What I read in 2012

I tried to get this ready in time for the end of the year, but was too busy with writing, reading, and family. It’s still far from complete, but I figure if I don’t put this out now, I’ll never do so. What follows is a very partial list of what I read (and almost uniformly enjoyed or profited from) last year. I’m listing them roughly in backwards order, starting from most recent:

[I’d forgotten these, and will add others I’ve omitted as they occur to me:

Chris Stringer: Lone Survivor: How We Came to be the Only Humans on Earth.

Robert A Caro: Passage to Power]

James C. Scott: Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

Scott Straus: Remaking Rwanda:State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence

Filip Reyntjens: Ruling Under a Volcano: Political Governance in Post-Genocide Rwanda

Yukio Mishima: The Decay of the Angel

Chinese Characters (Edited by Shah and Wasserstrom)

Olen Steinhauer: The Tourist

John Garnaut: The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo: How a Murder Exposed the Cracks in Chinese Leadership

Ryszard Kapuscinski: Another Day of Life,

Marie Ndiaye : Three Strong Women

Curt Kraus : The Cultural Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

Charles Robertson: The Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa’s Economic Revolution

Richard Burger: Behind the Red Door: Sex in China

James McGregor : No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism,

V.S. Naipaul : The Enigma of Arrival

Andrew Nathan and Robert S. Ross: The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China’s Search for Security

Chinua Achebe: There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

Wole Soyinka: Of Africa

James N. Stewart : Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction

Errol Morris: Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography

Noo Saro-Wiwa: Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria

James Fallows : China Airborne

Ben Lerner: Leaving the Atocha Station

Stephen Ellis : Season of Rains: Africa in the World,

Jean-Michel Severino, Olivier Ray : Africa’s Moment

Edward Thomas: The Kafia-Kingi Enclave: People, Politics and History in the North-South Boundary of Western Sudan

Douglas H. Johnson: When Boundaries Become Borders: The Impact of Boundary Making in Southern Sudan’s Frontier Zones

E.O. Wilson: The Social Conquest of Earth

Sebastian Barry : On Canaan’s Side

Michael Ondaatje : The Cat’s Table

Eric Newby : A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

Artur Domoslawski: Ryszard Kapuscinski: a Life

Chinua Achebe: A Man of the People (re-read)

Gordon Mathews: The Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong

Chan Koonchung: The Fat Years

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