Sometime in the fall of 2009 I realized that I was having trouble keeping the topics and titles of the many books I have read straight. To fix the problem I started “an annotated bibliography of everything,” recording the bibliographic information and a concise (usually 3-5 sentence long) review of every book I finished from that point forward. Keeping it up to date can be a bit tedious, but in this case the rewards of tedium redeem its costs. One of the neat things it allows me to do is list everything I have read over the course of any given year.
Last January I published the full list of books I read in 2013. I still do not quite understand why that list was so well-liked, but liked it was, earning a spot as one of the most popular posts published on the Scholar’s Stage that year. It success has convinced me to repeat the formula and make this an annual tradition. Thus I gladly present the next list: “Every Book I Read in 2014.”
The following list of books is roughly chronological, listed by the time when I finished, not started, each book. It is a bit shorter than last year’s. I attribute this to the number of books that I read this year that I read only in part, and to the increased amount of time I spent with language study and practice. I set a goal to read more fiction this year, and that I did, though it might not be immediately apparent. While the number of fiction titles is not much larger than appeared on last year’s list, the length of the novels that do appear are all quite long (most more than 800 pages), meaning I spent much time reading fiction this year than I did before.
I have bolded the ten best books of the year (as was the case last year, books that I have read before–such as Sima Qian’s Record of the Grand Historian–were disqualified). If I wrote a book review or review essay for the book here at the Stage or at Amazon then I have placed a link next to its citation.
Dang Thuy Tram, Last Night I Dreamt of Peace, trans. Andrew Pham (New York: Harmony Books, 1991).
Hayslip, Le Ly and Jay Wurts, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, (New York: Doubleday, 1989).
Pyle, Kenneth, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (New York: Public Affairs, 2007). [Scholar’s Stage post-Pending]
Kirk, Donald, Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and the Sunshine (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009)
Pettis, Michael, The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Road Ahead for the Global Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013).
Yu Ying-shih, Trade and Expansion in Han China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967).
Ames, Roger, trans., The Art of Rulership: A Study in Ancient Chinese Political Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994).
Anderson, Qin-Hong, ed. Masterworks Chinese Companion (Boston: Cheng and Tsui, 2007).
Liu An, The Huainanzi: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Government in China, trans. John S. Major, Sarah Queen, Andrew Meyer, and Harold D. Roth, trans. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).
De Bary, William Theodore, Sources of the East Asian Tradition, vol I: Pre-modern East Asia (New York: Columbia University, 2008).
I also read substantial portions of (100 pages+), but did not finish, Kelly’s The Forager Spectrum: Lifeways of Hunter-Gatherers, Fernandez-Armesto’s Civilizations, Fieldhouse’s Economics and Empire, Whittaker’s Frontiers of the Roman Empire, the Book of Mormon, Shapiro’s translation of Outlaws of the Marsh, Yate’s translation of The Five Lost Classics, Schwartz’s The World of Thought in Ancient China, Loewe’s A Biographical Dictionary of Qin, Former Han, and Xin Periods and Crisis and Conflict in Han China, Di Cosmo]s (ed.) Military Culture in Imperial China, Fairbank’s (ed.) Chinese Ways in Warfare, Johnston’s Cultural Realism, The Old Testament, Baugmart’s Imperialism, Brocheux and Hemery’s Indochina: A History, Gat’s War in Human Civilization, Quinn’s, The French Overseas Empire, Bold’s Mongolian Nomadic Society, Chu’s Han Social Structure, The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia Vol 3, From 1800-1900, The Cambridge History of Chia, Vol I: Ch’in and Han, and The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol 3: Medieval Japan.
What were the best books you read in 2014?