first quarter reading list 2013

sex drugs & madness

Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil

Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis: not my book of the quarter


Albert Camus, Exile and the Kingdom
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
William Burroughs, Naked Lunch
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis


David Sandison & Graham Vickers, Neal Cassady: Fast Life of a Beat Hero
Antonio Melechi, Fugitive Minds
Hermann Hesse, The Prodigy


D. H. Lawrence, Sons & Lovers
Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

Sex, drugs, and madness was how I began the year. Literary wise, if not otherwise, but probably a little otherwise too. But in reality, it probably was more literary than any of the other three (or the other three combined).

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E.M. Forster, A Room With A View
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of AnaïsNin Vol. III
Jerry Hopkins & Danny Sugerman, No One Here Gets Out Alive

Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Peter O. Whitmer, Aquarius Revisited: Seven Who Created The Sixties Counter-Culture That Changed America

D.H. Lawrence, Women In Love
S.E. Hinton, Rumble Fish
Natasha Soobramanien, Genie and Paul
Max Ernst, Une Semaine de Bonté

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I’ve not been very good at keeping a decent reading list because, quite frankly, my reading has not been very good. This decline in form must have begun some halfway through last year, when the only thing I was reading for was my dissertation, and really got a bit sick of reading. But the new year is a good time to begin again in the manner in which one intends to continue, so I’ve done my best. I’ve never much gone in for something as solid as a resolution; the only thing I knew when I entered the year was the simple desire to read more, and to write more.


Henry Miller, Black Spring
Patrick de Witt, The Sisters Brothers
Nicholas Royle, Quilt


Anaïs Nin, Diaries of Anaïs Nin, Vol. II
Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain


Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveller
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Jonathan Kemp, London Triptych
Jonathan Kemp, Twentysix
Erland Loe, Naïve. Super


It has been an extraordinary three months of reading. Free from dissertation and all expectation, I read whatever caught my fancy, and this resulted in a reading list of quality and variety, and some pleasant surprises too.

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april reading list

You know, the entire time I was laid up with essays a recurring thought was, as soon as this is over I can get back to writing. Isn’t that nice? Well the term papers are finally in and I celebrated by recouping all the lost sleep and then going to see Fast 5. Don’t think I didn’t seriously consider bringing a review of that film as my first offering on returning to the blog, but I figured it might bring down the tone (which I think I’ve kept to an admirably high standard). After all, no one really wants to know the answer to the question: which could I more easily live without – Mark Wahlberg or Paul Walker and his host of most excellent movie-films? Even if someone wanted an answer I don’t think I have the capacity to give it.


Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Martin Amis, The Pregnant Widow
Jean Christophe Valtat, Aurororama
Jacques Derrida & Maurizio Ferraris, A Taste for the Secret
Jacques Derrida, The Ear of the Other
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier
Charles Bukowski, Post Office
Howard Sounes, Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
H. G. Wells, Men Like Gods

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first quarter reading list

Man Ray's Violin d'Ingres - Kiki de Montparnasse

One thing my MA has taught me is to read bloody fast. I’ve been keeping track of the books I’ve read so far this year, and what I would like to do is post this monthly with some thoughts about the books I’ve read and perhaps encourage you to do the same. This being said, I started this blog too late to give you January and February. For this first post, then, I will present to you March, as it should be, and January and February, in retrospect and only as a list.


Anaïs Nin, Little Birds
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Catel & Bocquet, Kiki de Montparnasse
Brecht Evens, Night Animals

Unintentionally, the month of March belonged to women. I have enjoyed every single book I’ve read this year, but March was especially pleasing to me.

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