This database contains an incomplete record of all the books I've ever read. Like Georges Perec I've always been some kind of a list maniac. For many years I've kept a list of the books I read, including my rating. However, I have lost some of the original written lists from the 1980s and I didn't always include the year of reading either. And of course, I sometimes forgot to add a book. The present database is therefore almost complete.
I have excluded most of the textbooks that I studied at university. I didn't see any point in including books on linear algebra, calculus, graph theory, topology, econometrics, probability theory and time series analysis.
I did include most of the books that I read or studied while I was studying philosophy. The ratings are a mixture of my opinion at the time of reading and my current opinion. I have left Kant and Hegel unrated. For a while I was totally into post-structuralist philosophy, hence the long list of books by the likes of Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. Even though I once rated some of these books highly I have downgraded most, since my thinking has moved on.
As a child I devoured the 19th century novels on my parents' bookshelf. I remember being moved and thrilled and often feeling devastated after finishing a book and so I quickly moved on to the next. I'm not sure what I would think of any of these books now. I also read all the James Bond novels. I remember enjoying some of them more than others and thinking that some were more accomplished.
The years 1985 to 1987 consist of novels that I read or remember reading for my Dutch, English, French and German classes. While I remember enjoying some books, most of the books that we were required to read or that I chose from the list of approved books, left me indifferent. I believe that this is part of the initiation to the world of literature. You have to develop your taste. Perhaps if I were to read some of these books now I might have a different opinion.
1996 and 1997 are "the lost years" which I prefer to forget. 1998 saw a reawakening marked by my discovery of cognitive neuroscience and my rediscovery of my love for mathematics. 2005 saw the beginning of "the great catch-up". In addition to newly published books that piqued my interest I read up on the contemporary classics that I felt I should read or should have read long ago. From looking at the list I made, I expect this "project" to last until 2016, depending on how many other books I read in-between. The years from 2010 onwards can be described as "the ongoing expansion", as I'm reading non-fiction about an increasingly wide array of topics.
By default the table is ordered by year in descending order. To sort two or more columns at the same time, shift click on a column to add the clicked column as a secondary, tertiary etc. ordering column. By typing a year or author in the search field you can view all books for that year or author.
Due to limitations of space books by two authors are listed by the first author that appears on the cover.