Books 2003

A list of the 23 books read by me during 2003.

The Victorians
by A.N. Wilson
Pretty much all you could ever want to know about the Victorians, although there isn't enough science and engineering.

Slightly Out of Focus
by Robert Capa
Brief, punchily written account of his WWII exploits by the famous photojournalist. How come nobody has made this into a film?

The Devil's Chaplain
by Richard Dawkins
Dawkins demonstrating that he can write wonderfully sensitively, as well as rant.

Scott's Original Miscellany
by Ben Schott
Everything you never really needed to know in one handy volume.

Fingersmith
by Sarah Waters
Well plotted but slightly over-long novel: Victorian lesbians, pickpockets and pornographers—but not as racy as it sounds.

The Salmon of Doubt
by Douglas Adams
Literary loose ends by the late hitchhiker, including the start of an unfinished Dirk Gently novel.

The Song of the Dodo
by David Quammen
David Quammen travels the world, visiting endangered species.

Charles Darwin
by Cyril Aydon
A short, very readable biography of Charles Darwin.

The Little Book of Slugs
by (Ed.) Allan Shepherd & Suzanne Galant
Various wacky folk remedies for the evil that is slug. Personally, I'll stick with the slug slinging.

Programming PHP
by Rasmus Lerdorf & Kevin Tatroe
Without this book, this website would be a shadow of its current self. Highly recommended.

Granta 80: The Group
by Ian Jack (ed.)
Short pieces by various writers based on the theme The Group

Granta 81: Best Young British Novelists 2003
by Ian Jack (ed.)
Short pieces by the names to look out for during the next decade.

Of Moths & Men
by Judith Hooper
The story of how some of Bernard Kettlewell's famous peppered moth experiments contained certain flaws.

The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox
by Stephen Jay Gould
Gould's last science book. It goes on a bit, but the chapter criticising Edward O Wilson's misappropriation of the term Consilience is Gould at his best.

Granta 82: Life's Like That
by Ian Jack (ed.)
Short pieces by various writers on the theme Life's Like That.

The Rings of Saturn
by W.G. Sebald
Weird but enjoyable travelogue-meets-stream-of-consciousness.

Granta 83: Life's Like That
by Ian Jack (ed.)
Short pieces on (mostly) environmental issues.

Raw Spirit
by Iain Banks
Iain (M) Banks gets paid to travel round Scotland drinking malt whisky.

Granta 84: Over There: How America Sees the Rest of the World
by Ian Jack (ed.)
A series of essays about how Americans see the rest of us, plus some essays and fiction with the tables turned.

The Languid Goat is Always Thin: The World's Strangest Proverbs
by Stephen Arnott (Compiler)
Weird proverbs from around the world.

Don McCullin
by Don McCullin (photos)
Magnificent photojournalism.

The Complete Maus
by Art Spiegelman
The author's father's holocaust experiences, narrated in cartoons.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
by Lynne Truss
Why its important to get you're punctuation, right!