Books Read: In 2005

  1. May
  2. HEART OF DARKNESS - Joseph Conrad
  3. ULYSSES - James Joyce
  4. DARKNESS AT NOON - Arthur Koestler
  5. TENDER IS THE NIGHT - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  6. MALTESE FALCON - Dashiel Hammett
  7. WAPSHOT CHRONICLE - John Cheever
  8. CALL OF THE WILD - Jack London
  9. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN - Salman Rushdie
  10. DELIVERANCE - James Dickey
  11. HEART OF THE MATTER - Graham Greene
  14. June
  16. ON THE ROAD - Jack Kerouac
  18. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN - James Baldwin
  19. WINGS OF THE DOVE - Henry James
  20. AS I LAY DYING - William Faulkner
  21. AGE OF INNOCENCE - Edith Wharton
  22. MOVIEGOER - Walker Percy
  24. SECRET AGENT - Joseph Conrad
  25. WUTHERING HEIGHTS - Emily Bronte
  26. UNDER THE VOLCANO - Malcolm Lowry
  27. KIM - Rudyard Kiplin
  28. GOOD SOLDIER - Ford Madox Ford
  29. OUI - Salvador Dali
  30. AMERICAN TRAGEDY - Theodore Dreiser
  31. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE - Virginia Woolf
  32. WINESBURG, OHIO - Sherwood Anderson
  35. SUN ALSO RISES - Ernest Hemingway
  36. GINGER BREAD MAN - J.P. Donleavy
  37. FREAKONOMICS - Steven Levitt
  38. ALL THE KING'S MEN - Robert Penn Warren
  39. LOVING - Henry Green
  40. JUSTINE - Lawrence Durrell
  41. POINT COUNTER POINT - Aldous Huxley
  42. IRONWEED - William Kennedy
  43. BALTHAZAR - Lawrence Durrell
  44. BEND IN THE RIVER - V.S. Naipaul
  45. HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA - Richard Hughes
  46. July
  47. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW - Thomas Pynchon
  48. ANNA KARENINA - Leo Tolstoy
  49. BIRDS - Camille Paglia
  50. WOMEN IN LOVE - D.H. Lawrence
  51. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  52. HANDFUL OF DUST - Evelyn Waugh
  53. STRANGER - Albert Camus
  54. I, CLAUDIUS - Robert Graves
  55. FAREWELL TO ARMS - Ernest Hemingway
  56. SONS AND LOVERS - D.H. Lawrence
  57. YOUNG LONIGAN - James T. Farrell
  58. MOUNTOLIVE - Lawrence Durrell
  60. PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE - Muriel Spark
  61. JUDGMENT DAY - James T. Farrell
  62. GRAPES OF WRATH - John Steinbeck
  63. MAIN STREET - Sinclair Lewis
  64. HELL'S ANGELS - Hunter S. Thompson
  65. WIDE SARGASSO SEA - Jean Rhys
  66. BELOVED - Toni Morrison
  67. 42ND PARALLEL - John Dos Passos
  68. ZULEIKA DOBSON - Max Beerbohm
  69. CLEA - Lawrence Durrell
  70. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY - James Jones
  71. PASSAGE TO INDIA - E.M. Forster
  72. NINETEEN NINETEEN - John Dos Passos
  73. August
  74. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - Jane Austen
  75. LIGHT IN AUGUST - William Faulkner
  76. GOLDEN NOTEBOOK - Doris Lessing
  77. WAY OF ALL FLESH - Samuel Buter
  79. SCOOP - Evelyn Waugh
  80. SHELTERING SKY - Paul Bowles
  81. CONSERVATIONIST - Nadine Gordimer
  82. DON QUIXOTE - Miguel de Cervantes
  83. TOBACCO ROAD - Erskine Caldwell
  84. QUESTION OF UPBRINGING - Anthony Powell
  85. THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD - Zora Neale Hurston
  87. BIG MONEY - John Dos Passos
  88. BUYER'S MARKET - Anthony Powell
  89. TRIAL - Franz Kafka
  91. TALE OF GENJI - Murasaki Shikibu
  92. ACCEPTANCE WORLD - Anthony Powell
  93. MISS LONELYHEARTS - Nathanael West
  94. ROOM WITH A VIEW - E.M. Forster
  95. DEATH OF THE HEART - Elizabeth Bowen
  96. PARTY CLOUDY PATRIOT - Sarah Vowell
  97. MOBY-DICK - Herman Melville
  98. SORROW OF YOUNG WERTHER - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  99. RAGTIME - E.L. Doctorow
  100. AT LADY MOLLY'S - Anthony Powell
  101. NEW RULES - Bill Maher
  102. September
  103. HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER - Carson McCullers
  105. PORTRAIT OF A LADY - Henry James
  106. GREAT MOVIES - Roger Ebert
  107. SNOW COUNTRY - Yasunari Kawabata
  108. KINDLY ONES - Anthony Powell
  109. FRANKENSTEIN - Mary Shelley
  111. GOLDEN BOWL - Henry James
  112. CLAUDIUS THE GOD - Robert Graves
  113. MIDDLEMARCH - George Eliot
  114. HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES - Arthur Conan Doyle
  115. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  116. October
  117. SOME DO NOT... - Ford Madox Ford
  118. SALT: A WORLD HISTORY - Mark Kurlansky
  119. TROPIC OF CAPRICORN - Henry Miller
  120. NO MORE PARADES - Ford Madox Ford
  121. TIN DRUM - Gunter Grass
  122. VALLEY OF BONES - Anthony Powell
  123. NOSTROMO - Joseph Conrad
  124. A MAN COULD STAND UP - Ford Madox Ford
  125. LAST POST - Ford Madox Ford
  126. SOLDIER'S ART - Anthony Powell
  127. MILITARY PHILOSOPHERS - Anthony Powell
  128. HOUSE OF MIRTH - Edith Wharton
  129. ANGLE OF REPOSE - Wallace Stegner
  130. SWANN'S WAY - Marcel Proust
  131. NATIVE SON - Richard Wright
  132. BOOKS DO FURNISH A ROOM - Anthony Powell
  133. CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE - Bertolt Brecht
  134. OLD WIVES' TALE - Arnold Bennett
  135. TEMPORARY KINGS - Anthony Powell
  136. SOUND AND THE FURY - William Faulkner
  137. HEARING SECRET HARMONIES - Anthony Powell
  138. JANE EYRE - Charlotte Bronte
  139. FINNEGANS WAKE - James Joyce
  140. BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY - Thornton Wilder
  141. MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS - Booth Tarkington
  142. UNDER THE NET - Iris Murdoch
  143. November
  144. AMBASSADORS - Henry James
  145. WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE - Marcel Proust
  146. HOWARD'S END - EM Forster
  147. MAGUS - John Fowles
  148. EVERYTHING BAD IS GOOD FOR YOU - Steven Johnson
  149. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT - Philip Roth
  150. WOMAN IN WHITE - Wilkie Collins
  152. ROBINSON CRUSOE - Daniel Defoe
  153. MOLLOY - Samuel Beckett
  154. LES MISERABLES - Victor Hugo
  155. SISTER CARRIE - Theodore Dresier
  156. MALONE DIES - Samuel Beckett
  157. PRINCESS OF CLEVES - Madame de Lafayette
  158. UNNAMABLE - Samuel Beckett
  159. CALL IT SLEEP - Henry Roth
  160. GUERMANTES WAY - Marcel Proust
  161. HUNGER - Knut Hamsun
  162. TESS OF THE D'URBERVILES - Thomas Hardy
  163. December
  164. HERZOG - Saul Bellow
  165. COUNTERFEITERS - Andre Gide
  166. SCARLET LETTER - Nathanael Hawthorne
  167. PETERSBURG - Andre Bely
  168. DEAD SOULS - Nikolai Gogol
  169. AREAS OF MY EXPERTISE - John Hodgson
  170. ACCIDENTAL TOURIST - Anne Tyler
  171. BLACK WATER - Joyce Carol Oates
  172. ARE MEN NECESSARY? - Maureen Dowd
  173. CITIES OF SALT - 'Abd al-Rahamn Munif
  174. SODOM AND GOMORRAH - Marcel Proust
  175. THREE MUSKETEERS - Alexandre Dumas
  176. MAGIC MOUNTAIN - Thomas Mann
Cloned From: 

Good lord you're a media-busy guy. Do you have a job, partner, or bed?

Nope, not much of any of those things.

Good - that's the only way I can my head around your copious media consumption!

Impressive List.
What did you think of Wuthering Heights ? (which I have just finished)
I also read The Grapes Of Wrath this year.

Loved Wuthering Heights. It might be my favorite this year, definitely top three with Ulysses and Handful of Dust.

I also loved Wuthering Heights - the tragedy of what people do to one another, although I found it a little garbled and confusing. I preferred 'The Grapes of Wrath' which I have now added to my list of all-time favourites.

'Handful of Dust'/Waugh - now that sounds like my cup of tea. If I needed to add any more books to my library 'to read', this might just be my next purchase (which means that it will almost certainly be amongst my next purchases during my next 'weak moment').

One of the great things about Wuthering Heights is that the layers of narrative (of varied reliablity) make it difficult to know whom to trust, so that the reader has to piece the truth together for him or herself. The disorientation also works to keep the reader from judging too quickly, a brilliant strategy for a moralistic time.

I cannot tell if that strategy was deliberate, or if it was the naivity of a first-time novelist. However, I do know that for me the 'layers of narrative' made it a long and confusing read, but despite this, and despite none of the characters being very sympathetic, I remained captivated throughout.

Where are you getting your ideas for what to read? This looks like a college reading list, with a little craziness thrown in.

The bulk of it is from Modern Library's "100 Best Novels of the 20th Century" and Daniel Burt's "Novel 100". And then whatever else struck my fancy along the way.

Great lists!

I've never heard of either of those lists, but they seem to know what they're talking about!

I can't believe you read Midnight's Children along with like 15 other books, all in the same month. That alone would take me the better part of a month!

Are you working on multiple books at once, or do you finish one cover to cover before starting the next?

I'm a cover-to cover gal, myself.

I read Midnight's Children in one day, around 10 hours plus breaks.

I normally have two books going at once, one physical and an audiobook I listen to at work. I know purists contemn the audio but some of the readers are really good.

Did you like the Garcia Marquez book? It is one of my favorite novels...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I liked it very much. It had me riveted the whole way and exhausted in the end.

Sorry, I don't buy the list. According to your film and book lists in May 2005 you watched 112 films and read 12 books including Ulysses and Midnight's Children (which are at least a combined 1400 pages).

If you just count the movies as 1 1/2 hours each that is 168 hours worth of movies or over 5 1/2 hours of movie watching each day. Add to that the books and you either have absolutely no human contact, no job, or you are gilding the lilly just a wee bit.

The Ulysses one is a little deceiving because I started it in January. Before May I wasn't hitting the books real heavily.

And you're right, I do have almost no human contact and I work short hours (as I said before). Call it 5.5 hours for movies, 7 hours for sleep, 5 for work and that leaves 6.5 for reading. Plus during those 5 hours of work I'm usually listening to an audiobook (as I said before) which I count as reading a book. Try living it and it all adds up.

Hey- So how much of this is audio books? I am just curious. So what do people think, is listening to a book as good as reading it? I cant decide myself. But then I think, well blind people probably listen to a lot, it would be unfair to discount it. I am not opposed to it, just wondering what you all think.

I'd say 10-15% of my list is audio. Personally, I prefer it. Besides the convenience of listening at work, the time element keeps my attention focused where I might wander reading a print book.

And a good narrator can add some depth to the experience. Usually it's just some monotone British or American guy, but Donal Donnelly, Nadia May, Joe Morton, Sarah Vowell, & John Malkovich are all very good.

One thing that strikes me about this list is that whereas the novels you're reading are mostly major literary classics, the few non-fiction books on the list tend to be fairly commercial contemporary books like Freakonomics and Everything Bad Is Good For You. Are you just not interested in philosophy, history, political theory, social theory etc. or are you just saving those fields for later?

My "to read" list is only literary classics. I just get sidetracked sometimes when I see an interesting nonfiction book on the bestseller list.

I am interested in history but it's hard to know what to read there, since multiple books cover the same subjects and I don't know who the best history writers are. If you have any suggestions, I'd like to hear.

I admit I'm not too interested in philosophy or theory. My reaction to that is almost always either "obviously" or "bullshit".

I don't imagine I'm much more knowledgeable about history than yourself, but Eric Hobsbawm's three "Age of..." books would be a good choice (Age of Revolution, Age of Empire, Age of Extremes). I've only read sections of them, but what I've read is very good

I've just put a hold on Age of Empire. Will let you know what I think when I get to it.

Not only you watch a lot of movies, but you also read many books. Wherever you live, the days must have more than 24 hours. :)

But seriously, what do you think about Heart of Darkness? I read it this year, too, and I can't really decide on it.

BTW, Merry Christmas, to you and your folks.

I'm not sure about Heart of Darkness either. Nostromo and Secret Agent were both chores that I didn't enjoy at all. HoD had some kind of disturbing effect on me. Some people like Nabokov and Achebe were dismissive of it. I may be imagining it to be deeper because I've watched Apocalypse Now three times before reading the book. Or maybe I'm too young to see through it.

Merry Xmas to you, too. And for tomorrow, Happy Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Boxing Day.


'The New York Times' said about Deliverance: "The voyage down the river echoes the journey of Conrad's demonic Mr. Kurtz to the Congo's heart of darkness." I think that's an interesting point, because there are many parallels between Deliverance and Heart of Darkness.
I also had seen Apocalypse Now before reading HoD, and I missed the psychedelic parts. You mention age, and I think that could be true. Because I know somebody who is a little over 50, and he loves Heart of Darkness.

What I meant by the age thing was that Nabokov, who might be my absolute favorite novelist, called Conrad a "writer of books for boys". He was also harsh with a number of writers I admire. HoD and Deliverance might both be nothing more than adventure stories but they're well-written and compelling.

OK, then I might disagree. Deliverance (at least, the movie, as I haven't read the novel) and above all HoD are more than just that. I think the identification with Marlow is rather given for older readers. Lets not forget that Marlow is at a turning point of his life (as Dante and Ulysses were before travelling to the underworld) (maybe a kind of midlife crisis). Therefore I'd say that (male) readers around 45 or 50 can easier identify with the protagonist than somebody who is younger. From that POV, Deliverance may be different.

Deliverance the movie was extraordinarily true to the novel.

Men in midlife crisis are pretty much grown boys, aren't they? Playing with archery and going on a excursion through the wilderness. Deliverance could be a darker version of Huckleberry Finn.

Nice point of view. Deliverance is a very dark version of Huck Finn then.

Hmm, I also see that you have read The Grapes of Wrath. Already know East of Eden? If not, then I highly recommend it. Also Of Mice and Men and The Pearl, the latter being maybe a little less enjoyable, but still.

I've only read Of Mice and Men. But I've seen all those movies so I've got the idea.