my year in books, 2013

These lists are a little longer than I expected, but it still feels like a slight year; maybe it could be termed a year without a thesis, though some might be visible (the attention paid to science fiction for work at PS1, my predictable reading of Bangkok-related material as the consequence of the move). And this year a much higher percentage of what I read came from libraries of various sorts, with tastes not quite mirroring mine; at any but the very best libraries, you can’t find exactly what you want – as you can now if you’re trying to buy books online – but you do feel more free to experiment with what you find adjacent. Maybe that’s why this list feels disappointing: perhaps it wasn’t wasted reading (in that it’s useful to read bad books to know what good books are), but much of it doesn’t really feel substantive. Distractions, distractions, distractions.


Fiction

  • Benjamin Anastas, The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor’s Disappearance
  • Nicholson Baker, Room Temperature
  • Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine
  • Nicholson Baker, Vox
  • J. G. Ballard, The Day of Forever
  • Nanni Ballestrini, The Unseen, translated by Liz Heron
  • Adolfo Bioy Casares & Silvina Ocampo, Where There’s Love, There’s Hate, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Jessica Ernst Powell
  • Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
  • Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
  • Raymond Chandler, The High Window
  • Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake
  • Raymond Chandler, The Little Sister
  • Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
  • Raymond Chandler, Playback
  • Ted Chiang, The Lifecycle of Software Objects
  • Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  • Jean Cocteau, Thomas the Impostor, trans. Lewis Galentiere
  • Colette, The Cat, trans. Antonia White
  • Colette, Gigi, trans. Roger Senhouse
  • John Crowley, Four Freedoms
  • John Crowley, The Deep
  • John Crowley, Beasts
  • John Crowley, Engine Summer
  • Evan Dara, Flee
  • René Daumal, Pataphysical Essays, trans. Thomas Vosteen
  • Guy Davenport, The Guy Davenport Reader, edited by Erik Reece
  • Avram Davidson & Ward Moore, Joyleg
  • Jenny Davidson, The Magic Circle
  • Samuel R. Delany, Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand
  • Samuel R. Delany, The Mad Man
  • Samuel R. Delany, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
  • Don DeLillo, Point Omega
  • Don DeLillo, Falling Man
  • Stanley Elkin, Early Elkin
  • E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
  • Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances
  • Alex Garland, The Beach
  • William Gerhardie, The Polyglots
  • William Goyen, Arcadio
  • Mohsin Hamid, Moth Smoke
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • Mohsin Hamid, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
  • Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
  • Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game (trans. Richard & Clara Winston)
  • Aldous Huxley, Island
  • Lucy Ives, Nineties
  • Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba
  • Tommaso Landolfi, Cancerqueen, trans. Raymond Rosenthal
  • Rebecca Lee, The City Is a Rising Tide
  • Kelly Link, Magic for Beginners
  • Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen
  • Jack London, The Iron Heel
  • Bernard Malamud, The Assistant
  • Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
  • W. Somerset Maugham, The Magician
  • Joseph McElroy, Cannonball
  • Ursule Molinaro, Green Lights Are Blue
  • Ursule Molinaro, Positions with White Roses
  • Pamela Moore, Chocolates for Breakfast
  • Iris Murdoch, Under the Net
  • Charles Newman, New Axis
  • Charles Newman, White Jazz
  • Charles Portis, Norwood
  • Charles Portis, True Grit
  • Charles Portis, Masters of Atlantis
  • M. R. Kukrit Pramoj, Many Lives, trans. Meredith Borthwick
  • Ellery Queen (Avram Davidson), And on the Eighth Day
  • Ellery Queen (Avram Davidson), The Fourth Side of the Triangle
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars
  • Joanna Ruocco, The Mothering Coven
  • Florent Ruppert & Jérôme Mulot, Barrel of Monkeys, trans. Peter Birkemoe
  • Norman Rush, Whites
  • William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
  • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
  • Richard Stark, The Jugger
  • Cordwainer Smith, You Will Never Be the Same
  • S. P. Somtow, The Other City of Angels
  • Gertrude Stein, from The Making of Americans, ed. D. Sorensen
  • Antonio Tabucchi, Declares Pereira, trans. Patrick Creagh
  • James Tiptree, Jr., Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
  • Carl Van Vechten, The Tattooed Countess
  • Giorgio Vasta, Time on My Hands, trans. Jonathan Hunt
  • Jules Verne, Paris in the Twentieth Century, trans. Richard Howard
  • Jules Verne, An Antarctic Mystery: The Sphinx of the Ice Fields, trans. Cashel Fields
  • Shawn Vestal, Godforsaken Idaho
  • H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • H. G. Wells, The Sleeper Awakes
  • Tom Whalen, The President in Her Towers
  • Tom Whalen, Winter Coat
  • Tom Whalen, Elongated Figures
  • Thornton Wilder, Theophilus North
  • Thornton Wilder, The Cabala
  • Thornton Wilder, Heaven’s My Destination
  • Thornton Wilder, The Woman of Andros
  • G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen
  • Pamela Zoline, The Heat Death of the Universe

Poetry

  • Caroline Bergvall, Meddle English
  • James Broughton, High Kukus
  • Franklin Bruno, The Accordian Repertoire
  • Guy Davenport, Thasos and Ohio: Poems and Translations 1950–1980
  • Robin Fulton, An Italian Quartet: Versions after Saba, Ungaretti, Montale, Quasimodo
  • Karen Green, Bough Down
  • Weldon Kees, The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees
  • Edward Lucie-Smith, ed., Holding Your Eight Hands: An Anthology of Science Fiction Verse
  • Dana Ward, The Squeaquel

Other

  • Balthus & Alain Vircondelet, Vanished Splendors, trans. Benjamin Ivry
  • Silpa Bhirasri, An Appreciation of Sukhothai Art
  • Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines
  • Eleanor Clark, Rome and a Villa
  • Stanley Crawford, Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico
  • Millicent Dillon, A Little Original Sin: The Life and Work of Jane Bowles
  • Charles Fourier, The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy, trans. Geoffrey Longnecker
  • Andre Furlani, Guy Davenport: Postmodern and After
  • Edmond & Jules de Goncourt, Pages from the Goncourt Journals, ed. & trans. Robert Baldick
  • Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries, trans. Ann Wright
  • Gilbert Highet, Poets in a Landscape
  • Cyrus Highsmith, Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals
  • Peter Hook, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
  • M. L. Manich Jumsai, Understanding Thai Buddhism
  • Germaine Krull & Dorothea Melchers, Bangkok: Siam’s City of Angels
  • Somerset Maugham, The Gentleman in the Parlour
  • Maryvelma O’Neil, Bangkok: A Cultural and Literary History
  • Lawrence Osborne, Bangkok Days
  • Milton Osborne, Phnom Penh: A Cultural and Literary History
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini, Stories from the City of God: Sketches and Chronicles of Rome, 1950–1966, trans. Marina Harss
  • Georges Perec, La Boutique obscure: 124 Dreams, trans. Daniel Levin Becker
  • Georges Perec, The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, trans. David Bellos
  • Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
  • Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System, trans. Virginia Jewiss
  • Calvin Tomkins, Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews
  • William Warren, Bangkok
  • Alec Waugh, Bangkok: The Story of a City

2 thoughts on “my year in books, 2013

  1. I liked it a lot! I’d only read one previous Murdoch book which was philosophical & so I was surprised that Under the Net is as funny as it is. It’s dedicated to Raymond Queneau, and you can tell why. Delany: I like Dhalgren, though that can seem imposing. The Neveryón books are also worth reading – first because of what he’s doing with metafiction, second because how they turn out to be emotionally affecting. I don’t love the earlier stuff, though it’s more approachable – Babel-17 might be a good entry point?

Leave a Reply