a couple of books concerning shipwrecks. At the beginning of this year I continued reading more shipwreck books until I got a bit burned out. I love the blend of history and treasure hunting.

Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed of the Coast of Vietnam – Frank Pope

Lost at Sea: The Strange Route of the Lena Shoal Junk – Frank Goddio

Lost Gold of the Republic: The Remarkable Quest for the Greatest Shipwreck Treasure of the Civil War Era – Priit J. Vesilind

Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World’s First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her – Barry Clifford

Goldfinder: The True Story of $100 Million in Lost Russian Gold – and One Man’s Lifelong Quest to Recover It – Keith Jessop

Fatal Treasure: Greed and Death, Emeralds and Gold, and the Obsessive Search for the Legendary Ghost Galleon Atocha – Jedwin Smith

Treasure Ship: The Legend and Legacy of the S.S. Brother Jonathan – Dennis M. Powers


I’m always looking for high quality books (good writing with many pictures and drawings) about historical treasures. I can’t do much travelling these days, so this is the next best thing for me to do. I reason that when I do travel I’ll be more educated and excited about what I’m seeing.

Guide to the Viking Ship Museum – Arne Emil Christiansen

The Viking Ships in Oslo – Thorleif Sjovold

The Warship Mary Rose: The Life & Times of King Henry VIII’s Flagship – David Childs


There are a few important archeologists I’d like to read more about.

Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu – Christopher Heaney


Since I imbibed in a guilty pleasure this year and read a ton of shipwreck books I thought I’d move on to true crime. I have only read one such book so far, but I’ve got a few more on my list.

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America – J. North Conway


There seems to be a lot of well regarded World War II adventure books out there, usually involving some great escape or raid that have caught my interest. I’m also interested in reading some good firsthand accounts of the war and potentially some other conflicts such as the Korean War or the Vietnam War.

The Airmen and the Headhunters: A True Story of Lost Soldiers, Heroic Tribesmen and the Unlikeliest Rescue of World War II – Judith M. Heimann

Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War – Giles Milton


Some books don’t fit any categories I have, but have still got my interest.

The Story of Measurement – Andrew Robinson

Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts – Andrew Robinson

Unbound: A True Story of War, Love, and Survival – Dean King

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922 – Giles Milton