Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books for 2014

EDIT: Further purchases that I'm excited to read...

Michelle Orange - This is Running for Your Life (essays)

  • Bought this on a whim at the bookstore (yay, Pulpfiction Commercial Drive). I love essays, I like the cover, and the first essay is called The Uses of Nostalgia and Some Thoughts on Ethan Hawke's Face. I know nothing about the author. 

Adam Gopnik - The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food (culture)

  • Gopnik wrote one of my favourite books, Paris to the Moon, about raising a family in Paris. In this book he writes about food culture, another of my favourite reading topics. 

UPDATE: to add

Samuel Beckett - Waiting for Godot (play)

This is aspirational for now. I'm finishing up Jorge Luis Borges' Labyrinths, a wonderful collection of short fictions and essays (and, oddly, parables), and planning my next books as I look longingly at my book shelf.

As an aside, Nina and I have been toying with the idea of forming a book club. Standard stuff, read a book, talk about it with friends over wine and beer, etc. Might try to do something with this, might not.

The books, though. What do I want to read...

Ian Rankin - Standing in Another Man's Grave (detective/mystery)

  • A new Rebus book (when there weren't meant to be any more...). I grew up reading comfortable westerns, and this is about as close as I get to that. Frustratingly repetitive at times, but it's a long series and I'll be quite happy to burn through this.
Ian Rankin - The Impossible Dead (detective/mystery)

  • The series/character that Rankin moved on to after the (not-quite) final Rebus book. It's of a style, but Rankin updated the stereotypes somewhat, and he really is very good at his craft.

Joe McGinniss - The Miracle of Castel di Sangro (soccer history/memoir)
  • A story of small-town soccer in Italy as experienced by an American new to the sport. A bit of travel tourism, sports history, culture, etc.
Adam Gopnik - Winter (musings, or something)
  • I like to read the Massey Lectures every year. I've fallen off the wagon a bit of late, but Gopnik wrote one of my favourite books, Paris to the Moon, so I'm back, baby.
Lisa Moore - Alligator (fiction)
  • Small-town Newfoundland, and the author won an award recently. That's all I know. 
Salman Rushdie - Fury (fiction)
  • After reading his excellent memoir, Joseph Anton, I wanted to read more fiction by Rushdie, and I'll be damned if I'm going to try Midnight's Children for the third time...
Edmund White - The Flâneur (more musings)
  • I love the word flâneur - it might be the most romantic word I know. White lived in Paris, and here he writes about his days there, wandering about the city, etc. I imagine the book is pretentious but fun.
Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
  • This is an ambitious move on my part. It's a bloody huge book. I'm looking for interested reading buddies to take this on with me. Borges has such high praise for this book, and since he's my latest authorial obsession...

There, that's a decent list. I'd like to add a few more soccer books in there (most notably Dennis Bergkamp's well-received autobiography Stillness and Speed - here, watch one of the most beautiful goals ever scored). I'm certainly not as prolific a reader as I once was, or anywhere close to my friend Derrick's speed-datingreading regime...


Oh go on, watch this other amazing goal by Bergkamp:

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