December 16, 2005


These weren't necessarily published this year, but I finally got to them this year. [Included are links to our reviews and to purchase the books at Amazon.] Please feel free to add your own.

Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 (2003) - Nathaniel Philbrick

Victory in Tripoli : How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation (2005) - Joshua E. London

Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem--and What We Should Do About It (2005) - Noah Feldman

Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses,/a> (2005) - Theodore Dalrymple

Living It Up At National Review: A Memoir (2005) - Priscilla L. Buckley

Treehouse Chronicles: One Man's Dream of Life Aloft (2005) - S. Peter Lewis

Satchmo: The Genius of Louis Armstrong (1988) - Gary Giddins

Notes from Underground (1864) - Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag (2000) - Kang Chol-Hwan

Loving Soren (2005) - Caroline Coleman O'Neill

Dissolution (2004) - C. J. Sansom

Dr. Sam Johnson: Detector (1946) - Lillian de la Torre

Boswell's Presumptous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson (2001) - Adam Sisman

No god but God : The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (2005) - Reza Aslan

The Battle of Salamis : The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization (2004) - Barry Strauss

South Park Conservatives : The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias (2005) - Brian C. Anderson

The Children of Men (1992) - P.D. James

River Season (There's a River Down in Texas) (2003) - Jim Black

Of Moths and Men: An Evolutionary Tale: The Untold Story of Science and the Peppered Moth (2002) - Judith Hooper

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 16, 2005 11:59 PM

I read the Reza Aslan book which I won here (thanks again), but was not impressed. It seemed like a decent overview at first, but eventually I realized that he never seemed to say anything critical of Mohammed or Islam. E.g., Islam is good for women because women had it much worse in the Middle East before Islam. Yeah, well, but how about today? Nothing on Mohammed's time as an armed robber. I was hoping for an even-handed examination, and got an apologia. So I'm at a loss to understand why you'd think it was such a fine book.

Posted by: PapayaSF at December 4, 2005 3:35 PM

women have it worse in the West today than under Mohammed.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2005 4:10 PM

Nine year old girls have it worse in the West today than under Muhammed.

Posted by: Carter at December 4, 2005 4:29 PM

OJ, I'd like to see you convince your wife of that, especially the parts about total submission to the husband, multiple wives, and such....

Posted by: PapayaSF at December 5, 2005 1:27 AM

Which wife?

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2005 7:50 AM

Dear Orin,
Thanks so much for including River Season in your Best Books of 2005.
Viking/Penguin has not done much in the way of marketing the book, but it continues to receive teriffic reviews and make its way into library reading groups everywhere. You've been a big help.

Jim Black

Posted by: Jim Black at December 17, 2005 5:29 PM