This year I tried to record everything I read under a tag in my Pinboard account, but got very slack and had to recall most of these by scanning my bookshelves.
Non-fiction: the best was Samuel Delany’s memoir The Motion of Light in Water: think Mad Men-era NYC, except the people are having conversations like “given the comparatively huge amount of sex available to homosexual men, I still don’t understand how heterosexuals survive within the institutionalized scarcity system imposed on them by society.” The worst was Watson’s German Genius, for reasons stated elsewhere. And I don’t like Pauline Kael’s criticism anywhere near as much as I used to.
Peter Watson, The German Genius
Edgar Allan Poe, Eureka: A Prose Poem
James Boswell, Life of Johnson (part)
Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (part)
T H White, The Age Of Scandal
Erasmus, Praise Of Folly
Samuel R. Delany, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw; The Motion of Light in Water
Milton Rokeach, The Three Christs of Ypsilanti
Neville Brody and Jon Wozencroft, Twenty Years of FUSE
Pauline Kael, I Lost It At The Movies
G. D. Sharpley, Beginner’s Latin: An Easy Introduction
Fiction: all of it was excellent, except for Lovecraft, who deserves to be re-underrated for a decade or so. Did you remember that “At the Mountains of Madness” features giant blind albino penguins? I didn’t.
Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
H. P. Lovecraft, various stories from cheapo iPad editions
M. John Harrison, Nova Swing
Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants
Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief
William Hope Hodgson , The Night Land (part)
Harry Mathews, My Life in CIA
Samuel R. Delany, Aye, And Gomorrah; Dhalgren; Trouble on Triton
Joanna Russ, The Female Man
Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet
Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way; Within a Budding Grove; The Guermantes Way
Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey
James Branch Cabell, Figures Of Earth; Jurgen
Poetry: Wallace Stevens and Seamus Heaney. And I really should read more poetry.