What did you read in 2020?

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The year 2020 has a few days yet to run, but my year's list is a nice round 50 titles, so even though I'll probably read one more book before Jan 1, 2021 that round number is too tempting. My reading split almost precisely 2:1 fiction to non-fiction this year, counting essays & belles lettres as non-fiction. Quite a few of them were excellent books, but no single one rises high above the rest.

The books I read in 2020 (in the order that I finished them):

Iceland's Bell, Halldor Laxness
Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides (SW USA history)
Out of My Mind: On the Trail of Consciousness, Tim Parks
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, John LeCarre (re-read)
The Wicked Pavilion, Dawn Powell
Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold, Marshall Sprague
The Luck of the Bodkins, P.G. Wodehouse
The Swerve, Stephen Greenblatt (early renaissance history)
The Highland Clearances, John Prebble (18th century Scottish history)
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Taylor Branch
Innocence, Penelope Fitzgerald
Less Than Angels, Barbara Pym
Glory, Vladimir Nabokov
How to Create a Mind, Ray Kurzweil
The Human Factor, Graham Greene
A Coffin for Dimitrios, Eric Ambler
The Crock of Gold, James Stephens
Arthur & George, Julian Barnes
Maigret's Failure, Georges Simenon
Notes From Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky (translators: P&V) (re-read)
Equal Danger, Leonardo Sciascia
The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner (a history of Bell Labs)
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein (re-read)
Austerlitz, W. G. Sebald
Heroides, Publius Ovidius Naso (translator: H. Isbell)
Maigret in Society, Georges Simenon
A Few Green Leaves, Barbara Pym
Maigret and the Lazy Burglar, Georges Simenon
Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, Richard Rhodes
Unforgiving Years, Victor Serge
Uncle Fred in the Springtime, P.G. Wodehouse
Picture, Lillian Ross (profile of John Huston, circa 1952)
The Bachelor of Arts, R.K. Narayan
I'm Still Here, Austin Channing Brown
Red Harvest, Dashiell Hammett
The Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin (essays)
The Mountain Lion, Jean Stafford
Pietr the Latvian, Georges Simenon
Mountain City, Gregory Martin (re-read)
Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter (three novellas)
Dance Night, Dawn Powell
Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America, Michael Ruhlman
Fong and the Indians, Paul Theroux
The Fish Can Sing, Halldor Laxness
The Doctor is Sick, Anthony Burgess
By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
The Curse of Bigness: Anti-Trust in the New Gilded Age, Tim Wu
Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin
A Scanner Darkly, P.K. Dick
Because Internet: Understanding How Language is Changing, Gretchen McCulloch

Notable Fails & Rejections:

The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope (development was too glacially paced)
Amnesia Moon, Jonathon Lethem (I misplaced my copy, so I couldn't finish it)
Reaganland, Rick Perlstein (I couldn't face 900 pp of dismal, depressing history)

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Sunday, 27 December 2020 01:13 (two weeks ago) link

Impressive list! I will wait until Jan. 1 to do mine, because I'm hoping to finish at least one more book.

o. nate, Sunday, 27 December 2020 03:28 (two weeks ago) link

Too little really I think.
Too much podcast and webinar action.
So probably only got through about 20 titles

Bruce Pascoe Dark Emu
Angela Saint Superior
Michael Barnes It Was anew Day Yesterday
Wole Soyinke Death & the Kings horseman

Will think of others later.

Stevolende, Sunday, 27 December 2020 06:50 (two weeks ago) link

The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner (a history of Bell Labs)

how was this?

flopson, Sunday, 27 December 2020 07:21 (two weeks ago) link

how was this?

Well-researched, carefully written and interesting. The sheer number of important inventions coming out of Bell Labs is damned impressive and the author wanted to make sure his readers were suitably impressed. I was.

The book steps very gingerly around the biggest fly in the ointment, William Shockley, who was among the most important contributors to the invention of the transistor, but wrote The Bell Curve and became a hero to white supremacists to this day. The author tries to be even-handed between Shockley's ugly, bullying personality and his scientific accomplishments, but he fails to call Shockley a blatantly racist pos in strong enough terms and this failure rankles. It also handles the monopolistic aspect of Ma Bell by glancing at it rapidly and accepting it was important, then getting back asap to awed reverence for the science done in the lab.

Otherwise, an excellent survey of the history of the labs, well worth the time.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Sunday, 27 December 2020 18:46 (two weeks ago) link

I read some great books this year. The best being "Dr. Adder" by KW Jeter, "Black Mass" by John Gray and "Notes from a coma" by Mike McCormack.

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Sunday, 27 December 2020 22:13 (two weeks ago) link

my favorites are starred. a pretty good year -- a substantial number of books (for me), with some real winners.

non-fiction
John E. Douglas, Olshaker - Mindhunter
Ginzburg - The Cheese and the Worms ⭐
Reiss - Springfield Confidential
L.E. Hall - Katamari Damacy
Richard Evans - The Coming of the Third Reich
Elizabeth Kolbert - The Sixth Extinction
Lewis Thomas - Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
Tig Notaro - I'm Just a Person
Richard Rhodes - The Making of the Atomic Bomb ⭐
James Stewart - DisneyWar
Richard Ayoade - Ayoade on Top
Deborah Lipstadt - History on Trial
Berger, Dibb, Blomberg, Fox, Hollis - Ways of Seeing
Richard Evans - In Defense of History
David Halberstam - The Best and the Brightest ⭐
Kathleen Belew - Bring the War Home
Blake Snyder - Save the Cat (a hate read)
Kemper, Ellie - My Squirrel Days
Munroe, Randall - What If?
Hongoltz-Hetling - A Libertarian Walks into a Bear
David Brion Davis - Inhuman Bondage ⭐
Henry Marsh - Do No Harm
Carl Sagan - The Dragons of Eden

fiction
Magda Szabo - The Door ⭐
Sarah Moss - Ghost Wall ⭐
Hosseini - A Thousand Splendid Suns (very bad)
Sebald - The Emigrants
Bellairs - The House with a Clock in its Walls
Anthony Horowitz - The Sentence is Death
Soji Shimada - The Tokyo Zodiac Murders ⭐
Helen Eustis - The Horizontal Man
Robert Heinlein - The Puppet Masters (expanded version)
Saunders - The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
Bob-Waksberg - Someone who will love you in all your damaged glory
Hake Talbot - Rim of the Pit
Mervyn Peake - Titus Groan
Robert Heinlein - Double Star
Michael Gilbert - Smallbone Deceased
Christopher Priest - The Prestige
Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby (my only reread this year) ⭐
various, FitzGerald - The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Moliere - Tartuffe
Chekhov - The Cherry Orchard
Sophocles - Oedipus the King
Tom Stoppard - Arcadia ⭐

comics of some length with endings
Moon - Daytripper
Matsumoto - Cigarette Girl
Ito - Uzumaki
Gene Luen Yang - American Born Chinese
Hamish Steele - Pantheon

abandoned
David Harvey - A Brief History of Neoliberalism (got what I wanted from the introduction)
J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy (poorly written, poorly argued)

in progress, will likely finish before new year
Jean Rhys - Wide Sargasso Sea

my goodreads page, for ratings: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5253329?order=d&sort=date_read

wasdnuos (abanana), Sunday, 27 December 2020 23:21 (two weeks ago) link

the stars are for my favorites.

wasdnuos (abanana), Sunday, 27 December 2020 23:23 (two weeks ago) link

Here's my list, which is more than average for me. Some of it was stuff I was reading to my wife at night (ie the Sedaris books, which started great and got worse as we went back to the older ones), some more genre stuff than usual. The best were the Arthur Phillips (can't believe this was 2020, it feels so long ago), Ayad Akhtar, and Ben Macintyre. It was great to finally read The Dispossessed, and the Adrian Tchaikovsky ones were really fun too tbh (but sound pretty ridiculous when read aloud).

Adrian Tchaikovsky - Children of Time
David Sedaris - Calypso
Adrian Tchaikovsky - Children of Ruin
David Sedaris - Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
Arthur Phillips - The King at the Edge of the World
Sally Rooney - Normal People
Jenny Offil - Weather
Moshe Kasher - Kasher in the Rye
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed
Ben Macintyre - The Spy and the Traitor
David Mitchell - Utopia Avenue
Zadie Smith - Intimations
Alex S. Vitale - The End of Policing
China Mieville - The Last Days of New Paris
Brian Evenson - Song for the Unraveling of the World
Ayad Akhtar - Homeland Elegies
Susanna Clarke - Piranesi
Kelly Link - Get in Trouble

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 27 December 2020 23:42 (two weeks ago) link

All the Devils Are Here - David Seabrook
The Path to Power - Robert Caro
Notes of a Native Son - James Baldwin
Dog Soldiers - Robert Stone
How to Be an Anti-Racist - Ibram X. Kendi
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Robert Altman: The Oral Biography - Mitchell Zuckoff
Means of Ascent - Robert Caro
The Hot Rock - Donald Westlake
The Last Samurai - Helen DeWitt
Somebody Owes Me Money - Donald Westlake
The Outfit - Richard Stark
Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq - Stephen Kinzer
The End of Policing - Alex Vitale
The Summer Book - Tove Jansson
Master of the Senate - Robert Caro
James Joyce - Edna O'Brien
The Living Mountain - Nan Shepherd
The Devil Finds Work - James Baldwin
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water - Marc Reisner
Ulysses - James Joyce
Dreaming of Babylon - Richard Brautigan
The Passage of Power - Robert Caro
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents - Isabel Wilkerson
The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith

Chris L, Monday, 28 December 2020 02:10 (two weeks ago) link

Ordered by most recently read, favourites bolded. I definitely felt my attention span getting worse this year, not sure if it's just due to the ongoing spectacle of [gestures at everything] or if I'm just getting more impatient with stuff that doesn't grip me the whole way through as I get older. In recent years I've had a persistent fantasy of just having truckloads of idle time so that I'd be able to read whatever I want whenever I wanted, and in a year where I actually had a lot of idle time for a change, reading wasn't always my first choice activity. I read a lot again this year, but honestly I'm not sure if I'm enjoying it as much as I once did. Think I'll read less next year, and try to not feel guilty about that.

Jamaica Kincaid - A Small Place
Karl Ove Knausgård - Summer
Elif Batsman - The Possessed
David Shields - Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
Annie Dillard - The Abundance
Geoff Dyer - Zona
Don DeLillo - The Silence
Zena Hitz - Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life
Taffy Brodesser-Akner -Fleishman is in Trouble
Peter Conrad - Mythomania
Thomas Pynchon - Vineland
Louis-Ferdinand Cèline - Journey to the End of the Night
Michel Houellebecq - Atomised
Kazuo Ishiguro - An Artist of the Floating World
Hugh Mackay - The Inner Self
Mark O’Connell - Notes from an Apocalypse
Eula Biss - Having and Being Had
Han Kang - The White Book
Annie Dillard - For the Time Being
Raymond Carver - Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
Olivia Laing - Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency
Geoff Dyer - White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World
Rutger Bregman - Humankind: A Hopeful History
Kate Zambreno - Drifts
Andrew Sean Greer - Less
Tobias Wolff - Our Story Begins
Karl Ove Knausgård - Why I Write: Inadvertent
Cal Newport - Digital Minimalism
Stefan Zweig - The World of Yesterday
Geoffrey Blainey - A Shorter History of Australia
Daniel Mendelsohn - The Bad Boy of Athens
Rolf Dobelli - Stop Reading the News
Zadie Smith - Intimations
Gretchen McCulloch - Because Internet
Robert Walser - A Schoolboy’s Diary
Peter Singer - Ethics in the Real World
Matt Taibbi - Hate Inc.
David Lipsky - Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
Ottessa Moshfegh - Death in Her Hands
Claire Carlisle - Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard
Barbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood Bible
David Foster Wallace - The Pale King
Javier Marías - Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear
Denis Johnson - The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
Karl Ove Knausgård - The End (My Struggle #6)
Herman Melville - Bartleby, the Scrivener
Geoff Dyer - Out of Sheer Rage
W.G. Sebald - On the Natural History of Destruction
Charles Portis - The Dog of the South
Joan Didion - The Year of Magical Thinking
Ali Smith - How To Be Both
Julian Barnes - Flaubert’s Parrot
Philip Larkin - Jill
The School of Life - The Emotionally Intelligent Office
John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men
Geoff Dyer - Paris Trance
Charles Portis - Norwood
Alain de Botton - The Consolations of Philosophy
Tom McCarthy - Remainder
David Berman - Actual Air
Jenny Offill - Weather
Peter Guralnick - Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley
Hanif Adurraqib - Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes on A Tribe Called Quest
John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
Bret Easton Ellis - White
Yuval Noah Harari - 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Martin Hagglund - This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us Free
John Steinbeck - Travels with Charley
Teju Cole - Known and Strange Things
Marilynne Robinson - Home
Annie Ernaux - Happening
James Wood - Serious Noticing: Selected Essays
Lucia Berlin - A Manual For Cleaning Women: Selected Stories
Clive James - Unreliable Memoirs
Anna Wiener - Uncanny Valley
Jenny Offill - Dept. of Speculation
C.L.R. James - Beyond a Boundary
Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Lionel Trilling - The Liberal Imagination
Sheila Heti - How Should A Person Be?
Susan Orlean - The Library Book
Jia Tolentino - Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
Marilynne Robinson - Gilead
Lydia Davis - Essays: One

Started, but abandoned:

Mark Boyle - The Way Home
Marilynne Robinson - Lila
Josh Cohen - Not Working
Henrik Pontoppidian - Lucky Per
Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls
The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko - Essays in Idleness
Anthony DeCurtis - In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work
Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers
Donald Antrim - The Hundred Brothers
Sam Lipsyte - The Fun Parts
Adam Hochschild - King Leopold’s Ghost
Witold Gombrowicz - Diary
Gerald Murnane - The Plains
Rolf Dobelli - The Art of Thinking Clearly

triggercut, Monday, 28 December 2020 08:15 (two weeks ago) link

bolded are highlights, itals were unfinished; i think i read less this yr than past yrs but idk some of these are just long books so that played into it too; im becoming a biography junkie need the facts, spare no details

jake anderson - gone at midnight: the mysterious death of elisa lam
ruth franklin -shirley jackson bio
william hanley - slow dance on the killing ground
calvin tompkins - off the wall
david grann - killers of hte flower moon
brian friel - lovers
marshall fine - harvey keitel bio
john gardner - mickelsson's ghosts
joyce carol oates - middle age: a romance; wonderland; do with me what you will; night. sleep. death. the stars; wild nights!
delillo - the silence
charlie kaufman - antkind
roth - i married a communist
julie salamon - facing the wind
bernard pomerance - the elephant man
arthur miller - danger: memory!
judith thurman - secrets of the flesh colette bio
dean young - solar perplexus
ottessa monfegh -death in her hands
louis sheaffer - son and playwright/son and artist o'neill bio
michael vinson - bluffing texas style
paul kalanithi - when breath becomes air
thomas rogers - pursuit of happiness

johnny crunch, Monday, 28 December 2020 22:36 (two weeks ago) link

Marcel Proust – Albertine disparue
Stanley Cavell – The Senses of Walden
Simone de Beauvoir – Le deuxième sexe I
Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita
Kingsley Amis – Lucky Jim
Marcel Proust – Le Temps retrouvé
Thomas Mann (tr. Lowe-Porter) – The Magic Mountain
Leo Tolstoy (tr. Maudes/Mandelker) – War and Peace
Muriel Spark – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Patrick Leigh Fermor – A Time of Gifts
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
William G. Lycan – Philosophy of Language: a contemporary introduction
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – Dragon Wing
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – Elven Star
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – Fire Sea
Gene Wolfe – The Shadow of the Torturer
Gene Wolfe – The Claw of the Conciliator
Gene Wolfe – The Sword of the Lictor
Gene Wolfe – The Citadel of the Autarch
Ursula K. Le Guin – A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula K. Le Guin – The Tombs of Atuan
Ursula K. Le Guin – The Farthest Shore
Arthur Danto – The Transfiguration of the Commonplace
Richard Stark – The Hunter
Richard Stark – The Man with the Getaway Face
Richard Stark – The Outfit
Richard Stark – The Mourner
Richard Stark – The Score
Richard Stark – The Jugger
Richard Stark – The Seventh
Stephen R. Donaldson – Lord Foul’s Bane
Stephen R. Donaldson – The Illearth War
Stephen R. Donaldson – The Power That Preserves

A few in progress:
Samuel Delany – Dhalgren
Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment
Marcel Proust – Du côté de chez Swann

Comics:
Alejandro Jodorowsky & Moebius – L’Incal
Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières – Valérian et Laureline, l’intégrale vol. 1-3
Jean Van Hamme & Grzegorz Rosiński – Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel, vol. 1-3

jmm, Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:14 (two weeks ago) link

my relatively meagre reading over the past year...

alfred doblin - november 1918
george grosz - a small yes and a big no
george grosz - ecce homo
alfred kubin - dance of death
kenneth patchen - the journal of albion moonlight
alan burns - europe after the rain
alan burns - babel
alan burns - dreamerika!
ann quin - the unmapped country
anna kavan - machines in the head
ithell colquhoun - medea's charms
ithell colquhoun - goose of hermogenes
josephine tey - the franchise affair
elizabeth taylor - palladian
elizabeth bowen - to the north
william gerhardie - the polyglots
anthony powell - a dance to the music of time
jocelyn brooke - the orchid trilogy
jocelyn brooke - the image of a drawn sword
sylvia townsend warner - selected stories
christina stead - seven poor men of sydney
robin hyde - wednesday's children
robin hyde - disputed ground
robin hyde - dragon rampant
dorothy l. sayers - busman's honeymoon
various - shadows of sherlock holmes
claud cockburn - beat the devil
dashiell hammett - the continental op
michael innes - the appleby file
j.i.m. stewart - a use of riches
j.i.m. stewart - the last tresilians
j.i.m. stewart - the gaudy
walter allen - all in a lifetime
walter greenwood - love on the dole
mark rutherford - the revolution in tanner's lane
mark rutherford - catharine furze
mark rutherford - clara hopgood
thomas hardy - a pair of blue eyes
thomas hardy - two on a tower
thomas hardy - a laodicean
richard jefferies - wood magic
richard jefferies - bevis

no lime tangier, Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:25 (two weeks ago) link

Happily reading till November, and then only a couple since then:

Sadeq Hedayat - The Blind Owl
Pierre Michon - Small Lives
Petrarch in English
Christopher Marlowe - The Complete Poems and Translations
Omar Khayyam - The Rubayat
Alexander Pope - Selected
Osip Mandelstam - Selected
Anne Carson - If not, Winter
Fernando Pessoa - Poems in English
Linda Bostrom Knausgard - The Helios Disaster
Thomas Benhard - On the Mountain
Peter Handke - The Afternoon of a Writer
Franz Kafka - Letter to his Father
Anna Kavan - Sleep has his House
Natalia Ginzburg - Happiness, as Such
Nanni Balestrini - The Unseen
Agatha Christie - The Secret Adversary
P.G. Wodehouse - Code of the Woosters
Raymond Williams - Orwell
Cesar Aira - The Seamstress and the Wind
Juan Benet - A Meditation
Antonio Tabucchi - The Woman of Porto Pim
Ciaran Carson - In the Light of
Colette - Cheri
Marina Tsvetaeva - Selected
Pushkin - The Tales of Belkin
Elena Ferrante - Troubling Love
Colette - The Last of Cheri
Gerard Manley Hopkins - Poems and Prose
Gottfried Benn - Poems and Prose
Hart Crane - Complete
Geoffrey Hill - Complete
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o - Decolonising the Mind
Derek Walcott - What the Twilight Says
R. F. Langley - Complete
Jonathan Swift - The Major Works
Victor Serge - Memoirs of a Revolutionary
Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Vladimir Nabokov - Gogol
Vladimir Nabokov - Lectures on Russian Literature
Pierre Michon - Masters and Servants
Various - A Hidden Landscape Once a Week
Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels
Pier Paolo Pasolini - Roman Poems
Fernando Pessoa - The Book of Disquiet
E.M. Cioran - Short Histroy of Decay
Wyndham Lewis - Tarr
Simone Weil - Anthology
Juan Ramon Riberyo - The Word of the Speechless
P.G. Wodehouse - Week-end Wodehouse
Virginia Woolf - Diary (Vol. 2) 1920-24
Maria Gabriela Llansol - The Geography of Rebels
Janet Malcolm - The Silent Woman
Ciaran Carson - The Star Factory
Robert Musil - Posthumous Papers of a Living Author
Stanislaw Lem - Highcastle A Remembrance
Jorge Luis Borges - The Total Library Non-Fiction 1922-1986
G.K. Chesterton - The Best of Father Brown
Adelbert Von Chamisso - Peter Schlemihl
Ann Quin - Stories & Fragments
William Shakespeare - Hamlet
G K Chesterton - Robert Browning

In terms of new discoveries I like Juan Ramon Riberyo's stories quite a bit. Its rare to read a short story writer where the short stories aren't workshopping ideas for novels, or rehearsals. Colette, Carson and Simone Weil were the best new voices. Might read an extra novella or two by Colette, whereas Weil is something to explore more deeply. No one like her in that mix of Cathlolicism and anarchinist thought that pervades her writing and criticism. Finally Benet's A Meditation was a pretty singular, forgotten-in-the-bin modernist novel.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:27 (two weeks ago) link

Finishing up my reading for the year, this is what it looks like (not in this order: the csv I exported from bookshelf came out in a different order to when I added them fsr)
✌ denotes reread

Edith Grossman - Why Translation Matters
Can Xue - Vertical Motion ✌
Cristina Rivera Garza - The Taiga Syndrome
Antonio Tabucchi - Pereira Maintains
Richard Ayoade - Ayoade On Ayoade
Raymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely ✌
Elena Ferrante - Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)
Elena Ferrante - The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)
Amal Naj - Peppers
Anna Burns - Milkman
Olivia Laing - Crudo
Matt Ruff - Lovecraft Country
Djuna Barnes - Ladies Almanack
Raymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely ✌
John Le Carré - Smiley's People
Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Don Carpenter - Hard Rain Falling
Philip K. Dick - The Man in the High Castle
Elena Ferrante - My Brilliant Friend ✌
James Sallis - Driven (Drive, #2)
Bridget Christie - A Book for Her
Nuar Alsadir - Fourth Person Singular
Lynda La Plante - Widows
Linda Boström Knausgård,Martin Aitken - Welcome to America
Mikhail Lermontov - A Hero of Our Time
Lydia Davis - Can't and Won't
Matthew Gregory Lewis - The Monk ✌
Eula Biss - On Immunity: An Inoculation
James Sallis - Drive (Drive, #1)
Adania Shibli - Minor Detail
Lester Bangs - Blondie
Katharina Volckmer - The Appointment
Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Water Dancer
Elena Ferrante - The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2)
Nancy Mitford - Noblesse Oblige
Stephen King - Blaze
Ellen Baxt - Analfabeto
Bruno Schulz - The Street of Crocodiles
Tim O'Brien - The Things They Carried
Liu Cixin - The Three-Body Problem
Chester Himes - The Crazy Kill
Stanley Elkin - The Macguffin
William S. Burroughs - Queer
Audre Lorde - Zami
Paul Tremblay - The Cabin at the End of the World
John Barth - The Sot-weed Factor ✌
Kevin Barry - Night Boat to Tangier
Marguerite Duras - Blue Eyes Black Hair
Robert Bloch - Psycho House (Psycho #3)
Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca
Ilan Stavans - Popol Vuh: A Retelling
Thomas Ott - Cinema Panopticum
Donald E. Westlake - The Hunter (Parker, #1)
Susan Sontag - Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors
Cynthia Ozick - Letters of Intent: Selected Essays
Joe Hill - Full Throttle
Jeff Ryan - A Mouse Divided
Grace Paley,Vera B. Williams - Long Walks and Intimate Talks
José Saramago - Blindness
Willa Cather - April Twilights: And Other Poems (the Collected Works Of Willa Cather)
Jean-Patrick Manchette - Fatale
Natalia Ginzburg - Happiness, as Such
Ramsey Campbell - The Doll Who Ate His Mother
Diana Athill - Stet: An Editor's Life
Svetlana Alexievich - The Unwomanly Face of War
Susan Sontag - Modern Classics On Photography
Graham Masterton - Ghost Virus
Virginie Despentes - Bye Bye Blondie
Kobo Abe - The Woman in the Dunes
John Le Carre - The Looking Glass War
Han Kang - The White Book
Stephen King - If It Bleeds
Robert Bloch - Psycho
Juliet Jacques - Trans
Tracey Thorn - Naked at the Albert Hall
Kenneth Goldsmith - Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of Ubuweb
Robert Bloch - Psycho II (Psycho #2)
Stephen King - From a Buick 8 ✌
Rita Indiana - Tentacle
Dril - The Get Rich and Become God Method

usual mix of shit, mostly fiction. posted on here at the time that the 6 weeks or so I was locked down in the spring I barely did any reading at all, in a classic "time enough at last" twist w/ my bad brain in the place of the broken glasses; as soon as I was back in work (and so had zero time for it) I got really into it again fml. The bus part of my commute is only really long enough to read a handful of pages & I almost wish it were longer sometimes. I deeply love this pastime and it has helped me keep some sanity this year and I think a lot of these will stick in my memory the way you remember books you read on holiday.

My one "abandoned" book this year was cancer ward which I was 200 odd pages into when lockdown hit and I just never got back to it for some reason. I will at some point tho. As for 2021 I have several books on the go atm because lol xmas break peripatesis and I have a few notions of where to go next - inc as ever titles mentioned by you lovely people that I see & go 'oh I must get to that soon'

Cheese flavoured Momus (wins), Thursday, 31 December 2020 18:24 (two weeks ago) link

Toilers Of The Sea - Victor Hugo *
1856: The Wreck Of The Golden Mary - Charles Dickens et al
O002 Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
The Peripheral - William Gibson +
Agency - William Gibson +
The Sands Of Mars - A C Clarke +
The Weapon Shops of Isher - A. E. van Vogt +
The Plague - Albert Camus
Rebus 11: Set in Darkness (2000) - Ian Rankin
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
1857: The Perils Of Certain English Prisoners - Charles Dickens et al
1858: A House To Let - Charles Dickens et al
Reprinted Pieces - Charles Dickens
Children Of Jocasta - Natalie Haynes
The Penelopiad - Margaret Attwood
Song Of Achilles - Madeline Miller *
Trojan Women (Coleridge 1891) - Euripides
Trojan Women (Murray 1905) - Euripides
Sex Power Money - Sara Pascoe
The Descent Of Man - Grayson Perry
How To Be A Woman - Caitlin Moran
Why I’m No Longer Talking (To White People) About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
How to Argue With a Racist - Adam Rutherford
The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu
Rosewater - Tade Thompson
The Uncommercial Traveller - Charles Dickens
Murder in the Vicarage - Agatha Christie
Firewall - Mankell
Rebus 12: The Falls (2001) - Ian Rankin
The Man Who Laughs - Victor Hugo
I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead - Olga Tokarczuk
Oryx And Crake - Margaret Attwood *
Silence Of The Girls - Pat Barker *
Charles Dickens: A Life - Claire Tomalin
Bleak House - Charles Dickens +
XX - Ryan Hughes +

the *s are favourites. last two are in progress. the +s are physical books.

koogs, Thursday, 31 December 2020 18:59 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC_pbzXn3YM

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:12 (two weeks ago) link

Definitely read that first title as "toilets of the sea."

Lily Dale, Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:13 (two weeks ago) link

Didn't get through nearly as many pages as I would have liked this year, the result of new homeownership and a hundredfold increase in job stress cutting into reading time. But I also managed to take down some big game that I'd been after for a while like Dune, Ducks Newburyport and starting the Caro LBJ bios, so all in all a good year I suppose.

Banjo - Claude McKay
Dune - Frank Herbert
Beastie Boys Book
Actual Air - David Berman
Ducks, Newburyport - Lucy Ellmann
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland - Patrick Radden Keefe
Ward Six & Other Stories - Anton Chekhov
The Prague Cemetery - Umberto Eco
Alice Munro - Runaway
The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock - Charles White
The Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo - Germano Almeida
The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson vol 1) - Robert Caro
Waiting - Ha Jin
Heart of a Dog - Mikhail Bulgakov
Wanderer - Sterling Hayden
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - Yukio Mishima
Sister Carrie - Theodore Dreiser
Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War - Tony Horwitz
And A Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails - Wayne Curtis
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
33 1/3: Tim Maia Racional Vols. 1 & 2 - Allen Thayer

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:18 (two weeks ago) link

The Anarchy of the Imagination: Interviews, Essays, Notes — Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Queer — William S. Burroughs
Hollywood Babylon — Kenneth Anger
Journey to the End of the Night — Louis-Ferdinand Céline
A Girl’s Got to Breathe: The Life of Teresa Wright — Donald Spoto
Against the Web: A Cosmopolitan Answer to the New Right — Michael Brooks
Death in Venice — Thomas Mann
I Curse the River of Time — Per Petterson
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said — Philip K. Dick
Tonio Kröger — Thomas Mann
Woodcutters — Thomas Bernhard
America — Jean Baudrillard
Vagablonde — Anna Dorn
The Crying of Lot 49 — Thomas Pynchon
Despair — Vladimir Nabokov
The Theater and its Double — Antonin Artaud
Death in Her Hands — Ottessa Moshfegh
Antkind — Charlie Kaufman
Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography — Roland Barthes
Fraternity — Benjamin Nugent
Querelle de Brest — Jean Genet
The People, No — Thomas Frank
The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution — Scott Eyman
Rage — Bob Woodward
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls — Peter Biskind
Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford — Scott Eyman
V. — Thomas Pynchon

Claude Chabrol: Interviews — Christopher Beach
Fassbinder: The Life and Work of a Provocative Genius — Christian Braad Thomsen
John Ford: Interviews — Gerald Peary
America in the Movies — Michael Wood
Daddy — Emma Cline
The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me — Lillian Gish
The Jakarta Method — Vincent Bevins
home body — Rupi Kaur
Correction — Thomas Bernhard
Death on the Installment Plan — Louis-Ferdinand Céline

flappy bird, Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:35 (two weeks ago) link

Holy shit, how do you all find the time:

Gravity's Rainbow
Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983

Jimi Buffett (PBKR), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:41 (two weeks ago) link

something on one of these lists set off a memory so I logged into the bad and hated goodreads and sure enough, I don't know how every year I manage to miss something off but this year I also read a book for her by bridget christie - I always have a few of this sort of book that I read in a year so I can get rid of them & make space. The christie was... okay, I feel like the shows it was pulling from might have been better. ppl are very anti humour books but I should say the ayoade and dril books I read both made me laugh a lot

Cheese flavoured Momus (wins), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:43 (two weeks ago) link

how do you all find the time

it's partly favorable circumstances, partly a matter of making time

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:53 (two weeks ago) link

Dickens - Great Expectations
Dickens - Hard Times
Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
Salinger - Nine Stories
Salinger - Franny & Zooey
Salinger - Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction
Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four

cajunsunday, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:01 (two weeks ago) link

Holy shit, how do you all find the time:

Gravity's Rainbow

humblebrag hall of fame

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:02 (two weeks ago) link

lmfao

more time than ever this year

flappy bird, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:04 (two weeks ago) link

I'm at that point where reading feels like work because it literally is. These days I'd rather listen to music and play video games to unwind – merely browsing ILB is a source of stress tbh, whereas ILM remains evergreen. Anyway, I read less for non-academic purposes this year than I have in a very long time, which probably bespeaks a mild-ish burn-out.

pomenitul, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:14 (two weeks ago) link

Most non-work-related reading is 'reading for pleasure'. If reading gives you no pleasure and your pleasure lies elsewhere, it only makes sense to gravitate in that direction and away from books for a while.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:18 (two weeks ago) link

It's a classic case of having one thing you love semi-ruined by the need to eke out a living through it, although I'm sure it will pass sooner or later. Perhaps I wouldn't enjoy music as much if I were a musician or a professional critic or a musicologist.

pomenitul, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:23 (two weeks ago) link

Apparently I didn't do much in 2020 except read.

FICTION

Arlen, Hell! Said the Duchess
Asimov, The Caves of Steel
Bachman (King), The Long Walk
Banville, Snow
Beckford, Vathek
Beddoes, Death’s Jest-Book
Bester, The Demolished Man
Blackburn, A Beastly Business
Buchan, Witch Wood
Campbell, Born to the Dark
Campbell, The Searching Dead
Campbell, The Way of the Worm
Carr, Poison in Jest
Carr, The Lost Gallows
Cather, My Antonia
Chandler, The Long Goodbye
Chase, Black Wings Has My Angel
Clement, Mission of Gravity
Collins, The Moonstone
Davidson, The Chelsea Murders
Dickson (Carr), Death in 5 Boxes
Dickson (Carr), The Reader Is Warned
Dinesen, Seven Gothic Tales
Dumas, The Fencing Master
Gardner, 14 Perry Mason novels
Hand, Wylding Hall
Knight, The Fungus
Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time
Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas
Machen, The Great God Pan, and The Inmost Light
Machen, The Red Hand
Machen, The Three Imposters
Machen, The White People
Manchette, Fatale
Manchette, The Prone Gunman
Manchette, Three to Kill
Merritt, Burn Witch Burn!
Merritt, Creep, Shadow!
Merritt, Dwellers in the Mirage
Peacock, Nightmare Abbey
Pushkin (tr. Nabokov), Eugene Onegin
Rogers, The Red Right Hand
Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
Simenon, 17 Maigret novels
Stone, Dog Soldiers
Straub, Ghost Story
Sturgeon, More Than Human
Thomas, Briarpatch
Tolkien, The Silmarillion
Turgenev, Sketches from a Hunter’s Album
Wallace, The Fellowship of the Frog
Yurick, The Warriors

NON-FICTION

Adamic, Dynamite!
Anderson, The Realness of Things Past
Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen
Borges, Selected Non-Fiction
Chambers, The Campaigns of Napoleon
Clute, The Darkening Garden
Dregni, Rockabilly
Ducrot and Todorov (eds.), Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Sciences of Language
Edwards, The Golden Age of Murder
Faivre, Western Esotericism: A Concise History
Gleeson, Judo Inside Out
Hale, Cool Town
Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848
Horning, Chasing Sound
Juniper, Wabi Sabi
King, Danse Macabre
Lively, Oleander, Jacaranda
Miyazato, Okinawa Den Gojuryu Karate-do
Monleon, A Specter Is Haunting Europe: A Sociohistorical Approach to the Fantastic
Motobu, My Art and Skill of Karate
Nigten, Recorded Reflections
Sinker (ed.), A Hidden Landscape Once a Week
Standage, The Victorian Internet
Tosches, King of the Jews

Brad C., Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:25 (two weeks ago) link

having one thing you love semi-ruined by the need to eke out a living through it

one big reason why I never sought to work in a bookstore or library. i avoided academia, too, for somewhat similar reasons (but the enormous USA glut of advanced degree holders all looking for the same jobs was an even bigger deterrent).

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:30 (two weeks ago) link

You'll never know for sure, and neither will I, but it sounds like you made the right call from where I'm standing!

pomenitul, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:41 (two weeks ago) link

had no idea there was a dril book, thats going to straight the top of the list

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:42 (two weeks ago) link

There are two!

Cheese flavoured Momus (wins), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:47 (two weeks ago) link

The first one is just a compilation of the tweets aiui, this is a bit more like a conventional tie-in humour book but the dril voice is v consistent in it

Cheese flavoured Momus (wins), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:49 (two weeks ago) link

I found that working in a bookstore didn't dampen my love of reading, despite what Orwell says; it actually helped because I had to go through bins of donated books and I could take home any that were too beat up or obscure to sell. And there was at least one regular customer who had similar tastes in books and would lend me things he thought I'd like.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 31 December 2020 21:05 (two weeks ago) link

Hit the magic 52! That's with reading for about half an hour almost every night. Did not finish two or three including Ducks, Newburyport - good, but too much. Thanks to Daniel_Rf for his polls without which I may never have discovered the memorable Lud-in-the-Mist and The Black Spider, my pick of the year.

The Testaments - Margaret Atwood
Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo
Kudos - Rachel Cusk
Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead - Olga Tokarczuk
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth Taylor
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - Angela Saini
Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Big Jump - Leigh Brackett
Free Falling - Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
Agent of Change - Shannon Lee & Steve Miller
Ancestral Night - Elizabeth Bear
The Giant's House - Elizabeth McCracken
The Black Spider - Jeremias Gotthelf
Infinite Powers - Steven Strogatz
2312 - Kim Stanley Robinson
Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout
Excellent Women - Barbara Pym
Superior: The Return of Race Science - Angela Saini
The Liars Club - Mary Karr
The Outside - Ada Hoffman
Nudibranch - Irenosen Okojie
Beneath the World, a Sea - Chris Beckett
Less than Angels - Barbara Pym
The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Middlemarch - George Eliot
People in Trouble - Sarah Schulman
Beasts - John Crowley
Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell
A Memory Called Empire - Arkady Martine
Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan
Reasons to be Cheerful - Nina Stibbe
The Deep - John Crowley
The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown
Olive, Again - Elizabeth Strout
That Thing around your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Our Spoons Came from Woolworths - Barbara Comyns
On Immunity - Eula Bliss
Love, Again - Doris Lessing
Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey
Primeval and Other Times - Olga Tokarczuk
The Lesson - Cadwell Turnbull
Ka - John Crowley
Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
The Wimbourne Book of Victorian Ghost Stories vol 2 - Various
Educated - Tara Westover
Piranesi - Susanna Clarke
400 Billion Stars - Paul J McAuley
Virtuoso - Yelena Moskvich
Transcendent Kingdom - Yaa Gyasi
Lud-in-the-Mist - Hope Mirrlees

ledge, Thursday, 31 December 2020 21:38 (two weeks ago) link

> The Wimbourne Book of Victorian Ghost Stories vol 2

shit me, 17 volumes of these.

koogs, Thursday, 31 December 2020 22:12 (two weeks ago) link

How was the Lee & Miller, Chris Beckett and McAuley?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 31 December 2020 22:16 (two weeks ago) link

shit, people read these lists! Lee & miller: rather facile space adventure romance; Beckett: better, shades of roadside picnic and annihilation but with a few more human characters than either of those; Mcauley: a bit planetbound given the title and handwavey in places but not bad for a debut, will try his latest next.

shit me, 17 volumes of these.

ikr, just trying to find some good non mr james ghost stories. only one in this volume.

ledge, Thursday, 31 December 2020 22:51 (two weeks ago) link

Fiction:
Kurt Tucholsky - Castle Gripsholm
Elizabeth Bowen - The House In Paris *
Homer - The Odyssey (tr. Fagles)
Sally Rooney - Normal People
George Saunders - Civilwarland in Bad Decline
Multatuli - Max Havelaar
Driss Chraibi - The Simple Past
Daniel Defoe - Journal of the Plague Year
Albert Camus - The Plague ^
Michel Houellebecq - Submission
Thomas Mann - Dr Faustus +
Samuel Beckett - Malone Dies ^
Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles ^*
Jenny Offill - Weather
Willa Cather - Song of the Lark
Natalia Ginzburg - Valentino and Sagittarius *
Natalia Ginzburg - Happiness, As Such
Charles Portis - True Grit
Walter Kempowski - Marrow and Bone
William Faulkner - Selected Short Stories (Modern Library ed.)
Nell Zink - Doxology
Eric Vuillard - The Order of the Day
Nikolai Leskov - Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk: Selected Stories *
Guido Morselli - Dissipatio H.G.

Nonfiction:
James and Kay Salter - Life is Meals
Mara Leveritt - Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three
J. Huizinga - The Waning of the Middle Ages
Max Weber - Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures
Ben Sonnenberg - Lost Property: Memoirs and Confessions of a Bad Boy
Thomas Nagel - The View from Nowhere *
Daisy Dunn - The Shadow of Vesuvius: a Life of Pliny

Poetry:
Michael Hofmann - One Lark, One Horse *
Michael Hofmann - Approximately Nowhere
Rabindranath Tagore - Collected Poems and Plays +

* highly recommended
+ didn't finish
^ a re-read

o. nate, Thursday, 31 December 2020 23:04 (two weeks ago) link

> Piranesi - Susanna Clarke

Any good? Was the only thing that jumped out at me from this month's Kindle monthly deal, probably because you're the second person to mention it this week (and also, y'know, Piranesi)

koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 10:54 (two weeks ago) link

I mentioned it in the sf thread: ThReads Must Roll: the new, improved rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread - in short, meh, but others have raved about it.

ledge, Friday, 1 January 2021 11:01 (two weeks ago) link

Still full price on the kobo site at the mo, will see if that changes. It's not like I don't have 2 years of reading in my to-do list anyway.

koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 11:52 (two weeks ago) link

Without a daily commute, I lost a lot of my reading time this year. I also got bogged down for quite a while in Antony Beevor's mammoth history of the Second World War, something way outside my normal areas of interest; I got about half way through but eventually gave up out of sheer boredom. At least I discovered that military history - descriptions of troop formations, weaponry, manoeuvres etc etc - is really not my thing.

Nobody's Looking at You: Essays - Janet Malcolm 3/5
Cards on the Table - Agatha Christie 3/5 (Poirot)
Rusty Brown - Chris Ware 5/5
The Embedding - Ian Watson 3/5
The Palace of Eternity - Bob Shaw 2/5
Non-Stop - Brian Aldiss 4/5
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens 4/5
Tau Zero - Poul Anderson 2/5
The Drowned World - J G Ballard 4/5
Inverted World - Christopher Priest 4/5
Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury 2/5
Make Room! Make Room! - Harry Harrison 4/5
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham 4/5 (this was surprisingly grim for a 'cosy catastrophe', but maybe it just seemed that way because it was what I was reading when we went into lockdown)
The Final Programme - Michael Moorcock 4/5 (Jerry Cornelius)
Venus Plus X - Theodore Sturgeon 3/5
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie 4/5 (Poirot)
A Mirror for Observers - Edgar Pangborn 3/5
Diary of a Man in Despair - Reck-Malleczewen 4/5
The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham 4/5
The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: 14th series - Lionel Davidson (ed) 3/5
Groo: Fray of the Gods - Aragones & Evanier 2/5
Earthly Powers - Anthony Burgess 3/5
What Bloody Man is That? - Simon Brett 3/5 (Charles Paris)
A Series of Murders - Simon Brett 3/5 (Charles Paris)
The Dark Descent 1: The Color of Evil - David G Hartwell (ed) 4/5
The Dark Descent 2: The Medusa in the Shield - David G Hartwell (ed) 4/5
The Dark Descent 3: A Fabulous, Formless Darkness - David G Hartwell (ed) 4/5
Essential Avengers Vol 6 - Steve Englehart et al 4/5
Paul Goes Fishing - Michel Rabagliati 4/5
Orbitsville - Bob Shaw 3/5
Essential Avengers Vol 7 - Englehart et al 3/5
A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald - Errol Morris 3/5
Dubliners - James Joyce 5/5
The Year of the Quiet Sun - Wilson Tucker 4/5
The Night Fire - Michael Connelly 3/5 (Bosch/Ballard)
The Queen's Gambit - Walter Tevis 5/5

Ward Fowler, Friday, 1 January 2021 13:41 (two weeks ago) link

I have Stalingrad on my to-do list. (And also Stalingrad)

koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 14:06 (two weeks ago) link

(Beevor's and Grossman's)

koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 14:07 (two weeks ago) link

The Wyndham books that as well known as those two are also worth reading. Kraken was one of my faves of 2019.

koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 14:09 (two weeks ago) link

Susan Cooper - The Dark is Rising
Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian (re-read)
Bob Dylan - Chronicles
Elizabeth Taylor - Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont *
William Cobbett - Rural Rides
Paul Muldoon - The End of the Poem
Kathleen Jamie - Surfacing
William Styron - Darkness Visible
WH Auden - About the House
Seamus Heaney - Death of a Naturalist
Colm Toibin - The Blackwater Lightship
Elizabeth Bishop - North & South
Sally Rooney - Normal People
Elizabeth Bishop - A Cold Spring
Hilary Mantel - The Mirror and the Light *
Susan Cain - Quiet
Iris Murdoch - The Bell *
Janet Frame - To the Island
Gideon Haigh - On Warne
Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
Magda Szabo - The Door
Mick Herron - Slow Horses
Carol Shields - The Stone Diaries
Hera Lindsay Bird - S/T
Max Porter - Lanny
John Berger - Ways of Seeing *
Willa Cather - O Pioneers! *
Dan Simmons - Hyperion
Susan Hill - The Woman in Black (re-read)
Ben Lerner - Leaving the Atocha Station
Seamus Heaney - Finders Keepers
Ben Macintyre - The Spy and the Traitor
Anthony Powell - A Question of Upbringing
Ta-Nehisi Coates - Between the World and Me *
Michel Houellebecq - Platform (awful pish)
Michael Chabon - Kavalier and Clay
Alberto Manguel - A History of Reading
Peter Biskind - Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
David Toop - Ocean of Sound (re-read) *
Kay Redfield Jamison - An Unquiet Mind
Dhanveer Singh Brar - Beefy's Tune: Dean Blunt Edit
Arkady Strugatsky - Roadside Picnic
Rafia Zakaria - Veil
John le Carre - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Barry Lopez - Arctic Dreams *

Not a bad year. I got 'stuck' around July/August time and couldn't read anything. I'm slowly making my way back from there. I'd like to read more poetry in 2021 (and avoid canonical texts, if I can).

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 1 January 2021 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

* = the ones that really stood out.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 1 January 2021 15:49 (two weeks ago) link

Every year I swear I'll keep a better list, and every year I end up going back into my camera, journals, and library receipts to construct my list. So, more later.

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Friday, 1 January 2021 16:10 (two weeks ago) link

Unsurprisingly, most of the books on this list are poetry books— some of them are very long, some are only fifty pages or so. There are 99 books in all. A '*' means that I've previously read the book and this occasion was a re-read, a '%' means that I only read sections of the book. Much of this reading comes on top of other reading necessary for work, though there is some overlap.

Mark Johnson, Sham Refugia
Mark Johnson, 800 JKS
Ken Belford, Internodes*
Erica Hunt, Veronica: A Suite in X Parts
Tyrone Williams, As iZ
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Dread Beat and Blood*
Fred Moten, All That Beauty
Simone Browne, Dark Matters
Dambudzo Marechera, Black Sunlight
Dambudzo Marechera, The House of Hunger*
Dambudzo Marechera, Scrapiron Blues
Dionne Brand, The Blue Clerk
Lawrence Giffin, Christian Name
Lawrence Giffin, Untitled, 2004
Lawrence Giffin, Plato's Closet
J.H. Prynne, The White Stones*
Rebecca Kosick, Labor Day
Kit Schluter, Pierrot's Fingernails
Andy Sterling, Who Own's Primo's?
Emma Brown Sanders, Fallow Channel
Clara B. Jones, /masculine nature/
J. Gordon Faylor, Want
J. Gordon Faylor, The Antoecians %
Brandon Shimoda, The Grave on the Wall
Ed Steck, An Interface for a Fractal Landscape
Julia Bloch, The Sacramento of Desire
Sesshu Foster, City of the Future*
Sesshu Foster, City Terrace Field Manual
Jules Boykoff, Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge
Sara Larsen, The Riot Grrrl Thing
Norma Cole, Spinoza in Her Youth
Norma Cole, Mars
Norma Cole, Moira
Norma Cole, Do The Monkey
Norma Cole, Scout
Norma Cole, Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes Inside
Norma Cole, To Be At Music: Essays & Talks
Jean Day, The Triumph of Life
Jean Day, Daydream
Jean Day, Enthusiasm: Odes & Otium*
Jean Day, The Literal World
Jean Day, A Young Recruit
Jean Day, The I and the You
Lyn Hejinian, Positions of the Sun
Lyn Hejinian, Writing is an Aid to Memory
Lyn Hejnian, A Border Comedy
Lyn Hejinian, Happiness
Lyn Hejinian, Slowly
Lyn Hejinian and Carla Harryman, The Wide Road
Lawrence Brathwaite, Wigger*
Rob Budde, Declining America
Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Redactive*
Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Ogress Oblige*
Anna Gurton-Wachter, Utopia Pipe Dream Memory
Denise Riley, Selected Poems
Denise Riley, Say Something Back/Time Lived, Without its Flow
Jarett Kobek, I Hate the Internet
Camille Roy, Swarm
Tom Raworth, Collected Poems %
Barbara Guest, Selected Poems
Barbara Guest, The Türler Losses
Gail Scott, Heroine
Nicole Brossard, Fences in Breathing
Nicole Brossard, Picture Theory
Nicole Brossard, Mauve Desert*
Nicole Brossard, Notebook of Roses and Civilization
Nicole Brossard, French Kiss
Brossard, Scott, et al, Theory, a Sunday
P. Inman, Per Se
Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish*
Robert Majzels, Kharlamov's Ankle
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black
Charles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You: Stories
Toni Cade Bambara, The Sea Birds Are Still Alive
ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love*
Steve Orth, The Life and Times of Steve Orth
Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain
Vincent Bevins, The Jakarta Method
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth*
Grégoire Chamayou, Drone Theory
Grégoire Chamayou, Manhunts
Sayak Valencia, Gore Capitalism
Achille Mbembe, Necropolitics
Achille Mbembe, On the Post-Colony
Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts
William T. Vollman, Rising Up and Rising Down %
Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus %
Spinoza, Ethics %*
Sophia Dahlin, Natch
Carlos Lara, Like Bismuth When I Enter
Asiya Wadud, Syncope*
Gina Myers, Some of the Times
Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother
Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
Jeff Vandermeer, Authority
Jennifer Soong, Near, At
Joyelle McSweeney, Toxicon & Arachne
Chris Nealon, The Shore

and chapbooks or pamphlets by Zan de Parry, Caleb Beckwith, Claudia La Rocco, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Buffy Cain, Bruce Andrews, Amandine André, Blanche Brown, and probably a few that I am forgetting.

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Friday, 1 January 2021 23:17 (two weeks ago) link

And of course, I forgot one, S*an D. Henry-Smith, Wild Peach. So, an even 100!

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Friday, 1 January 2021 23:22 (two weeks ago) link

pvmic but I read 314 books: these were the best ones
https://i.ibb.co/0DVWGYm/Eqh825x-UUAM3-VEH.jpg

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 2 January 2021 01:50 (one week ago) link

Do you...read them all, or are you including audiobooks?

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Saturday, 2 January 2021 02:13 (one week ago) link

I think there were maybe 4 audiobooks in that lot? But it's a lot faster to read a real book than listen to it as an audiobook.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 2 January 2021 07:31 (one week ago) link

314 - I have so many questions!

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 2 January 2021 11:29 (one week ago) link

I...just don't understand how anyone can read that much without it being their job. Even if I counted the manuscripts and parts of books I read this past year, it would add up to maaaaybe 150.

So how do you do it?

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Saturday, 2 January 2021 12:27 (one week ago) link

Plotinus - The Enneads Stephen Mackenna translation
Francis Yates - Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition
Petronius - The Satyricon and Seneca The Apocolocyntosis
Ronald Hutton - The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year, 1400-1700
Greek Lyric Poetry trans M.L. West
Boccaccio - The Decameron G.H. McWilliam translation
Comte de Lautréamont - Maldoror and Poems (well I didnt finish the poems as they were so dispiriting and conservative)
Thomas Browne - Pseudodoxia epidemica ed by Kevin Killeen
A Man Very Well Studyed: New Contexts for Thomas Browne
Sir Thomas Browne: The World Proposed
Francis Bacon - The Major Works OUP
Italo Calvino - If on a Winter's Night a Traveller
John Guy - Tudor England
Lawrence Manley - Literature and Culture in Early Modern London
Arthur Kinney ed - Rogues Vagabonds Sturdy Beggars
Lucian - Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketches
Eamon Duffy - The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580
Virgil - The Eclogues and The Georgics
Thomas Nashe - The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works
Paul Griffiths ed - Londinopolis, c.1500 - c.1750: Essays in the Cultural and Social History of Early Modern London
Ben Jonson - Complete Poems OUP
John Stubbs - John Donne: The Reformed Soul
Dekker, Jonson etc - The Roaring Girl and Other City Comedies
Juvenal - The Satires OUP
Roger Chartier - The Order of Books
Brian Ogilvie - The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe
Edward Topsell - The History Of Four-footed Beasts And Serpents And Insects
Ian Donaldson - Ben Jonson A Life
Pico Della Mirandola: Oration on the Dignity of Man
Michael Hulse ed - The New Poetry
Gail Kern Paster - The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:00 (one week ago) link

Plotinus - The Enneads Stephen Mackenna translation

Admirable! No matter how I approach the Enneads of Plotinus, I can't seem to find a friendly entry. I've consigned it, sadly, to the group of universally acknowledged classics I just can't seem to scale.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:07 (one week ago) link

Insomnia, laziness, working part time, don't watch much telly, a magic monkey's paw

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:20 (one week ago) link

If you could locate the remainder of the monkey, I bet there'd be hot bidding for the other three, plus any other parts you could subdivide it into.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:38 (one week ago) link

Lucian I only know for a very early Sci fi precursor which I always meant to read but never did. I think it was a from the earth to the moon type thing from the time of Greece or Rome.

Glumdalclitch was the name of a witch's familiar in a story in House Of Mystery when I was a preteen. May have been borrowed from somewhere though of course.

Stevolende, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:44 (one week ago) link

James - you must be one of the few who reads books when lazy.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:45 (one week ago) link

Glumdalclitch was the name of the girl who owned Gulliver as a pet when he was among the Brobdingnagians.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:48 (one week ago) link

Oh right. Yeah that rings a bell.

Stevolende, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:56 (one week ago) link

James, we don't own a television, so I also have that advantage. Still boggles my mind.

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Sunday, 3 January 2021 12:57 (one week ago) link

I read about 150 - these are my favourite 25 or so:

Simone de Beauvoir - Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
Graham Swift - Waterland
Jack London - John Barleycorn
Albert Camus - The First Man
Gitta Sereny - Into That Darkness
Alberto Moravia - Conjugal Love
Hjalmar Soderberg - Doctor Glas
Paul Bailey - Chapman's Odyssey
Ernesto Sabato - The Tunnel
Sven Lindqvist - The Dead Do Not Die
Haruki Murakami - Norwegian Wood
Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince
Naguib Mahfouz - Palace Walk: Cairo Trilogy 1
Robin Maugham - Escape from the Shadows
Beverley Nichols - A Case of Human Bondage
Elias Canetti - The Tongue Set Free
José Saramago - Blindness
Leon Goldensohn - The Nuremberg Interviews
Charles Jackson - The Lost Weekend
Washington Irving - The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
Gregor von Rezzori - Memoirs Of An Anti-Semite
Emmanuel Bove - My Friends
Stephen Vizinczey - In Praise of Older Women
David Kidd - Peking Story
Russell Baker - Growing Up
Frank Tallis - The Incurable Romantic

Aiden, Sunday, 3 January 2021 18:02 (one week ago) link

John Farris - When Michael Calls
Carsten Jensen - We, The Drowned
R.W. Spryszak - Edju
William Morris - The Water of the Wondrous Isles
Andrew Michael Hurley - The Loney
Bernard Taylor - The Moorstone Sickness
Colin Wilson - The Mind Parasites
Colin Wilson - Super Consciousness: The Quest for the Peak Experience
Brian Aldiss - Hothouse
H. G. Wells - The War of the Worlds
Marta Randall - Islands
E.F. Benson - The Horror Horn And Other Stories
J. P. Martin - Uncle
Daphne du Maurier - Jamaica Inn
Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca
Kurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of Titan
Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez - Locke & Key (Vols. 1-3)
Mark Helprin - Winter's Tale
(dnf yet - I'm setting it aside for a while because I can only tolerate so much wide-eyed wonder in one calendar year. currently reading Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique tales)

ridingstarbassxd (unregistered), Sunday, 3 January 2021 19:18 (one week ago) link

+ Michelle Paver - Wakenhyrst

ridingstarbassxd (unregistered), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 02:35 (one week ago) link

terrible year for reading, in what i thought would be a good year. factors:

  • I thought covid lockdowns would be a positive space for productive thinking, reading and writing, and it started out that way but i got into bad habits, and it was like previous years but worse
  • binge reading, comfort re-reading, unfinished books, relatively poor engagement with the books i did read
  • shying away from emotional engagement with books because i found it too hard to unlock that area of myself. this meant i read a load of garbage basically
no order and i'm not entirely convinced around some of the collections when I started and when I finished. non reread stuff that i thought was good in bold.

XX - Angela Chadwick (won an award, useful in that it made me realise I *really* don't like this sort of fiction)
All the Agatha Christie Poirots
All the Agatha Christie Miss Marples
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - JLC (reread)
A Perfect Spy - JLC (reread)
The Honourable Schoolboy - JLC (bad not good)
Mordew - Alex Pheby (a complicated indifference and mild dislike, also combined with the fact that the last book i really disliked was also galley beggar press made me wonder whether they've got a house style that i don't like. of this sort of book, reading Gormenghast for the world building and Mason and Dixon for the style. Oddly like reading a computer game at times. Not entirely without interest).
Reinhardt's Garden - Mark Haber (did not like)
Infinite Detail - Tim Maughan (liked mildly)
An Indifference of Birds - Richard Smyth (sort of liked i guess)
Theory of Bastards - Audrey Schulman (enjoyed but then ran out of interest)
The Four Books - Yan Lianke (struggled with but it's an interesting perspective on chinese history, and an interesting set of aesthetic and storytelling choices)
We Are Made of Diamond Stuff - Isabel Waidner (enjoyed, it was better than better books, fluid, interested in the scutty side of UK, sexually mutable)
The Black Swan - Nicholas Nassim Taleb (a weird brittle, bombastic man, this book provides a lot of sensible thinking around downside risk and not being stupidly scientistic about stuff. Taleb insistent, not without a certain amount of charm for an essentially charmless man, on 'Levantine Philosophy' as a thing.
The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi (after a reading a load of business type books this organic science fiction was like taking acid, and though that initial feeling wore off, and i got a bit bored, it remains an interesting portrayal of a city under siege and no characters really being able to fulfil their aims - agency is an interesting question in it. interesting that Bacigalupi regularly struggled writing this. It shows.)
Dune 1-3 - Frank Herbert (re-read)
The War of the Poor - Eric Vuillard (epistemically weird in the same vein, but much less good imo than Order of the Day. annoyingly thought provoking though with some good sentences and thoughts).
Anthony Price Stuff from Our Man in Camelot up to War Game. (all re-reads, didn't quite get to the '44 Vintage, a very weird somewhat pointless book. price's characters are all terrifically Tory, and like agatha christie's all go on about fucking tax the whole time).
Hag's Nook - John Dickson Carr (reread for about the 1000th time, total comfort reading)
Continued reading Jen Calleja, I'm Afraid That's All We've Got Time For (really enjoyed these short stories and looking forward to seeing more - believe there's a novel out this year)
The Liar's Dictionary - Eley Williams (oddly disappointing. lightweight, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. clearly a love letter to her partner, also nnabt. didn't enjoy it half as much as her short stories, but wondered if this is because i approached with the wrong expectations. still fun enough if you're looking for a light bagatelle. also wonder - see engagement point above - whether i missed some depths).
Syllabus: The Remarkable, Unremarkable Document That Changes Everything (really good book on creating syllabuses, and how to learn and teach from them)
Exhalation - Ted Chiang (enjoyed these. right up my wheelhouse, so to speak. initially thought they might be a bit techbro, but have genuine emotional content and insight. very good).
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel - Alexander Chee (also enjoyed these essays - still interested to know why the table is not the table doesn't like him).
Because Internet: Understanding How Language Is Changing - Gretchen McCulloch (a relatively vanilla but interesting analysis of language usage on the internet and over the history of the internet. could have been terrible but is a good, clear set of thoughts about how our communications adapt to digital platforms and capabilities).
The Art and Craft of Feature Writing - William Blundell (almost as enjoyable reading the excerpts from pieces that are examples here as Blundell's thinking)
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
Covering McKellen: An Understudy's Tale - David Weston (an entertaining enough luvvie account of a disastrous world tour under Trevor Nunn of Lear, with Ian McKellen. Written by his understudy.)
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam - Barbara Tuchman (terrible theory behind it, but the general accounts of history are ok enough).
Like - AE Stallings (Curates egg of a poetry collection. some stuff very good indeed, some stuff seemed facile, but i'm terribly unpracticed at reading poetry and i may be approaching it a bit clumsily)
Against the Gods: The remarkable story of risk - Peter Bernstein (good)
The Story of the Stone vol 1 - Cao Xueqin (introduction, plus first book, currently a dnf but will be picking up later this year i hope)
Managing Britannia: Culture and Management in Modern Britain - Robert Protherough (dnf, part of my 'faster u fuckaz' obsession. this guy is v anti management bullshit and bullshit jobs, and tbh i'm not sure i agree and some of the tone these days is quite tedious imo, may write up further in thread)
The Accursed Share vol 1 - Georges Bataille (dnf, but keen to pick this up again, very enjoyable slightly ludicrous introduction, French theory at its finest - wild and boundary shifting assertions totally free of evidence. pure music to my ears)
How to Make the World Add Up: Ten Rules for Thinking About Numbers - Tim Harford (a boring boring bastard imo, but sometimes right, and it's just about worth reading these things for #epistemic_health reasons)
Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor - Steven Moffat (almost unreadable in points of style, almost hysterical, immensely jarring, and totally incomprehensible to the extent that it replicated the experience of reading when seriously drunk. explained a lot about the tone of the TV programmes - tho i think moffat and indeed this episode is good not bad. dnf)
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (terrible awful garbage, maybe useful tips)
Clean: A Story of Addiction, Recovery and the Removal of Stubborn Stains - Michele Kirsch (really very good - funny and moving)
The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes - Janet Malcolm (really excellent, nuanced approach of biography, death, testimony and memory)

sure there was more bits, stray fragments etc, but this covers it more or less i think

oh, the introduction and general content of Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food is wonderful.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 20:12 (one week ago) link

oh and

Small Lives - Pierre Michon electrified me after a period of very tedious reading, reminding me the extraordinary perception and depths imaginative writing can have, really one of the most masterly writers there is at the moment. but i was so overcome with the intensity and richness of it, liking fotheringham-thomas, i had to put it down. it was like i was on acid, i was just going 'wow, this is just wow, man, you can see *everything*, and each word and sentence was mind-blowing with the consequence i just had to put it down because it was so full. last had this experience with Leskov. will definitely return this year for a less precious reading.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 20:14 (one week ago) link

ledge! love that you liked lud-in-the-mist. what did you think of mrs palfrey at the Claremont? maybe you have already covered these things in the what are you reading thread. i've only been an intermittent visitor this year.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 20:18 (one week ago) link

similarly if you posted on jocelyn brooke, no lime tangier, be interested to see what you thought.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 20:20 (one week ago) link

Fizzles, tbh, it's just not my thing, but I also tend to have an issue with most mainstream queer stuff. It's just too middle class and polite for me.

(I also think he's a grifter).

Pere Legume (the table is the table), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 21:22 (one week ago) link

on that subject, bit surprised to see no mention of real life by brandon taylor on anyone's list. i read it and thought it was very good on lab-based graduate school, with which i am tragically familiar, but was less sure about the relationship stuff.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 21:26 (one week ago) link

Mrs Palfrey was fine, I have nothing to say against it and it had its moments but I couldn't really get on the same wavelength - I wonder if I have something of a blind spot for mid/mid-late female british lit fic given similar experiences with Pym, Lessing, Murdoch, even (gasp) Spark.

I bumped the 1926 poll thread hoping for your thoughts on lud-in-the-mist: Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1926

ledge, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 21:33 (one week ago) link

ah, so you did. will respond - agree on the 'fairy fruit as hard drug' bit though.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 21:52 (one week ago) link

Similar to other weird preferences, I tend to shy away from "blistering coming of age story" hyperbole and stuff that's approved by the NY Times, at least as regards fiction. I find what passes for "mainstream" literary fiction these days to just bore me.

Non-fiction and memoirs? Different story, for some reason. I love and teach Kiese Laymon's "Heavy" all the time, for example.

Pere Legume (the table is the table), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 21:54 (one week ago) link

Fizzles, tbh, it's just not my thing, but I also tend to have an issue with most mainstream queer stuff. It's just too middle class and polite for me.

(I also think he's a grifter).


now you mention the grifter thing i got a slight whiff of that off it. be interested in your recommendation for stuff outside the mainstream. i mean i’ve got apocalypse burlesque on my reading list but haven’t got round to it yet and not sure if that’s an example of what you might mean.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 23:54 (one week ago) link

for some reason i wanted to use the phrase “performative touchstones” wrt the grifter point - something about v neatly doing things that will earn gold stars. not fully formed.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 23:56 (one week ago) link

I mean, Glück is nowhere near as well-known as he should be. Chee provides a blurb here: https://www.nyrb.com/products/margery-kempe?variant=29087445024820

That's the kind of thing I really love, Bob is an all-time hero and lovely person.

I think one of the things I dislike about Chee is that he basically learned everything from New Narrative and packaged it in a more marketable way, and there are some New Narrative people who should be much better known.

Pere Legume (the table is the table), Wednesday, 6 January 2021 00:21 (one week ago) link


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