That shelf there, under the one with books about The Wire and some other stuff, that shelf contains the books I’ve chosen to read this year. Like I said in my previous post, I’ve selected 12 for the convenience of one a month but if it so happens that I complete them all before the year is out – well there’s more then enough books on my shelf waiting to be read. I’ll quickly go through each selection and give a reason why it made the cut.
- Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison) Easy choice. This woman has a way with words that is utterly spellbinding. I read Beloved and, despite the fact it wouldn’t make a list of my most favourite books ever, I fell in love with the way she uses words. Seriously, I sneaked a peek at the foreword of Song of Solomon and just thought wow, even that is more stylishly done then some of the whole novels I’ve read.
- Gravity’s Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon) The best friend I made at university raved about this author and these books, so this and the one at number three make the list.
- The Crying of Lot 49 (Thomas Pynchon) My friend even did his dissertation around his books, but I can’t quite remember what he wrote about specifically. I’ll have to ask.
- Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace) Again a recommendation from my friend. It sounds intriguing. Very much looking forward to reading it.
- In Cold Blood (Truman Capote) I’ve always wanted to know what the fuss was about Capote. Then I read an extract from this book, loved it and resolved to read the whole thing. And this year I will.
- Dark Trade (Donald McRae) I’m a big boxing and football fan and like to read books that go behind the scenes. This particular book won a prestigious sports book award when it came out and is regarded as an essential book for any boxing fan. Safe to say I’m pretty excited to getting round to reading this one.
- Inferno (Dante)
- Dracula (Bram Stoker)
- The Odyssey (Homer) All I can say about this and the two above is, they are just three classics that I’ve always meant to get around to reading. This year is that time.
- The Heat’s on (Chester Himes) Last year I read A Rage in Harlem and absolutely loved it, so I’m going back for more of Chester’s signature wit, chaos and fast paced hardboiled tales.
- S (J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst) I heard a lot about this book when it came out and went and bought it. Looking forward t getting stuck into it.
- Undisputed Truth (Mike Tyson) Another boxing book and one I couldn’t wait to start. I started it as soon as it arrived on Saturday. I’m about half-way through at the moment and it hasn’t disappointed. Like many others, I’ve long been drawn to Mike Tyson: The exuberance, skill, brutality, outlook on the world, the contradictions. All these aspects and more are evident in what is an incredibly raw autobiography.
So those are the choices then. If anyone’s made a similar list I wouldn’t mind seeing it and comparing. I actually finished these two books over the last couple of weeks
but seeing as I started them in December I couldn’t count them. 1984 in particular was a real crazy ride. Part three was one of the most scary, exciting, exhilarating and entertaining things I’ve ever read.
That’s all for now.