Reading List


Inspired by Aoife‘s post about the books she wants to read over the summer, I thought I’d do a copycat post here.

Reasons? A) I already have a mental list (and physical stacks) of books I want to read over the summer. B) I have a lot of free time in the absence of any call backs from the shops in the Blanchardstown Centre offering me a prized position as a shop boy.  C) Lists, if you missed List Week, are pretty much the key argument of Blogging Often For Dummies.

However, unlike Aoife, I don’t honestly expect to get even halfway through this list. I probably won’t even countenance the idea of opening some of them, just because I’ll be still stuck on the second one by the end of July. I study English during the year, but even then I have vague trouble reading enough to survive. In the offseason, my brain tends to yearn for easier media of entertainment. When I do pick up a book, it is usually for about ten pages at a time. I don’t give up but the pace is pretty testudinal.

But don’t jail me for grand designs. Or for the non-music post. Wishlist:

Ten Novels

  • David Foster Wallace – Infinite Jest (started – 133 pages in)
  • JRR Tolkien – Lord of the Rings (re-read – don’t ask)
  • Paul Auster – Timbuktu
  • Salman Rushdie – The Enchantress of Florence
  • Herman Melville – Moby Dick
  • Máirtín Ó Cadhain – Cré na Cille
  • Orhan Pamuk – Snow
  • Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • John Irving – The World According to Garp
  • Flann O’Brien – At Swim-Two-Birds (re-read)

Five More

  • Simon Armitage (trans.) – Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (romance)
  • Roddy Doyle – The Deportees (stories)
  • Thomas Kinsella (trans.) – The Táin (epic)
  • Lady Gregory’s Complete Irish Mythology
  • Edward Said – Culture & Imperialism (literary theory, arguably)

8 responses to “Reading List

  1. I went to see Jung Chang today so I’ve added Mao to my ever increasing pile… I read Wild Swans years ago when I was about fourteen, but I might reread it cos I think I’d get more out of it now. The Reader has also wormed its way into the pile.

    I really liked The World According to Garp, nice pick. Also gotta love bitta Gawain and Said, my kind of men.

  2. aha, good thinking. i must also compile such a post. my goal is to read 52 books in the year, which is for some reason surprisingly tricky.
    Simon Armitage’s televisation of Gawain is on BBC4 on the 6 of June I think. His translation is quite brilliant. and Pamuk’s Snow is a bit awesome, but took me maybe 8 years to get through ten pages.

  3. Táin Bó Cúailnge!!!It’s not good enough to cover on the classics course.

  4. Yeah but that’s partly because it’s ridiculously out of place in a Classics course anyway. They just shunted it in because they thought the great Irish epic should be on some course somewhere I’d say.

    I’ve actually read it before as well, but it’s good stuff and I think could do with a re-read in the light of two years of knowing more stuff.

  5. I might give it a go this summer, along with properly reading the Aeneid and the Odyssey.I’ve neglected reading for quite some time now, kind of in the way you described above.Hopefully while I’m in Spain I’ll get back into it

  6. Yeah, I’m a good holiday reader too. I read seven books in three and a half weeks interrailing last summer. The lads gave me shit for it, probably deservedly.

  7. Karl, if you make it even one third of the way through that list I’ll give you a tenner.
    Speaking of sir Gawain and the Green Knight though, I watched a lovely programme about it a couple of nights ago on one of the BBCs. Might get around to that one myself. Green was much greener back then. The intense bejeweled green of collective dreams and lore.

  8. I read it this year in college but the stuff you find in the library about it was pretty dusty and referred to quotes in the original, þ-filled dialect. Which is pretty impenetrable. So I gave up before I got too far into knowing what was up with it.

    I do know that you’re on to something with green though. In those romance tales, colours aren’t just colours. Tough to get a consensus on exactly WHAT it means though. Gawain’s the most enigmatic of the bunch of romances laid out for me this year, but definitely my favourite too.

    I’d take you up on that tenner by the way, but you bought me Moby Dick, so I think I owe you…

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