All the Books I Read in 2011
Here’s the big one. Here’s last year’s list. I did manage a few more this time, but didn’t hit 50. I blame…school? Asterisk means a reread, as with the movie list.
2011 BY THE NUMBERS
New Reads: 45
Read on -
And here we go:
1 The City and the City; China Miéville - this is the first Miéville I’ve read, and it led indirectly to the Border Town project I worked on last summer. So it was hugely important for the tenor of my year, and for that I am eternally grateful. But as a book on its own merits, I found I enjoyed only the middle third of the book: after the setting was (laboriously) described, and before the plot got irritatingly ridiculous.
All the Books I Read in 2012
The Big List! Late as usual! Here is last year. And once again, I failed to hit 50 books. Perhaps 2013 will be better, given that I won’t be in school for most of it. Once again, I want to promise myself that I’ll keep notes while I’m reading, so I don’t have to recall it at the end of the year. But we ALL know how likely that is.
Asterisk means a re-read.
2012 BY THE NUMBERS
New Reads: 45
Read on Paper: 41
This is the business, right here:
1 Nothing: A Very Short Introduction; Frank Close. Later in 2012, I tried to tackle DFW’s book on infinity and utterly failed. Perhaps I should have made an attempt after being primed somewhat by this readable little book about emptiness?
2 The Last Dinosaur Book; WJT Mitchell. I know Mitchell from his academic books on visual culture and image, read during my undergrad. So I was surprised to find that he’d written on… dinosaurs? The idea that’s stuck with me the most from the book is dinos as modern totem animals, symbols of deep time made approachable. Some of his comparisons seem spurious, but it was nonetheless an interesting perspective.
3 Better Living Through Plastic Explosives; Zsuzsi Gartner. A short story collection by a west-coast writer I’ve been reading for a decade or so, by now. Her stuff can be moderately strident, but the first two stories in this collection blew me away.
4 Tender is the Night; F Scott Fitzgerald. The French resort towns in this book gave me a Patricia Highsmith feeling, so consequently, I kept waiting for someone (maybe several someones?) to get murdered. Probably would have been less desolate, in the end?
5 When French Women Cook; Madeline Kamman. I was looking for more “memoir with recipes” sort of work when I came across this book. There’s only so much MFK Fisher to go around! Kamman’s writing doesn’t compare to Fisher’s, and her experiences are less broad. But I came out of this wanting to make basically everything into a gratin.