08 January 2012

A partial 2012 reading list

I read an average of 64 books a year. My TBR - unread physical books - stand at around 200 books. That means I can go on reading from my shelf alone for three straight years. Still, it's a conservative estimate. It doesn't factor in books earmarked for rereading. And books to be bought, swapped, borrowed, or downloaded. It should be easy to select 64 titles from the pile. However, I have a whimsical bent when it comes to choosing what to read. I'm putting up below a list of half my projected reading for the year. The rest I will fish out from the large ocean of literary goodness. Except for the books I committed to reading, the list is tentative, is more of a what-came-to-mind-right-now list. And in no discernible order.

1. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño - for the group read hosted by Richard and me, slated for the end of this month; rereading it in hopscotch fashion
2. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - for a readalong in one of my groups in LibraryThing; partially read
3. Deep River by Shusaku Endo - another for my group in LibraryThing, in fact we're focusing on five Japanese writers this year (Endo, Kobo Abe, Ryū Murakami, Yukio Mishima, and Natsume Sōseki); partially read
4. Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami - these Japanese titles also anticipate the 6th edition to Bellezza's Japanese Literature Challenge
5. The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima
6. I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki
7. Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse - a group read for Caroline's Literature and War Readalong (July)
8. Varamo by César Aira
9. Maoh: Juvenile Remix by Kotaro Isaka and Megumi Osuga - a manga series I became addicted to last year, I finished up to volume 3, and there are 10 volumes in all
10. The Wild Goose by Mori Ōgai - I read this in a previous translation; a possible book I'm reading with nicole for the bibliographing Reading Challenge
11. The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
12. Wolf Among Wolves by Hans Fallada
13. Rebellion in the Backlands by Euclides da Cunha - partially read
14. Bartleby & Co. by Enrique Vila-Matas - in the list of best Spanish-language novels of the past 25 years
15. State of War by Ninotchka Rosca - recently bought; partially read
16. The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa - a group read selection by Tom for his ongoing Wuthering Expectations Portuguese Literature Challenge; the schedule is end of March
17. Gathering Evidence and My Prizes by Thomas Bernhard - reread, in the case of the five-volume memoirs Gathering Evidence; elated to acquire this two-in-one edition of autobiography and speeches of a favorite writer; I still can't forgive myself when I listed my first copy - a Vintage paperback with Bernhard's photo on the cover - in Bookmooch (I must have been short on points and very desperate back then); Tao Lin mooched it off me
18. All the Lights by Clemens Meyer
19. Po-on (aka Dusk) by F. Sionil José - the first novel in the five-volume Rosales saga
20. The Way by Swann's by Marcel Proust - the Lydia Davis translation; my edition had this unusual title
21. Mandarins by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
22. The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson - in the list of puzzle novels
23. Snow by Orhan Pamuk
24. When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro - partially read
25. Stoner by John Williams
26. Maganda Pa ang Daigdig by Lazaro Francisco
27. Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars - partially read
28. The Athenian Murders by José Carlos Somoza - in the translators in fiction reading list; a group read selection of my translation group in Goodreads; our reading schedule is end of February
29. Six Not-So-Easy Pieces by Richard P. Feynman - partially read
30. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
31. Trilce by César Vallejo
32. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
33. Voyage Along the Horizon by Javier Marías
34. Desert by J.M.G. Arcimboldi Le Clézio


  1. hope you enjoy stoner, one of the best books i've ever read.

  2. 'Fishing out from the large ocean of goodness'. Like it ! Makes you sound like the consummate literary angler you are ! Strong inclination towards the Asian-side of World-lit, nothing wrong with that. My weakness is being strongly Euro-centric in my deep-sea trawling of books.

  3. Lots of good choices in there, and a lot I'm interested in reading too - especially some of the J-Lit...

  4. * - Hard to ignore the unanimous praise heaped on Stoner. Last time I looked I much liked its opening chapters.

    Kevin - Nothing wrong with that, too. As long as there are plenty a fish. :p

    Tony - It could be the year of the J-Lit. The stars are aligned for that.

  5. some great choice for coming year rise some I ve read other I ve not look forward to your reviews ,all the best stu

  6. Some great writers here,Bolano, Murakami,Endo, Abe, Mishima etc. Masuji Ibuse's Black Rain I hope to post on this month, have Pessoa's book, Almost Transparent Blue is my favourite Ryu murakami. All in all a "E£$%^$^%* great list.

  7. Great list Rise - look forward to reading your thoughts on many of these over the year. And your thoughts on other fish.

  8. Stu - All the best. Hope to have enough time to put up some reviews.

    Gary - Cheers to these great writers! Do join us in the group read of Disquiet if you have the time. Will await your take on Black Rain.

    Séamus - LOL. Fish and chips.

  9. An interesting mix, I'll definitely be on the lookout for your reviews.

  10. A very interesting mix of books-I will be interested in your thoughts on them

  11. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on all of these great selections (how do I know they're great? I'm interpolating from the handful I've read myself, envious about the ones I haven't, and know from past experience on your site to expect nothing less). Happy reading!

  12. Natalia & mel - Thanks!

    Scott - Thanks. I do hope most of the titles in the list will be great!

  13. That's an interesting list, and quite a few names on it I didn't know which makes it twice as interesting but there are also many titles on which I would very much like to read a review, especially the Japanese titles.

  14. Caroline, I also hope to find some movie adaptations of the Japanese titles and review them for your World Cinema Series & Richard's festival. That's like three birds with one stone. :p