For anyone interested, I’ve rated these books as follows:

5/5 = EXCELLENT

1/5 = POOR

I started this list in Ghana, West Africa, 2008.

Of course, this list is completely subjective.  I’m no sycophant, so if a book didn’t engage me thoroughly (THROUGHOUT) then I won’t give it five stars.  But that’s not to say I disliked a book where three stars are awarded.  Oh, and I never rate a book unless I’ve read it fully — from cover to cover.

The books furnishing our rooms tell the story of our lives.

Here’s mine…

1 – The Trial by Franz Kafka – 3/5

2 – Human Rights:  A Very Short Introduction, by Andrew Clapham – 4/5

3 – Teach Yourself Politics by Peter Joyce – 4/5

4 – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow – 3/5

5 – The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare – 3/5 [preferred it live]

6 – The Chamber by John Grisham – 4/5

7 – Little Bird by Camilla Way – 2/5

8 – The Appeal by John Grisham – 5/5

The Appeal

Loved it !

9 – 1984 by George Orwell – 5/5

1984

Loved it !

10 – The Innocent Man by John Grisham – 4/5

11 – Barack Obama:  Dreams From My Father [AUDIO] – 3/5

12 – YES WE CAN:  Speeches of Barack Obama [AUDIO] – 5/5

Yes We Can

Loved it !

13 – The Inferno of Dante (Mandelbaum translation, non-rhyming) – 4/5
… It pays to read this with the “Cliffs Notes” companion book.

14 – Paradise Lost by John Milton – 5/5
… It pays to read this with the “Cliffs Notes” companion book.

Paradise Lost

Loved it !

15 – The Inferno of Dante (Ciardi translation, rhyming) – 5/5
… It pays to read this with the “Cliffs Notes” companion book.

Inferno

Loved it !

16 – For Love of Evil by Piers Anthony – 3/5

17 – The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels – 3/5

18 – Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka – 4/5

19 – In the Penal Colony (and other stories) by Franz Kafka – 4/5

20 – Animal Farm by George Orwell – 5/5

Animal Farm

Loved it !

21 – Paradise Regained by John Milton – 2/5

22 – The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (the Fitzgerald translation) – 3/5

23 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (the Mauldon translation) – 2/5

24 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – 3/5

25 – Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – 3/5

26 – Demon:  A Memoir, by Tosca Lee – 3/5

27 – The Associate by John Grisham – 3/5

28 – The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly – 5/5

Lincoln Lawyer

Loved it !

29 – The Brethren by John Grisham – 3/5

30 – The Confession by John Grisham – 3/5

31 – The Essential Words and Writings of Clarence Darrow – 5/5

Essential Darrow

Loved it !

32 – Crime:  Its Cause and Treatment, by Clarence Darrow – 5/5

Crime

Loved it !

33 – Lord of the Flies by William Golding – 4/5

34 – Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman – 3/5

35 – The Path to Pupillage by Georgina Wolfe & Alexander Robson – 4/5

36 – Law and Disorder:  Confessions of a Pupil Barrister, by Tim Kevan – 3/5

37 – The Art of War by Sun Tzu (the Giles translation) – 3/5

38 – The Metrosexual Guide to Style by Michael Flocker – 4/5

39 – American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – 3/5

40 – “… through the fire” by Charles Bukowski – 3/5

41 – Hamlet by William Shakespeare – 2/5 [preferred it live]

42 – The Street Lawyer by John Grisham – 3/5

43 – Debating the Death Penalty by Bedau & Cassell – 5/5

Death Penalty

Loved it !

44 – Just Law by Helena Kennedy – 5/5

Just Law

Loved it !

45 – Law School:  Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold, by Thane Messinger – 3/5

46 – Tony Blair:  A Journey – 3/5

47 – The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (the Cole translation) – 3/5

48 – On Liberty by John Stuart Mill – 4/5

49 – The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine – 3/5

50 – Common Sense by Thomas Paine – 5/5

Common Sense

Loved it !

51 – Barack Obama:  The Audacity of Hope [AUDIO] – 5/5

Hope

Loved it !

52 – Bad Men:  Guantanamo Bay and the Secret Prisons, by Clive Stafford Smith – 5/5

Bad Men

Loved it !

53 – Never Give In:  Winston Churchill’s Greatest Speeches [AUDIO] – 4/5

54 – H.G. Wells on The Rights of Man – 5/5

Rights of Man

Loved it !

55 – A Bill of Rights for Britain by Ronald Dworkin – 5/5

Bill of Rights

Loved it !

56 – The Politics of the Judiciary by J.A.G. Griffith – 3/5

57 – Euthanasia:  The Good Death, by Ludovic Kennedy – 3/5

58 – Parliament:  The Great British Democracy Swindle, by Adam Lively – 4/5

59 – Kings and Queens of Britain by Charles Phillips – 3/5

60 – Sir William Garrow:  His Life, Times and Fight for Justice, Hostettler & Braby – 4/5

61 – The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells – 5/5

War of Worlds

Loved it !

62 – From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp – 3/5

63 – Torture Taxi by Paglen & Thompson – 3/5

64 – The Silent State by Heather Brooke – 4/5

65 – The Berlin Wall Story:  Biography of a Monument, by Hans-Hermann Hertle – 4/5

66 – A Call To Conscience:  The Landmark Speeches of Dr Martin Luther King Jr – 5/5

Call to Conscience

Loved it !

67 – The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham – 5/5

Rule of Law

Loved it !

68 – Peter Schlemihl by AV Chamisso (Loewenstein-Wertheim translation) – 4/5

69 – Agrarian Justice by Thomas Paine – 5/5

Agrarian Justice

Loved it !

70 – Rights and Wrongs:  Some Essays on Human Rights, by Christopher R. Hill – 3/5

71 – The People’s Rights by Winston Churchill – 3/5

72 – Hitler & Churchill:  Secrets of Leadership, by Andrew Roberts – 3/5

73 – The Last Day of a Condemned Man by Victor Hugo (Moncrieff translation) – 4/5

74 – Justice for Hedgehogs by Ronald Dworkin – 3/5

75 – Objectivity:  A Very Short Introduction, by Stephen Gaukroger – 3/5

76 – Why I Write by George Orwell – 4/5

77 – In My Own Words by Mahatma Gandhi – 4/5

78 – Communism:  A Very Short Introduction, by Leslie Holmes – 4/5

79 – Understanding Marx by Gill Hands – 4/5

80 – Marxism:  A Graphic Guide, by Rupert Woodfin & Oscar Zarate – 4/5

81 – The Wind From The Sun (18 stories) by Arthur C. Clarke – 4/5

82 – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – 2/5

83 – Churchill Remembered by Mark Jones [AUDIO] – 3/5

84 – Political Philosophy:  A Graphic Guide, by Dave Robinson & Judy Groves – 4/5

85 – Injustice:  Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America, Clive Stafford Smith – 5/5

Injustice

Loved it !

86 – The Discipline of Law by Lord Denning – 4/5

87 – Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer by Michael Mansfield – 3/5

88 – The Devil’s Advocate by Iain Morley QC – 5/5

Devil

Loved it !

89 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 3/5

90 – The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (the Bull translation) – 4/5

91 – Marx by Peter Singer – 5/5

Marx

Loved it !

92 – Alienation:  An introduction to Marx’s theory, by Dan Swain – 5/5

Marxist Alienation

Loved it !

93 – The Story of Che Guevara by Lucía Álvarez de Toledo – 4/5

94 – The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara – 5/5

Motorcycle

Loved it !

95 – Guerrilla Warfare by Che Guevara – 4/5

96 – Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton – 5/5

Marx was Right

Loved it !

97 – The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig – 3/5

98 – The Art of Cross-Examination by Francis Wellman – 4/5

99 – The Art of the Advocate by Richard Du Cann – 4/5

100 – Code by Lawrence Lessig – 3/5

101 – Garrow’s Law:  The BBC Drama Revisited, by John Hostettler – 4/5

102 – The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly – 4/5

103 – A Time to Kill by John Grisham [AUDIO] – 3/5

104 – Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay – 3/5

105 – The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – 3/5

106 – Our Universe:  The Solar System, by Ken Grimes – 4/5

107 – A Beginner’s Guide to Astronomy by David Geddes – 3/5

108 – All About Space:  Astronomy for Beginners (“bookazine”) – 5/5

Astronomy

Loved it !

109 – New Astronomer by Carole Stott – 4/5

110 – Astronomy Now:  Saturn — Exploring the Ringed Planet (“bookazine”) – 4/5

111 – The Moon:  a biography, by David Whitehouse – 3/5

112 – Jupiter and How to Observe It, by John W. McAnally – 3/5

113 – The Iron Sun:  Crossing the Universe through Black Holes, by Adrian Berry – 5/5

Iron Sun

Loved it !

114 – Why Does E=mc– by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw [AUDIO] – 3/5

115 – Patrick Moore on Mars – 4/5

116 – Tales of Ten Worlds (15 stories) by Arthur C. Clarke – 3/5

117 – Guide to the Night Sky by Patrick Moore – 4/5

118 – Venus:  A Shrouded Mystery, by Isaac Asimov – 4/5

119 – Mercury:  The Quick Planet, by Isaac Asimov – 4/5

120 – Uranus:  The Sideways Planet, by Isaac Asimov – 4/5

121 – Neptune:  The Farthest Giant, by Isaac Asimov – 4/5

122 – A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking – 3/5

123 – Wonders of the Solar System by Brian Cox & Andrew Cohen – 4/5

124 – Amateur Astronomer by Antonín Rükl (the Kuthanová translation) – 3/5

125 – GCSE Astronomy (4th edition) by Nigel Marshall – 4/5

126 – The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty – 5/5

Exorcist

Loved it !

127 – Scientific American:  A Matter of Time (Special Edition, 2014) – 3/5

128 – Einstein’s Mirror by Tony Hey & Patrick Walters – 4/5

129 – The Quantum Universe by Tony Hey & Patrick Walters – 3/5

130 – Understand Physics:  Teach Yourself, by Jim Breithaupt – 3/5

131 – Physics For Dummies (2nd edition) by Steven Holzner, PhD – 3/5

132 – Isaac Newton (biography) by James Gleick – 3/5

133 – Newton (biography) by Peter Ackroyd – 4/5

134 – Einstein’s Universe by Nigel Calder – 4/5

135 – 2001:  A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke – 5/5

2001

Loved it !

136 – Guide to Halley’s Comet by Isaac Asimov – 4/5

137 – Expedition to Earth (11 stories) by Arthur C. Clarke – 4/5

138 – The Joy of X, by Steven Strogatz – 3/5

139 – Thinking in Numbers:  How Maths Illuminates Our Lives, by Daniel Tammet – 3/5

140 – The Secret Lives of Numbers by Michael Millar – 3/5

141 – Physics:  Illustrated History of the Foundations of Science, by Tom Jackson – 3/5

142 – The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow – 5/5

Grand Design

Loved it !

143 – How To Think Like Stephen Hawking by Daniel Smith – 5/5

How To

Loved it !

144 – The Wonder of Brian Cox (biography) by Ben Falk – 3/5

145 – The Search for Planet X (1962), by Tony Simon – 5/5

Planet X

Loved it !

146 – Quantum Theory:  A Graphic Guide, by JP McEvoy & Oscar Zarate – 4/5

147 – 50 physics ideas you really need to know, by Joanne Baker – 4/5

148 – Black Holes and Baby Universes (and other essays) by Stephen Hawking – 4/5

149 – ‘What is Life?’ (with ‘Mind and Matter’) by Erwin Schrödinger – 3/5

150 – Principia:  Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, by Isaac Newton – 2/5
… I confess:  I was inspired by Principia, though most of it went over my head!

151 – Six Easy Pieces by Richard P. Feynman – 5/5

Six

Loved it !

152 – Six Not-So-Easy Pieces by Richard P. Feynman – 3/5

153 – The Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter – 2/5

154 – 2010:  Odyssey Two, by Arthur C. Clarke – 4/5

155 – 10 Physicists Who Transformed Our Understanding of Reality, Evans & Clegg – 4/5

156 – “Can You Feel The Force?” by Richard Hammond – 4/5

157 – Cosmos by Carl Sagan – 4/5

158 – My Brief History:  A Memoir, by Stephen Hawking [AUDIO] – 4/5

159 – Simply Einstein:  Relativity Demystified, by Richard Wolfson – 5/5

Simply

Loved it !

160 – Black Holes:  The BBC Reith Lectures, by Stephen Hawking – 5/5

Black Holes

Loved it !

161 – On Natural Selection (extract from The Origin of Species), Charles Darwin – 3/5

162 – The Boon of the Atom by George Bankoff – 4/5

163 – New Scientist:  The Quantum World (“bookazine”) – 5/5

Quantum

Loved it !

164 – The Quantum Universe by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw – 3/5

165 – The Universe:  a biography, by John Gribbin – 3/5

166 – Adventures of Mr Tompkins #1, Gamow & Steele (Science Graphic Novel) – 3/5

167 – Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli – 5/5

7

Loved it !

168 – The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking – 3/5

169 – Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe by J. Richard Gott – 4/5

170 – Black Holes, Wormholes & Time Machines by Jim Al-Khalili – 5/5

Wormholes

Loved it !

171 – Wonders of the Universe by Brian Cox & Andrew Cohen – 5/5

Wonders

Loved it !

172 – “Black Holes:  The End of the Universe?” by John Taylor – 3/5

173 – The Periodic Table in Minutes by Dan Green – 2/5

174 – The Reversal by Michael Connelly – 4/5

175 – TED TALKS:  The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, Chris Anderson – 4/5

176 – The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly – 4/5

177 – The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly – 4/5

178 – The Rainmaker by John Grisham – 4/5

179 – The Crossing by Michael Connelly – 4/5

180 – The Firm by John Grisham – 3/5

181 – Five on Brexit Island (Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups), by Bruno Vincent – 1/5

182 – Will The Revolution Be Televised? (Marxist analysis of the media), Molyneux – 5/5

Revolution

Loved it !

183 – The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice – 3/5

184 – The Best of Rumpole by John Mortimer – 4/5

185 – Pupillage Inside Out:  How to succeed as a pupil barrister, Sokol & McArdle – 4/5

186 – The Golden Rules of Advocacy by Keith Evans – 5/5

Advocacy

Loved it !

187 – Taking Rights Seriously by Ronald Dworkin – 3/5 [I skimmed the appendix]

188 – Tales of the Unexpected (volume 2) by Roald Dahl – 3/5

189 – 2061:  Odyssey Three, by Arthur C. Clarke – 3/5

190 – 3001:  The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke – 3/5

191 – Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke – 2/5

192 – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (aged 13 ¾), by Sue Townsend – 3/5

193 – The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, by Belle de Jour – 2/5

194 – Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice – 4/5

195 – Dracula by Bram Stoker [AUDIO] – 3/5

196 – The Phone Goes Dead (2 stories) by Anthony Horowitz – 3/5

197 – The Concept of Law by H.L.A. Hart – 3/5

198 – Bringing History to Life:  Bloody Revolutions (“bookazine”) – 3/5

199 – Cherie Blair:  Speaking For Myself – 3/5

200 – Defending the Guilty by Alex McBride – 4/5

201 – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck [AUDIO] – 5/5

Mice and Men

Loved it !

202 – Alastair Campbell:  The Blair Years [AUDIO] – 3/5

203 – Thomas Erskine and Trial by Jury, by John Hostettler – 4/5

204 – Outliers:  The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell – 5/5

Outliers

Loved it !

205 – Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury – 3/5

206 – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – 3/5

207 – The Justice Game by Geoffrey Robertson [AUDIO] – 4/5

208 – Fascism:  A Graphic Guide, by Stuart Hood & Litza Jansz – 4/5

209 – Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl (Massotty translation) [AUDIO] – 4/5

210 – Chavs:  The Demonization of the Working Class, by Owen Jones [AUDIO] – 4/5

211 – Margaret Thatcher:  The Autobiography [AUDIO] – 3/5

212 – Anarchy in Action by Colin Ward – 3/5

213 – Famous Trials of Marshall Hall by Edward Marjoribanks – 5/5
… Before reading, it pays to watch the BBC drama, “Shadow of the Noose.”

Marshall Hall

Loved it !

214 – Che Guevara:  Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War [AUDIO] – 4/5

215 – The Republic by Plato (Griffith translation) [AUDIO] – 5/5

The Republic

Loved it !

216 – Magna Carta … The Road to the Rule of Law, by Robin Griffith-Jones – 4/5

217 – The First Rumpole Omnibus by John Mortimer – 4/5

218 – Four Books of Pope’s Iliad:  I, VI, XXII & XXIV (abridged text) – 5/5
… It pays to read this with the “Cliffs Notes” companion book.

Iliad

Loved it !

 

_______________________________

_______________________________

 

Today marks the start of November 2017.  I began this list in October 2008.  Thus, in the space of 9 years, I’ve managed to read 218 books.  Of that number, 17 were audiobooks — usually enjoyed on long drives in my car.

In a few days, I will commence pupillage at the Bar.  Time will be short from now on, though I will strive to keep reading books for pleasure.  In fact, I’ll probably start a new (post-pupillage) reading list.  But the current list ends here.

I’m proud to have read many of the works listed above, and consider this a significant personal achievement.  If I now had to nominate ten books from this list to keep me entertained on a desert island, I’d surely pick:

  • Paradise Lost (Milton)
  • The Iliad (Homer)
  • Common Sense (Paine)
  • Why Marx Was Right (Eagleton)
  • The Republic (Plato)
  • The Rule of Law (Bingham)
  • The Devil’s Advocate (Morley)
  • Wonders of the Universe (Cox & Cohen)
  • Simply Einstein:  Relativity Demystified (Wolfson)
  • Black Holes, Wormholes & Time Machines (Al-Khalili)

… since these call for deeper thought.  They were also hugely inspiring to me.  So, like-minded souls are encouraged to check out my top ten (except The Devil’s Advocate, which I’d recommend for aspiring trial lawyers only).

Happy Reading!

 

 

OTHERS I RECALL ENJOYING SINCE CHILDHOOD …

— Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
— The Twits by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
— The Witches by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
— Ghostly Companions by Vivien Alcock [AUDIO]
— Star Trek:  The Motion Picture (novel), by Gene Roddenberry
— Star Trek V:  The Final Frontier (novel), by J.M. Dillard
— The Gift by Danielle Steel
— Teen Spirit:  The Stories Behind Every Nirvana Song, by Chuck Crisafulli
— Nirvana:  A Tribute – The Life and Death of Kurt Cobain, by Suzi Black
— Oasis by Lee Henshaw
— I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
— The Lucifer Code by Michael Cordy
— The Satanic Bible by LaVey & Gilmore [not that I worshipped Satan!]
— Tale of the Gator:  The Craig Bodzianowski Story, by Mike Fitzgerald
— Born to be King:  The rise of Prince Naseem Hamed, by Ian Stafford
— Frank Bruno:  From Zero to Hero, by Frank Bruno & Norman Giller
— Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
— Nemesis by Isaac Asimov
— The Commitments by Roddy Doyle