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 LaxnessBlood and Thunder, Hampton Sides (SW USA history)Out of My Mind: On the Trail of Consciousness, Tim ParksThe Spy Who Came in From the Cold, John LeCarre (re-read)The Wicked Pavilion, Dawn PowellMoney Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold, Marshall SpragueThe Luck of the Bodkins, P.G. WodehouseThe 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 BranchInnocence, Penelope FitzgeraldLess Than Angels, Barbara PymGlory, Vladimir NabokovHow to Create a Mind, Ray KurzweilThe Human Factor, Graham Greene A Coffin for Dimitrios, Eric AmblerThe Crock of Gold, James StephensArthur & George, Julian BarnesMaigret's Failure, Georges SimenonNotes From Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky (translators: P&V) (re-read)Equal Danger, Leonardo SciasciaThe Idea Factory, Jon Gertner (a history of Bell Labs) The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein (re-read)Austerlitz, W. G. SebaldHeroides, Publius Ovidius Naso (translator: H. Isbell)Maigret in Society, Georges SimenonA Few Green Leaves, Barbara PymMaigret and the Lazy Burglar, Georges Simenon Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, Richard RhodesUnforgiving Years, Victor SergeUncle Fred in the Springtime, P.G. WodehousePicture, Lillian Ross (profile of John Huston, circa 1952)The Bachelor of Arts, R.K. Narayan I'm Still Here, Austin Channing BrownRed Harvest, Dashiell HammettThe Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin (essays) The Mountain Lion, Jean StaffordPietr the Latvian, Georges SimenonMountain City, Gregory Martin (re-read)Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter (three novellas)Dance Night, Dawn PowellGrocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America, Michael RuhlmanFong and the Indians, Paul TherouxThe Fish Can Sing, Halldor LaxnessThe Doctor is Sick, Anthony BurgessBy Night in Chile, Roberto BolanoThe Curse of Bigness: Anti-Trust in the New Gilded Age, Tim Wu Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred DöblinA Scanner Darkly, P.K. DickBecause 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Too little really I think.Too much podcast and webinar action.So probably only got through about 20 titles
Bruce Pascoe Dark EmuAngela Saint SuperiorMichael Barnes It Was anew Day YesterdayWole Soyinke Death & the Kings horseman
Will think of others later.
― Stevolende, Sunday, 27 December 2020 06:50 (three months ago) link
The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner (a history of Bell Labs)
how was this?
― flopson, Sunday, 27 December 2020 07:21 (three months ago) link
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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
my favorites are starred. a pretty good year -- a substantial number of books (for me), with some real winners.
non-fictionJohn E. Douglas, Olshaker - MindhunterGinzburg - The Cheese and the Worms ⭐Reiss - Springfield ConfidentialL.E. Hall - Katamari DamacyRichard Evans - The Coming of the Third ReichElizabeth Kolbert - The Sixth ExtinctionLewis Thomas - Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth SymphonyTig Notaro - I'm Just a PersonRichard Rhodes - The Making of the Atomic Bomb ⭐James Stewart - DisneyWar Richard Ayoade - Ayoade on Top Deborah Lipstadt - History on TrialBerger, Dibb, Blomberg, Fox, Hollis - Ways of SeeingRichard Evans - In Defense of HistoryDavid Halberstam - The Best and the Brightest ⭐Kathleen Belew - Bring the War HomeBlake Snyder - Save the Cat (a hate read)Kemper, Ellie - My Squirrel DaysMunroe, Randall - What If?Hongoltz-Hetling - A Libertarian Walks into a BearDavid Brion Davis - Inhuman Bondage ⭐Henry Marsh - Do No HarmCarl Sagan - The Dragons of Eden
fictionMagda Szabo - The Door ⭐Sarah Moss - Ghost Wall ⭐Hosseini - A Thousand Splendid Suns (very bad)Sebald - The EmigrantsBellairs - The House with a Clock in its WallsAnthony Horowitz - The Sentence is DeathSoji Shimada - The Tokyo Zodiac Murders ⭐Helen Eustis - The Horizontal ManRobert Heinlein - The Puppet Masters (expanded version)Saunders - The Brief and Frightening Reign of PhilBob-Waksberg - Someone who will love you in all your damaged gloryHake Talbot - Rim of the PitMervyn Peake - Titus GroanRobert Heinlein - Double StarMichael Gilbert - Smallbone DeceasedChristopher Priest - The PrestigeFitzgerald - The Great Gatsby (my only reread this year) ⭐various, FitzGerald - The Rubaiyat of Omar KhayyamMoliere - TartuffeChekhov - The Cherry OrchardSophocles - Oedipus the KingTom Stoppard - Arcadia ⭐
comics of some length with endingsMoon - DaytripperMatsumoto - Cigarette GirlIto - UzumakiGene Luen Yang - American Born ChineseHamish Steele - Pantheon
abandonedDavid 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 yearJean 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 (three months ago) link
the stars are for my favorites.
― wasdnuos (abanana), Sunday, 27 December 2020 23:23 (three months 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 TimeDavid Sedaris - CalypsoAdrian Tchaikovsky - Children of RuinDavid Sedaris - Let’s Explore Diabetes with OwlsArthur Phillips - The King at the Edge of the WorldSally Rooney - Normal PeopleJenny Offil - WeatherMoshe Kasher - Kasher in the RyeUrsula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed Ben Macintyre - The Spy and the TraitorDavid Mitchell - Utopia AvenueZadie Smith - IntimationsAlex S. Vitale - The End of PolicingChina Mieville - The Last Days of New ParisBrian Evenson - Song for the Unraveling of the WorldAyad Akhtar - Homeland ElegiesSusanna Clarke - PiranesiKelly Link - Get in Trouble
― change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 27 December 2020 23:42 (three months ago) link
All the Devils Are Here - David SeabrookThe Path to Power - Robert CaroNotes of a Native Son - James BaldwinDog Soldiers - Robert Stone How to Be an Anti-Racist - Ibram X. Kendi The Collected Stories of Lydia DavisRobert Altman: The Oral Biography - Mitchell ZuckoffMeans of Ascent - Robert CaroThe Hot Rock - Donald WestlakeThe Last Samurai - Helen DeWittSomebody Owes Me Money - Donald WestlakeThe Outfit - Richard StarkOverthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq - Stephen Kinzer The End of Policing - Alex VitaleThe Summer Book - Tove JanssonMaster of the Senate - Robert CaroJames Joyce - Edna O'BrienThe Living Mountain - Nan ShepherdThe Devil Finds Work - James BaldwinCadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water - Marc ReisnerUlysses - James JoyceDreaming of Babylon - Richard BrautiganThe Passage of Power - Robert CaroCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents - Isabel WilkersonThe Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith
― Chris L, Monday, 28 December 2020 02:10 (three months 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 PlaceKarl Ove Knausgård - SummerElif Batsman - The PossessedDavid Shields - Reality Hunger: A ManifestoAnnie Dillard - The AbundanceGeoff Dyer - ZonaDon DeLillo - The SilenceZena Hitz - Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual LifeTaffy Brodesser-Akner -Fleishman is in TroublePeter Conrad - MythomaniaThomas Pynchon - VinelandLouis-Ferdinand Cèline - Journey to the End of the NightMichel Houellebecq - AtomisedKazuo Ishiguro - An Artist of the Floating WorldHugh Mackay - The Inner SelfMark O’Connell - Notes from an ApocalypseEula Biss - Having and Being HadHan Kang - The White BookAnnie Dillard - For the Time BeingRaymond Carver - Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?Olivia Laing - Funny Weather: Art in an EmergencyGeoff Dyer - White Sands: Experiences from the Outside WorldRutger Bregman - Humankind: A Hopeful HistoryKate Zambreno - DriftsAndrew Sean Greer - LessTobias Wolff - Our Story BeginsKarl Ove Knausgård - Why I Write: InadvertentCal Newport - Digital MinimalismStefan Zweig - The World of YesterdayGeoffrey Blainey - A Shorter History of AustraliaDaniel Mendelsohn - The Bad Boy of AthensRolf Dobelli - Stop Reading the NewsZadie Smith - IntimationsGretchen McCulloch - Because InternetRobert Walser - A Schoolboy’s DiaryPeter Singer - Ethics in the Real WorldMatt Taibbi - Hate Inc.David Lipsky - Although of Course You End Up Becoming YourselfOttessa Moshfegh - Death in Her HandsClaire Carlisle - Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Soren KierkegaardBarbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood BibleDavid Foster Wallace - The Pale KingJavier Marías - Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and SpearDenis Johnson - The Largesse of the Sea MaidenKarl Ove Knausgård - The End (My Struggle #6)Herman Melville - Bartleby, the ScrivenerGeoff Dyer - Out of Sheer RageW.G. Sebald - On the Natural History of DestructionCharles Portis - The Dog of the SouthJoan Didion - The Year of Magical ThinkingAli Smith - How To Be BothJulian Barnes - Flaubert’s ParrotPhilip Larkin - JillThe School of Life - The Emotionally Intelligent OfficeJohn Steinbeck - Of Mice and MenGeoff Dyer - Paris TranceCharles Portis - NorwoodAlain de Botton - The Consolations of PhilosophyTom McCarthy - RemainderDavid Berman - Actual AirJenny Offill - WeatherPeter Guralnick - Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis PresleyHanif Adurraqib - Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes on A Tribe Called QuestJohn Steinbeck - The Grapes of WrathBret Easton Ellis - WhiteYuval Noah Harari - 21 Lessons for the 21st CenturyMartin Hagglund - This Life: Why Mortality Makes Us FreeJohn Steinbeck - Travels with CharleyTeju Cole - Known and Strange ThingsMarilynne Robinson - HomeAnnie Ernaux - HappeningJames Wood - Serious Noticing: Selected EssaysLucia Berlin - A Manual For Cleaning Women: Selected StoriesClive James - Unreliable MemoirsAnna Wiener - Uncanny ValleyJenny Offill - Dept. of SpeculationC.L.R. James - Beyond a BoundaryMark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnLionel Trilling - The Liberal ImaginationSheila Heti - How Should A Person Be?Susan Orlean - The Library BookJia Tolentino - Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-DelusionMarilynne Robinson - GileadLydia Davis - Essays: One
Started, but abandoned:
Mark Boyle - The Way HomeMarilynne Robinson - LilaJosh Cohen - Not WorkingHenrik Pontoppidian - Lucky PerNikolai Gogol - Dead SoulsThe Tsurezuregusa of Kenko - Essays in IdlenessAnthony DeCurtis - In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and WorkPatrick deWitt - The Sisters BrothersDonald Antrim - The Hundred BrothersSam Lipsyte - The Fun PartsAdam Hochschild - King Leopold’s GhostWitold Gombrowicz - DiaryGerald Murnane - The PlainsRolf Dobelli - The Art of Thinking Clearly
― triggercut, Monday, 28 December 2020 08:15 (three months 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 biowilliam hanley - slow dance on the killing groundcalvin tompkins - off the walldavid grann - killers of hte flower moon brian friel - loversmarshall fine - harvey keitel biojohn gardner - mickelsson's ghostsjoyce carol oates - middle age: a romance; wonderland; do with me what you will; night. sleep. death. the stars; wild nights!delillo - the silencecharlie kaufman - antkindroth - i married a communistjulie salamon - facing the windbernard pomerance - the elephant manarthur miller - danger: memory!judith thurman - secrets of the flesh colette biodean young - solar perplexusottessa monfegh -death in her handslouis sheaffer - son and playwright/son and artist o'neill biomichael vinson - bluffing texas stylepaul kalanithi - when breath becomes airthomas rogers - pursuit of happiness
― johnny crunch, Monday, 28 December 2020 22:36 (three months ago) link
I thought this was an interesting list:
― o. nate, Wednesday, 30 December 2020 21:18 (three months ago) link
Marcel Proust – Albertine disparueStanley Cavell – The Senses of WaldenSimone de Beauvoir – Le deuxième sexe IVladimir Nabokov – LolitaKingsley Amis – Lucky JimMarcel Proust – Le Temps retrouvéThomas Mann (tr. Lowe-Porter) – The Magic MountainLeo Tolstoy (tr. Maudes/Mandelker) – War and PeaceMuriel Spark – The Prime of Miss Jean BrodiePatrick Leigh Fermor – A Time of GiftsLouisa May Alcott – Little WomenWilliam G. Lycan – Philosophy of Language: a contemporary introductionMargaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – Dragon WingMargaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – Elven StarMargaret Weis & Tracy Hickman – Fire SeaGene Wolfe – The Shadow of the TorturerGene Wolfe – The Claw of the ConciliatorGene Wolfe – The Sword of the LictorGene Wolfe – The Citadel of the AutarchUrsula K. Le Guin – A Wizard of EarthseaUrsula K. Le Guin – The Tombs of AtuanUrsula K. Le Guin – The Farthest ShoreArthur Danto – The Transfiguration of the CommonplaceRichard Stark – The HunterRichard Stark – The Man with the Getaway FaceRichard Stark – The OutfitRichard Stark – The MournerRichard Stark – The ScoreRichard Stark – The JuggerRichard Stark – The SeventhStephen R. Donaldson – Lord Foul’s BaneStephen R. Donaldson – The Illearth WarStephen R. Donaldson – The Power That Preserves
A few in progress:Samuel Delany – DhalgrenFyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and PunishmentMarcel Proust – Du côté de chez Swann
Comics:Alejandro Jodorowsky & Moebius – L’IncalPierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières – Valérian et Laureline, l’intégrale vol. 1-3Jean Van Hamme & Grzegorz Rosiński – Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel, vol. 1-3
― jmm, Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:14 (three months ago) link
my relatively meagre reading over the past year...
alfred doblin - november 1918george grosz - a small yes and a big nogeorge grosz - ecce homoalfred kubin - dance of deathkenneth patchen - the journal of albion moonlightalan burns - europe after the rainalan burns - babelalan burns - dreamerika!ann quin - the unmapped countryanna kavan - machines in the headithell colquhoun - medea's charmsithell colquhoun - goose of hermogenesjosephine tey - the franchise affairelizabeth taylor - palladianelizabeth bowen - to the northwilliam gerhardie - the polyglotsanthony powell - a dance to the music of timejocelyn brooke - the orchid trilogyjocelyn brooke - the image of a drawn swordsylvia townsend warner - selected storieschristina stead - seven poor men of sydneyrobin hyde - wednesday's childrenrobin hyde - disputed groundrobin hyde - dragon rampantdorothy l. sayers - busman's honeymoonvarious - shadows of sherlock holmesclaud cockburn - beat the devildashiell hammett - the continental opmichael innes - the appleby filej.i.m. stewart - a use of richesj.i.m. stewart - the last tresiliansj.i.m. stewart - the gaudywalter allen - all in a lifetimewalter greenwood - love on the dolemark rutherford - the revolution in tanner's lanemark rutherford - catharine furzemark rutherford - clara hopgoodthomas hardy - a pair of blue eyesthomas hardy - two on a towerthomas hardy - a laodiceanrichard jefferies - wood magicrichard jefferies - bevis
― no lime tangier, Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:25 (three months ago) link
Happily reading till November, and then only a couple since then:
Sadeq Hedayat - The Blind OwlPierre Michon - Small LivesPetrarch in EnglishChristopher Marlowe - The Complete Poems and TranslationsOmar Khayyam - The RubayatAlexander Pope - SelectedOsip Mandelstam - SelectedAnne Carson - If not, WinterFernando Pessoa - Poems in EnglishLinda Bostrom Knausgard - The Helios DisasterThomas Benhard - On the MountainPeter Handke - The Afternoon of a WriterFranz Kafka - Letter to his FatherAnna Kavan - Sleep has his HouseNatalia Ginzburg - Happiness, as SuchNanni Balestrini - The UnseenAgatha Christie - The Secret AdversaryP.G. Wodehouse - Code of the WoostersRaymond Williams - OrwellCesar Aira - The Seamstress and the WindJuan Benet - A MeditationAntonio Tabucchi - The Woman of Porto PimCiaran Carson - In the Light ofColette - CheriMarina Tsvetaeva - SelectedPushkin - The Tales of BelkinElena Ferrante - Troubling LoveColette - The Last of CheriGerard Manley Hopkins - Poems and ProseGottfried Benn - Poems and ProseHart Crane - CompleteGeoffrey Hill - CompleteNgũgĩ wa Thiong'o - Decolonising the MindDerek Walcott - What the Twilight Says R. F. Langley - CompleteJonathan Swift - The Major WorksVictor Serge - Memoirs of a RevolutionaryJane Austen - Mansfield ParkVladimir Nabokov - GogolVladimir Nabokov - Lectures on Russian LiteraturePierre Michon - Masters and ServantsVarious - A Hidden Landscape Once a WeekJonathan Swift - Gulliver's TravelsPier Paolo Pasolini - Roman PoemsFernando Pessoa - The Book of DisquietE.M. Cioran - Short Histroy of DecayWyndham Lewis - TarrSimone Weil - AnthologyJuan Ramon Riberyo - The Word of the SpeechlessP.G. Wodehouse - Week-end WodehouseVirginia Woolf - Diary (Vol. 2) 1920-24Maria Gabriela Llansol - The Geography of RebelsJanet Malcolm - The Silent WomanCiaran Carson - The Star FactoryRobert Musil - Posthumous Papers of a Living AuthorStanislaw Lem - Highcastle A RemembranceJorge Luis Borges - The Total Library Non-Fiction 1922-1986G.K. Chesterton - The Best of Father BrownAdelbert Von Chamisso - Peter SchlemihlAnn Quin - Stories & FragmentsWilliam Shakespeare - HamletG 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 (three months 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 MattersCan Xue - Vertical Motion ✌Cristina Rivera Garza - The Taiga SyndromeAntonio Tabucchi - Pereira MaintainsRichard Ayoade - Ayoade On AyoadeRaymond 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 - PeppersAnna Burns - MilkmanOlivia Laing - CrudoMatt Ruff - Lovecraft CountryDjuna Barnes - Ladies AlmanackRaymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely ✌John Le Carré - Smiley's PeoplePhilip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Don Carpenter - Hard Rain FallingPhilip K. Dick - The Man in the High CastleElena Ferrante - My Brilliant Friend ✌James Sallis - Driven (Drive, #2)Bridget Christie - A Book for HerNuar Alsadir - Fourth Person SingularLynda La Plante - WidowsLinda Boström Knausgård,Martin Aitken - Welcome to AmericaMikhail Lermontov - A Hero of Our TimeLydia Davis - Can't and Won'tMatthew Gregory Lewis - The Monk ✌Eula Biss - On Immunity: An InoculationJames Sallis - Drive (Drive, #1)Adania Shibli - Minor DetailLester Bangs - BlondieKatharina Volckmer - The AppointmentTa-Nehisi Coates - The Water DancerElena Ferrante - The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2)Nancy Mitford - Noblesse ObligeStephen King - BlazeEllen Baxt - AnalfabetoBruno Schulz - The Street of CrocodilesTim O'Brien - The Things They CarriedLiu Cixin - The Three-Body ProblemChester Himes - The Crazy KillStanley Elkin - The MacguffinWilliam S. Burroughs - QueerAudre Lorde - ZamiPaul Tremblay - The Cabin at the End of the WorldJohn Barth - The Sot-weed Factor ✌Kevin Barry - Night Boat to TangierMarguerite Duras - Blue Eyes Black HairRobert Bloch - Psycho House (Psycho #3)Daphne du Maurier - RebeccaIlan Stavans - Popol Vuh: A RetellingThomas Ott - Cinema PanopticumDonald E. Westlake - The Hunter (Parker, #1)Susan Sontag - Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its MetaphorsCynthia Ozick - Letters of Intent: Selected EssaysJoe Hill - Full ThrottleJeff Ryan - A Mouse DividedGrace Paley,Vera B. Williams - Long Walks and Intimate TalksJosé Saramago - BlindnessWilla Cather - April Twilights: And Other Poems (the Collected Works Of Willa Cather)Jean-Patrick Manchette - FataleNatalia Ginzburg - Happiness, as SuchRamsey Campbell - The Doll Who Ate His MotherDiana Athill - Stet: An Editor's LifeSvetlana Alexievich - The Unwomanly Face of WarSusan Sontag - Modern Classics On PhotographyGraham Masterton - Ghost VirusVirginie Despentes - Bye Bye BlondieKobo Abe - The Woman in the DunesJohn Le Carre - The Looking Glass WarHan Kang - The White BookStephen King - If It BleedsRobert Bloch - PsychoJuliet Jacques - TransTracey Thorn - Naked at the Albert HallKenneth Goldsmith - Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuwebRobert Bloch - Psycho II (Psycho #2)Stephen King - From a Buick 8 ✌Rita Indiana - TentacleDril - 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 (three months ago) link
Toilers Of The Sea - Victor Hugo *1856: The Wreck Of The Golden Mary - Charles Dickens et alO002 Robinson Crusoe - Daniel DefoeThe 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 CamusRebus 11: Set in Darkness (2000) - Ian RankinAnna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy1857: The Perils Of Certain English Prisoners - Charles Dickens et al1858: A House To Let - Charles Dickens et alReprinted Pieces - Charles DickensChildren Of Jocasta - Natalie HaynesThe Penelopiad - Margaret AttwoodSong Of Achilles - Madeline Miller *Trojan Women (Coleridge 1891) - EuripidesTrojan Women (Murray 1905) - EuripidesSex Power Money - Sara PascoeThe Descent Of Man - Grayson PerryHow To Be A Woman - Caitlin MoranWhy I’m No Longer Talking (To White People) About Race - Reni Eddo-LodgeHow to Argue With a Racist - Adam RutherfordThe Dark Forest - Cixin LiuRosewater - Tade ThompsonThe Uncommercial Traveller - Charles DickensMurder in the Vicarage - Agatha ChristieFirewall - MankellRebus 12: The Falls (2001) - Ian RankinThe Man Who Laughs - Victor HugoI Capture The Castle - Dodie SmithDrive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead - Olga TokarczukOryx And Crake - Margaret Attwood *Silence Of The Girls - Pat Barker *Charles Dickens: A Life - Claire TomalinBleak 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 (three months ago) link
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:12 (three months ago) link
Definitely read that first title as "toilets of the sea."
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:13 (three months 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 McKayDune - Frank HerbertBeastie Boys BookActual Air - David BermanDucks, Newburyport - Lucy EllmannSay Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland - Patrick Radden KeefeWard Six & Other Stories - Anton ChekhovThe Prague Cemetery - Umberto EcoAlice Munro - RunawayThe Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock - Charles WhiteThe Last Will & Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo - Germano AlmeidaThe Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson vol 1) - Robert CaroWaiting - Ha JinHeart of a Dog - Mikhail BulgakovWanderer - Sterling HaydenAdventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark TwainThe Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - Yukio MishimaSister Carrie - Theodore DreiserMidnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War - Tony HorwitzAnd A Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails - Wayne CurtisPride and Prejudice - Jane Austen33 1/3: Tim Maia Racional Vols. 1 & 2 - Allen Thayer
― nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:18 (three months ago) link
The Anarchy of the Imagination: Interviews, Essays, Notes — Rainer Werner Fassbinder Queer — William S. BurroughsHollywood Babylon — Kenneth AngerJourney to the End of the Night — Louis-Ferdinand CélineA Girl’s Got to Breathe: The Life of Teresa Wright — Donald Spoto Against the Web: A Cosmopolitan Answer to the New Right — Michael BrooksDeath in Venice — Thomas Mann I Curse the River of Time — Per Petterson Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said — Philip K. Dick Tonio Kröger — Thomas MannWoodcutters — Thomas BernhardAmerica — Jean BaudrillardVagablonde — Anna Dorn The Crying of Lot 49 — Thomas PynchonDespair — Vladimir NabokovThe Theater and its Double — Antonin ArtaudDeath in Her Hands — Ottessa MoshfeghAntkind — Charlie Kaufman Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography — Roland BarthesFraternity — Benjamin Nugent Querelle de Brest — Jean Genet The People, No — Thomas Frank The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution — Scott EymanRage — Bob Woodward Easy Riders, Raging Bulls — Peter BiskindPrint the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford — Scott Eyman V. — Thomas Pynchon
Claude Chabrol: Interviews — Christopher BeachFassbinder: The Life and Work of a Provocative Genius — Christian Braad ThomsenJohn Ford: Interviews — Gerald PearyAmerica in the Movies — Michael WoodDaddy — Emma Cline The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me — Lillian Gish The Jakarta Method — Vincent Bevins home body — Rupi KaurCorrection — Thomas Bernhard Death on the Installment Plan — Louis-Ferdinand Céline
― flappy bird, Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:35 (three months ago) link
Holy shit, how do you all find the time:
Gravity's RainbowLife and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983
― Jimi Buffett (PBKR), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:41 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Dickens - Great ExpectationsDickens - Hard TimesSalinger - The Catcher in the RyeSalinger - Nine StoriesSalinger - Franny & ZooeySalinger - Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An IntroductionOrwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four
― cajunsunday, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:01 (three months ago) link
humblebrag hall of fame
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:02 (three months ago) link
more time than ever this year
― flappy bird, Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:04 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Apparently I didn't do much in 2020 except read.
Arlen, Hell! Said the Duchess Asimov, The Caves of SteelBachman (King), The Long WalkBanville, SnowBeckford, VathekBeddoes, Death’s Jest-BookBester, The Demolished ManBlackburn, A Beastly BusinessBuchan, Witch Wood Campbell, Born to the Dark Campbell, The Searching DeadCampbell, The Way of the WormCarr, Poison in JestCarr, The Lost GallowsCather, My AntoniaChandler, The Long GoodbyeChase, Black Wings Has My Angel Clement, Mission of GravityCollins, The Moonstone Davidson, The Chelsea MurdersDickson (Carr), Death in 5 BoxesDickson (Carr), The Reader Is Warned Dinesen, Seven Gothic TalesDumas, The Fencing MasterGardner, 14 Perry Mason novelsHand, Wylding HallKnight, The FungusLermontov, A Hero of Our Time Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas Machen, The Great God Pan, and The Inmost LightMachen, The Red HandMachen, The Three ImpostersMachen, The White People Manchette, Fatale Manchette, The Prone GunmanManchette, Three to KillMerritt, Burn Witch Burn!Merritt, Creep, Shadow!Merritt, Dwellers in the MiragePeacock, Nightmare Abbey Pushkin (tr. Nabokov), Eugene Onegin Rogers, The Red Right HandRuiz Zafón, The Shadow of the WindSimenon, 17 Maigret novelsStone, Dog SoldiersStraub, Ghost StorySturgeon, More Than HumanThomas, BriarpatchTolkien, The SilmarillionTurgenev, Sketches from a Hunter’s Album Wallace, The Fellowship of the FrogYurick, The Warriors
Adamic, Dynamite!Anderson, The Realness of Things PastBaldwin, The Evidence of Things Not SeenBorges, Selected Non-FictionChambers, The Campaigns of Napoleon Clute, The Darkening GardenDregni, Rockabilly Ducrot and Todorov (eds.), Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Sciences of LanguageEdwards, The Golden Age of MurderFaivre, Western Esotericism: A Concise History Gleeson, Judo Inside OutHale, Cool TownHobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848Horning, Chasing Sound Juniper, Wabi SabiKing, Danse MacabreLively, Oleander, JacarandaMiyazato, Okinawa Den Gojuryu Karate-doMonleon, A Specter Is Haunting Europe: A Sociohistorical Approach to the FantasticMotobu, My Art and Skill of KarateNigten, Recorded ReflectionsSinker (ed.), A Hidden Landscape Once a WeekStandage, The Victorian Internet Tosches, King of the Jews
― Brad C., Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:25 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
There are two!
― Cheese flavoured Momus (wins), Thursday, 31 December 2020 20:47 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 AtwoodGirl, Woman, Other - Bernardine EvaristoKudos - Rachel CuskDrive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead - Olga TokarczukMrs Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth TaylorInferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - Angela SainiParable of the Sower - Octavia ButlerHalf of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieThe Big Jump - Leigh BrackettFree Falling - Lois Mcmaster BujoldHowl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne JonesAgent of Change - Shannon Lee & Steve MillerAncestral Night - Elizabeth BearThe Giant's House - Elizabeth McCrackenThe Black Spider - Jeremias GotthelfInfinite Powers - Steven Strogatz2312 - Kim Stanley RobinsonOlive Kitteridge - Elizabeth StroutExcellent Women - Barbara PymSuperior: The Return of Race Science - Angela SainiThe Liars Club - Mary KarrThe Outside - Ada HoffmanNudibranch - Irenosen OkojieBeneath the World, a Sea - Chris BeckettLess than Angels - Barbara PymThe Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas TalebMiddlemarch - George EliotPeople in Trouble - Sarah SchulmanBeasts - John CrowleyHamnet - Maggie O'FarrellA Memory Called Empire - Arkady MartineExciting Times - Naoise DolanReasons to be Cheerful - Nina StibbeThe Deep - John CrowleyThe Witchfinder's Sister - Beth UnderdownOlive, Again - Elizabeth StroutThat Thing around your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieOur Spoons Came from Woolworths - Barbara ComynsOn Immunity - Eula BlissLove, Again - Doris LessingElizabeth is Missing - Emma HealeyPrimeval and Other Times - Olga TokarczukThe Lesson - Cadwell TurnbullKa - John CrowleyCranford - Elizabeth GaskellThe Wimbourne Book of Victorian Ghost Stories vol 2 - VariousEducated - Tara WestoverPiranesi - Susanna Clarke400 Billion Stars - Paul J McAuleyVirtuoso - Yelena MoskvichTranscendent Kingdom - Yaa GyasiLud-in-the-Mist - Hope Mirrlees
― ledge, Thursday, 31 December 2020 21:38 (three months ago) link
> The Wimbourne Book of Victorian Ghost Stories vol 2
shit me, 17 volumes of these.
― koogs, Thursday, 31 December 2020 22:12 (three months ago) link
How was the Lee & Miller, Chris Beckett and McAuley?
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 31 December 2020 22:16 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Fiction:Kurt Tucholsky - Castle GripsholmElizabeth Bowen - The House In Paris *Homer - The Odyssey (tr. Fagles)Sally Rooney - Normal PeopleGeorge Saunders - Civilwarland in Bad DeclineMultatuli - Max HavelaarDriss Chraibi - The Simple PastDaniel Defoe - Journal of the Plague YearAlbert Camus - The Plague ^Michel Houellebecq - SubmissionThomas Mann - Dr Faustus +Samuel Beckett - Malone Dies ^Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles ^*Jenny Offill - WeatherWilla Cather - Song of the LarkNatalia Ginzburg - Valentino and Sagittarius *Natalia Ginzburg - Happiness, As SuchCharles Portis - True GritWalter Kempowski - Marrow and BoneWilliam Faulkner - Selected Short Stories (Modern Library ed.)Nell Zink - DoxologyEric Vuillard - The Order of the DayNikolai Leskov - Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk: Selected Stories *Guido Morselli - Dissipatio H.G.
Nonfiction:James and Kay Salter - Life is MealsMara Leveritt - Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis ThreeJ. Huizinga - The Waning of the Middle AgesMax Weber - Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation LecturesBen Sonnenberg - Lost Property: Memoirs and Confessions of a Bad BoyThomas 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 NowhereRabindranath Tagore - Collected Poems and Plays +
* highly recommended+ didn't finish^ a re-read
― o. nate, Thursday, 31 December 2020 23:04 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 3/5Cards on the Table - Agatha Christie 3/5 (Poirot)Rusty Brown - Chris Ware 5/5The Embedding - Ian Watson 3/5The Palace of Eternity - Bob Shaw 2/5Non-Stop - Brian Aldiss 4/5David Copperfield - Charles Dickens 4/5Tau Zero - Poul Anderson 2/5The Drowned World - J G Ballard 4/5Inverted World - Christopher Priest 4/5Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury 2/5Make Room! Make Room! - Harry Harrison 4/5The 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 3/5The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie 4/5 (Poirot)A Mirror for Observers - Edgar Pangborn 3/5Diary of a Man in Despair - Reck-Malleczewen 4/5The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham 4/5The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: 14th series - Lionel Davidson (ed) 3/5Groo: Fray of the Gods - Aragones & Evanier 2/5Earthly Powers - Anthony Burgess 3/5What 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) 4/5The Dark Descent 2: The Medusa in the Shield - David G Hartwell (ed) 4/5The Dark Descent 3: A Fabulous, Formless Darkness - David G Hartwell (ed) 4/5Essential Avengers Vol 6 - Steve Englehart et al 4/5Paul Goes Fishing - Michel Rabagliati 4/5Orbitsville - Bob Shaw 3/5Essential Avengers Vol 7 - Englehart et al 3/5A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald - Errol Morris 3/5Dubliners - James Joyce 5/5The Year of the Quiet Sun - Wilson Tucker 4/5The Night Fire - Michael Connelly 3/5 (Bosch/Ballard)The Queen's Gambit - Walter Tevis 5/5
― Ward Fowler, Friday, 1 January 2021 13:41 (three months ago) link
I have Stalingrad on my to-do list. (And also Stalingrad)
― koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 14:06 (three months ago) link
(Beevor's and Grossman's)
― koogs, Friday, 1 January 2021 14:07 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Susan Cooper - The Dark is RisingCormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian (re-read)Bob Dylan - ChroniclesElizabeth Taylor - Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont *William Cobbett - Rural RidesPaul Muldoon - The End of the PoemKathleen Jamie - SurfacingWilliam Styron - Darkness VisibleWH Auden - About the HouseSeamus Heaney - Death of a NaturalistColm Toibin - The Blackwater LightshipElizabeth Bishop - North & SouthSally Rooney - Normal PeopleElizabeth Bishop - A Cold SpringHilary Mantel - The Mirror and the Light *Susan Cain - QuietIris Murdoch - The Bell *Janet Frame - To the IslandGideon Haigh - On WarneRay Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451Magda Szabo - The DoorMick Herron - Slow HorsesCarol Shields - The Stone DiariesHera Lindsay Bird - S/TMax Porter - LannyJohn Berger - Ways of Seeing *Willa Cather - O Pioneers! *Dan Simmons - HyperionSusan Hill - The Woman in Black (re-read)Ben Lerner - Leaving the Atocha StationSeamus Heaney - Finders KeepersBen Macintyre - The Spy and the TraitorAnthony Powell - A Question of UpbringingTa-Nehisi Coates - Between the World and Me *Michel Houellebecq - Platform (awful pish)Michael Chabon - Kavalier and ClayAlberto Manguel - A History of ReadingPeter Biskind - Easy Riders, Raging BullsDavid Toop - Ocean of Sound (re-read) *Kay Redfield Jamison - An Unquiet MindDhanveer Singh Brar - Beefy's Tune: Dean Blunt EditArkady Strugatsky - Roadside PicnicRafia Zakaria - VeilJohn le Carre - Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyBarry 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 (three months ago) link
* = the ones that really stood out.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 1 January 2021 15:49 (three months 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 (three months 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 RefugiaMark Johnson, 800 JKSKen Belford, Internodes*Erica Hunt, Veronica: A Suite in X PartsTyrone Williams, As iZLinton Kwesi Johnson, Dread Beat and Blood*Fred Moten, All That BeautySimone Browne, Dark MattersDambudzo Marechera, Black SunlightDambudzo Marechera, The House of Hunger*Dambudzo Marechera, Scrapiron BluesDionne Brand, The Blue ClerkLawrence Giffin, Christian NameLawrence Giffin, Untitled, 2004Lawrence Giffin, Plato's ClosetJ.H. Prynne, The White Stones*Rebecca Kosick, Labor DayKit Schluter, Pierrot's FingernailsAndy Sterling, Who Own's Primo's?Emma Brown Sanders, Fallow ChannelClara B. Jones, /masculine nature/J. Gordon Faylor, WantJ. Gordon Faylor, The Antoecians %Brandon Shimoda, The Grave on the WallEd Steck, An Interface for a Fractal LandscapeJulia Bloch, The Sacramento of DesireSesshu Foster, City of the Future*Sesshu Foster, City Terrace Field ManualJules Boykoff, Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket BadgeSara Larsen, The Riot Grrrl ThingNorma Cole, Spinoza in Her YouthNorma Cole, MarsNorma Cole, MoiraNorma Cole, Do The MonkeyNorma Cole, Scout Norma Cole, Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes InsideNorma Cole, To Be At Music: Essays & TalksJean Day, The Triumph of LifeJean Day, DaydreamJean Day, Enthusiasm: Odes & Otium*Jean Day, The Literal WorldJean Day, A Young RecruitJean Day, The I and the YouLyn Hejinian, Positions of the SunLyn Hejinian, Writing is an Aid to MemoryLyn Hejnian, A Border ComedyLyn Hejinian, HappinessLyn Hejinian, SlowlyLyn Hejinian and Carla Harryman, The Wide RoadLawrence Brathwaite, Wigger*Rob Budde, Declining AmericaDorothy Trujillo Lusk, Redactive*Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Ogress Oblige*Anna Gurton-Wachter, Utopia Pipe Dream MemoryDenise Riley, Selected PoemsDenise Riley, Say Something Back/Time Lived, Without its FlowJarett Kobek, I Hate the InternetCamille Roy, SwarmTom Raworth, Collected Poems %Barbara Guest, Selected PoemsBarbara Guest, The Türler LossesGail Scott, HeroineNicole Brossard, Fences in BreathingNicole Brossard, Picture TheoryNicole Brossard, Mauve Desert*Nicole Brossard, Notebook of Roses and CivilizationNicole Brossard, French KissBrossard, Scott, et al, Theory, a SundayP. Inman, Per SeMichel Foucault, Discipline & Punish*Robert Majzels, Kharlamov's AnkleNana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday BlackCharles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You: StoriesToni Cade Bambara, The Sea Birds Are Still AliveZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee ElsewhereLeanne Betasamosake Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love*Steve Orth, The Life and Times of Steve OrthTerry Bisson, Fire on the MountainVincent Bevins, The Jakarta MethodFrantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth*Grégoire Chamayou, Drone TheoryGrégoire Chamayou, ManhuntsSayak Valencia, Gore CapitalismAchille Mbembe, NecropoliticsAchille Mbembe, On the Post-ColonyMike Davis, Late Victorian HolocaustsWilliam T. Vollman, Rising Up and Rising Down %Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus %Spinoza, Ethics %*Sophia Dahlin, NatchCarlos Lara, Like Bismuth When I EnterAsiya Wadud, Syncope*Gina Myers, Some of the TimesSaidiya Hartman, Lose Your MotherJeff Vandermeer, AnnihilationJeff Vandermeer, AuthorityJennifer Soong, Near, AtJoyelle McSweeney, Toxicon & ArachneChris 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
pvmic but I read 314 books: these were the best oneshttps://i.ibb.co/0DVWGYm/Eqh825x-UUAM3-VEH.jpg
― Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 2 January 2021 01:50 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
314 - I have so many questions!
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 2 January 2021 11:29 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Plotinus - The Enneads Stephen Mackenna translationFrancis Yates - Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic TraditionPetronius - The Satyricon and Seneca The ApocolocyntosisRonald Hutton - The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year, 1400-1700Greek Lyric Poetry trans M.L. WestBoccaccio - The Decameron G.H. McWilliam translationComte 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 KilleenA Man Very Well Studyed: New Contexts for Thomas BrowneSir Thomas Browne: The World ProposedFrancis Bacon - The Major Works OUPItalo Calvino - If on a Winter's Night a TravellerJohn Guy - Tudor EnglandLawrence Manley - Literature and Culture in Early Modern LondonArthur Kinney ed - Rogues Vagabonds Sturdy BeggarsLucian - Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic SketchesEamon Duffy - The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580Virgil - The Eclogues and The GeorgicsThomas Nashe - The Unfortunate Traveller and Other WorksPaul Griffiths ed - Londinopolis, c.1500 - c.1750: Essays in the Cultural and Social History of Early Modern LondonBen Jonson - Complete Poems OUPJohn Stubbs - John Donne: The Reformed SoulDekker, Jonson etc - The Roaring Girl and Other City ComediesJuvenal - The Satires OUPRoger Chartier - The Order of BooksBrian Ogilvie - The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance EuropeEdward Topsell - The History Of Four-footed Beasts And Serpents And InsectsIan Donaldson - Ben Jonson A Life Pico Della Mirandola: Oration on the Dignity of ManMichael Hulse ed - The New PoetryGail Kern Paster - The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare
― glumdalclitch, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:00 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
James - you must be one of the few who reads books when lazy.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:45 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
Oh right. Yeah that rings a bell.
― Stevolende, Sunday, 3 January 2021 01:56 (three months 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 (three months ago) link
I read about 150 - these are my favourite 25 or so:
Simone de Beauvoir - Memoirs of a Dutiful DaughterGraham Swift - WaterlandJack London - John BarleycornAlbert Camus - The First ManGitta Sereny - Into That DarknessAlberto Moravia - Conjugal LoveHjalmar Soderberg - Doctor GlasPaul Bailey - Chapman's OdysseyErnesto Sabato - The TunnelSven Lindqvist - The Dead Do Not DieHaruki Murakami - Norwegian WoodIris Murdoch - The Black PrinceNaguib Mahfouz - Palace Walk: Cairo Trilogy 1Robin Maugham - Escape from the ShadowsBeverley Nichols - A Case of Human BondageElias Canetti - The Tongue Set FreeJosé Saramago - BlindnessLeon Goldensohn - The Nuremberg InterviewsCharles Jackson - The Lost WeekendWashington Irving - The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.Gregor von Rezzori - Memoirs Of An Anti-SemiteEmmanuel Bove - My FriendsStephen Vizinczey - In Praise of Older WomenDavid Kidd - Peking StoryRussell Baker - Growing UpFrank Tallis - The Incurable Romantic
― Aiden, Sunday, 3 January 2021 18:02 (three months ago) link
John Farris - When Michael CallsCarsten Jensen - We, The DrownedR.W. Spryszak - EdjuWilliam Morris - The Water of the Wondrous IslesAndrew Michael Hurley - The LoneyBernard Taylor - The Moorstone SicknessColin Wilson - The Mind ParasitesColin Wilson - Super Consciousness: The Quest for the Peak ExperienceBrian Aldiss - HothouseH. G. Wells - The War of the WorldsMarta Randall - IslandsE.F. Benson - The Horror Horn And Other StoriesJ. P. Martin - UncleDaphne du Maurier - Jamaica InnDaphne du Maurier - RebeccaKurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of TitanJoe 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 (three months ago) link
+ Michelle Paver - Wakenhyrst
― ridingstarbassxd (unregistered), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 02:35 (three months ago) link
terrible year for reading, in what i thought would be a good year. factors:
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 PoirotsAll the Agatha Christie Miss MarplesTinker, 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 (three months ago) link
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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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).
― Fizzles, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 23:54 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link