What did you read in 2018?

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What did you read in 2017?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 15:57 (one year ago) link

Just read Friday Black, which is like Black Mirror if it was good and trenchant. Also just read the Peter Grant bio, which was boilerplate and boring.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 15:59 (one year ago) link

Its gotten worse this year. Just less and less engagement at times...although I found some good new-ish voices (Koeppen, Gillian Rose, Murnane, Christa Wolf, some Ancient Chinese poetry, Anne Carson) and read more English literature - from its highest peaks (Milton, Burton's Anatomy kinda saved me, and Browne) and will carry on engaging with its comedic right-wingers variant (Powell et al.) just in time for *checks notes* Brexit.

Lazlo Krasznahorkai - War and War*
Franz Fuhman - At the Burning Abyss: Reading the Trakl Poem
Osip Mandelstam - The Collected Critical Prose and Letters
Simone De Beauvoir - Forces of Circumstance
Dubravka Ugresic - The Ministry of Pain
Marlen Haushofer - The Loft
William Carlos Willians - Journey to Pagany*
Wolfgang Koeppen - A Sad Affair
Antonio Tabucchi - Indian Nocturne
August Strindberg - By the Open Sea
Sylvia Plath - Letters Home
UR Ananthamurthy - Bhava
Antonio Di Benedetto - Nest in the Bones
Carlo Gadda - The Experience of Pain
Marina Tsvetaeva - Earthly Signs
Gillian Rose - Love's Work
Toni Morrison - Sula
Eduardo Corazinsky - The Bride from Odessa*
Leonardo Sciascia - One Way or Another
J.K. Huysmans - Drifting*
Marguerite Duras - Practicalities
Abelard and Heloise - Letters*
Andrei Platonov - The Return
Flann O'Brien - Myles Away from Dublin*
Philip K Dick - We Can Remember it for You Wholesale
Roberto Bolano - The Insufferable Gaucho
Antonio Tabucchi - Requiem
Hilda Hilst - Letters from a Seducer
Ingeborg Bachmann - Malina
Joao Gilberto Noll - Quiet Creature on the Corner
Juan Benet - Return to Region
Sergio Pitol - The Magician of Vienna
Josef Winkler - Graveyeard of Bitter Oranges
Paul Celan - Complete Prose
Chateaubriand - Memoirs from Beyond the Grave
The Penguin Book of Yoga*
Wolfgang Hilbig - I
Gyula Krudy - Knight of the Cordon Bleu
Louis Labe - Love Poems and Elegies
Anne Carson - The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos
Anne Carson - Glass and God
Szilard Borbely - Berlin-Hamlet
Durs Grunbein - Selected*
Friedrich Holderlin - Hymms and Fragments
Anne Carson - Red Doc >
Geoffrey Hill - Selected
The Bronte Sisters - Selected
Antonio Tabucchi - The Edge of the Horizon
John Milton - Lycidas/Samson Agonistes/Paradise Regained/Translations
Robert Burton - Anatomy of Melancholy
Dante - The New Life
Sir Thomas Browne - Religio Medici
Poems of the Late T'ang
Dag Solstad - Armand V
Gerald Murnane - The Plains
Maeve Brennan - The Visitor
Junichiro Tanizaki - A Cat, A Man and Two Women
Bae Suah - A Greater Music
Umberto Saba - Ernesto
Yoel Hoffmannn - The Sound of One Hand 281 Zen Koans with Answers*
Giuseppe di Lampedusa - Two Stories & A Memory
Helen DeWitt - Some Trick
Anthony Powell - Afternoon Men
Dezso Kosztolanyi - Anna Edes
Anthony Powell - Venusberg
Thomas Bernhard - The Lime Works
Dag Solstad - T Singer
Juan Rulfo - The Plain in Flames
Ilse Aichinger - The Bound Man
Natalia Ginzburg - All Our Yesterdays
Gert Jonke - The System of Vienna
Christa Wolf - Cassandra
Violette Leduc - La Batarde*
Sir Thomas Wyatt - Complete*

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 16:07 (one year ago) link

* not finished/gave up

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 16:07 (one year ago) link

I only recently made a Goodreads account so I could keep track of this stuff, although I'm fairly certain I've forgotten stuff I read before that point.

Timothy Blanning, The Pursuit of Glory: The Five Revolutions that Made Modern Europe, 1648-1815
Taylor Branch, At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Octavia Butler, Seed to Harvest
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
Toni Morrison, Sula
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man
Rick Perlstein, Nixonland
Clara Reeve, The Old English Baron
Clay Risen, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men/A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Currently reading:
William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice

Still reading sporadically:
Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution: A History
Brian Copenhaver, The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment
Lord Dunsany, In the Land of Time

I have a large stack of early Gothic novels and Romantic poetry collections on the docket for the new year.

my hand is finally unglued from my face (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 16:18 (one year ago) link

I kept track this year. I hoped to get through more, but my pace of reading fluctuated a lot. Maybe I can hit 40 over the holiday break.

Molière – Le Misanthrope
Marcel Proust – La Prisonnière
Christopher Faulkner – Jean Renoir: A Conversation with his Films 1894-1979
Alexander Sesonske – Jean Renoir: The French Films, 1924-1939 (chs. 10, 16-21)
William Shakespeare – The Tempest
William Shakespeare – As You Like It
Marcel Proust – Albertine disparue
Marcel Proust – Le Temps retrouvé
E. H. Gombrich – The Story of Art
Malcolm Bowie – Proust Among the Stars
P. G. Wodehouse – Joy in the Morning
Jane Austen – Sense and Sensibility
Alexandre Dumas – Les Trois Mousquetaires
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
Aeschylus (tr. Robert Fagles) – The Oresteia
Mark Twain – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
George D. Painter – Marcel Proust: A Biography
Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
Alain-Fournier – Le Grand Meaulnes
Philip Roth – Patrimony
P. G. Wodehouse – The Code of the Woosters
Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White
P. G. Wodehouse – Right Ho, Jeeves
Marcel Proust – Du côté de chez Swann
Joshua Landy – Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust
George Eliot – Middlemarch
Barry Stroud – The Significance of Philosophical Skepticism
Claire-Louise Bennett – Pond
Marcel Proust (tr. Scott Moncrieff/Kilmartin) – Within a Budding Grove
Caroline Weber – Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris
Timothy Snyder – Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
Roger Shattuck – Proust’s Binoculars: A Study of Memory, Time, and Recognition in A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The House of the Seven Gables
Marcel Proust (tr. Scott Moncrieff/Kilmartin) – The Guermantes Way
Alexandre Dumas – Le Comte de Monte-Cristo I (chs. 1-56)

And currently:
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

jmm, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 16:37 (one year ago) link

Really want to read Code of the Woosters and Middlemarch next year

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 16:43 (one year ago) link

37 books that were books, not counting fiction. Lame by ILB benchmarks, but good by mine.

December is "read anything month." So after the current respectable book, I'll jump into a saved-up pile of the most haphazard printed matter.

alimosina, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 16:48 (one year ago) link

I'm thinking of focusing on Dostoyevsky next year, maybe with a goal of reading all of the fiction.

And, uh, possibly a greater percentage of female writers too.

jmm, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 17:18 (one year ago) link

Not a lot read this year and Im not sure why (i do. bloody internet/smartphone)

Judge Dredd: OZ - John Wagner
Last Train to Memphis - Peter Guralnick
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts - Mark Dery
Stalin: The Court of The Red Tsar - Simon Sebag Montefiore
Meet Me In The Bathroom - Lizzy Goodman
The Death Of Truth - Michiko Kakutani
You are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes, and Cultural Myths - Russ Kick
Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth
Laughter Over The Left Shoulder - Vladimir Soloukhin

Currently reading:
Postwar - Tony Judt

. (Michael B), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 19:27 (one year ago) link

No order. Asterisks indicate that I didn't finish them, either because they were big and i wanted to go onto something else, but i want to finish them (Crashed) or because they were palpable shit (Forbidden Line) or because they were functionally unreadable (Sisyphean).

Britain Begins – Barry Cunliffe
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen – Alan Garner
The Devil’s Candy – Julie Salamon
The Rise and Fall of the British Nation – David Edgerton
Sisyphean – Dempow Torishima*
The Edge of the Horizon – Antonio Tabucchi
Forbidden Line – Paul Stanbridge
Hotel – Joanna Walsh
Object Oriented Ontology – Graham Harman
The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu
The Dark Forest – Cixin Liu
Death’s End – Cixin Liu
The Periodic Table – Primo Levi
Bedouin of the London Evening – Rosemary Tonks
Love’s Work – Gillian Rose
Thinking in Systems – Donella H Meadows
Some Trick – Helen deWitt
The Lifecycle of Software Objects – Ted Chiang
The Book of Dust – Philip Pullman
Select Prose – Heinrich von Kleist
Devices and Desires – PD James
Murmur – Will Eaves
The Case of the Constant Suicides – John Dickson Carr
The Unforeseen – Doroth Macardle
Solar Bones – Mike McCormack
1974 – David Peace
The Death of Woman Wang – Jonathan D Spence
Codes of the Underworld – Diego Gambetta
The Owl Service – Alan Garner
Strandloper – Alan Garner
The Moon of Gomrath – Alan Garner
Crashed* – Adam Tooze
How Democracy Ends – David Runciman
various fucking product management books

Top Five
Love’s Work – Gillian Rose
Solar Bones – Mike McCormack
The Owl Service – Alan Garner
The Rise and Fall of the British Nation – David Edgerton
and hmm, I’m gonna go The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu oh wait no, Periodic Table was amazing. fuckit.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 21:08 (one year ago) link

oh wait,

The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information – Philip Mirowski

I ended up enjoying this very much! Despite initially slagging it off quite heavily on the economics thread. This suggests there's a few more that aren't on my list here, suspect things like

No One Makes You Shop at Walmart – Tom Slee

and a couple of other soft economics books should be on there.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 21:15 (one year ago) link

These are the books I finished in 2018:

Karl Ove Knausgaard - My Struggle Vol. 3*
Lucretius - On The Nature of Things
John Wyndham - Chocky
Aleksandar Hemon - The Making of Zombie Wars
Scott Adams - How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
Fred Anderson - Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America
Alan Furst - Night Soldiers
Jessica Mitford - Hons and Rebels*
Georges Simenon - The Man Who Watched Trains Go By*
Michael Hiltzik - Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Dezso Kosztolanyi - Skylark
Italo Calvino - Numbers in the Dark
Flannery O'Connor - The Violent Bear it Away
James Salter - Light Years*
David Oshinsky - Bellevue
Ge Fei - The Invisibility Cloak*
J.G. Farrell - The Siege of Krishnapur
Jonathan Mahler - Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning
Ottessa Mossfegh - My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Jay Neugeboren - Imagining Robert*
Patrick Hamilton - Slaves of Solitude
Augustine - Confessions
Deborah Eisenberg - Twilight of the Superheroes
Aldo Schiavone - The End of the Past
Gustave Flaubert - Bouvard and Pecuchet*
Helen C. Epstein - Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda and the War on Terror

*particularly enjoyed

o. nate, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:36 (one year ago) link

Almost three weeks left to run in 2018. I'm waiting to see how it ends.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:39 (one year ago) link

There's a 1952 film of Man Who Watched the Trains go by with Claude Rains and Herbert Lom. I stumbled across it as a daytime TV showing a few years after chancing on the book.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 08:38 (one year ago) link

just the classix yo. as i'm ilb trash i'll even assign scores

BOLANO - nazi literature in the americas 8.5/10
HOLLINGHURST - the line of beauty 9/10
ZWEIG - chess 8/10
MILLS - the restraint of beasts 9/10
MILLS - three to see the king 7/10
DEWITT - the last samurai 9.5/10 altho i finished it twenty minutes ago so

a few months ago read the first 50 pages of O'BRIEN - at swim-two-birds and it was aiming at 9+ but for mysterious reasons of burnt-mindedness have put it to pasture and will return to it now and finish by year's end so you can add that in too

imago, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 23:43 (one year ago) link

This year I did the GoodReads challenge, and set my target at 52 books. So far I've managed 63, but that includes cheaty graphic novels and cartoon collections, not to mention a ton of SF and a fair few Agatha Christies. Next year I'm planning on going to Dublin for Worldcon, so intend to read a lot of Joyce in 2019.

Nova Express - William S Burroughs 4/5
Dead Man's Folly - Agatha Christie 3/5
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie 4/5
Five Little Pigs - Agatha Christie 2/5
The Penguin Complete Ghost Stories of M.R. James 5/5
Evil Under the Sun - Agatha Christie 3/5
Batman: The Court of Owls - Snyder/Capullo 2/5
The Masterpiece - Zola 4/5
Lou Reed: A Life - DeCurtis 3/5
The Vision: Little Worse Than a Man - King & Hernandez Walta 4/5
Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time - Hilary Spurling 4/5
Hercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha Christie 3/5
The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984 - Riad Sattouf 5/5
The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985 - Riad Sattouf 5/5
This is Memorial Device - David Keenan 3/5
The Hugo Winners 1955-1961 - Isaac Asimov ed 3/5 (best story: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes)
The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester 4/5
Journals 1982-1986 - Anthony Powell 4/5
Kill or Be Killed Vol 2 - Brubaker & Phillips 3/5
In the Woods - Tana French 1/5
Robinson - Muriel Spark 5/5
Double Star - Robert A Heinlein 3/5
Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber took Sony for a ride in Hollywood - Griffin & Masters 4/5
The Late Show - Michael Connelly 3/5
The Defenders Vol 1 - Bendis & Marquez 2/5
BC is Alive and Well! - Johnny Hart 3/5
The Hugo Winners 1963-1967 - Isaac Asimov ed 4/5 (best story: The Last Castle by Jack Vance)
Second-Hand Time - Svetlana Alexievich 5/5
A Case of Conscience - James Blish 4/5
Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh 4/5 (docked a point for some grotesque racism, but still genuinely funny throughout)
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller 4/5
The Whites - Richard Price 2/5
Two Kinds of Truth - Michael Connelly 3/5
Trashed - Derf Backderf 4/5
Death on the Nile - Agatha Christie 3/5
Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol 2 - Robert Silverberg ed 4/5 (best story would be Fondly Farenheit by Alfred Bester, but The Country of the Kind by Damon Knight runs it close)
Mrs McGinty's Dead - Agatha Christie 2/5
A Science Fiction Omnibus - Brian Aldiss ed 4/5 (2007 revision of the classic anthology - of the new stories added, the best was 'Swarm' by Bruce Sterling)
The Victim - Saul Bellow 5/5
The Hugo Winners 1968-1970 - Isaac Asimov ed 3/5 (best story: Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones by Samuel R Delany. I didn't finish Philip Jose Farmer's Sci-fi pastiche of Finnegan's Wake, 'Riders of the Purple Wage'.)
So Long, Silver Screen - Blutch 3/5
Nebula Award Stories 1 - Damon Knight ed 4/5 (best story: The Drowned Giant by J.G. Ballard)
Nebula Award Stories 2 - Aldiss & Harrison eds 3/5(best story: Among the Hairy Earthmen by R.A. Lafferty)
Nebula Award Stories 3 - Roger Zelazny ed 4/5 (best story: Aye and Gomorrah by Samuel R Delany)
Nebula Award Stories 4 - Poul Anderson ed 1/5 (the weakest volume in this series, no stand out stories)
Nebula Award Stories 5 - James Blish ed 3/5 (best story: Passengers by Robert Silverberg)
Nebula Award Stories 6 - Clifford D Simak ed 2/5 (best story: The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories by Gene Wolfe)
Nebula Award Stories 7 - Lloyd Biggle Jr ed 1/5 (again, no particular stand outs)
Nebula Award Stories 8 - Isaac Asimov ed 4/5 (best story: When It Changed by Joanna Russ)
Nebula Award Stories 9 - Kate Wilhelm ed 3/5 (best story: Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr)
Nebula Award Stories 10 - James E Gunn ed 4/5 (best story: Born With the Dead by Robert Silverberg)
Nebula Award Stories 11 - Ursula K LeGuin ed 3/5 (best story: Shatterday by Harlan Ellison)
Nebula Winners 12 - Gordon R Dickson ed 4/5 (best story: Houston Houston Do You Read by James Tiptree, Jr)
Nebula Winners 13 - Samuel R Delany ed 4/5 (best story: The Screwfly Solution by 'Raccoona Sheldon' aka James Tiptree, Jr)
Nebula Winners 14 - Frederik Pohl ed 2/5 (best story: Seven American Nights by Gene Wolfe)
Nebula Winners 15 - Frank Herbert ed 3/5 (best story: Sandkings by George R R Martin)
Nebula Winners 16 - Jerry Pournelle ed 3/5 (best story: Rautavaara's Case by Philip K Dick)
Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov 5/5 (reading this after all that SF brought home how masterful Nabokov could be just at the level of the sentence)
Nebula Award Stories 17 - Joe Haldeman ed 3/5 (best story: Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson)
Nebula Awards 22 - George Zebrowski ed 2/5 (best story: R & R by Lucius Shepard)
Sabrina - Nick Drnaso 5/5
The Abbess of Crewe - Muriel Spark 4/5
Armageddons - Dozois & Dann eds 2/4 (best story: Fermi and Frost by Frederik Pohl)

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 13 December 2018 11:42 (one year ago) link

read the Penguin Classics translation of The Story of the Stone and it was incredible

I Accept the Word of Santa (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 13 December 2018 11:50 (one year ago) link

Cormac McCarthy - All The Pretty Horses
Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
Flannery O'Connor - A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Flannery O'Connor - Everything That Rises Must Converge
Graham Greene - The Quiet American
R.F. Delderfield - To Serve Them All My Days
Robert Louis Stvenson - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Phillip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
William Shakespeare - Hamlet
William Shakespeare - Othello
William Shakespeare - MacBeth
William Shakespeare - King Lear
Leo Tolstoy - The Forged Coupon
Frank Herbert - Dune
John Steinbeck - The Pearl
Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination

hot dog go to bathroom (cajunsunday), Thursday, 13 December 2018 12:05 (one year ago) link

I'm unhappy with how little I read this year. I had a resolution to read 365 short stories but that quickly got abandoned.

Le Guin - Five Ways to Forgiveness (1994, 1999) 5
Le Guin - The Found and the Lost: Collected Novellas (audiobook) 6
Le Guin - The Finder (included in above) 2
Anthony Horowitz - The Word is Murder 4
Anthony Horowitz - Magpie Murders 6
Highsmith - Strangers on a Train (audiobook read by famous stranger Bronson Pinchot) 5
Mur Lafferty - Six Wakes (2017, audiobook) 5
Capote - Breakfast at Tiffany’s (audiobook, novella) 5
Scalzi - Fuzzy Nation (audiobook) 4; bad jokes, clever mystery
Scalzi - Miniatures (audiobook) 1; nothing but bad jokes
Egan - Manhattan Beach - almost finished

Michelle Goldberg - I’ll be Gone in the Dark (audiobook) 4
Mill - Utilitarianism; interesting
Mary Roach - Stiff 5
Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) 7
Sean Howe - Marvel Comics: The Untold Story 5; comfort reading - i knew most of it before
Jeannette Walls - The Glass Castle 5

Vera Brosgol - Be Prepared (2018) 4; disappointingly mainstream
Derf Backderf - My Friend Dahmer (2012) 5; also read the shorter version
Lethem - Omega the Unknown (2008) 8; would be 9 with a better ending
Hope Larson - Mercury 2; don’t like the art, ditto the magic
Shiga - Bookhunter (2007) 6
Smith - RASL (2013) 5; disliked the thomas crown ending
Busiek - Marvels (1994) 5

unfinished but will return to:
Robert Caro - The Power Broker -- read 3/10ths
Svetlana Alexievich - The Unwomanly Face of War (audiobook) -- half read

adam the (abanana), Thursday, 13 December 2018 13:45 (one year ago) link

I'm always glad to see others including comics stuff on their lists but if I included it on my own it would easily be of octuple length. In terms of word count, I'm sure I read more actual books, but in terms of sheer paper weight comics definitely win out.

Home Despot (Old Lunch), Thursday, 13 December 2018 13:52 (one year ago) link

been a v busy year for me

Hasek - the good soldier svejk
Pynchon- gravity's rainbow
Hill - the world turned upside down
Bechdel - Fun home
George-Warren A Man called Destruction
Gibbon - Decline and Fall bks 1 and 2
Sachs - Musicophilia
Bahn - Images of the ice age
Pinker - The Language Instinct
Becket - Murphy
Fisher - Capitalist Realism
Zeldin - The French
P K Dick - selected stories
Euripides - The Bacchae
Orwell - The Lion and the Unicorn
Epictetus - writings
Schitzler - Dream story
Rumi - The essential
Human evolution - Human evolution
Barash - Homo mysterious
Oford Evolution Reader
Damasio - Descartes Error
The Tain
Poe - stories
Ligotti - 4 stories from songs of a dead dreamer
Borges - Labyrinths
Barthes - Mythologies
Benjamin Walker - Gnosticism
Michael Benson - Space Odyssey
Montaingne - selected essays
Keats - Endymion
Bugs Brittanica
Guralnick - Last train to Memphis
grammar books for celta course haha
Erasmus - Praise of Folly
Sincalir - London Orbital
Emily Dickinson - collected faber
Goodall - Ten technologies to save the planet

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:50 (one year ago) link

how do you all do it

imago, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:52 (one year ago) link

I’m guessing your list of records listened to would probably put ours to shame.

o. nate, Thursday, 13 December 2018 17:56 (one year ago) link

music is easy to listen to though! these are some serious feats of sustained non-distraction

imago, Thursday, 13 December 2018 18:00 (one year ago) link

Here's my list of mostly middle brow lit fic & lit sf (actually this was a very good reading year for me, I feel bad if I finish fewer than 12 books):

Christopher Priest, The Gradual
Nathaniel Rich, King Zeno
Chandler Klang Smith, The Sky is Yours
Jeff VanderMeer, The Strange Bird
Zadie Smith, Feel Free
Helen DeWitt, Some Trick
John Langan, The Fisherman
Rachel Cusk, Kudos
Lauren Groff, Florida
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Karin Tidbeck, Jagannath
Karin Tidbeck, Amatka
Zadie Smith, NW
Gary Shteyngart, Lake Success
Roberto Bolano, The Skating Rink
Patrick DeWitt, French Exit
Meghan O’Gieblyn, Interior States

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 13 December 2018 18:00 (one year ago) link

Read about 250 books so far this year. Best ones discussed in this thread:

The sporadic throughout-December thread of EXCELLENT BOOKS WHAT I READ THIS YEAR:

— Caustic Cover Critic (@Unwise_Trousers) December 2, 2018

Or more easily read here

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Thursday, 13 December 2018 22:44 (one year ago) link

I wrote down some of those, thanks! Seriously though, how much time do you spend reading per day?

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 13 December 2018 23:12 (one year ago) link

Archipelago Books are so pretty.

jmm, Thursday, 13 December 2018 23:19 (one year ago) link

James, I had no idea you were Caustic critic. I like your tweets haha

glumdalclitch, Friday, 14 December 2018 00:19 (one year ago) link

Thanks! I read a lot due to not knowing how to drive, so taking public transport everywhere, plus being antisocial at work in my lunch breaks, plus insomnia. Plus being lazy.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Friday, 14 December 2018 02:46 (one year ago) link

Old Lunch and Ward- you mind telling me your goodreads names?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 December 2018 20:37 (one year ago) link

Thanks for yr interest RAG, but I just list and 'rate' books on Goodreads, as a diary for myself - no reviews or anything - exactly what I posted here in fact, plus cover images of the particular old paperback I actually read (a source of vexation when a particular edition isn't there). I haven't burrowed very deep into Goodreads - you can 'follow' reviewers/authors etc on it? I'm def in the market for SF reviews, especially of short story anthologies - though as I say, I plan to mostly lay off the SF for a while - James Joyce and film theory/history for 2019!

Ward Fowler, Friday, 14 December 2018 21:19 (one year ago) link

I could have read so much more if I didn't keep falling asleep after work. It's been perplexingly hard to get my sleeping pattern right. Why is it so hard?

I'll list when the year finishes.

I recently heard writer Grady Hendrix say he often reads 6 books a day! He's not any kind of dick waving showoff either, couldn't be further from that.

I'm determined to someday become a superhuman reader.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 December 2018 21:43 (one year ago) link

I get the most serious reading done when I'm not feeling anxious or stressed from work. Otherwise I tend to blow my free time on the computer.

I'm thinking about starting a reading blog next year to get a little more serious about writing. I haven't had a writing project in a long time, and books are basically my hobby right now. Also considering whether a daily reading journal might be a good idea.

jmm, Friday, 14 December 2018 22:41 (one year ago) link

This was the first year I've kept a list of my reading -- I'm surprised how much I did. Retirement had a lot to do with it.

Read in 2018:

Atkins, Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan
Ayatsuji, The Decagon House Murders
Blackburn, A Scent of New-Mown Hay, Bury Him Darkly, and Nothing But the NIght
Bounds, Perry Mason: The Authorship and Reproduction of a Popular Hero
Cain, Fast One
Camus, The Stranger (Ward translation)
Carlotto and Videtta, Poisonville
Carr, The Burning Court, The Man Who Could Not Shudder, and In Spite of Thunder
Carroll, Philosophy of Horror
Christie, Sparkling Cyanide
Conrad, The Inn of the Two Witches and Notes on Life and Letters
Cook, Blue Note Records
Cooper (trans.), Li Po and Tu Fu
De Angelis, The Murdered Banker
Fugate, Secrets of the World’s Best-Selling Writer: The Storytelling Techniques of Erle Stanley Gardner
Gardner, 47 novels in the Perry Mason series
Gottlieb, Reading Jazz
Greene, Ways of Escape and This Gun for Hire
Innes, Operation Pax
Izzo, Total Chaos, Chourmo, and Solea
Judkins and Nielson, The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts
Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, v. 1-4
LeBlanc, The Exploits of Arsene Dupin
Leffler and Westad (Eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War, 2 of 3 volumes
Lem, Solaris
Marlowe, A Dandy in Aspic
McCarthy, Bubishi (2015 ed.)
McKinney (trans.), Kenko and Chomei: Essays in Idleness and Hojoki
Murakami, 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Priestley, Benighted
Quast, A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History
Rosenthal, Hard Bop
Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism
Shahar, The Shaolin Monastery
Shimada, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders
Sidran, Talking Jazz
Simenon, 19 novels in the Maigret series
Smith, Principle-Driven Skill Development in Traditional Martial Arts
Stubbs, Future Days: Krautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music
Stugatsky Bros., Roadside Picnic
Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows
Tompkins, How to Wreck a Nice Beach
Varley, Japanese Culture
Wallace, Four Just Men

Started in 2018, still reading:

Bordwell, Film Art
Fisher, Ghosts of My Life
Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
Leffler and Westad (Eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War, v. 3
Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, (eds.), The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

Brad C., Friday, 14 December 2018 23:11 (one year ago) link

RAG, my username is the same on Goodreads as it is here but with an underscore between. It's still very much a work in progress.

Home Despot (Old Lunch), Friday, 14 December 2018 23:36 (one year ago) link

Just realized you cant search users. Can I get a direct address?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 December 2018 23:58 (one year ago) link

James- Do you recommend the new Simon Ings ahead of his previous novels? I was thinking of starting at Wolves.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 15 December 2018 18:26 (one year ago) link

lot of stuff i should have read years ago

Han Kang - The Vegetarian
Jane Austen - Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion
Emily Bronte - Withering Heights
Ann Bronte - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre
Flannery O’Connor - The Violent Bear it Away
Helen DeWitt - The Last Samurai
Thomas Bernhard - Concrete, Wittgenstein’s Nephew, The Voice Imitator
Thomas Mann - Death in Venice & Other Stories, The Magic Mountain
Ann Quin - The Unmapped Country
Mikhail Bulgakov - The Master & Margherita
John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces
James Joyce - Portrait of the Artist…, *Ulysses
W. G. Sebald - The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants, Vertigo, Austerlitz
Henry James - Washington Square
Sally Rooney - Conversations with Friends
China Mieville - The City and The City
Muriel Spark - The Drivers Seat
Paul Schrader - Transcendental Style in Film
Yasunari Kawabata - The Sound of the Mountain, Snow Country, House of the Sleeping Beauties
Elena Ferrante - My Brilliant Friend
Yuko Tsushima - Child of Fortune
Michael Deforge - Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero
Banana Yoshimoto - Asleep
Anna Seghers - Transit
Angela Carter - The Bloody Chamber
Jorge Luis Borges - Labyrinths
Martin Hammond / Homer - The Iliad:
Goethe - The Sorrows of Young Werther
Philip Roth - The Ghost Writer

devvvine, Saturday, 15 December 2018 18:39 (one year ago) link

Re Simon Ings: I liked but didn't love Wolves. The Smoke is just amazing. I suspect it's his best book (though I have not read a number of his earlier novels)

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Sunday, 16 December 2018 06:17 (one year ago) link

bits & pieces of the anatomy of melancholy interspersed with:

josephine tey - the daughter of time
josephine tey - to love and be wise
josephine tey - miss pym disposes
patricia highsmith - suspension of mercy
dorothy l sayers - gaudy night
dorothy l sayers - the nine tailors
margery allingham - look to the lady
margery allingham - the fashion in shrouds
margery allingham - police at the funeral
margery allingham - more work for the undertaker
cyril hare - tenant for death
john dickson carr - poison in jest
ellery queen - the door between
ellery queen - new adventures of ellery queen
agatha christie - murder in the mews and others stories
ngaio marsh x 33
elizabeth bowen - eva trout
elizabeth taylor - the soul of kindness
elizabeth taylor - hester lilly
william gerhardie - of mortal love
nabokov - collected stories
goncharov - oblomov
knut hamsun - the wanderer
knut hamsun - the ring is closed
celine - london bridge
ee cummings - eimi
djuna barnes - vivid & repulsive as the truth
william carlos williams - wcw reader
christina stead - the people with the dogs
malcolm lowry - lunar caustic
anna kavan - my soul in china
anna kavan - julia & the bazooka
unica zurn - dark spring
giorgio de chirico - hebdomeros
james branch cabell - jurgen
fitz-james o'brien - the fantastic tales of
fitz hugh ludlow - the hasheesh eater
herman melville - mardi

going to continue with the anatomy next year & plan on delving deeper into more pre-20th century lit

no lime tangier, Monday, 17 December 2018 10:50 (one year ago) link

Is one way street no longer posting? I want to see the list.

jmm, Monday, 17 December 2018 13:46 (one year ago) link

j hawes - shortest history of germany
l. child - past tense
m connelly - dark sacred night
h murakami - killing commendatore
h murakami - men without women
s rooney - normal people
g hurwitz - hellbent
h arikawa - traveling cat chronicles
s murata - convenience store woman
g honeyman - eleanor oliphant is completely fine
d baldacci - end game
d baldacci - fallen
s cavanagh - thirteen
s harris - colour of bee markham's murder
s hannah - mystery of 3 quarters
c bond - second child
s montgomery - soul of an octopus
r galbraith - cuckoos calling/silkworm/career of evil/lethal white
j cruyf - my turn
g balague - brave new world
a munru - selected stories

also read big chunks of the following xmas celeb bios in between serving customers over the last few weeks
lily allen
p crouch
mel b

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 19 December 2018 13:25 (one year ago) link

Is that the Simon Ings who wrote Stalin and the Scientists?

alimosina, Wednesday, 19 December 2018 16:40 (one year ago) link

Emily Bronte - Withering Heights

very into this typo i made

devvvine, Wednesday, 19 December 2018 16:50 (one year ago) link

Same Simon Ings, yes

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Thursday, 20 December 2018 03:47 (one year ago) link

I'll post my list when 2018 is over, but I did manage to reach my goal of 52 books read.

By the way, Sunday is the night to start reading Reve's The Evenings, one chapter a night until new year's eve.

ArchCarrier, Thursday, 20 December 2018 08:15 (one year ago) link

otessa moshfegh - mcglue; my year of rest and relaxation
tom wolfe - hooking up
p roth - nemesis
judith rossner - looking for mr goodbar
jim schutz - bully: a true story of high school revenge
stephen williams - invisible darkness
joyce carol oates - i am no one you know; in rough country
michael finkel - a stranger in the woods
dfw - string theory
joshua cohen - moving kings
tao lin - trip
eugene o'neill - hughie
ben lerner - leaving the atocha station
megan boyle - liveblog
ayelet waldmann - red hook road
lena dunham - not that kind of girl
lorrie moore - bark
mark titus - dont put me in, coach
gerald marzorati - late to the ball
greg johnson - invisible writer: bio of joyce carol oates

johnny crunch, Friday, 21 December 2018 03:57 (one year ago) link

Is one way street no longer posting? I want to see the list.

― jmm, Monday, 17 December 2018 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

far as I can tell ows isn't posting. Shame really

xyzzzz__, Friday, 21 December 2018 16:07 (one year ago) link

just re-read all of Pierre Michon’s Winter Mythologies and Abbots, translated by Ann Jefferson which i read at the end of last year as well. It’s very much at the top of anything i’ve read in recent memory.

Fizzles, Friday, 21 December 2018 19:53 (one year ago) link

Next year - I think my New Year's resolution will be to take a note of stuff I read, or watch.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Friday, 21 December 2018 19:57 (one year ago) link

And drink! I should keep a whisky journal too...

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Friday, 21 December 2018 19:57 (one year ago) link

Love that Michon (though I read it in one sitting in a pub so need to re-read myself) and also would be tempted to read his other translations despite these not being as well regarded in the nyrb Michon overview:


xyzzzz__, Friday, 21 December 2018 20:13 (one year ago) link

I've reached the seventies this year, and mostly finished my pile, which I feel very good about. Two books I stopped (a fat Thiong'o and a fat Pynchon) and close to 25 highlights, which is what I'll post here (in order of reading). Titles in French where applicable. I'm a young reader so expect classics too.

Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale
Fukazawa - The Ballad of Narayama (untranslated in ENG iirc)
Bulgakov - Heart of a Dog*
James - A Brief History of Seven Killings*
Gyasi - Homegoing
Kourouma - Les Soleils des Indépendances
Miller - The Crucible
Emecheta - The Joys of Motherhood
Pushkin - Eugene Onegin
Plath - The Bell Jar
Ndibe - Arrows of Rain
Gray - Lanark: A Life in Four Books
Bulgakov - A Young Doctor's Notebook
Tolkien - The Hobbit (or There and Back Again)
O'Connor - A Good Man is Hard to Find
Mofolo - Chaka
Le Guin - The Dispossessed*
Tchekhov - Three Sisters
Hamidou Kane - L'aventure ambiguë
Strugatskis - Roadside Picnic
Huysmans - Là-bas
Sôseki - Botchan
Rhys - Wide Sargasso Sea
Aragon - Le Con d'Irène
Kessel - Belle de Jour
Salih - Season of Migration to the North
Pushkin - The Captain's Daughter*

*top favorites

Nabozo, Sunday, 23 December 2018 19:18 (one year ago) link

I read the Pushkin and the James this year too!

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 21:33 (one year ago) link

My profound respect to all multi-lingual ILBers. My unilingual brain seems unable to absorb more than the merest smattering of other languages.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 23 December 2018 21:57 (one year ago) link

I'm much the same. I studied English at a reasonably high level - got a degree in English lit ad a degree in Philosophy in which I focused on language. But for some reason I can't do other languages. Though, I was pleased to discover that I remember the polish Xmas greeting after learning it last year. But I lived in Berlin for 3 years as a kid, studied that at school, at uni I tried Ancient Greek, privately I've tried spanish, russian, scots Gaelic. I just don't have the head for it, for some reason.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:12 (one year ago) link

i didn’t keep track of what i read this year, and i read regrettably little. i know i read the new ottessa moshfegh, i read talk by linda rosenkrantz, i read a bunch of the power broker but didn’t finish it. read a few short denis johnson novels i can’t temember the names of. im currently reading the vegetarian by han kang and it’s great

flopson, Monday, 24 December 2018 00:15 (one year ago) link

I think it's close enough to year's end now that I feel secure this list would, at most, lack the title of a partially-finished book on New Year's Eve. Of all the books I read this year, I think the one that gave me the most memorable pleasure was The Door, Magda Szabo. It was just outstanding in so many ways.

Books I read in 2018 (in the order I finished them):

A Month in the Country, J.L. Carr
The Bread of Those Early Years, Heinrich Böll
A Man's Head, Georges Simenon
James J. Hill: A Brief Biography, Stewart Holbrook
The Women at the Pump, Knut Hamsun
Julian, Gore Vidal (<- re-read)
Selected Short Stories, Guy de Maupassant (<- Penguin classics collection)
The Door, Magda Szabo
Tropic Moon, Georges Simenon
What the Dormouse Said, John Markoff (<-a silicon valley 'history')
The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben (<- botany)
A Time of Gifts, Patrick Leigh Fermor (<- memoir)
Sapphira and the Slave Girl, Willa Cather
A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889, Frederic Morton
Life of Alfred the Great, Asser the Monk (tr. Keynes)
Another Country, James Baldwin
Journey Into the Past, Stefan Zweig
Conquest of Constantinople, Geoffroy de Villehardouin
Nature, Man and Woman, Alan Watts
The Dud Avocado, Elaine Dundy
Emma, Jane Austen (<- re-read)
The Wizard and the Prophet, Charles Mann (<- global warming debate)
Around the World in Seventy Two Days and Other Writings, Nellie Bly
The Price of Admiralty, John Keegan (<- military history)
Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope
Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
Aucassin & Nicolette and Other Tales, trans. Pauline Matarasso (<-Penguin Classics)
The Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery (<-natural history of a sort)
Democracy Reborn, Garrett Epps
Zen and the Birds of Appetite, Thomas Merton (<- essays)
The Aran Islands, J. M. Synge (<- re-read)
The Golden Spur, Dawn Powell
The Grand Babylon Hotel, Arnold Bennett
Watership Down, Richard Adams
Masters of Atlantis, Charles Portis
Gorgon, Peter D. Ward (<-about Permian mass extinction)
Troilus and Criseyde, Geoffrey Chaucer
Turing's Cathedral, George Dyson
The Stalin Front, Gert Ledig
The Gate of Angels, Penelope Fitzgerald
Maigret Gets Angry, Georges Simenon
The Little Nugget, P. G. Wodehouse
Under the Glacier, Haldor Laxness
The Sicilian Vespers, Steven Runciman
A Time to Be Born, Dawn Powell
The Wet Engine, Brian Doyle
Raffles, Maurice Collis (<- a biography)
Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
The Saga of the Volsungs, translator: Jesse Byock
Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, Thomas Mann
Fair Play, Tove Jansson
Towers of Trebizond, Rose Macaulay

Books I started, read about a third, but did not finish:

Crashed, Adam Tooze (->about the serial financial crises: 2008-2018)
Stoner, John Williams

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 24 December 2018 20:06 (one year ago) link

The Door really is remarkable.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Tuesday, 25 December 2018 11:04 (one year ago) link

38 or so, including some graphic novels and omitting some other graphic novels for no particular reason. Can't post them all because I'm on my phone but the top two were probably

Les Miserables
The Iron Heel

koogs, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 12:23 (one year ago) link

Cannery Row too

and The Martian, which felt a lot like A C Clarke's Fall Of Moondust or similar.

koogs, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 15:24 (one year ago) link

Books I started, read about a third, but did not finish:

Stoner, John Williams

― A is for (Aimless), Monday, December 24, 2018 1:06 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


jolene club remix (BradNelson), Tuesday, 25 December 2018 17:39 (one year ago) link

I bought 6 Jeeves and Wooster books I haven't read or 50p each, so that'll do me until new year.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:08 (one year ago) link

surprised you didn't like Crashed, Aimless

flopson, Thursday, 27 December 2018 18:23 (one year ago) link

It fell at an awkward moment when I didn't have the attention or stamina for it.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 27 December 2018 18:25 (one year ago) link

Yeah it’s pretty brutal

flopson, Friday, 28 December 2018 06:14 (one year ago) link

ive heard rumours t0oze is gonna get #MeToo’d

flopson, Friday, 28 December 2018 06:20 (one year ago) link

A pathetic year, if you discount Asterix and books abandoned (I will finish the Lispector story collection before 2020 is out):
Michel Tournier - The Erl King.
John Preston - A Very English Scandal.
Samanta Schweblin - Fever Dream.
Ottessa Moshfegh - Eileen.
Hannah Arendt - Eichmann in Jerusalem.
Ottessa Moshfegh - Homesick for Another World.
PG Wodehouse - Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves.
Christopher Hill - The World Turned Upside Down.
Brian Phillips - Impossible Owls.
Yukio Mishima - The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea.

Of this lot, the Erl King was the most intense, Eileen had the most powerful single image (frozen vomit) and Wodehouse had the best dialogue ("Blast all vegetables!").

calumerio, Friday, 28 December 2018 13:53 (one year ago) link

I've read The Door this year as well, but couldn't accept the whiny narrator's near-religious obsession for Emerence, who was a very human character after all, a force of nature with qualities and flaws. The relation between them also became excessive or overdramatic in the climax. I do like books with dog characters (the Bulgakov <3 <3 <3).

Nabozo, Friday, 28 December 2018 14:28 (one year ago) link

Calumerio, if you started the year with Erl King I can see why you'd need some time to recover from the PTSD

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:24 (one year ago) link

Yes, with hindsight, a string of Wodehouse should have followed, as a mental sorbet. I think Fever Dream and Eileen felt mild in a way that they would otherwise not have.

calumerio, Saturday, 29 December 2018 11:51 (one year ago) link

My year probably best summed up by the fact that early on I started diligently updating a goodreads page for 2018, but it hasn't been updated since June lol - so everything after the koja anthology is from memory or from my audible history

Thomas Bernhard, Correction
Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You
Maggie Nelson, Bluets
Trey Ellis, Platitudes
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
William S Burroughs, Junky
Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan
Jennifer Egan, Look at Me
Joanna Walsh, Vertigo
Chris Petit, The Butchers of Berlin
JG Ballard, The Unlimited Dream Company
Richard Matheson, I Am Legend*
Paul Beatty, The Sellout
Robert McCrum, Every Third Thought
Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen
Stephen King, Gwendy’s Button Box
Joe Hill, The Fireman
Stephen King, Lisey’s Story (audiobook)
Stephen King, Duma Key (audiobook)
Jack Ketchum, Stranglehold
Jack Ketchum, Off Season
Jack Ketchum, The Girl Next Door
Jack Ketchum, The Lost
James Joyce, Dubliners
Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend
Mark Frost, The List of Seven
Stephen King & Joe Hill, In The Tall Grass
Stephen King, The Outsider (audiobook)
Toast on Toast (audiobook)
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Rashōmon and other stories
David Peace, Patient X
Leïla Sebbar, Confessions of a Madman
Gabriel Zaid, So Many Books
David Lynch, Room to Dream (audiobook)
Gyula Krúdy, Sunflower
Alice Munro, Dear Life
Joy Williams, 99 Stories of God
Jack Ketchum, Offspring
Lydia Davis, Collected Stories (unfinished, had to go back to the library)
Kathe Koja (ed), Year’s Best Weird Fiction 2 (unfinished, couldn’t be arsed)
Stephen King, The Tommyknockers* (audiobook)
Stephen King, either Skeleton Crew or Nightmares and Dreamscapes* (audiobook, on youtube when I was off sick)
Limmy, That’s Your Lot (audiobook)
John Wyndham, The Kraken Wakes* (audiobook)
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five* (audiobook)
Stephen King, Full Dark, No Stars (audiobook)
Stephen King, The Talisman* (audiobook)
HP Lovecraft, Necronomicon (audiobook of his complete stories, think I’d read about half before)
Thomas Bernhard, Yes
Cristina Rivera Garza, The Iliac Crest
Arthur C Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Sarah Manguso, 300 Arguments
Joe Hill, NOS4R2
Olivia Laing, The Lonely City
Stephen King, Elevation
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
Ramsey Campbell, Strange Companions
Stephen King, The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger*
Stephen King, The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (Revised Edition)
Stephen King, The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three*
Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands*
Stephen King, The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass*
Stephen King, The Dark Tower V: The Wolves of the Calla* (might stop at this one idk)
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre*
Mark Sinker (ed), A Hidden Landscape Once a Week (about halfway through this, expect to finish it at some point on Jan 1st)

Asterisks indicate rereads as per ilx film thread convention (but, confusingly, not ilx this thread convention). Worst were the McCrum and some of the Kings & Ketchums, most of the rest I liked or loved

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Monday, 31 December 2018 13:28 (one year ago) link

Add to my tally:
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
Jerome Jerome - Three Men in a Boat
P. G. Wodehouse - Uncle Fred in the Springtime

And I picked up the second Folio classique volume of Comte of Monte-Cristo and that's what I'm reading.

I expected to really love Jerome but had trouble keeping my eyes on the page. Maybe I was just tired.

jmm, Monday, 31 December 2018 16:15 (one year ago) link

I read about 105 books in 2018, including a few second or third reads (The Waves), but these five new ones were best.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 31 December 2018 16:37 (one year ago) link

I expected to really love Jerome but had trouble keeping my eyes on the page. Maybe I was just tired.

― jmm, Monday, 31 December 2018 16:15 (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i love my reading, i could watch it all day etc

imago, Monday, 31 December 2018 18:31 (one year ago) link

Christopher Barzak - The Love We Share Without Knowing
Philippa Pearce - Tom's Midnight Garden
Jaroslav Kalfar - Spaceman of Bohemia
David Zindell - Neverness
Thomas Tryon - Harvest Home
Paul Theroux - The Great Railway Bazaar
Paul Park - Soldiers of Paradise
Paul Park - Sugar Rain
Paul Park - The Cult of Loving Kindness
Penelope Lively - Going Back
M. John Harrison - Viriconium Nights
M. John Harrison - In Viriconium
H. P. Lovecraft - The Shadow Out of Time
H.M. Hoover (RIP) - The Shepherd Moon

I gave up on Austin Tappan Wright's Islandia (stodgy/sexy Thoreauvean utopia) after 467 pages, but I might force myself to finish it in 2019. the sunk cost fallacy is a powerful motivator

v. s. rupaul (unregistered), Tuesday, 1 January 2019 02:52 (one year ago) link

This is all the fiction I read in 2018. Bolded titles are especially recommended. Some of the Dutch and German books haven't been translated in English, but I translated their titles for easier reading:

Gerard Reve, Werther Nieland
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Martha Batalha, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao
Georges Perec, A Man Asleep
Verna B. Carleton, Back to Berlin: An Exile Returns
Jenny Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone
Maarten van der Graaff, Worms and Angels
Nikos Kazantzakis, Christ Recrucified
Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow
Jane Harper, The Dry
Maurits Mok, The Underground
Jason Matthews, Palace of Treason
Frank Martinus Arion, Double Play
Dennis Lehane, Since We Fell
Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project
Stefan Brijs, The Angel Maker
Dan Simmons, Song of Kali
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America
Robert Franquinet, Quicksand
Sadeq Hedayat, The Blind Owl
Juli Zeh, Unterleuten
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
James Herbert, The Fog
T.E.D. Klein, The Ceremonies
Frans Coenen, Sunday Rest
Simon Vestdijk, Mr. Visser's Trip to Hell
Maylis de Kerangal, The Heart
Joost Zwagerman, Gimmick!
Peter Terrin, Post mortem
Stuart Turton, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
A.J. Finn, The Woman in the Window
Gerard Reve, The Evenings

ArchCarrier, Tuesday, 1 January 2019 15:05 (one year ago) link

only 1 more than last year...

As I Lay Dying — William Faulkner
Julia and the Bazooka — Anna Kavan
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — Michael Wolff
Nature Documentary: Poems — Noah Cicero
Solaris — Stanislaw Lem
McGlue — Ottessa Moshfegh
Steps — Jerzy Kosinski
The Left Hand of Darkness — Ursula K. Le Guin
Twelve — Nick McDonell
An Expensive Education — Nick McDonell
Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change — Tao Lin
All About Love: New Visions — bell hooks
Natural Causes — Barbara Ehrenreich
The Breast — Philip Roth
The Seagull — Anton Chekhov
I Married a Communist — Philip Roth
My Year of Rest and Relaxation — Ottessa Moshfegh
Room to Dream — David Lynch and Kristine McKenna
The Chapo Guide to Revolution — Chapo Trap House
F*cked — Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson
The Ghost Writer — Philip Roth
Fear: Trump in the White House — Bob Woodward
Jane Eyre — Charlotte Brontë
The Zap Gun — Philip K. Dick
In the Blink of an Eye — Walter Murch
If Beale Street Could Talk — James Baldwin
That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound — Daryl Sanders
I Might Regret This — Abbi Jacobson
Notes on the Cinematograph — Robert Bresson
The Red and the Blue — Steve Kornacki
The Elementary Particles — Michel Houellebecq

flappy bird, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 03:42 (one year ago) link

I can remember reading, for the first time:

Paul Beatty, THE SELLOUT
Jonathan Lethem and Karl Rusnak (writers), OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN

the pinefox, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 13:24 (one year ago) link

All the above were good in their ways. Toibin the shallowest as a book, I suppose. Beatty a challenging blast. JL's occasional essays terrific. His new novel a return to form. His comic book thoughtful, artful, poignant. Roth the longest read but worthwhile. TE maybe coasting but can still make every other sentence an aphorism.

I might manage to read more books for the first time in 2019.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 13:27 (one year ago) link

Books I started, read about a third, but did not finish:

Stoner, John Williams

― A is for (Aimless), Monday, December 24, 2018 1:06 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


― jolene club remix (BradNelson), Tuesday, December 25, 2018 9:39 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Mr. Jaq finished reading Stoner aloud to me on New Year's Eve. It felt a fitting end to a brutal year.

Jaq, Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:33 (one year ago) link

Here's wot I read, with * for favourites and ** for super bingo classics.

No real disappointments, but The Hobbit was a bit of a letdown (classic first half, mostly tedious second).

Amber Spyglass
Five Little Pigs
Exit West
Faithful Place *
The Jewish Joke
My Brilliant Friend *
The Examined Life
The Big Sleep **
A Little History of Philosophy
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Lords and Ladies *
The Pursuit of Love *
A Sting in the Tale *
Zuckerman Unbound
Leviathan Wakes
The Switch
La Belle Sauvage
The Three Musketeers **
The Day of the Doctor *
The Hot Rock
Asymmetry *
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
In a Lonely Place
Manhattan Beach *
The Hobbit
Traitorous Purse
The Story of a New Name **
How to Stop Brexit
Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession
Right Ho Jeeves
Between Therapist and Client

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 3 January 2019 19:52 (one year ago) link

Wins - did you like any of the Ketchum books especially?

Unregistered - I'm very much looking forward to Zindell, Park and MJ Harrison, any thoughts?

here's mine

Isis & Corrick (editors) Drowning In Beauty
Sebastian Wolfe (editor) - Little Book Of Horrors
Robert Aickman (editor) - Fontana Book Of Great Ghost Stories vol.1
Clark Ashton Smith - Collected Fantasies vol.1
William Hope Hodgson - Collected Fiction vol.1
Farah Rose Smith - The Visitor
Farah Rose Smith - The Almanac Of Dust
Farah Rose Smith - Eviscerator
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy - Weird Tales Of A Bangalorean
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy - A Volume Of Sleep
Karin Tidbeck - Jagannath
Aliette De Bodard - The Citadel Of Weeping Pearls
Aliya Whiteley - The Beauty
Tanith Lee - Tempting The Gods
MR James - Collected Ghost Stories
HP Lovecraft - Call Of Cthulhu (embarrassed how late I'm coming to some of these, I've had a lot of this stuff for well over a decade)

Broderick & Di Filippo - Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010

Ibrahim R Ineke - Eloise

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 4 January 2019 19:58 (one year ago) link

Also read about eight books I haven't finished yet.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 4 January 2019 20:01 (one year ago) link

I had much reduced year I think, probably down to a reduced commute and more other distractions. Most of these seem to have been read out in the park, during the very long, very hot British summer. I seem to have read virtually nothing from Jan-Mar and Oct-Dec.

George Eliot – Middlemarch
Filip Springer – History of a Disappearance
Elif Batuman – The Idiot
Robert Musil – The Confusions of Young Torless
Denis Johnson – Tree of Smoke
Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
Dan Hancox – Inner City Pressure
Ross Raisin – A Natural
Jon McGregor – Reservoir 13
William Gass – Omensetter’s Luck
Iris Murdoch – The Sea, The Sea
Ann Quin – Three
Nicole Krauss – Forest Dark
Thomas Pynchon – Vineland
Olivia Sudjic - Sympathy
John Updike – Rabbit Redux
Rosie Snajdr – The Hypocritical Reader
Guy Gunaratne – In Our Mad And Furious City
Will Eaves – Murmur
Alvaro Enrique – Sudden Death
Tim Weiner – Legacy of Ashes
Richard Ford – The Sportswriter
Mike McCormack – Solar Bones

Matt DC, Saturday, 5 January 2019 17:05 (one year ago) link

how was Omensetter's Luck?

flappy bird, Sunday, 6 January 2019 05:23 (one year ago) link

it's been a loooong time but I remember omensetter's luck being an odd one in that he hasn't yet gone full pomo as he would in his later two novels, it's strange/"difficult" but in a way that's more in line with something like Faulkner - iirc the thing that felt the most gassian to me was the character names (that and the fact that he chose to set it in 1890s Ohio because it was a place & time he knew nothing about, and wrote it without doing any research lol)

Robert, I'd hesitate to use the word "like"; you realise pretty quickly that ketchum isn't really trying to scare you so much as make you feel sick in your soul from relentless hopelessness and ugliness. This is most effective in the extremely fucked up and sad the girl next door, apparently based on a true case; but even with something like off season, which from its schlocky urban-legend cannibal hillbilly premise (not to mention a bunch of hilariously gratuitous sex scenes at the start) seems like it'll be this fun gory survival horror but is just grim and stomach-turning in its unpleasantness. Or the lost, a very tight thriller of JDs run amok in the 60s that ends with a really disgusting and racist prison rape fantasy - I have a feeling JK's politics were probably quite reactionary from reading these.

Those three are all pretty good tho, but after a while I was like ok I pretty much know what to expect from this guy now: extreme violence committed against (or perpetrated by) children, a parallel narrative of a world-weary ineffectual cop who arrives too late to save the day, birching (this is just a weirdly specific thing to keep showing up again and again, it's a bit yikes) - and the writing quality gets worse in the later books I read. Stranglehold is atrocious, manipulative tripe.

His short story "the box" is really good imo.

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Sunday, 6 January 2019 14:38 (one year ago) link

Also, as usual I missed a couple of books off my list: I also read out are the lights by Richard Laymon and our house by louise candlish. I found the Laymon on the "take a book, leave a book" shelf in our launderette and got excited because it has the half-remembered story I posted about here and later tried to look up but couldn't find any evidence that any such story existed. Laymon's an "extreme" horror merchant but much sillier than ketchum, all action and dialogue, one-sentence paragraphs and massive type, you can read a book of his in a couple of hours. The Candlish was me getting suckered by marketing, it was promoted with the hashtag #THATlastline & I was curious. It was ok, ymmv depending on how much you care about the anxieties of homeowners, the last line was completely unremarkable.

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Sunday, 6 January 2019 15:11 (one year ago) link

I've never been in a hurry to read Laymon as he's particularly known for gratuitous rape scenes but I feel obligated to try a few.

Girl Next Door and Off Season are the Ketchum fan favorites (haven't read any myself). I really don't know much about Ketchum's politics but he isn't one of those writers whose fans swing right or left.
There's a decent summary and biographical info in these links.


The first piece is “Henry Miller and The Push,” a memoir of Ketchum’s mercifully brief 1970s-era tenure as a New York literary agent, with clients that included his longtime hero Henry Miller. After pushing an old woman to the ground in a rush to catch a taxi, an act that shocked him as much as it did the woman he pushed, Ketchum became determined to quit his job immediately—but not until after meeting his idol face to face. The tale’s final pages lovingly detail that meeting, with Henry Miller registering as “a living fucking saint.” I’ve read other recollections of Miller that paint a far less rosy picture, but Ketchum’s claims are persuasive. Certainly his account demonstrates the enormous influence Henry Miller had on Ketchum’s life and writing, starting with the title of the book under discussion, which was evidently inspired by that of Miller’s BOOK OF FRIENDS.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 6 January 2019 15:34 (one year ago) link

I never even heard of Ketchum until early last year when I went to this annual recital/birthday party given by a flamenco guitarist and he mentioned various friends who had recently passed including Jack Ketchum and Billy Joel's piano teacher Morton Estrin.

Spirit of the Voice of the Beehive (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 6 January 2019 15:45 (one year ago) link

I loved Omensetter's Luck, but yes it did remind me more of Faulkner than anything by Barth or Gaddis or Pynchon, which was what I'd been expecting.

Matt DC, Sunday, 6 January 2019 15:57 (one year ago) link

I’ve told the “what fun do monks have?” joke irl

Xp I shouldn’t make assumptions about politics really as I know horror is often about pushing those kinds of buttons. Re ketchum’s career as an agent, didn’t he use that to get an author signed who turned out to be himself under a pseudonym or something?

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Sunday, 6 January 2019 16:05 (one year ago) link

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