I’ve been using one of the online book sites where you record what you read for the last few years. I used to write what I’d read in notebooks but I’m not that well organised so it’d all be scattered around on the back of envelopes, various notebooks, and also my handwriting’s appalling, so it was always a struggle to read my random scrawls. That said, I like writing lists. It’s much more fun writing one than typing one on a computer. Oh well. I’ve come to terms with my reading also also being years behind the times. I’ve only recently got a copy of Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen, the zeitgeist book of 2010, and that’s like the quickest I’ve bought a book from release. Well, besides David Sedaris books. I enjoyed Franzen’s the Corrections but I reserve judgement for his latest offering
Anyway, here’s a selection of books read in 2010 with a quick twitter style rundown on each.
Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog: Quintessential Werner Herzog. A diary of his walk from Germany to Paris to visit an ill friend. It’s exactly what one of his movie characters would do. He’s someone I greatly admire and this book is a welcome addition.
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran-Foer: Don’t read if you like eating animals because you won’t by the end of this.
Chinese Takeout by Arthur Nersesian: Arthur Nersesian’s tale of the artistic life is rather good. It annoyed me, frustrated me but left its mark which sadly far too few books do. I shall be reading some more of his stuff.
Humboldts Gift by Saul Bellow: Classic Bellow. His prose is a joy to read.
Sombrero Fallout by Richard Brautigan: I read this book years ago and loved it. Recently, I found it in a bookshop, so thought I’d read it before going to San Francisco. I still love it. It’s his best novel, I think, as it doesn’t feel so defined by the 60s as some of his other work does.
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay Mcinery: Perhaps Mcinery’s prose is a little overstylised at times, but I liked this tale of a writer in thrall to glamour. Manhattan.
Hello America by J.G. Ballard: I make a point of reading a Ballard book every year.
I might also list some art books I collected last year. If I can remember what I bought that is.