Here are my favorite seemingly unconnected (except for my love of learning) books from 2011, as part of my series, “The Year of Books.” The books with extended reviews are the ones that I rated as “5”; the ones without reviews, I rated as “4”. The reviews themselves are what I wrote at the time I read them (edited slightly for the blog).
The Alternate Title
In Which I Read about Many Unrelated Things
Count Down: Six Kids Vie for Glory at the World’s Toughest Math Competition by Steve Olson
This was a really interesting meandering discussion about genius: what that means, where it comes from, how it is nurtured. It was about the math competition but was even more about the kids who were competing.
In addition, I also enjoyed the following books in 2011:
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
At Home by Bill Bryson
Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn
Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife
Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World by Tina Rosenberg