Text Box: I've read thousands of books in my lifetime, I honestly have no idea what the total number would be. When I was young I would sometimes read multiple books per day. I still go on binges where I'll read a book a day. In some ways I wish I'd kept a list of all the books I've read, especially during my younger days. But, I didn't, and hadn't even thought of it until the "Desert Island Books" list came up. 

My favorite book from my childhood is The Mad Scientists Club by Bertrand Brinley, illustrated by Charles Geer, which I read countless times and still own three copies. 
In my teen years I read most of the classics but the book I reread the most was The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I passed on to my son. My early adult years were focused almost exclusively on fiction, especially the geopolitical genre. For the last dozen years I have read almost all non-fiction works, primarily history, science, religion and geopolitics. 

What follows is not all encompassing, just a compilation of a couple of lists that I had available and some books I could remember from the last few months.
  Douglas Hackney Recently Read Books  
  Title Author Subject Recommended Y/N Rating (1-3) Comments  
1   Two Years Before the Mast Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Life as a merchant seaman under sail Y 3 Excellent, highly recommended biographical account of two years spent by a college student recovering from measels as a common merchant seaman working the CA hide trade route.  
2   Charles Darwin Cyril Aydon Biography of Charles Darwin Y 3 Very readable introduction to Darwin's life for general audiences. Dollops of 20/20 hindsight regarding social mores and standards of the time do not fatally mar the book.   
3   Motorcycle Diaries Ernesto Guevera  Around South America as a young man Y 3 Look past the socialist and anti-American rhetoric added later and the core diary story is good. Why was it was OK for Ernesto and his friend to lie, steal and cheat their way around SA?  
4   The Patagonia Express Paul Theroux From Boston to Patagonia by Train Y 2 Paul's elitism and arrogance stains an otherwise enjoyable narrative of a journey by trains from Boston to Patagonia.   
5   Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Synthesis of mostly Buddhist thought Y 3 Character driven narrative that evolves a synthesis of primarily eastern philosophies centered around Buddhist teachings  
6   Leaving Microsoft to Change the World John Wood Software marketer drops out, saves world Y 3 Worthwhile read. At turns inspiring and insightful. Provides an interesting look into how an entrepreneur and his network of tech elites are applied to philanthropy.   
7   A Short History of Chile Sergio Villalobos Very concise version of Chilean history Y 2 Cliff notes version of Chilean history. Enough to get you started and give you the basics.   
8   Halsey's Typhoon Bob Drury and Tom Clavin Typhoon ravages the U.S. Pacific fleet Y 3 The best collection of eyewitness acounts of what happens inside a class 5 hurricane/typhoon at sea in history. Reasonably well written, good human dramas, accessable.   
9   Coal: A Human History Barbara Freese popular history of coal Y 2 Enjoyable topical level history, typical uninformed politically correct summary from someone unversed in pragmatic aspects of energy  
10   The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons John Wesley Powell first expedition down the Colorado river Y 3 Though not without artistic license, a quintessential journal of the American west prior to European settlement  
11   The Long March Sun Shuyun Mao's defining act Y 3 A re-walking by a native Chinese of the "long march" taken by Mao and the Chinese commmunist party during the revolution and discovering how much of the party's story has been fiction.  
12   Red Color News Soldier Li Zhensheng China's cultural revolution Y 3 Outstanding insight into a defining period of China's recent history  
13   The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Fiction: Growing up in Afghanistan Y 3 Book on CD; Some plot leaps of faith near the end, but a good story  
14   Lucky Man Michael J. Fox Autobiography Y 2 Book on CD; Insights into the author's rocket rise to fame and subsequent battles with addiction and Parkinson's Disease  
15   The World Is Flat Tom Friedman Globalization N 1 Book on CD; Repetitive and simply wrong on many of the details. Having lived this adventure in real time, I can't recommend this book. Tom should stick to the Middle East.  
16   A Walk In the Woods Bill Bryson Walking the Appalachian Trail N 1 Book on CD; Bryson is completely uninformed about the reality of the National Park Service and public lands in the U.S. and presents very biased and incorrect information about those subjects.
17   Measure of a Man Sidney Poitier Autobiography Y 2 Book on CD; Interesting review, especially his childhood and early life.  
18   The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Fiction: Wisdom by parable Y 3 Book on CD; Good framework for the presentation of some of life's essential wisdom.  
19   Balkan Ghosts Robert Kaplan, ISBN 0.679.74981.0   Y 3  
20   Cultures in Conflict Bernard Lewis, ISBN 0.19.510283.5   Y 3  
21   The Orthodox Church Timothy Ware, ISBN 0.14.014656.3   Y 2  
22   Liberators Robert Harvey, ISBN 1.58567.284.X   Y 2  
23   Eastward to Tartary Robert Kaplan, ISBN 0.375.50272.6   Y 3  
24   Warriors of God James Reston, Jr., ISBN 0.385.49561.7   Y 3  
25   From Beirut to Jerusalem Thomas Friedman, ISBN 0.385.41372.6   Y 3  
26   The Shaping of the Modern Middle East Bernard Lewis, ISBN 0.19.507282.0   Y 3  
27   What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis, ISBN 0.19.514420.1   Y 3  
28   The Middle East Bernard Lewis, ISBN 0.684.83280.1   Y 2  
29   A Peace to End All Peace David Fromkin, ISBN 0.8050.6884.8   Y 3  
30   Flu Gina Kolata, ISBN 0.374.15706.5   Y 2  
31   The Crisis of Islam Bernard Lewis, ISBN 0.679.64281.1   Y 2  
32   The Clash of Civilizations Samuel Huntington, ISBN 0.684.84441.9   Y 3  
33   Six Days of War Michael Oren, ISBN 0.19.515174.7   Y 3  
34   The Hot Zone Richard Preston, ISBN 0.679.43094.6   Y 2  
35   A History of God Karen Armstrong   Y 3  
36   Gypsy Moth Circles the World Francis Chichester   Y 2 Whines about Gypsy Moth too much, good history  
37   One Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road Charlie Wing   Y 2 Quick, thin and straightforward. If you read this and still hit somebody, it is your own fault.   
38   The Annapolis Book of Seamanship John Rousmaniere   Y 3+ Don't leave home without it  
39   Once is Enough Miles Smeeton   Y 3+ Off the charts. Great book about an amazing adventure & remarkable people. Transcends time.  
40   Around the World Single-Handed Harry Pidgeon   Y 2 He's from Iowa. How can you go wrong?  
41   Your First Sailboat Daniel Spurr   Y 3 Excellent book for beginners and first time owners.  
42   World Cruising Essentials Jimmy Cornell   Y 2 Based on surveys of ARC participants, so skewed to that fleet.  
43   Self Sufficient Sailor Lin and Larry Pardey   N 1 OK conceptually, but too much focus on "how to make a wooden mast from a tree" type subjects.  
44   The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge John Vigor   Y 3 You'll learn more reading John Vigor than most others.  
45   The Long Way Bernard Moitessier   Y 2 He's wacky, but a great read.   
46   Close to the Wind Pete Goss   N 1 Story of one man achieving his dream & the struggles along the way.  
47   You Can't Blow Home Again Herb Payson   N 1 Pale shadow of his first book.   
48   Single Handed Sailing Richard Henderson   Y 2 If your dream is to go out alone, read this first.   
49   The Voyager's Handbook Beth A. Leonard   Y 0 Poor effort from an overrated writer. More slick than substance and lacking veracity.  
50   Commonsense Cruising Patience Wales   N 1 Compilation of Sail magazine articles. Recycled content.  
51   How to Sail Around the World Hal Roth   Y 2 Solid work from someone who has forgotten more than Beth A Leonard will ever know.  
52   The Liveaboard Report Charlie Wing   N 1 One of the few examples of factual analysis & reporting in this entire segment.  
53   The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat John Vigor   Y 3 Don't buy a boat without reading this book.   
54   Blown Away Herb Payson   Y 3 Fun read and proof that you don't need to know much to go do this.   
55   Trekka Round the World John Guzzwell   Y 3 Guzzwell was with the Smeetons when they pitchpoled, and that was only part of this story.  
56   Alone Through the Roaring Forties Vito Dumas   Y 2 Inspiring tale of solo trip through the Southern ocean. Read this before you go down there.   
57   Fast Track to Cruising Steve and Doris Colgate   Y 2 Textbook for their certification course of the same name.   
58   How Boat Things Work Charlie Wing   Y 2 Good fundamentals book on boat systems.   
59   Sailing Fundamentals Gary Jobson   N 0 Probably the worst edited book ever printed. Riddled with spelling and grammar errors.   
60   Blue Latitudes Tony Horwitz   Y 2 Fun retracing of Cook's explorations with a minimum of 20/20 hindsight criticism & recasting.  
61   Cruising Fundamentals Harry Munns   Y 2 Textbook for ASA cruising level certification. At least they edited this level.   
62   Call of the Ancient Mariner Reese Palley   Y 2 Worth the read for anyone over 40 heading out. Entertaining style & perspective.  
63   Over the Edge of the World Laurence Bergreen   Y 2 Historical look at Magellan's voyage, worthwhile read.  
64   Coastal Navigation Mike Pyzel   Y 1 Textbook for ASA coastal nav certification. Crude construction & design. Content OK.   
65   Chart No. 1 NOAA & DOD   Y 3 A basic necessity.  
66   Heavy Weather Sailing Peter Bruce   Y 3+ Excellent compilation and update of a classic.  
67   Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts John Rousmaniere   Y 3 Read before buying a boat. Contains some of the few empirical facts and analysis in this segment.  
68   Mercator Nicholas Crane   Y 2 Dense, but excellent story of a life that impacted all that followed.  
69   Longitude Dava Sobel   Y 2 Entertaining and short story of how we can tell where we are on the planet.  
70   Oak Island and Its Lost Treasure Graham Harris and Les MacPhie   Y 2 Fun read. Who can pass up a real treasure mystery that is still unsolved?  
71   The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Samuel Bawlf   Y 2 If you are new to nautical history & personalities, this should be one you read.   
72   Rounding the Horn Dallas Murphy   N 0 He wrote about 20% of this and stole the rest. Amateurish infatuation with natives.  
73   A World of My Own Robin Knox Johnson   Y 2 Another giant of the contemporary sailing world. Worth the read so you know the history.  
74   There Be No Dragons Reese Palley   Y 2 Reese Palley has the guts to write things most don't or won't.   
75   Used Boat Notebook John Kretschmer   Y 3 Don't buy a boat without reading this book. He spent over 225k offshore miles learning the content.  
76   High Endeavours Miles Clark   Y 3 The subjects, the Smeetons, make up for the shortfalls in the writing.   
77   Marine Diesel Engines Nigel Calder   Y 3 Another home run from the master of communicating complex technical subjects.  
78   My Old Man and the Sea David and Dan Hays   Y 2 Worthwhile tale of father / son bonding while rounding the horn.   
79   One Hand for Yourself, One for the Ship Tristan Jones   Y 2 OK, so he fabricated most of his anecdotes, this one still carries good and true recommendations.  
80   Sailing Alone Around the World Joshua Slocum   Y 3+ The standard by which all others of this type are judged.  
81   Changing Course Debra Ann Cantrell   Y 3 Think your husband is nuts to drag you over the horizon on a boat? Try reading this before you kill him.