Monday, January 3, 2011

Books: Read and Looking For More

Another year already! I finally got around to updating the list of books I've read since the beginning of 2000. Back then I had this ambitious plan of reading a book a month every month. That should tally up to 12 books a year, and 120 books per decade. I started out strong enough since back in 2000 I lived across the street from a St. Louis public library, and the place was opened every day from 7AM to 10PM (5PM on Sundays). The last few years had been slow-going, though, especially since I moved out to rural Chula Vista without a library within a walking distance.

I don't know if I actually made the 132 books quota or not, but here are the books I've read in the past 11 years - some I still remember well, some not (I'm currently re-reading Rebecca West's Balkan tome, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. The next book on my hit list is Christopher Hitchen's God Is Not Great):

A
ADAMSON, Joy: Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free, The Queen of Shaba, The Spotted Sphinx
ALBOM, Mitch: Tuesdays with Morrie
ALBRIGHT, Madeleine: Madam Secretary
ALEXANDER, Larry & Richard D. Winters: Biggest Brother
ALI, Tariq: Bush in Babylon, The Clash of Fundamentalisms, The Book of Saladin, Shadow of the Pomegranate Tree
AMBROSE, Stephen: Band of Brothers, Citizen Soldiers, D-Day
AMORY, Cleveland: The Cat Who Came For Christmas
ARIOSTO, Ludovico: Orlando Furioso
ARLEN, Michael J: Passage to Ararat   
ARMSTRONG, Karen: History of God
ARMSTRONG, Lance: It’s Not About The Bike, Every Second Counts
"Even if you reject everything, it is always better to know what it is you are rejecting." Tariq Ali, The Clash of Fundamentalisms

B
BACH, Richard: A Gift of Wings
von BAEYER, Hans Christian: Rainbows, Snowflakes and Quarks
BARROW, John D: The Constants of Nature
BERGER, Karen & Dan Smith: Where the Waters Divide
BERGMAN, Ingrid: My Story
de BEAUMARCHAIS, Pierre Augustin Caron: Le Marriage de Figaro, Le Barbière de Seville
BLAIR, Clay: Ridgway’s Paratroopers
BLAY, Michel: Les Raisons de l’Infiniti
BOOLE, George: The Law of Thoughts
BOROVIK, Artyom: Hidden War
BOUKREEV, Anatoly N: The Climb, Above the Clouds
BOWDEN, Mark: Black Hawk Down, Guests of the Ayatollah
BRYSON, Bill: A Walk in the Woods, In a Sunburned Country, Neither Here Nor There, Notes From A Small Island
BUCHANAN, Patrick: Where the Right Went Wrong
BUCHWALD, Art: Washington Is Leaking
BUCKLEY, William (jr): Up From Liberalism
BULGAKOV, Mikhail A: Master and Margarita, Heart of a Dog, Diaboliads, The Fatal Egg, Flight, Black Snow, The White Guards, Days of the Turbins
BURGETT, Donald R: Currahee!, The Road to Arnhem

"But people, straining to explain something to themselves or to others, are often content with mere illusion or a meaningless phrase which, although comfortable, explains nothing." Artyom Borovik, Hidden War
C
CALDICOTT, Helen: If You Love This Planet
CAMUS, Albert: La Mythe de Sisyphus, The Stranger, The Plague
CANTOR, Norman: In the Wake of The Plague
CARLÈS, Emilie: Une Soup Aux Herbes Souvages, A Life of Her Own
CARSON, Rachel L: The Sea Around Us
CARUS, Lucretius: The Nature of Things
CASTI, John: Complexification, Kurt Godel
CÉLINE, Louis-Ferdinand: Voyage au bout de la nuit
CHANDRASEKHAR, S: Truth and Beauty
CHAPLIN, Charlie: My Autobiography
CHAPMAN, Simon: Explorers Wanted
CHEKHOV, Anton: Uncle Vanya, the Cherry Tree
CHOMSKY, Noam: Blowbacks
CHRISTIE, Agatha: A Pocketful of Rye, Murder in the Vicarage, Miss Marple, Poirot Investigates, Murder on the Orient Express
CLANCY, Tom: The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, The Sum of All Fear, Debt of Honor, Without Remorse, Executive Order, Rainbow Six, Red Rabbit
CLARKE, Arthur C: Report on Planet Three & Other Speculations
CLARKE, Richard A: Against All Enemies
CRÈSPIN, Regine: On Stage, Off Stage
CORELLI, Marie: The Mighty Atom, Barabbas, The Soul of Lilith
COPLAND, Aaron: What to Listen for in Music
CRICK, Francis: The Double Helix
CUNNINGHAM, Clark: The Spyglass Cup

D
DANTE: Divine Comedy
DAVIS, MAYHEW, MILLER: Under the Perfect Sun
DAVIS, Nuel Pharr: Lawrence & Oppenheimer
DAWKINS, Richard: The God Delusion
DEAN, WINTON: Handel’s Operas 1704-1726, Handel’s Operas 1726-1741
DICKENS, Charles: Great Expectation, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend, Oliver Twist
DIDEROT, Denis: Jacques le Fataliste
DINESEN, Isak: Out of Africa
DOSTOEVSKY, Fyodor: Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, White Night, Notes from the Underground, Diary of a Madman, A dream of a Ridiculous Man
DOYLE, Arthur Conan: The Hound of Bakerville, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, Return of Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia
DUDLEY, Barbara & Eric SEABORG: American Discoveries
DUMAS, Alexandre (pere): Les Trois Musketaires, Man in the Iron Mask, Adventures in Czarist Russia
"Sleeping on a plank has one advantage - it encourages early rising." - Alexandre Dumas (père)
E
ECO, Umberto: Foucault’s Pendulum, The Name of the Rose
EINSTEIN, Albert: Ideas & Opinions, The World As I See It, The Theory of Relativity
ELIOT, T.S: The Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
ELLIS, Joseph J: Founding Brothers
ERB, Christy M: A Lifetime of Contradictions, Have Golf Swing - Will Travel

F
FARRELL, Eileen: Can’t Help Singing
FERRIS, Timothy: The Whole Shebang
FEYNMAN, Richard P: Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman, Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Characters of Physical Laws, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, The Meaning of It All, Elementary Particles and the Law of Physics, Six Easy Pieces, QED
FLAGGS, Fannie: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café
FLEMING, Renee: The Inner Voice
FLETCHER, Colin: The Secret World of Colin Fletcher
FRANCE, Anatole: Thaïs, Revolts of the Angels
FRANKLIN, Benjamin: Of Liberty and Necessity
FRIEDMAN, Johanna: Molto Agitato
FRIEDMAN, Thomas L: Longitudes and Attitudes

"It is necessary to look at the results of observation objectively because you, the experimenter, might like one result better than another." - Richard P Feynman, The Meaning of It All
G
GAMMELGAARD, Lene: Climbing High
GAVIN, James M: On to Berlin
GEORGE, Jean Craighead: My Side of the Mountain  
GIBBON, Edward: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
GLADWELL, Malcolm: Blink, The Tipping Point
von GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang: Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years, Theory of Colors
GÖDEL, Kurt: On Formerly Undecidable Proposition of Principia and Related Systems
GOGOL, Nicolai V: Nevsky Prospekt, The Nose, The Overcoat
GOLDBERG, Bernard: Bias
GOODWIN, Joy: The Second Mark
GORDEEVA, Ekaterina: My Sergei
GORDON, Richard: The Alarming History of Medicine
GOSSETT, Philip: Divas and Scholars
GRANT, Michael: The World of Rome
GRASS, Guenter: Cat and Mouse
GREEN, David: A Pacific Crest Odyssey
GREENE, Brian: The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos
GREENLAW, Linda: The Hungry Ocean, The Shrimp Chronicles, All Fishermen Are Liars
GRIBBIN, John: Schrödinger’s Kitten and the Search for Reality, Who’s Afraid of the Schrödinger Cat?
GRISHAM, John: The Firm, The Client, The Pelican Brief, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Innocent Man, The last Juror, The Painted House

H
HALL, Shirley J: Shirley and Pipsi
HAMMERSKJOLD, Dag: Markings
HARNONCOURT, Nikolaus: The Musical Dialog
HAWKING, Stephen: A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, The Nature of Space and Time
HEISENBERG, Werner: Physics and Philosophy, An Encounter with Einstein
HERZOG, Maurice: Anapurna
HESSE, Hermann: Märchen
HISCOCK, Eric: Sou’west in Wanderer IV, Cruising Under Sails
HOLLAND, Barbara: Secrets of the Cat
HORNE, Marilyn: The Song Continues
HOTTER, Hans: Memoir   
HUGO, Victor: Les Miserables, Notre Dame de Paris, Les Chatiments
HURWITZ, David: Getting the Most Out of Mozart: The Vocal Works
HUXLEY, Aldous: Brave New World

I
IBSEN, Henrik: Peer Gynt, The Wild Duck

J
JACKSON, Robert: Dunkirk
JENKINS, Mark: Off the Map
JENKINS, Peter: A Walk Across America
JUNGER, Sebastian: The Perfect Storm, Fire

K
KAFKA, Franz: Metamorphosis, Three Parables
KAKU, Michio: Beyond Einstein, Hyperspace
KAPLAN, Robert: The Nothing That Is, Balkan Ghosts
KEAN, Thomas & Lee H HAMILTON: The 9/11 Report
KENEALY, Thomas: Schindlers Liste
KENNEDY, John Fitzgerald: Profiles in Courage
KIRSHNER, Robert: Exploding Stars and the Expanding Universe
KNAPPE, Siegfried & Ted BRUSAW: Soldat
KRAKAUER, Jon: Into Thin Air
KUNSTLER, James H: A Geography to Nowhere 

"We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not of principles." John F Kennedy, Profiles in Courage
L
LAMONT, Lansing: Day of Trinity
LEAST HEAT MOON, William: Blue Highways
LEE, Harper: To Kill A Mockingbird
LEIGHTON, Ralph: Tuva or Bust!
LEHMANN, Lotte: My Many Lives  
LEM, Stanislaw: Solaris
LERMONTOV, Mikhail Y: A Hero of Our Time
LEOPOLD, Aldo: A Sand County Almanac
LEROUX, Gaston: The Phantom of the Opera
LINENGER, Jerry M: Off the Planet
LONDON, Jack: The Call of the Wild
LORD, Nancy: Green Alaska
LOVELL, Jim: Apollo 13
LUDLUM, Robert: Apocalypse Watch, The Bourne Identity, The Scorpios Illusion
LUDWIG, Christa: And I Wanted to Be A Prima Donna, In My Own Voice  
"Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea." - Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time

M
MACK, Burton L: Who Wrote the New Testament?
MAGRIS, Claudio: Danube
MAKINE, Andrei: Le Testament Français
MALKIN, Michelle: In Defense of Internment
MANN, Thomas: Death in Venice and Other Stories
MARCUS AURELIUS: Meditations
MARKHAM, Beryl: West With the Night
MARSHALL, Catherine: Christy
MARSHALL, James: Walk About   
MATHEOPAULOS, Helena: Diva - The New Generation
MAYO, Charles W: The Mayo Clinic
McCourt, Frank: Angela’s Ashes, Mawrdew Czgowchwz
McMULLEN, James: Cry of the Panther  
MEIER, Andrew: Black Earth
MELVILLE, Herman: Moby Dick
McARTHUR, Edwin: Kirsten Flagstad
MLODINOW, Leonard: Euclid’s Window, Feynman’s Rainbow, The Drunkard’s Walk
MOLIERE: L’Avare
de MONTAIGNE, Michel Eyquem: Selections from the Essays of Montaigne
MORAN, Martin: Alps 4000
MOSS, Cynthia: Portraits in the Wild
MULLIS, Kary: Dancing Naked in the Mined Field
"It is amazing what a lot of insect life goes on under your nose when you've got it an inch from the earth." - Beryl Markham, West With the Night
N
NABOKOV, Vladimir: Lolita
NEWMAN, Ernest: The Life of Richard Wagner
NEWTON, Isaac: Principia Mathematica
NIETZSCHE, Friedrich: Also sprach Zarathustra, Daybreak, Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, Ecce Homo
NILSSON, Birgit: La Nilsson   

"You great star, what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine?" - Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
O
O’REILLY, Bill: Who’s Looking Out For You?
ORSER, Lori L: Spooky Creepy North Dakota
ORWELL, George: 1984, Animal Farm
OWENS, Mark & Delia: Cry of the Kalahari, Eye of the Elephants, Secrets of the Savannah

P
PAINE, Thomas: Common Sense, The Age of Reason, The Rights of Man
PASTERNAK, Boris: Dr. Zhivago, Zhenya Luver’s Childhood
PELEVIN, Viktor: Omon Ra, The Yellow Arrow
PENROSE, Roger: The Road to Reality
PROUST, Marcel: Le Temp Retrouvé,
PUSHKIN, Aleksandr: Evgeni Onegin, The Queen of Spade
"The Word of God is the creation we behold, and it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that god speaketh universally to man." - Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
R
RAND, Ayn: Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead
RANDALL, Lisa: Warped Passages  
RASPUTIN, Valentin: Siberia on Fire
REMARQUE, Erich-Maria: All Quiet on the Western Front
RIDGEFIELD: The Celestine Prophecy, The Tenth Insight
RODENBACH, Georges: Bruges la Morte   
ROONEY, Andy: My War
ROSTAND, Edmond: Cyrano de Bergerac
ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques: The Social Contract, Confessions
ROWLING, JK: Harry Potter series (all); The Philosopher's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows
RUSHDIE, Salman: The Satanic Verses, Raoun and the Sea of Stories, Step Across This Line

S
SAGAN, Carl: The Demon-Haunted World
SANDERS, Lawrence: McNally’s Secret, The Fourth Deadly Sin
SASSER, Charles W: Smoke Jumpers
SASTRE, Jean-Paul: La Nausee, No Exit
SCHILLER, Friedrich: Wilhelm Tell, The Visit
SCHRÖDINGER, Erwin: What Is Life?
SEAMANS, Arthur: The Dead One Touched Me From The Past
SHAFFER, Earl V: Walking With Spring
SHALAMOV, Valam: Kolyma Tales
SHAKESPEARE, William: Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV, Othello, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice
SMITH, Hedrik: The New Russians
SMULLYAN, Raymond: The Riddles of Scheherazade and Other Amazing Puzzles
SPAETHLING, Robert: Mozart’s Letter, Mozart’s Life
SOLZHENITSYN, Aleksandr I: Gulag Archipelago, Cancer Ward, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, August 1914
SPONG, John Shelby: Why Christianity Must Change or Die
STASSINOPOULOS, Arianna (Huffington): Maria Callas
STENDHAL: Life of Rossini
STOSSEL, John: Give Me A Break
SZILARD, Leo: The Voice of the Dolphins

"Even if we accept as the basis tenet of true democracy that one moron is equal to one genius, is it necessary to go a further step and hold that two morons are better than one genius?" - Leo Szilard, The Voice of the Dolphins
T
TASKER, Joe: Savage Arena
TAYLOR, Jeffrey: Siberian Dawn, Facing the Congo
TEALE, Edwin W: Wandering Through Winter
THATCHER, Margaret: The Downing Street Years
THOMAS, Lewis: Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, The Lives of a Cell, The Medusa and the Snail
THUBRON, Colin: The Lost Heart of Asia, Among the Russians, Jerusalem
TOLKIEN, Christopher: The Return of the Shadow, The War of the Rings, The Treason of Isengard
TOLKIEN, JRR: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Simarillions, The Books of Lost Tales I & II, Tales from the Perilous Realms, Unfinished Tales, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
TOLSTAYA, Tatiana: Sleepwalker in a Fog, On Golden Porch, Sweet Shura
TOLSTOY, Alexandra: The Last Secrets of the Silk Road
TOLSTOY, Leo: Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Death of Ivan Ilych, Kreutzer Sonata
TREFIL, James: The Unexpected Vista, Meditations at Sunset
TUCHMAN, Barbara: The Guns of August, The March of Folly, The Proud Towers, The Distant Mirror, The Zimmerman Telegram, Practicing History
TURGENEV, Ivan: Father and Son, Torrents of Spring

U
USTINOV, Peter: My Russia

V
VARNAY, Astrid: 55 Years in 5 Acts  
VISHNEVSKAYA, Galina: Galina   
VOINOVICH, Vladimir: Monumental Propaganda
VOLTAIRE: Candide ou l’obtisme, Du Juste et de l’injuste, L’Ingenu
"From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving,
Whatever gods may be,
That no life lives forever,
That dead men rise up never,
That even the weariest river
   winds somewhere safe to sea."
- A.C. Schwinburne, The Garden of Proserpine
W
WALSH, David: From Lance to Landis
WEST, Rebecca: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
WHITING, Charles: The Battle of the Bulge
WHITE, Margaret Burke: The Taste of War
WHITMAN, Walt: Leaves of Grass
WILDE, Oscar: A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband
WILLIAMS, Tennessee: The Glass Menagerie
WINCHESTER, Simon: Krakatoa
WOODWARD, Bob: All The President’s Men, Plan of Attack
WOOLF, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway, The Common Reader
WRIGHT, Sam: Koviashurik

Z
ZHUKOV, Georgi: Marshall Zhukov’s Greatest Battles
ZOLA, Emile: Germinal, J’accuse
ZOSCHENKO, Mikhail: Before Sunrise 

14 comments:

berenice said...

hola mister Smorg, wow!! that's an impressive list, so glad you listed your reading list, i love reading about books... i had to smile a couple of times to myself, like when i read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and then Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum is one of my favorite books!... we have different tastes in books, but we agree in some, i highly recommend you Julian Barnes, Arthur & Georg or his short stories The Lemon Table, Herr Georg liked him...

also i think you'd like Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty
http://bereweber.blogspot.com/2006/10/line-of-beauty.html

also mister Smorg, you have thought of using Goodreads.com to classify/share your read books it's a good site too!
http://www.goodreads.com/

and sure, i had to laugh at the "rural" Chula Vista... you reminded me of my first days in San Diego, when i just arrived from 20-million-people Mexico City, San Diego felt like one big dusty town by the beach to me... now it even seems big!

have a great year mister Smorg, hope you can read plenty of books, and remember, you can always borrow some from your north neighbors in San Diego, i am always willing to lend some to responsible readers like you!

Drew80 said...

A most catholic list!

By my quick tally, I have read 43 of the titles on your list.

All best New Year wishes!

Smorg said...

Happy 2011 Bere!
I really didn't quite realize how many books I had read. Now I have a good excuse for the size of my prescription lenses! ;o)

I'm afraid I do tend to get into sprees of reading certain books indeed. On and off sprees of military/war books, then some Russian lit hogging periods, or popular science books. Even some political books. I think I tended to pick the books I think I'd agree with... until I read Tariq Ali's and realize how not so open-minded that was, so I made it a point to read books by folks I rarely ever agree with to counter the ones I'm drawn to (though I tend to lend them from the library instead of buying them ;oP).

Thanks very much for your suggestions! I hadn't heard of those before. They're definitely going on my hit list! :oD

I hadn't heard of Goodreads.com either. I used to belong to another site where you pass along books you've read by leaving them somewhere for people to find (or hunt)... the name of the site eludes me at the moment. Maybe I'll pick that up again!

Hope your 2011 has started well and send a lot of good cheer and happy experiences your way! Will have to investigate your bookshelves one of these days if the feline sentries would allow it. ;o)

Smorgy

Smorg said...

Hi Drew!
Awesome! So if we ever run into each other on the street we'll have at least 43 topics to chat about, ay? ;o) Forty three and growing!

Best wishes and happy new year to you and yours, too. Thanks very much for stopping by!

Smorgy :o)

Anna said...

Greetings from the antipodes Smorgy!
That is an impressive list indeed! There are a number there that I might add to my ever-growing list of books to read. There are also some there that I have at home that I have been meaning to read one day.
For a bit of light reading, might I suggest 'Rock me Amadeus' by Seb Hunter? Another friend got me interested in a few Agatha Christie books and I have some sitting at home waiting to be read. I'm currently reading the Tale of Genji, although I'm rather losing interest and might give it up. I didn't know you read war novels. I think I might try and track down those Handel opera books.

Best regards and wishes from olde Melbourne town

Anna

Drew80 said...

Smorg, you obviously enjoy reading singer biographies.

What is the best one out there?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I thnk you passed your stated goal by a lot! And you do read right winged and left winged books. That's admirable in my book.

Set Lundgren

yvette said...

My reaction is 'révérences' for this amazing list, but, Mitchell, what gave me a blow is to find that you came across Emilie Carles' 'Une soupe aux herbes sauvages' That is just stunning! So you know all about her fights for La vallée de la Clarée and what made her life. Well, total admiration for that! Have fun reading more on tracks like this one! So long!

Smorg said...

Coo-ee Anna: :oD I hadn't heard of Rock Me Amadeus and Tale of Genji before. Thanks a bunch for your suggestions! Will look them up indeed. :oD The Handel opera books are pretty comprehensive indeed, though rather boring reading after a few chapters. David Hurwitz's Getting the Most Out of ... books are awesome, though. I've read the Mozart vocal and orchestral ones. I think he did one on Verdi operas as well, but the library I frequented didn't have it. :o)

Hope all is well Down Under and that your 2011 has started well!

Hiya Drew: I love reading biographies indeed. :oD Though after the first 2 or so I learned in a hurry to take the artists' version of events with a grain of salt. I think Regine Respin's memoir is the most forthright... She doesn't hold anything back and hers was one fascinating life and career!

My absolute favorite, though, has to be Birgit Nilsson's. The lass reminds me of my mom... Straight forward to the point of being scary, though she had such a great sense of humor, too! I also love Astrid Varnay's memoir for all the insider's glimpse into the business of being an opera singer. Unlike Nilssons or Moedl, Varnay was a sort of a method actress who researched every role she did so extensively it is amazing to realize that she was able to sell her vision so convincingly on the stage (She seemed so spontaneous, you find it hard to believe that it was all planned out). :oD

I also read a biography of Simionato, but it was by written a fan of hers who did hardly anything more than compiling accolades from the press and admirers. It got very old after a few pages, so I didn't finish the thing. :oP

Hi Set: Thanks! :oD That is a practiced thing. Like others I am drawn to materials that seem to reinforce my ideas than ones that don't, but thanks to my great college chemistry professor back in Missouri who didn't know it all and wasn't afraid to say so and to encourage investigating everything, I made it a point since that I'd read stuff before agreeing or disagreeing with it... It's served me well, though it isn't always pleasant. :o)

Allo Yvette: :oD That was a chance encounter and a happy one! I was taking French as my foreign language requirement class in college when I dropped in on my French prof one day (she was this cute little gal from Bretagne) and spotted Carles' book on her shelf. I actually read 'A Life of Her Own' first in English, then the prof lent me her French copy of 'Une soupe aux herbs sauvages' when I was done. A fascinating read! And a really wonderful glimpse into the French country life, too... a real one rather than the usually cleaned up and romanticized versions written by travelers. It's one of my all time favorite books! :oD

Then, of course, I graduated to Celine.... Arggghhhh! Now that I think on it I forgot to list another French book I read then, Alexandre Jardin's Fanfan! :oD Don't laugh now... I didn't realize it was a romance when I picked it up!!!

Hope you are having a wonderful 2011 with lots of good books and music! Thanks for stopping by!

Smorgy :oD

Wild Flower said...

Great and very interesting list!Now, I'm just reading again the faboulous novel of Virginia Woolf: "Orlando: A biography", dedicated to Vita Sackville-West, my alter ego.
I hope you are well, with joy and love around you.

Wish you a very nice weekend.


Hugs, from Madrid,




WF

Georg said...

Bonjour Smorgy,

A really impressive list. Before reading the comments I thought to ask you to number the ten books you appreciated most.

Now I see you did give some details in your comments but nevertheless, you could enlarge this a bit and make a post of it.
I would be happy to read this especially if you would not only give the name of the author but telling, too, the subject of the book.

Astrid Niellson is Pippi Langstrumpf, right?

Id it is said...

That is an impressive list Smorg! What is more is the variety of your readings; something that I never manage to do. I think that comes from being a conscious reader which is to say that you pick up a book you've pre-selected for a specific reason. Your list inspires me to do that on a trial basis this year. It may lend a wider variety to my readings.
Thanks for sharing : )
Happy New Year!

Smorg said...

Hola WF,
I should pick up Orlando, too! I've seen the film based on it, but not read the book... And the books are almost always better than the films they are based on. :o) Hope 2011 is being a lovely year to you and yours, too!

Bonjour Georgy,
That would make a good upcoming post indeed, a list of my favorite ten. I don't remember well all the books on the list now (I really read a few books a week in the first 2 or 3 years and slowed considerably in the last few years)... But tentatively, I think my favorites would be (in no particular order):
1. West With the Night (B Markham)
2. Master and Margarita (M Bulgakov)
3. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman (R Feynman)
4. The Guns of August (B Tuchman)
5. Cancer Ward (A Solzhenitsyn)
6. Siberian Dawn (J Taylor)
7. Feynman's Rainbow (L Mlodinow)
8. Washington is Leaking (A Buchwald)
9. 55 Years in 5 Acts/ Hab'mir's gelobt (A Varnay)
10. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (E Gibbon)

Hiya Id,
I'm delighted the list served a good cause for you! :oD It is worth the occasional discomfort, I think. When I first started out I thought I'd read just about any book in the library that I happened to lay my eyes on... Unfortunately the library had the romance shelves in the front, so that didn't quite work (I really don't like romance novels much). :oP

It's really cool running into great authors I had never heard of before when I became less discriminative about picking up books, though. Very glad one of the first ones of those was Emilie Carles, the French country peasant who fought a great cause and made real differences she could be proud of. Wouldn't have thought she would be able to write so engagingly from looking at her background. And there are many more. :oD Hope you'll have a lot of fun with your reading!

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Hope you are in for great surprises with your reading this year! :o)

Georg said...

Thanks for answering, Smorgy. I happen to know some of those books. I'll make it a subject for 24.

Georg