What I’m Watching/Reading 2019

As of October 2011, I created an index of books I reviewed here. I will continue to list books I am currently reading here, but I will not attempt to write capsule reviews or even to link to them. For that you should check the index of books I reviewed. Movie Reviews will continue to be listed and annotated as before. See also my 2018 reading list,  2017 reading list,  2016 Reading/Watching List, my 2014 Reading/Watching List, my 2013 Reading/Watching List2012 Reading/Watching List, 2011 Reading/Watching List,  2010 Reading/Watching List2009 Reading/Watching List2008 Reading/Watching List , 2007 Reading/Watching List my previous Sept 2004 to Oct 2005 reading list or my Nov 2005 to Nov 2006 Reading List , so definitely check that out as well. See also my Best of 2006 for a scoop about favorites. See also Writers who have Changed Me. A few remarks. I’m reading several books at a time, and to be honest, sometimes I don’t read all of them depending on the content or my interest. Usually however, it’s been a matter of attention span and what other projects I’ve been doing. Also, you might want to check my favorite novels, and my Amazon.com wishlist. Also here’s an annotated photo of my bookshelf Also, I haven’t read most of these books, but I’ve been setting up Amazon lists of classic Texas novels (100 novels and counting). You also might enjoy reading my Amazon list of Unforgettable Forgettable Novels. Also see my Best of 2017 list. I’ve also started adding my book inventory to librarything.com. At the bottom of this page you will find a list of movies I’ve been watching.

Starting in late 2018 I started writing a weekly Robert’s Roundup column of ebook deals. This actually gives you a better idea of what I’ve been reading.


  1. Terrarium by Valerie Trueblood. Incredible compilation of short stories.
  2. Squeezed by Alissa Quart.
  3. Strangers to Superfans by David Gaughran
  4. Tiny Shoes Dancing by Audrey Kalma.
  5. Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe by Steven Novella
  6. Success with the gentle art of verbal self-defense . Suzette Haden Elgin
  7. Stories by Frank O’Connor
  8. What Confucius Really said. By Chris Wen-chao Li. Irreverent translation of Analects using US idiom and pop culture references.
  9. Four Chinese Classics. Translated by David Hinton. Considered the best translations.
  10. 55, Underemployed and Faking Normal by Elizabeth White.
  11. Power of Delight: Lifetime in Literature, Essays 1962-2002 by John Bayley.
  12. Philosophical Detective by Bruce Hartman
  13. Hell and Back: Reflections on Writers and Writers (compilation of essays) by Tim Parks
  14. Process: Writing Lives of Great Authors by Sarah Stodola
  15. Teaching College by Norman Eng
  16. How Not to be wrong by Jordan Ellenberg
  17. Mania by Ronald Collins and David Skover
  18. Novel: Survival Skill by Tim Parks. (Gosh, I need to start reading some fiction!)
  19. Nothing Gold can Stay by Ron Rash
  20. Clem Anderson by R.V. Cassill
  21. Ends of the World by Peter Brannen
  22. Falter by Bill McKibben
  23. Pictures of the Journey Back by Jack Matthews. Light-hearted early novel (More).
  24. Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics, edited by Theodore de Bary.
  25. Another Shot. Joe Kita.
  26. Teaching Brain by Vanessa Rodriguez
  27. Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart
  28. Authentic Confucius by Annping Chin.
  29. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee
  30. How to Kill Hitler by Andrew Stanek. Very clever comedy sci-fi.
  31. Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration and the Artistic Process. Edited by Joe Fossler
  32. Falter by Bill McKibben. Brilliant as usual.
  33. My Heart for Hostage by Robert Hillyer.
  34. Jesuit Guide to (almost) everything by James Martin.
  35. I never met a story I didn’t like by Todd Snider.
  36. Monarchy of Fear by Martha Nussbaum
  37. Squeezed: why our families can’t afford America by Alissa Quart.
  38. Beauty and the Inferno. Essays by Roberto Saviano
  39. Sampled various things by Harvey Havel
  40. Best. Movie. Year. Ever by Brian Raftery. 1999
  41. Emanuel poems
  42. Physics of Sunset by Janet Vandenburg. A great California novel with social satire,
  43. The art of X-ray reading : how the secrets of 25 great works of literature will improve your writing
  44. World We Imagine (essays) by Mark Schorer
  45. Nothing Remains the Same by Wendy Lesser. Great litcrit.
  46. Art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli
  47. Pocket history of sex in 20th century by Jane Vendenburg
  48. Memories of the White House by Col. William H.
  49. Click here to kill everybody by Bruce Schneier
  50. Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills. Insightful guide to writing.
  51. Connecting the Coincidence by Bernard Breitman
  52. Pocket History of Sex in the 20th century by Jane Vandenburgh
  53. Vaclav Havel: Civil Responsibility in the Postmodern Age by James F. Pontuso; Political philosophy comes to Rick’s : Casablanca and American civic culture
  54. Memoirs of Elias Canetti: The Tongue Set Free, The Torch in My Ear, The Play of the Eyes
  55. Various collections by Rose Maru
  56. American Amnesia by Jacob and Paul Pierson
  57. Vaclav Havel — plays.
  58. Jane Yolen. How to fracture a fairy tale.
  59. Exhalation by Ted Chiang
  60. How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley
  61. Maggie Brown & others by Peter Orner.
  62. 1941: Year Germany lost the war. by Andrew Nagorski. Not serious history (it’s written by a journalist), but still a great narrative which explores Hitler’s tactical and strategic mistakes.
  63. 1001 Movies you must see before you die, Edited by Steven Jay Schneider.
  64. Quirky: remarkable story of traits, foibles and genius of breathingtaking innnovators.
  65. Philosophy of Ruin by Nicholaus Mancusi
  66. Becoming Superman by Michael Stracynski. Wow, readable memoir.
  67. End of Europe by James Kirchick
  68. Galileo’s Mistake by Wade Rowland
  69. Hype by Nina Shapiro
  70. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (considered to be one of the best cli fi novels).
  71. Hitler’s Furies by Wendy Lower
  72. Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
  73. Autobiography of Red
  74. Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
  75. Battleborn
  76. Man vs. Nature by Diane Cook
  77. Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind. Siri Hustveldt


  1. Shape of Water. Mediocre adult version of ET with some interspecies smooching going on. The quirky nostalgia makes it somewhat watchable.
  2. Red Dwarf Season 6. (Rewatched). As brilliant as remembered, though Season 7 flags a bit.
  3. Will and Grace Season 1.
  4. Laurel and Hardy collection.
  5. Talledega Nights (for third time)
  6. Game Night
  7. Jeffersons TV show Seasons 1 and 2
  8. Irish Rebellion. PBS Documentary.
  9. Happy-go-lucky. Mike Leigh starring Sally Hawkins of Shape of Water fame (She’s funny and very expressive). Now one of my alltime fave movies.
  10. Will and Grace Season 2.
  11. Quakser has a cousin in the Bronx
  12. Monty Python season 1
  13. Rewatched Life of Brian and Holy Grail
  14. Continuum, Netflix series. Update: In Season 3, and I’m really liking this sci fi thriller!
  15. Knock down the house. Netflix special about progressive Dems.
  16. When they see us. Dramatization about Central Park Five.
  17. Derry Girls.
  18. Chernobyl. Dramatization.
  19. Dead to us.
  20. Kim’s Convenience. Canadian sitcom.
  21. Guilty dir by Gustav Möller. (Police thriller about phone dispatcher).
  22. Time Lapse, Again.
  23. Doctor Who Season 10. Much better than previous seasons. Aha, am watching Season 11 now.
  24. Ben is Back (starring Julia Roberts). Fine script and acting, good family drama (with minor complaints).
  25. Yesterday (at the cinema!) Fun but mediocre movie about life without the Beatles, some nice touches thrown in though.
  26. Wendy and Lucy
  27. Rhinoceros, film version starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel.
  28. Rosehaven. Delightful sitcom about Tasmanian real estate agents!
  29. What we do in the shadows. The TV series is just as good as the movie!
  30. Stan & Ollie. Good biopic.
  31. Stress and the Body (Great Courses). I watched the entire series while packing and moving!
  32. They shall not grow old. Peter Jackson. Amazing documentary reconstructing WW1 footage.
  33. Black Klansman
  34. Star Trek Discovery (TV series)
  35. Last Black Man in San Francisco
  36. Hate U Give.
  37. Bodyguard TV series
  38. The Boys.. Israeli/Palestinian tv series
  39. Funny Ha Ha
  40. Night in Casablanca
  41. Late Night starring Mindy Kaling
  42. Green Book. I loved this movie and thought the accusations against it were wrong-headed.
  43. Goliath TV series (Amazon Prime). Season 3. Legal Procedural in Twin Peaks style.
  44. Golden Girls (season 1)
  45. Casablanca (again)
  46. Luce
  47. The Crown (Season 3)
  48. Marriage Story. Baumbach and Company
  49. Better than Us
  50. Dollar (Lebanese series on Netflix)
  51. Bandersnatch
  52. Into thin air. Well done 1985 made-for-TV movie about a missing teenager starring Ellen Burstyn.
  53. Brian Banks
  54. Klute. Ugh, boring, dated!
  55. Late Night. Overrated Mindy Kaling/Emma Thompson comedy.
  56. Good Boys. Overrated comedy about middle school boys. It did end at a good place, and some of the adventures were fun, but that is all.
  57. Booksmart. Latest incarnation of nerds-becoming-cool, except this time the nerds are girls.
  58. Get Smart. Season 1. Still brilliant!
  59. Searching directed by Aneesh Chaganty