Reading suggestions

Thanks for the suggestions in comments. Some very good ideas that should keep me busy – but clear that there are so many good things to read that I won’t be doing much re-reading… I won’t be following up on all, but some thoughts in response:

Milan Kundera – read Unbearable Lightness and Immortality some years back, so yes, perhaps worth something else.

Haruki Murakami – only read Norwegian Wood, and waiting for 1Q84 to come out in paperback. Maybe something else in the meantime?

Flaubert – this I have read a reasonable amount: Madame Bovary, Trois contes, Temptation of Saint Antony, the Egypt book – maybe will give Salammbo a go.

Proust – well, I’ve said he is my ‘broken leg’ project. I really want to read it in French too, so it’s not for me when faint-hearted.

Piers Plowman I have read quite recently

Ahdaf Soueif, The Map of Love – looks interesting, will take a look

Tim Ingold’s Lines isn’t a novel, but yes, something I should certainly read. As for the Situationists – have read much of Debord and a little Vanaigem. Andy Merrifield’s book on Debord is good; and I have McKenzie Wark’s The Beach Beneath the Street to read soon.

JG Ballard – not tried anything, though that’s a good idea. Same with Malcolm Bradbury or William Gibson.

Julian Barnes – read a few; A Sense of an Ending looks very slender and so resisted the hardback price.

Michel Houellebecq – read The Map and the Territory earlier this year, which was okay. Isn’t Elementary Particles also known in English as Atomised?

Roberto Bolaño- okay, I’m going to confess my previous ignorance, but from what I’ve seen online he sounds fascinating. I have ordered 2666 and Nazi Literature in the Americas (Durham has nothing in translation) and will see how I get on.

And some new ones of my own – I recently read Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows (it was mentioned in a Derek Gregory lecture) and plan to read Cartography soon. I read Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections last year and Freedom is in the ‘to read’ pile. J.M. Coetzee – I’ve read Disgrace, Lives of Animals, and Waiting for the Barbarians, and currently reading Elizabeth Costello – always appreciate them (‘enjoy’ is not the right word) so maybe more to read here…

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9 Responses to Reading suggestions

  1. Chathan says:

    I’ve been wanting to read Shamsie for years after being recommended her work by a South Asian lit specialist at college. The bookstores never carried her though, except for class textbooks.

  2. Volha says:

    “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “Immortality” are by far the best of Kundera’s. With Murakami, there are several very different styles of writing and types of subject matter. I would recommend “The Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” (different spaces and their maps play a huge role in this novel), “The Wild Sheep Chase” (followed by “Dance, Dance, Dance”, should you like the Sheep) and “Pinball 1973” (for the wonderful nostalgic atmosphere and lovely rhythm of the narrative). Two other recommendations would include “The Life Before Us” by Romain Gary and “The Black Obelisk” by Remarque. Enjoy.

  3. Alan R Ingram says:

    Hi Stuart, bit late to this but Hari Kunzru’s My Revolutions and China Miéville’s The City & The City are both interesting reads in terms of current politics- My Revolutions on how (violent) direct action of 60s/70s folds through into the present and The City… on policing, state of exception etc.

  4. HR says:

    Great. Enjoy the Bolano. I forgot to mention a story of his you might enjoy in Last Evenings on Earth. The Story is about an itinerant book lover who finds an obscure theory journal called Luna Park. One of the authors in Luna Park is called Henri Lefebvre, who the book lover begins to research. I’ll stop here without giving away the differences between this Henri Lefebvre and our Henri Lefebvre.

  5. Jay Bolthouse says:

    For Murakami, “Wind Up Bird Chronicle” is, in my opinion, his most engaging work.

  6. stuartelden says:

    Thanks for all the replies – much appreciated.

  7. Steve Mentz says:

    I’ve been running around, but I’ll second the suggestion that Bolano is great for Pynchonistas (like me). My favorite is *The Savage Detectives*, though *2666* is almost unbearably brilliant at times, and *Nazi Lit in the Americas* is wonderful & bizarre. I taught that last one a couple years back, with interesting results, in a class that had spent time with Kafka & Borges.

  8. Pingback: Novels read in 2012 (so far) | Progressive Geographies

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