It’s time for one of my sporadic “Books Read” posts (last one was Books Read 2019-2020).

Favorite Books of 2022

Nonfiction: Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America

Amazon link

For a number of years now I’ve been making my way through presidential biographies. Last year I tackled Polk and Coolidge. I was lucky to pick two good books, but I’m giving the edge to Polk.

James Polk was an interesting president. Almost forgotten today, he was instrumental in transforming the executive branch and expanding the country. While his expansions were questionably moral by today’s standards, he did succeed in adding Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of other states to the United States. He went to war with Mexico and almost went to war with Great Britain to achieve these territories. Walter Borneman’s biography was excellent and entertaining.

In 2023, I plan to read biographies of Zachary Taylor and Herbert Hoover. I’ve been using the website My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies to guide me in my book selection.

Favorite Books of 2021

Nonfiction: A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918

Amazon link

World War I is one of those areas of world history that I don’t know much about, and I’ve been on a multi-year, multi-book reading spree to learn more. This book is a great overview of the entire conflict.

Fiction: All Quiet on the Western Front

Amazon link

My World War I reading exercise also expanded to include fiction. This is the classic novel about a young German man fighting in the trenches. Horrible and powerful.

2022: The Complete List


  1. The Restless Northwest: A Geological Story
  2. Flow
  3. The Bar
  4. The Snow Leopard
  5. The War of Art
  6. Geology of Death Valley National Park
  7. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
  8. A Trip Through Death Valley’s Geologic Past
  9. Managing Humans
  10. Australia: A Timeless Grandeur
  11. Hawai’i: The Big Island Revealed
  12. A Peace to End All Peace
  13. A Pocket Guide to Hawai’i Land of Volcanoes
  14. The U.S. Navy
  15. Explore the Geology of Kīlauea Volcano
  16. Ready for Anything
  17. Coolidge: An American Enigma
  18. Feck Perfunction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life
  19. Slide:ology
  20. Let’s Get Lost
  21. Prophetic Kingdom
  22. Particle Physics for Non-Physicists (audiobook)
  23. The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11 (audiobook)


  1. The Princess Bride
  2. The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
  3. The Fires of Azeroth
  4. Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins (Series I, II)
  5. The Smoke Ring
  6. The War of the Jewels
  7. Monsters & Creatures
  8. The Golden Torc
  9. Dr. No
  10. Blood of Tyrants
  11. Feet of Clay (DiscWorld)
  12. Swords in the Mist
  13. MOAR! Monsters Know What They’re Doing

2021: The Complete List


  1. The Crofter and the Laird
  2. The Problem with Muses
  3. The Art of Happiness
  4. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918
  5. The Joy of Mixology
  6. Our Magnificent Planet 2020
  7. The Effective Hiring Manager
  8. Jazz for Dummies
  9. Start Ugly
  10. President Without a Party: The Life of John Tyler
  11. Albert Watson: Creating Photographs
  12. The Essential Cocktail Book
  13. Warren G. Harding
  14. Tapas
  15. The Happiness Project
  16. One-pot Vegetarian Meals
  17. History of Eastern Europe (audiobook)
  18. Mr. Lincoln: The Life of Abraham Lincoln (audiobook)
  19. The Vikings (audiobook)


  1. Dungeon Master’s Guide
  2. Princes of the Apocalypse
  3. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  4. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
  5. The Many-Colored Land
  6. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
  7. Volo’s Guide to Monsters
  8. Crucible of Gold
  9. Stalin’s Hammer: Paris
  10. Swords against Death
  11. All Quiet on the Western Front
  12. Moving Pictures (DiscWorld)
  13. The Monsters Know What They’re Doing
  14. From Russia with Love
  15. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
  16. Eragon
  17. Live to Tell the Tale
  18. A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park

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