9*9*9

I’m doing a reading challenge–nine books in each of nine categories in 2009. I think I’ve selected things that will stretch me enough to read things I might not otherwise read, without being too esoteric so that I get bored. Here’s my list!

literary biography
* Zdzislaw Najder, “Joseph Conrad: A Life”
* Anthony Burgess, “Little Wilson and Big God”
* Anthony Burgess, “You’ve Had Your Time”
* Richard Ellman, “James Joyce”
* Philip Hoare, “Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand”
* Rebecca West, “The Young Rebecca”
* Evelyn Waugh, “Msgr. Ronald Knox”
* Graham Greene, “Lord Rochester’s Monkey”
* Hermione Lee, “Virginia Woolf”

gothic
* Ann Radcliffe, “Mysteries of Udolpho”
* Daphne DuMaurier, “Jamaica Inn”
* Horace Walpole, “The Castle of Otranto”
* John Polidori, “The Vampyre”
* Charlotte Bronte, “Jane Eyre”
* Emily Bronte, “Wuthering Heights”
* William Thomas Beckford, “Vathek”
* Charles Dickens, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
* Eric Nuzum, “The Dead Travel Fast”

history
* Neil Sheehan, “A Bright Shining Lie”
* Stanley Kurnow, “Vietnam: A History”
* Daniel J. Boorstin, “The Image”–DONE!
* Alfred McCoy, “Politics of Heroin”
* John Burrow, “History of Histories”
* Howard Zinn, “People’s History of the United States”
* Evan S. Connell, “Son of the Morning Star”
* Lester J. Cappon, ed., “The Adams-Jefferson Letters”
* Frances Fitzgerald, “Fire in the Lake”

Conrad/James Stories
* James’s short stories (5 vols)
* Conrad’s tales (4 vols)

books Conor wants me to read
* Robert K. Merton, “On the Shoulders of Giants”
* Homer (trans. Robert Fagles), “The Iliad”
* Janet Malcolm, “Journalist and the Murderer”
* Herodotus, “The Histories”
* Michael Cook, “A Brief History of the Human Race”
* Rudolph Fisher, “The Conjure-Man Dies”
* Andrew George, trans., “Epic of Gilgamesh”
* Frances Yates, “Art of Memory”
* Susan Sontag, “Illness as Metaphor/AIDS and Its Metaphors”
(Conor suggested both “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” but I rule that he has suggested enough huge sagas.)

British History/Culture
* R.S. Neale, “Bath”
* Kingsley Amis, “James Bond Dossier”
* Stephen Dorril, “MI6”
* S. Schoenbaum, “Lives of Shakespeare”
* W. H. Auden, “Lectures on Shakespeare”
* A. W. Brian Simpson, “Cannibalism and the Common Law”
* Richard Gilman, “Decadence: The Curious Life of an Epithet”
* Lytton Strachey, “Eminent Victorians”
* Edward Said, “Orientalism”

Graham Greene biographies
* Graham Greene, “A Life in Letters”
* Michael Shelden, “The Enemy Within”
* Leopold Duran, “Graham Greene: An Intimate Portrait by His Closest Friend and Confidant”
* Yvonne Cloetta, “In Search of a Beginning: My Life with Graham Greene”
* A. F. Cassis, “Graham Greene: Man of Paradox”
* William Cash, “The Third Woman”
* Henry J. Donaghy, “Conversations with Graham Greene”
* Marie-Francoise Allain, “The Other Man”
* Neil Sinyard, “Graham Greene: A Literary Life”

psychology/linguistics
* Stanley Milgram, “Obedience to Authority”
* William James, “Varieties of Religious Experience”
* William James, “Pragmatism”
* William James, “Principles of Psychology” (2 vols)
* Kay Redfield Jameson, “Exuberance”
* “Saying No”
* Humez & Humez, “ABC, Etc.”
* Humez & Humez, “Alpha to Omega”

Engineering/Science
* Edward Allen and David Swoboda, “How Buildings Work”
* Henry Petroski, “The Pencil”
* Henry Petroski, “The Toothpick”
* Harold McGee, “On Food and Cooking”
* Harold McGee, “The Curious Cook”
* Henry Petroski, “Success Through Failure”
* Richard Rhodes, “Dark Sun”
* Richard Rhodes, “The Making of the Atomic Bomb”
* Feynman, “Six Easy Pieces”

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Your second-guessing husband on January 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Wait! Is it too late to change my choices? Because you TOTALLY should read Fagles’s Homer before any of a NUMBER of stuff on my list. Am I allowed to edit, or is this set in stone? I KNEW I rushed.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Your post-inaugural Change-addicted husband on January 22, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Make the Homer change, hang-dash-it-all!

    Reply

  3. Phew! An incredibly demanding list. I realise that my pretensions to be an avid reader are mere dilettantism

    Reply

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