Last January, I resolved to finish as many books as possible. I’m a chronic book-abandoner, and I thought that perhaps putting a review up of each book I finished would be an incentive to finish more things. As a result, I read (to completion) 27 books (11 novels and 16 non-fiction). I’d say I still abandoned about as many books as I finished - some of them after only a few pages, but a few (which are still weighing on me) within 50 pages of the end. The last 5% takes 95% of the effort, or something like that. Following on Stungeye’s annual “reading and listening lists”, I thought I would collect the reviews I wrote over the last year here in one place.
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Poor Folk
- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
- Simone Weil, On the Abolition of All Political Parties
- Philip K. Dick, The Last Interview and Other Conversations
- Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
- Nick Dyer-Witheford, Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex
- William Gibson, The Peripheral
- Neal Stephenson, Seveneves
- V.I. Lenin, Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder
- Razmig Keucheyan, The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today
- Ursula Franklin, The Real World of Technology
- Jacques Rancière, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation
- Tyler A. Shipley, Ottawa and Empire: Canada and the Military Coup in Honduras
- Jacques Rancière, Hatred of Democracy
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
- Richard Norman and Sean Sayers, Hegel, Marx, and Dialectic: A Debate
- J. Moufawad-Paul, Austerity Apparatus
- J. Moufawad-Paul, The Communist Necessity
- Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
- Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle
- Raymond Chandler, The High Window
- Kenneth McNaught and David J. Bercuson, The Winnipeg Strike: 1919
- Endnotes, Endnotes 1
- Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies
- J.L Carr, A Month in the Country
One book is missing from this list: William Clare Roberts’ Marx’s Inferno, which I’ve reviewed for International Socialism, but the review hasn’t appeared yet. It should be published sometime in January, so when it’s available, I’ll update this post.
I’m not sure whether I will stick with trying to review every book I finish this year. I’ll still keep track of completions, but sometimes there wasn’t really much to say about a given book.
I still hope to finish some of the lingering things from last year - Dostoyevsky’s House of the Dead and Margaret Laurence’s Stone Angel are within a stone’s throw of completion. I’ll probably review those two as, despite not finishing them (yet), I think there’s stuff to comment on in both books.