amari_z: (worst thing about new books)
[personal profile] amari_z
Since I just posted my summary of 2009 in books, we'll pretend it's still the beginning of the year. So here is my annual Big List of Shame for 2010. The LoS is a list of the unread books I have cluttering up my apartment, and is supposed to shame me into curbing my book buying addiction. It's hard to say how successful it is (it's kind of like trying to hold back the tide with a colander), but it probably does make me at least think twice before buying yet another book. This is already out of date, but let's ignore that. As of January (how did it get to be March, anyway?), I had 81 unread books. That sounds pretty bad, but it's actually not so very horrible for me. It's only about 20 more than I had at the start of 2008.


1. Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself
2. Honore de Balzac, Cousin Bette
3. Samuel Beckett, Molly
4. Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies
5. Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable
6. Carol Berg, Breath and Bone
7. Roberto Bolano, 2666
8. Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games
9. Susanna Clark, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
10. Sioned Davies (trans), The Mabinogion
11. George Eliot, Middlemarch
12. F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
13. Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
14. Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier Svejk
15. Franz Kafka, Collected Stories
16. Lancelot of the Lake
17. Chang-Rae Lee: Aloft
18. Christopher Logue, War Music
19. R. M. Meluch, The Sagittarius Command
20. Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma
21. Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, The Makioka Sisters
22. Tatyana Tolstaya, White Walls
23. Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Children
24. Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

1. Alcock et al., Pausanias
2. Sumbul Ali-Daramali, The Muslim Next Door
3. Lindsay Allen, The Persian Empire
4. Babur, The Baburnama
5. Jeannie Boyer, Daily Life in Ancient India
6. Edmund Blunden, The Undertones of War
7. Peter Brown, The Rise of Western Christendom
8. T. Bryce, Trojans and their Neighbors
9. Bury, Ancient Greek Historians
10. Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World
11. Tim Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome
12. Ragiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City
13. W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
14. Richard Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich
15. Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
16. Lawrence M. Friedman: Law in America
17. Francessco Gabrieli, Arab Historians of the Crusades
18. Amitav Ghosh, Incendiary Circumstances
19. Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar: Life of a Colossus
20. Andrew Gordon, Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present
21. Al Gore, The Assault on Reason
22. Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
23. Linda Greenhouse, Becoming Justice Blackmun
24. Peter Hessler, Oracle Bones
25. Chantrithy Him, When Broken Glass Floats
26. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals
27. Stuart Kelly, The Book of Lost Books
28. Ryszard Kapuscinski, Travels with Herodotus
29. Rashid Khalidi, Resurrecting Empire
30. Joel Kotkin, The City
31. Edward Larson: Evolution
32. Livy, Books I-V (Luce Translation)
33. Mary Lefkowitz: Greek Gods, Human Lives
34. Edward Luce, In Spite of the Gods
35. Heather McKillop, The Ancient Maya: New Perspectives
36. Margaret MacMillian, Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History
37. Suketu Mehta, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
38. Sari Nusseibeh, Once Upon A Country
39. Thant Myint-U, The River of Lost Footsteps
40. Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, Three Cups of Tea
41. Barack Obama, Dreams from my Father
42. Robin Osborne, Greece in the Making
43. Stephen O'Shea Sea of Faith
44. Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Mythology
45. Colin Renfrew, Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind
46. P. J. Rhodes, Athenian Democracy
47. Jean Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
48. Tahir Shah, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
49. Daniel C. Snell, Life in the Ancient Near East
50. Pat Southern, The Roman Army: A Social and Institutional History
51. Wole Soyinka, Ake: The Years of Childhood
52. Kevin Starr: California
53. Romila Thapar, Early India
54. Wilfred Thesiger, The Marsh Arabs
55. Frances Wood, The Silk Road
56. Muhammad Yunus, Banker to the Poor
57. Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World

Date: 2010-03-08 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You have 81 unread books in your apartment? I have, I don't know, 300? 500? And since I work at a publisher that has these addictive things called take shelves, I'm acquiring 3-5 new books every week. While it still takes me on average a month to read a book for fun. And I wish I could say this was all because I get free books. When I was in middle school I had a couple hundred unread books that I'd purchased. Those are still all at my parents' house, so don't even count in the above. The sad thing is every single one of those I had the intent to read at some point. Guess I know I'll be set for the apocalypse.

I will soon be one of those people buried by piles of books. I pity the movers who have to clean this place out.

Date: 2010-03-08 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, if we all have to die someday, being killed by book burial isn't such a bad way to go.

I didn't include my usual disclaimer because I was lazy this time--this list reflects only the books I've purchased since I began it a few years ago. There are probably at least as many unread books in my apartment that are unaccounted for (which are only the books I've accumulated since after college). Since I have to buy my books, that's also another restraint on me. It's probably a good thing that I don't have access to free books (although I'm jealous), since as it is I've no room for anymore.

Date: 2010-03-09 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Since I'm off recovering from a total hip replacement I've had time to "view" the books I've collected and not read, or, started to read but never finished.... Don't feel shame. I've got you beat.

If I ever decide to resell my collection I could retire in lavish comfort, but, sadly I'll never part with them *they're mine, all mine* *insert maniacal laughter*

I've promised myself I'll read them all once I retire. Now I just need to decide when I'm going to take that giant step. I'm hoping sometime this century ;p

Stay safe and take!


Date: 2010-03-10 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Unfortunately (or fortunately), unless they're rare first editions, I don't think reselling books gets you anything much these days. So, darn, I guess you'll just have to keep them for that coming someday.

Hope you're recovery is going well!

Date: 2010-03-17 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't have 81, but I have probably 40. Book addictions are wonderful, terrible things.


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