Bitching Brew

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Reading list for the summer (and beyond).

Following on from my last post about the stack of grubby second-hand books...
Beware! My list may sound a wee bit pretentious. The reason for this is that I'm far more inclined to put the highbrow books on the long finger. The last five books I finished were:

  • John Perkins - Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
  • Jonathan Coe - Like A Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson
  • Asne Seierstad - With Their Backs to the World: Portraits from Serbia
  • Bertrand Russell - Sceptical Essays
  • Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

OK, not exactly a collection of popular fiction. I stand indicted of middle-brow tastes at the least. What can I say? When I want pure entertainment, I hit the town, go to the cinema, watch TV, scream at a football match, or listen to music. I still find books fun. For instance, that biography of B.S. Johnson was addictive. Best book I've read in ages. Even better: I have it in hardback. :)

Currently, I'm dipping in and out of, or juggling, a small cohort of books:

  • Tacitus - The Annals and The Histories
  • Gore Vidal - United States: Essays 1952-1992
  • H.J. Blackham - Six Existentialist Thinkers
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Best Early Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Christopher Hitchens - Love, Poverty & War: Journeys and Essays
  • Baylis & Smith - The Globalization of World Politics (a textbook: dull but necessary)
  • Franz Kafka - The Complete Novels
  • P.J. O'Rourke - Holidays in Hell
  • Hamilton, Jay & Madison - The Federalist: A Commentary on the Constitution of the United States

Meanwhile, a fair few books haven't been started, or were abandoned half-way through. Among these, my priorities are:

  • Stendhal - The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Garrison Keillor - We Are Still Married
  • Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness & Other Stories
  • Marcel Proust - The Way By Swann's
  • Byron - Selected Poetry of Lord Byron
  • Homer - The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • Norman Porter - Rethinking Unionism
  • Henry James - The Portrait of a Lady
  • Michel Foucault - Madness and Civilization

I would tell you about the books on my wish-list, but I think I'd lose my last few readers. Even if they're far more contemporary than the set you've just waded through! Masochists can click here for a look. Don't worry, I'm not fishing for gifts. I haven't added a mailing address or anything! ;)

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