Reading List (Anyone Else Read Like This)?

I am a voracious reader, and lately at least, I am often reading between 20-40 books all at once. I pick up one, read 20 pages or so, and put it down. Then I pick up another one, read another 20 pages or so, and put it down too. It’s not really a problem for most nonfiction books and it works fine for books of essays and short stories. The poetry I read is often long narrative poetry where you have a single poem that goes on for an entire book of 200-300 pages. This method works well for these poetry books.

It is a bit of a problem with novels. I will admit it. You do tend to lose your place a bit and sometimes I just have to go back and start all the way over again. I think I am going to need to restart War and Peace and the Brothers Karamazov because I forgot what I read.

I do not know if this way of reading is stupid and sensible. It’s just the way I do it. It’s actually rather fun to read this way.

The list:

Total

  1. 33 books

Novels

  1. Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  2. Feodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  3. Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise
  4. Joyce Carol Oates, Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart
  5. Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
  6. Tom Robbins, Still Live with Woodpecker
  7. John Rechy, Bodies and Souls
  8. John Updike, Until the End of Time
  9. Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
  10. Herman Melville, Moby Dick
  11.  Chuck Pahalunik, Invisible Monsters
  12.  Franz Kafka, The Trial
  13. John Irving, Son of the Circus
  14. James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man

Short Stories

  1.  Joyce Carol Oates, Night-Side
  2.  Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness
  3.  Ernest Hemingway, The Complete Stories of Ernest Hemingway
  4. Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories
  5. Daniel Francis Howard, The Western Tradition: An Anthology of Short Stories

Poetry

  1. John Milton, Paradise Lost
  2. Steven St. Vincent Benet, Western Star

Essays

  1. Loren Eisley, Night Country (science)
  2. Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire (nature)
  3. Edward Abbey, Down the River (nature)
  4. Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon
  5. Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tuscon
  6. Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years (nature)
  7. Malcolm Gladwell, Blink (cognitive science)

Unclassified Nonfiction

  1. Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or (philosophy)
  2. Showan Khurshid, Knowledge Processing, Creativity and Politics (political science)
  3. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (philosophy)
  4. John Colapinto, As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl (gender studies)
  5. John C. Greene, The Death of Adam: Evolution and Its Impact on Western Thought (science)

7 Comments

Filed under Literature, Novel, Poetry

7 responses to “Reading List (Anyone Else Read Like This)?

  1. Pete

    Always doing this and hate how unproductive it seems. Also feels like I’m trying figure out how the books and the ideas in the books all fit together but can’t really unless I make a concerted effort to take notes and not do pseudo work (just underlining or highlighting, which I often allow myself to do). Same with having to restart novels. Got halfway through Infinite Jest about a year ago but if I pick it up again will likely have to start over.

    (Never had an official IQ test but did well verbally on standardized tests and have always read fiction, poetry, and non-fiction compulsively, although am not nearly as well read, breadth or depth wise, as I would like to be.)

    • Based on what you told me, I am not sure if your score really matters. It’s not your score that matters. It’s your intelligence that matters. You sound like you are pretty damn smart, and I would even be interested to talk to you. You are smart enough to be an interesting conversation partner for me anyway.

      Also feels like I’m trying figure out how the books and the ideas in the books all fit together but can’t really unless I make a concerted effort to take notes and not do pseudo work (just underlining or highlighting, which I often allow myself to do).

      What does this mean?

  2. KCH

    Invisible Monsters is amazing, although I am biased. I would read a detergent ad if chuck wrote it (no, I’ve never seen Fight Club although I’ve read it.) I’ve read several titles on your list, but I love that book.

    • I am amazed at that book. Chuck is a fantastic writer! Very inventive, different and even experimental too. I like the way he flashes around between time.

      I had no idea he was that good!

  3. Betty

    I had to read Moby Dick in 5th grade and hated it -_- I did a book presentation on Kafka’s Trial at school. I love Kafka, his books are so surreal. The Metamorphosis is also very good. If you like these kinds of books you have to read the Sandman by E.T. A. Hoffmann. It’s freaking awesome.

    I also read many books at once, and I don’t think it’s a problem. It’s like somebody’s telling you something, then somebody else comes in and interrupts the first one and starts to tell his story and so on. Anyway you should really read Nietzsche and Kant! And Stephen Hawking’s “Brief History of Time” if you like science.

    • Hello dear. Your IQ is 107, and you read Kant and Nietzche?! That cannot possibly be true. I think you need to go back and take that test again and concentrate and work on your attention span this time.

      If your IQ really is 107, this goes to show again that those scores don’t necessarily mean that much. Some people with average intelligence can seem whip-smart. I have had some commenters on my site like that.

  4. Lin

    When I was in junior hi in HK, I once read the Chinese translation of The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, a collection of interesting Italian stories.

    Here’s one of how a seeming holy hermit deflowering his virgin protegee.

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Decameron/Novel_3,_10
    ……………………………….

    BTW, off topic, last year was the anniversary of an ancient saint crucified by Romans and counted Augustine the theologian among his followers.

    Jesus? Yes,and there’s another one.

    Mani / Manichaeus / 摩 尼 216–276 AD. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars are said to be Manichaean themed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manichaeism#Life_of_Mani

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mani_(prophet)

    According to some Chinese historians, the founding emperor of the Chinese MING dynasty was a Manichaeist. ‘Ming’ is a abbreviated translation of Manichaeist

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