The Sporadically Voracious Reader

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I am a sporadic reader, a sporadically voracious reader. I can go two or three months without touching anything besides magazines, newspapers, and the first 15 pages of any book, to gobbling up series of books within two days. Sometimes, when my attention span is weak, I go through short stories, never failing to delight in how complex and tight miniature tales can be. Since Paris, August 2004…

Les Echecs: c’est facile! Objectif MAT R. Bertolo et L. Risacher
Men in the Off Hours Anne Carson
House of Incest Anais Nin
Hello My Big Big Honey: Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls
Dave Walker and Richer Ehrlich
Elizabeth Costello J. M. Coetzee
Salmon of Doubt Douglas Adams
Adventures in the Skin Trade Dylan Thomas
The Master of Saint Petersburg J. M. Coetzee
The Model Millionaire and other Stories Oscar Wilde
“The Fly” Katherine Mansfield
Bonjour Tristesse Francoise Sagan
The Basic Kafka (collection of works): Metamorphosis, A Report to an Academy, The Truth about Sancho Panza… Franz Kafka
Tour de France: The history, the legend, the riders Graeme Fife
America and Americans John Steinbeck
How to be Good Nick Hornby (hated this book)
The letters of Abelard and Heloise Abelard and Heloise
The Plot Against America Philip Roth
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
100 years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Green Mile/Langoliers/Insomnia Stephen King
Selected short stories Richard Brautigan
Oblamov Ivan Goncharov (never finished)
Disgrace J.M. Coetzee
Haroun and the Sea of Stories Salman Rushdie
Ballad of the Sad Cafe... and short stories Carson McCullers
Fanny Hill John Mclelland

I might have missed something out between the last little moments and so, forgotten paltry paperworks I gnawed through rapidly from the library. I’m sure, actually, there’s something by J.G. Ballard that I’m forgetting,a couple of potboilers somewhere, a Tibor Fischer maybe, my encyclopedia of underwater sea creatures, a do-it-your selfer on fixing windows, some books I took out from the library, read the first 15 pages, and left underneath my bed to gather dust gremlins.

I choose my books… I’m bored easily so they really have to bite me hard in the bottom. But, out of the list above, for example, I didn’t fully get through The Wind in the Willows despite liking the stories quite a bit. I raced through fanny hill, solitude, tristesse, haroun and disgrace, and plundered and dundered all over Dylan Thomas and the Master of Saint Petersburg. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them… in fact, the problem with Dylan Thomas is that one story is often enough to satisfy for awhile. But really, when it comes down to it, I have mundane banal taste, nothing particular. A little bit more literary than the potboiler crew, but not far... I mean, you know practically every name on that list. I'm not adventurous in the end. I'm classic.

So why this list? Well, I’m running out of ideas, my local public library is running out of english books, and I want something good to read… I want fantastic stories, mad tales… horseheaded lion tamers and torrid brain eats… so give me a list… give me books and things. And while you’re at it, to get a better idea, you could check out my Amazon Wishlist… and buy me a present!