Well, I did meet some of my reading goals for 2011. I got into Nietzsche a bit and finished off McCarthy’s novels and Proust’s masterpiece. I also finished nine books related to indigenous issues in North America. I also ended up spending more time reading material written by anarchists. Surprisingly, I started enjoying reading poetry more than I have previously, so I may continue that trajectory next year (any suggestions? or, for that matter, any reading suggestions at all? I’m open to whatever).
However, I didn’t end up reading any Spinoza, I didn’t manage to finish Being and Time before the end of the year and, for the first time in the last six years, I didn’t read a volume of Barth’s Church Dogmatics… I’m having trouble feeling excited about reading theology these days (or philosophy… a lot of things actually seem rather pointless these days… maybe I’m depressed!). In total, I read 65 books in 2011 and I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m not gonna ever be able to read more than that — at least not for the next handful of years.
My top three works of fiction completed (for the first time) this year are: In Search of Lost Time by Proust, The Age of Reason by Sartre, and the graphic novel Essex County by Jeff Lemire.
My top three works of non-fiction completed (for the first time) this year are: Remember the Poor by Bruce W. Longenecker, Imperialist Canada by Todd Gordon, and A National Crime by John Milloy [Edit: Actually, Wasáse, by Taiaiake Alfred should probably be in this list, if not at the front of it.]
Here is the complete list for 2011:
- Horace. The Complete Works of Horace.
- Plutarch. Selected Lives.
- Tacitus. The Annals.
- ________. Agricola.
- ________. Germany.
- Seneca. On Mercy.
- ________. Octavia.
- Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars.
- Caputo, John D. and Linda Martin Alcoff (eds). St. Paul Among the Philosophers.
- Longenecker, Bruce W. Remember the Poor: Paul, Poverty, and the Graeco-Roman World
- Sánchez, David A. From Patmos to the Barrio: Subverting Imperial Myths.
- Sherwood, Yvonne. The Prostitute and the Prophet: Hosea in Literary-Theoretical Perspective.
- Stark, Thom. The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries To Hide It).
- Talbott, Rick F. Jesus, Paul, and Power: Rhetoric, Ritual, and Metaphor in Ancient Mediterranean Christianity.
- Trible, Phyllis. Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives.
- Alfred, Taiaiake. Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom.
- Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West.
- Fontaine, Theodore. Broken Circle — The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir.
- Gordon, Todd. Imperialist Canada (although this book does extend well beyond Canada’s practices towards the indigenous people here).
- Milloy, John. A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System — 1879 to 1986.
- Plain, David D. The Plains of Aamjiwnaang.
- ________. Ways of Our Grandfathers: Our Traditions and Culture.
- Riel, Louis. The Diaries of Louis Riel (ed. by Thomas Flanagan).
- Wright, Ronald. Stolen Continents: The “New World” Through Indian Eyes.
- Agamben, Giorgio. The State of Exception.
- Negri, Antonio. Time For Revolution.
- Nietzche, Friedrich. Thus Spake Zarathustra.
- Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Zettel.
- Berkman, Alexander. Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist.
- Goldman, Emma. Living My Life (2 volumes).
- Guérin, Daniel. No Gods, No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism (Book One).
- Eiesland, Nancy L. The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability.
Fiction, Literature, Poetry
- Afans’ev, Aleksandr (ed.). Russian Fairy Tales (translated by Robert Guterman, illustrated by Alexander Alexeieff).
- Bolaño, Roberto. 2666.
- Brown, Chester. Paying For It: a comic strip memoir about being a john.
- Bukowski, Charles. Septuagenarian Stew: Stories and Poems.
- Chesterton, G. K. The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare.
- Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man.
- Gass, William H. Omensetter’s Luck.
- Kupferschmidt, John. In the Garden of Men.
- Lemire, Jeff. Essex County (a trilogy).
- McCarthy, Cormac. Cities of the Plain.
- Mesopotamians, eh? The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics edition).
- Motherfuckin’ Vikings. The Laxdaela Saga.
- Proust, Marcel. In Search of Lost Time (Vols IV-VI).
- Rilke, Rainer Maria. Duino Elegies.
- ________. Letters to a Young Poet.
- ________. Uncollected Poems.
- Saramago, José. Baltasar and Blimunda.
- Sartre, Jean-Paul. The Age of Reason.
- Schiff, Hilda (ed.). Holocaust Poetry.
- Burroughs, Augusten. Possible Side Effects.
- McMullen, Mike. I, Superhero!!
- Mother Teresa. Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta” (ed. with commentary by Brian Kolodiejchuk).
- Paul, Greg. The Twenty-Piece Shuffle: Why the Poor and Rich Need Each Other.
- Stringfellow, William. My People is the Enemy.
- ________. A Second Birthday: A Personal Confrontation with Illness, Pain, and Death.
- Terkel, Studs. Hope Dies Last: Keeping Faith in Difficult Times.
- Weedman, Lauren. A Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body.
- Wulffson, Don. Soldier X.