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Books I Read in 2004

January, 2004
The Eight Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive Susan Page
Good, clear, basic, useful information.
The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work John M. Gottman, Ph.D., and Nan Silver
Useful, basic, helpful ideas.
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 21 eds. Carol L. Lake, Joel O. Johnson, and Thomas M. McLoughlin
The Best American Short Stories 2003 eds. Walter Mosley and Katrina Kenison
I liked especially those by Adam Haslett, Mary Yakuri Waters and Louise Erdrich.

February, 2004
The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri
Zuckerman Unbound Philip Roth
Continuing the outrageous, funny, compassionate tale of Nathan Z.
Ocean of Words Ha Jin
Interesting stories, very well told in this PEN/Hemingway award winner.
You Are Not a Stranger Here Adam Haslett
An impressive debut, these nine wonderfully sensitive, sad but hopeful stories.
Drop City T.C. Boyle
The master does it again with this irresistible, imaginative adventure. Sixties hippie communal group meets Alaskan wilds.

March, 2004
The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol Nikolai Gogol, trans by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Entertaining, imaginative, humorous creations.
Girl with a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier
The Anatomy Lesson Philip Roth
The continuing misadventures of Nathan Zuckerman.
The Prague Orgy Philip Roth
Zuckerman trilogy epilogue.
A Relative Stranger Charles Baxter
Some good stories.
Accidents in the Home Tessa Hadley
Her first novel (2002) is an entertaining page-turner spiced with moments of clear insightfullness.

April, 2004
The Feast of Love Charles Baxter
In this uniquely and cleverly constructed National Book Award Finalist (2000), several diverse voices take turns telling their compelling intertwined stories of more or less love. Very well done.
Apetites, Why Women Want Caroline Knapp
An autobiographical inside look and feel of anorexia nervosa.
Collected Stories Saul Bellow
True gems by arguably the greatest 20th century American story writer. Inspirational afterward.

May, 2004
Islam, A Short History Karen Armstrong
Fine, explanantory introduction to the origin and development of the Islamic sects.
The Laws of Evening Mary Yukari Waters
Very nice debut collection of stories from this prize-winning writer who uncovers subtle but powerful connections of love and awareness across generations of Japanese, many indelibly if unkowingly marked by WW II.
The Actual Saul Bellow
Entertaining novella by the master.
End Zone Don DeLillo
Funny, apparently unlikely characters engaged in college football.

June, 2004
Anorexia Nervosa, A Survival Guide for Families, Friends and Sufferers Janet Treasure
A laconic, down-to-earth, to-the-point explanation of anorexia nervosa including practical things to do to help.
The Body Betrayed, A Deeper Understanding of Women, Eating Disorders, and Treatment Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D.
The Secret Language of Eating Disorders Peggy Claude-Pierre
Unconditional love helps defeat the negative mindset of anorexia nervosa.
One Man's Bible Gao Xingjian
This important semi-autobiograpical novel by a Nobel Prize (Literature) winner lets us look inside Mao Zedong's China while listening to the author's thoughts on the essence of writing.
Villa Incognito Tom Robbins
Off-the-wall wild, imaginative, clever, funny.

July, 2004
The Tragedy of Zionism, How Its Revolutionary Past Haunts Israeli Democracy Bernard Avishai
Historical, careful, cogent argument that Israel's survival depends on its ability to adopt true democracy with a constitution and a bill of rights, and, especially, its ability to finally abandon the very Zionism that inspired its formation.
Surfer's Startup: A Beginner's Guide to Surfing, Second Edition Doug Werner
Hawaii James A. Michener
Engrossing epic of the birth, growth, struggles and survival of our 50th state.
Cosmopolis Don DeLillo
Thought-provoking, artistic, stark, suspenseful, violent, modern urban anomie.

August, 2004
Walking to Martha's Vineyard Franz Wright
Very fine verse. Thoughtful, spiritual, sad and hopeful.
The Known World Edward P. Jones
A very well told and morally intricate tale of slavery in Virginia in the mid-19th century, including a focus on freed slaves some of whom have become slave-owners themselves.
The Crazed Ha Jin
Well told.

September, 2004
I Married a Communist Philip Roth
Interesting character development inside of character development in this study of the intersection of McCarthyism-politics, literature and human nature.
Instrument Pilot FAA Written Exam, Seventh Edition Irvin N. Gleim, PhD., CFII
Very helpful.

October, 2004
Nonrequired Reading Wislawa Szymborska
How fun to get to know this Nobel prize winning poet (Literature, 1996) by reading sketches inspired by books she has read.
The Instrument Flight Manual, The Instrument Rating and Beyond, Sixth Edition William K. Kershner
2002 edition. Excellent.
Love Toni Morrison
Very artfully knit tale of love, hate, tragedy, love.
Aviation Instructor's Handbook, FAA-H-8083-9 Federal Aviation Administration
1999 edition. The essential basics, well-explained.

November, 2004
Crowded with Genius, The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind James Buchan
Interesting, entertaining historical/biographical portrait of Edinburgh and it's people in the latter 18th century as the source of the intellectual foundations for much of the modern world. Very well researched/referenced with extensive footnotes in a separate section.

December, 2004
Web Pages That Suck, Learning Good Design by Looking at Bad Design Vincent Flanders and Michael Willis
Helpful basic tips.

Greg Gordon MD, CFII