Books of 2021

Somewhere I read that this is the time to consider all the books I have read or listened to this year, and from that review come up with a recommendation of my favorite. Below is a list of all the books I have read or listened to, sorted by source – Libby (a library download service), Amazon Kindle, Amazon Audible, Chirp and The Great Courses. From this list, I would provide the following as the best three books I read in 2021 listed in order of their importance to me:

  1. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States – Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  2. Venice: A New History – Thomas F. Madden
  3. Hacking Darwin – Jamie Metzl

You’ll find from the list below that I’ve gone back and reread (or listened again) to two classic science fiction novels: Dune by Frank Herbert and Foundation by Isaac Asimov. The Asimov listen was triggered by the new Foundation series on Apple TV, and the Dune listen was because I continue to be intrigued by the Dune Universe created by Frank Herbert and further extended by his son, Brian Herbert.

Books have only been one source of my learning this year. I have also been doing a lot of watching of YouTube videos particularly on the subject of history. I recently subscribed to another streaming service, Curiosity Stream, that has provided me with additional history content. Then there is some listening that I do to podcasts like Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, The History of Poland, and The History of the Vikings.

LIBBY – Bellingham Library Service that is great if I know what book I want and it isn’t in so much demand that I don’t have to wait a year to get it.

  • Dune – Frank Herbert
  • Lessons of History – Will & Ariel Durant

AMAZON KINDLE – I’ll purchase a Kindle book if I can’t find it on Chirp, it is a book I prefer to read rather than listen to, or it is more expensive on Chirp.

  • Venice: A New History – Thomas F. Madden
  • Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History – John Julius Norwich
  • The Florios of Sicily: A Novel – Stefania Auci
  • The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
  • The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African Family – Gail Lumet Buckley

AMAZON AUDIBLE – I was subscribing to Audible for several years when I discovered Chirp, which has much better prices.

  • Capitalism in America- Alan Greenspan, Adrian Woodbridge
  • Foundation – Isaac Asimov
  • Debt: Updated and Expanded – David Graeber
  • The Silk Roads – David Frankopan
  • Death of the Banker – Ron Chernow
  • Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut

CHIRP – I can get many of the books on Chirp of $2-4, and in fact, I won’t usually buy a book on Chirp that is priced any higher. If you haven’t tried Chirp, I’d recommend it.

  • Thomas Jefferson – Robert McDonald
  • Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
  • History of Italy – Introbooks Team
  • Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny – Michael Broers
  • Influenza – Jeremy Brown
  • Dune: Butlerian Jihad – Brian Herbert & Kevin J Anderson
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States – Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • History of the Vikings: Norse Sagas, Medieval Maraudes and Far Flung Settlements – Chrsitopher R. Fee
  • The Invention of Surgery – David Schneider, M.D.
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  • Hacking Darwin – Jamie Metzl
  • Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

THE GREAT COURSES – I find these lectures, not really books, as outstanding for learning, and the lecturers are always outstanding in their clarity and understanding of the subject they are covering, but prices are higher than other sources for related material.

  • Abraham Lincoln: In His Own Words – David Zarefsky, Ph.D.

Author: T.P. Caruso

Retired from a healthcare and biomedical research career and now enjoying connections with anyone interested in history, geneology, healthcare, leadership or consciousness.

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