Unread and Unloved

I promised myself that I wouldn’t list anything for awhile, but I can’t shake myself of this bad habit. Perhaps I was inspired when I came across my copy of The Polysyllabic Spree, in which author Nick Hornby documents the books he bought and the books he read each month, creating a disparate set of lists as well as document the meandering thoughts of a bibliophile. He was also paid to do this (each month’s essay was published in the Believer).

As I am not being paid to do this, rather it is saving my sanity while I live at home and work strange jobs at strange hours for strange people (also another tactic in trying not to lose my mind–not sure how successful it has been), I feel that editing can go to hell while I stroke the metaphoric page (or blog entry) with my flurry of inanities. The craziness is already oozing out.

So, here, in this lovely edition of What Would Proust Think, I document all the unread books on my shelf. Someone else (meaning me) can be the judge of my success at some future time.

(Also, this is part of my Proustian quest. In order to become a great artist, you must absorb all the great works of art, both your own genre and beyond, in the process.)

And now, what is unread and unloved on my bookshelf, in no particular order:

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Divisaredo, Michael Ondaatje
  • In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje
  • Nora Jane, Ellen Gilchrist
  • The Assistant, Bernard Malamud
  • About Alice, Calvin Trillin
  • A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  • Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco
  • The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
  • Lost City Radio, Daniel Alarcon
  • All Aunt Hagar’s Children, Edward P. Jones
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
  • A Woman at the Washington Zoo, Marjorie Williams
  • Sailing the Wine Dark Sea, Thomas Cahill
  • Jaguars & Electric Eels, Alexander von Humboldt
  • How the Scots Invented the Modern World, Arthur Herman
  • The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin, Gyorgy Dalos
  • Unveiled: the Hidden Lives of Nuns, Cheryl L. Reed
  • On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide, Douglas Adams
  • Further Cuttings, Flann O’Brien
  • A Bend in the River, V.S. Naipaul
  • A Pickpocket’s Tale: the Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York, Timothy J. Gilfoyle
  • Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrencee
  • The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan
  • The White Lie, Don Paterson
  • Collected Poems, Dylan Thomas
  • Selected Poems, Eileen Ni Chuilleanain
  • The Wordy Shipmates, Sarah Vowell
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
  • Run, Ann Patchett
  • Extremely Loud and Incredible Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Noon, Cole Swenson

That should keep me busy for awhile.


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