52 books, 1 year

I decided for some unknown odd reason to try and read 52 books in one calender year. I finished in October. Yes, I have too much time on my hands. I also keep a log of all books I read with a brief description so I don’t reread stuff and because, well, I’m an unashamed bibliophile. The descriptions were originally written for my own use, as a reference point, hence the brevity.

The list totals 13,900 pages.

Heart of the SeaNathanial Philbrick:  Tale of the Essex; ship wrecked by whale

Mutuwhenua – Patricia Grace: Māori/Pākehā cultural differences through love story

Cannery Row – John Steinbeck: Crazy bums and winos in old California

Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald: Psychoanalyst marries his patient, crazy rich people

Sophie’s Choice – William Styron: Holocaust survivor’s crazy relationships in New York

Moriori: A People Rediscovered – Michael King: History of the Moriori

Beauty Sleep – Kate Camp: Wellington poet, not her best work

The Continual Condition – Charles Bukowski: Collection of Buk’s old-man poems

Autumn Testament – James K. Baxter: Poetry about the Jerusalem commune

True at First Light – Ernest Hemmingway: Lion hunting in Africa, Hem’s last novel

Why Read Moby Dick? – Nathanial Philbrick: Because it’s awesome

Ask the Dusk – John Fante: Wannabe writer falls for crazy Mexican waitress

Exile and the Kingdom – Albert Camus: Varied collection of short stories

The Road to Los Angeles – John Fante: Crazy , grandiose Bandini works in fish-cannery

Selected Poems of James K Baxter – James K. Baxter: Anthology spanning his career

The Plague – Albert Camus: It’s about a plauge

Miscellany One – Dylan Thomas: Poems, Broadcasts and a crappy play

The Trial – Franz Kafka: Guy faces crazy, chaotic, mysterious trial

Redburn – Herman Melville: Young Yank sails to Liverpool

Doubtless – Sam Hunt: poems about weather & drinking & stuff

Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion: Essays, 1960s California

I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive – Steve Earle: Morphine addict Dr. haunted by ghost of Hank Williams

Just Kids – Patti Smith: Memoirs of getting started in New York

The Cruise of the Snark – Jack London: Memoirs of sailing in the South Pacific

An Introduction to Zen Buddhism – D. T. Suzuki: Wu wu wu title says it all

Man and His Symbols – Carl Jung: Symbols, the unconcious and dream interpretation

Wait Until Spring, Bandini – John Fante: Crazy, poor Italian-American family

A Memory of Light – Brandon Sandersor: The wheel finally stops turning XIV

Consider the Lobster – David Foster Wallace: Collection of wordy essays about lobsters & stuff

The Old, Weird America – Greil Marcus: the Basement Tapes and old timey music

Crime and Punishment – Fydor Dostoyevsky: Mad Russians running amok in St Petersburg

The Story of a Nobody – Anton Chekhov: Rich guy fakes it as a servant, disgusted with his upperclass

I, Claudius – Robert Graves: Historical fiction of Roman tyrants, family feuds, corrupt

Why We Write – Meredith Maran: 20 writers talk about how & why of writing

Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina – Robert Graves: Claudius as Roman emperor

Dhammapada: Annotated & Explained – Jack Maguire: Sayings of the Buddha

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemmingway: Solider & nurse, WWI in Italy

Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol: Russian weirdo buys up dead serfs’ souls

Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers – Phillip Stoke, ed.: Redundant thoughts

Inside Rehab – Anne Fletcher: Research and review of American rehab system

All Things Shining – Dreyfus & Hubert: Lousy argument for polytheism from Western Lit.

Starting with Wittgenstein – Chon Tejedor: Don’t think, look!

This Wheel’s on Fire – Levon Helm: Story of the Band, Levon hates Robbie Robertson

The White Album – Joan Didion: Essays, 60/70s California

Post Office – Charles Bukowski: He works in a post office…

Thomas Hobbes – A E Taylor: Dry text on British materialist philospher

Primates and Philosophers – Frans De Waal: Monkey morals

Ulysses – James Joyce: Weird, long book about 1 day, Bloomsday

Introducing Wittgenstein – John Heaton: All about the word games and logic and faith

Mihaia: the Prophet Rua Kenena – Judith Binney: Tūhoe prophet and his community at Maungapōhatu

Maori Sovereignty – Donna Awatere: Background to Māori protest movement

Potiki – Patricia Grace: Māori community fighting against ‘development’


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