Charlie Harvey

2013: My favourite books and reading stats

Last year I did a rundown of the books I read in 2012, mostly as I wanted to play with But also, let’s face it, because my propensity to navel-gaze craves occasional indulgence. This year I repeat the experiment in a yearly roundup of my reading habits…

Reading stats

2013 was a good year for reading, I read 52 books in total, way more than the 40 I read last year and averaging out at one a week. 2013 was also the year where I started reading e-books as much as paper ones. I have always read from the screen of course, but I am now almost as likely to sit down with a PDF or ePub as with a paper book. Maybe not in the bath.

Favourite books of 2013


A tricky choice this, but in the end I went for "Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization". A bit left-field, I know, but I enjoyed it for a couple of reasons. It was brief and it touched on a whole new area of algorithims that I hadn’t even thought about before.


2013 was a year of Charles Stross reading for me, so this had to go to one of his — the fantastic steam/cyber punk romp the Bloodline feud.


Maia Ramnath’s Decolonizing Anarchism was fascinating, particularly as a history of resistance in South Asia.


I massively enjoyed Rowan Moore’s accessible meditation on architecture, Why We Build. It made me think differently about buildings.

To read in 2014

Now that I have gone and set the bar at a book a week, I suppose that 2014 will be a busy year. Books that I have stacked up include.

  • The world until yesterday, by Jared Diamond — Diamond investigates how indigenous people approach human problems like medcine, language and conflict and what we can learn from them.
  • Intensive science and virtual philosophy, by Manuel DeLanda — A dive into the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze which the blurb promises makes sense. We shall see.
  • Gödel’s Proof, by Nagel and Newman — It’s about Gödel’s proof that there are propositions that are not provable within any system and it is namechecked in Gödel, Escher, Bach. High praise indeed.
  • Happy City, by Charles Montgomery — bit of a random choice, it asks What makes a good city.
  • Resistance to Ecocide, by Stephanie McMillan — A comic book about saving the planet. I like the tagline Six friends. One planet. Two months to save it.


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