Monday, December 20, 2010

under the bridge

Just a short stretch until 2011 arrives, so here is my reading list for 2010 so far. As always, some of these are shortish ebooks, thus boosting the number. On the other hand, I left off a couple books because I stopped reading them, or they were art books that I have trouble saying I “read.” I don’t know. I’m still figuring that out.

Among the most memorable was David Copperfield. It was my New Year’s resolution to read it and dread was the watchword, but it was great. Jane Eyre was at least its equal, less tra-la-la, more sturm und drang. I was also bowled over by Today I Wrote Nothing. In non-fiction I thought Columbine was fabulous, although the topic was never in the forefield of my radar screen.

In poetry, I liked many things, but A Civic Pageant (a chapbook) may have been my favorite by a single author. The Poetry of Surrealism edited by Michael Benedikt was super. American Spikenard and Salvinia Molesta definitely had my full attention.

I'm in the middle of Drood and The Book of Disquiet. If I manage to finish one, I'll just add it to the list. I'm hopeful.

Among the clunkers, hmmm, there surely were some... Lark and Termite, for example. If I Die in a Combat Zone was also a let-down, although I've enjoyed O'Brien's other books a lot.

For next year the big book will either be Crime and Punishment or The Magic Mountain. It is good to resolve.

1. Dear Friends the Bird were Wonderful! – Alexis Orgera (Jan/Poetry)
2. The Land of Green Plums – Herta Müller (Jan/Fiction)
3. The Sea – John Banville (Jan 23/Fiction)
4. The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Moshin Hamid (Jan/Fiction)
5. A Walk Through the Memory Palace – Pamela Johnson Parker (Jan/Poetry)
6. Attention Deficit Letters – Nicelle Davis (Feb/Poetry)
7. The Air Around the Butterfly – Katerina Stoykova Klemer (Feb/Poetry)
8. Super Undone Blue – Sarah Anne Cox (Jan/Poetry)
9. Last Words – Howard Good (Jan/Poetry)
10. Magnum Magnum (Jan/Photography)
11. Lark Apprentice – Louise Mathias (Jan/Poetry)
12. Bear v. Shark – Chris Bachelder (Jan/Fiction)
13. Pig/Iron – Howie Good (Feb/Poetry)
14. Der Tiger Tötet Nicht – Ted Hughes (March/Poetry)
15. Today I Read Nothing – Danil Harms (March/Shorts&Poetry)
16. Lark & Termite – Jayne Anne Phillips (March 21/Fiction)
17. A Companion For Owls - Maurice Manning (March 27/Poetry)
18. Erwin Wurm: The Artist Who Swallowed the World (March/Art)
19. Erwin Wurm: One Minute Sculpture (March/Art)
20. Underlife – January O’Neil (April 11/Poetry)
21. Speak Easy Symmetry – Audri Sousa (Apr/Poetry)
22. The Shadow of Sirius – W.S. Merwin (April/Poetry)
23. Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure – Harold Bloom ed. (Apr/Lit Crit)
24. American Spikenard – Sarah Vap (April/Poetry)
25. They Kissed Their Homes – Christopher Cheney (May/Poetry)
26. Why I Hate Straws – Barry Parham (May/Humor)
27. Every Man Dies Alone – Hans Falluda (May/Fiction)
28. A Civic Pageant – Frank Montesonti (May/Poetry)
29. Book of Longing – Leonard Cohen (May/Poetry)
30. The Birds – Tarjei Vesaas (June/Fiction)
31. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy (June/Fiction)
32. A Sorrow Beyond Dreams – Peter Handke (June/Memoir)
33. The Poetry of Surrealism – Michael Benedikt ed (June/Poetry)
34. How German Is It – Walter Abish (June/Fiction)
35. The Diary of a Country Priest – Georges Bernanos (Fiction)
36. If I Die in a Combat Zone – Tim O’Brien (Memoir)
37. Seeing Birds in Church is a Kind of Adieu – Arlene Ang (June/Poetry)
38. The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven – Mairead Byrne (June/Poetry)
39. Give Over to the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt – Jason Tandon (Jul/Poetry)
40. Nadirs – Herta Müller (July/Fiction)
41. The Door – Magda Szabo (July/Fiction)
42. Columbine – Dave Cullen (July/Non-Fiction)
43. Stick Pink – Carrie Murphy (July/Poetry)
44. The Cat Inside – William S. Burroughs (July/Memoir)
45. The Reserve – Russell Banks (July/Fiction)
46. With Deer – Aase Berg (July/Poetry)
47. Factory of Tears – Valzhana More (July/Poetry)
48. Written in Bone – Simon Beckett (Aug/Fiction)
49. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (Aug/Fiction)
50. Tiny Deaths –Robert Shearman (Aug/Fiction)
51. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (Aug/Fiction)
52. Camus, a Romance – Elizabeth Hawes (Sept/Bio&Memoir)
53. The Stranger – Albert Camus (Sept/Fiction)
54. The Shining – Stephen King (Sept/Fiction)
55. Watermark – Clayton Michaels (Sept/Poetry)
56. Best of the Web 2010 – Matt Bell ed. (Oct/Poetry&Pieces)
57. Pornografia – Witold Gombrowicz (Oct/Fiction)
58. Methland – Nick Reding (Oct/Non-Fiction)
59. Salvinia Molesta – Victoria Chang (Oct/Poetry)
60. The Waste Books – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (Oct/Aphorisms)
61. Stupid Hope – Jason Shinder (Oct/Poetry)
62. Dark Things – Novica Tadic (Nov/Poetry)
63. Awe – Dorothea Lasky (Nov/Poetry)
64. The Furies – Janet Hobhouse (Nov/Fiction&Memoir)
65. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – David Wroblewski (Dec/Fiction)
66. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (Dec/Fiction)
67. Austerlitz - WB Sebald (Sept/Fiction)
68. Drood - Dan Simmons (Dec/Historical Fiction)
69. True Grit - Charles Portis (Dec/Fiction)


Dave Cullen said...

Hey SarahJane. Thanks for picking my book, Columbine. I'm kind of giddy to be in the company of David Copperfield and Jane Eyre. (If you could have a word with teachers assigning books 100 years from now, that would be great. Haha.)

And if anyone here happens to know any teachers, or students, we just created a Columbine Student Guide and Columbine Teacher’s Guide.

One of these days, I will read Crime and Punishment too. I need to.

SarahJane said...

the pleasure was mine.

Kathleen said...

Yay for your list! And thanks so much for suggesting A Civic Pageant a while back. I loved it, too!

I have not yet read Crime and Punishment, so it is on my big to-do list in the sky. I read The Magic Mountain in my teens and it still resonates with me. Just yesterday, reading something else, I thought, "Oh, that's the 'magic mountain' phenomenon." Probably time to read it again!

ArtSparker said...

Dickens is great for Winter.

artes moriendi said...

I have been proselytizing fanatically far and wide for Sybille Bedford's _A legacy_, my great discovery of this year, and will importunately do so here.

The Handke and Hobhouse books were recent reads for me too. Admired both. Have you read the two Tove Jansson novels recently reissued by NYRB?

SarahJane said...

Susan, yes Dickens is great in winter. I keep thinking I should re-read "A Christmas Carol," which I have somewhere in the house. I'm reading the novel "Drood" at the moment, in which Dickens is a character. It's entertaining, if long-winded and not a candidate for eternity.

Artes, I haven't read Tove Jannson, though I have "The Summer Book" on my to-read-someday list. I hadn't heard of Sybille Bedford, but will definitely look the book up. thanks

Jasmine said...

You should definitely pick up Crime and Punishment! I read it this year and as dark as it could be, it was such a lovely experience!

Inspired by this post I think I'm going to make a blog post of books I started reading this year and stopped midway!
Cheers to '11.

Oh andjust read your last comment, I have been so eager to read A christmas Carol myself and watch the mnovies based on it too. Yesterday there was a quiz in the kids section in the newspaper- Which of the ghosts in A christmas Carol doesn't have the word "Christmas" in its name?

SarahJane said...


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