A History of Books Not Read


The last few days I have been reviewing lists of books to hopefully generate a fun and educational reading list (at my age I go for fun more and more). At the same time I was slowly perusing old file folders on the computer for dead, forgotten files I could delete and save space on my two 6-TB hard drives (as if I needed it) and I uncovered a couple of lists of the books I had listed to be read but the month went by and I still hadn’t read them.

Two spreadsheets showed all of the scheduled but unread books for the years 2017 and 2018. With these documents I could generate my monthly reading lists for more than a year and still enjoy well diversified and reasonably exciting selections.

But there are also several shorter lists and of titles (or longer lists where I obviously merged several smaller lists) which with a little editing for books I did eventually read’, I would have a wealth of fun and interesting reading to cover the next several years without ever going to the bookshelves or scanning the literary journals.

I am certainly blessed. But could I survive not knowing what the Times thought I should be reading?

April’s reading pool is already set and here it is:


1. The Decagon House Murders — Yukito Ayatsuji & Soji Shimada
2. Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin — Alan Bennett
3. The Brief History of the Dead — Kevin Brockmeier
4. Last Days of Pompeii — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
5. Ratner’s Star — Don DeLillo
6. The Years — Annie Ernaux
7. Running From the Devil — Jamie Freveletti
8. Crossing — Andrew Xia Fukuda
9. Will Warburton — George Gissing
10. Alan Quatermain — H. Rider Haggard
11. Growth of the Soil — Knut Hamsun
12. The Ghost in the Machine — Arthur Koestler
13. The Rain Ascends — Joy Kogawa
14. The Frolic of the Beasts — Yukio Mishima
15. Diary of a Fat Girl — Moira Mugwani
16. Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff — Sean Penn
17. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading —Nina Sankovi
18. The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics — Leonard Susskind & George Hrabovsky
19. Throwaway Daughter — Ting-xing Ye
20. I’ll Sell You a Dog — Juan Pablo Villalobos

Comments? Anything here you might want to add to your personal reading list?

3 thoughts on “A History of Books Not Read

  1. I’m actually reading Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos right now (on one of my many breaks from War and Peace). It’s short (70 pages), but I’m enjoying it.


  2. I’ve enjoyed the few Gissing books I’ve read. Should put him on my list since he’s one of those authors I always forget.


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