Things I am Interested In

My greatest passion of all is reading. Given this fact, there are certain things that I prefer to read.

In the realms of fiction, I prefer classics and literary fiction. I used to read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, but, alas, I have become rather jaded of late, and a book of these genres needs to be very good to keep me to the end. Other genres that I have read and left along the way include pulp westerns, horrors and occult thrillers.

Recommended reading

  • Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum, The Name of the Rose, The Island of the Day Before)
  • Italo Calvino (If On A Winter's Night A Traveller, Cosmicomics, Our Ancestors)
  • Franz Kafka (The Trial, Metamorphosis, The Castle)
  • Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary, Sentimental Education)
  • Iain (M.) Banks (The Wasp Factory, The Bridge, Player of Games, Use of Weapons)
  • John Fowles (The Magus, The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Collector, A Maggot)
  • Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10 Chapters, Talking It Over, Metroland)
  • Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse Five, Galapagos, Cat's Cradle)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, Crime and Punishment)

Others worth looking at:

Outside of fiction I read subjects that will increase my knowledge and understanding of the world. In particular I like to read books on history, philosophy, physics, astronomy, biology, social commentary, language/linguistics, religion, art.

I also have an interest in comics. Well, not comics per se but some of the stories that have been published as comics and graphic novels. In particular, the works of Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, The Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) and Garth Ennis (The Preacher, Hellblazer) have caught my interest as intelligent and interesting pieces of work.

A list of all my books (in the US) can be found here.

Books I've Read This Year

August 30, 2008 20:00

Charles C Mann - 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus

Fascinating exploration of the last 50 years of research into pre-Columbian America

July 19, 2008 15:00

Neal Boortz and John LInder - FairTax: The Truth

While I think I agree with a lot of the underlying concepts and reasons for the proposal, some of the arguments don't have me convinced

July 15, 2008 23:00

Neal Boortz and John Linder - The FairTax Book

Too many questions about the proposal are left unanswered, with high potential for misunderstanding.

July 07, 2008 11:55

Chris Salewicz - Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer

Thoroughly fascinating and well-written biography of Joe Strummer. Recommended.

March 13, 2008 20:00

Isaiah Berlin - The Power of Ideas

Philosophy and history of ideas. Very interesting.

January 32, 2008 22:00

Reverend Billy - What Would Jesus Buy?

An interesting, amusing, and ultimately thought-provoking sermon on the Shopocalypse.

January 21, 2008 09:30

Paulo Coehlo - The Alchemist

A spiritual allegory. Quite well transalated. Somewhat simplistic, as allegories tend to me.

January 17, 2008 21:50

John Keegan - The Face of Battle

A fascinating look at the historiography of battle and in depth looks at the battles of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme.

January 09, 2008 22:23

Alessandro Baricco - City

An absorbing, if somewhat surreal, tale of tales and unusual people. Highly enjoyable.

January 06, 2008 00:09

Christopher Moore - Fluke

Mildly entertaining; not as good as Lamb, but it kept me out of trouble for several hours

December 31, 2007 14:42

Stephen Colbert - I Am America (And So Can You)

I can?

December 28, 2007 23:55

Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow - The Story of French

An enlightening coverage of the history, geography and politics of the French language

December 10, 2007 14:30

Magnus Magnusson - Scotland: The Story of a Nation

An excellent history of Scotland

November 02, 2007 16:30

Margaret MacMillan - Paris 1919

A detail look at the people invovled and meetings held to redraw Europe, Africa and the Middle East after World War I. Thoroughly engrossing.

October 02, 2007 21:00

Neil Gaiman - Fragile Things

A terrific set of short stories.

October 01, 2007 15:00

Michael King - The Pengtuin History of New Zealand

The history of my homeland, going into a lot more detail than I remember from school

August 02, 2007 00:00

Louis Menand - The Metaphysical Club

A look at some of the people who shaped American thought between the Civil War and World War I

August 01, 2007 00:00

Gordon S Wood - Revolutionary Characters

Brief biographies of the people behind the American Revolutionary War

August 01, 2007 00:00

Christopher Hitchens - Thomas Paine's Rights of Man

Interesting look into the man and circumstances that led to the Rights of Man

July 15, 2007 14:00

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness and other tales

Wow. An utterly amazing collection of novellas. HoD itself was dense and rich and in need of a second read!

June 10, 2007 14:00

Alessandro Baricco - Without Blood

Another amazing short novel.

May 18, 2007 17:00

Alessandro Baricco - Silk

A beautiful short novel. Thoroughly recommend it.

May 24, 2007 22:00

Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets: Six Feet Under The Gun

More of my latest graphic novel following

May 25, 2007 23:00

Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets: The Counterfifth Detective

More of my latest graphic novel following

March 10, 2007 08:00

Thomas Kempis - The Imitation of Christ

Getting some more religious reading in

March 07, 2007 22:00

Henry Ansgar Kelly - Satan: A Biography

A very interesting study of the character of Satan from the Bible through the writings of Christian fathers and later Christian writers. Definitely reinforced my opinion of Christianity as a inconsistent, revisionist belief system.

January 23, 2007 19:00

Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets: A Foregone Tomorrow

More graphic novel goodness

January 22, 2007 19:00

Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets: Hang Up On The Hang Low

More graphic novel goodness

January 22, 2007 19:00

Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets: Split Second Chance

More graphic novel goodness

January 21, 2007 19:00

Brian Azzarello - 100 Bullets: First Shot Last Call

A graphic novel I first read when I visited Rosalie 18th months or so ago, and which I decided to acquire when I was at Criminal earlier this week

January 19, 2007 00:01

Thomas Pynchon - Against the Day

[Just started] And I've pulled out the dictionary, because I know I'm going to need it...

January 14, 2007 19:00

Kurt Vonnegut - Galapagos

Must read more Vonnegut (Can't remember when I finished these first books)

January 14, 2007 19:00

Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle


January 14, 2007 19:00

Kurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of Titan


January 14, 2007 19:00

Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse Five


January 14, 2007 19:00

Maureen Ogle - Ambitious Brew


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