Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 Reading List & New Year Resolutions






Last year I made a few New Year Resolutions. The results were mixed. I pledged myself not to buy more books until I had read at least half my book pile; at the time I think I had about some 70 books at home; currently I have over 130. In 2012 I read books from 21 countries and established 30 for 2013; instead I read from only 19. I set out to read more plays and poetry, failed at the former, succeeded at the latter. Unlike what I had proposed, I did not finish reading the complete works of Philip Roth, José Saramago and Mario Vargas Llosa. But I’m closer to that goal on all three fronts. I just barely managed to read three books from either two of Jorge Luis Borges’ book lists. I did, however, read more Leonardo Sciascia, Raul Brandão and Gonzalo Torrente Ballester.

Perhaps I’m just not compatible with New Year Resolutions, or I need to be more modest. But I’m making more resolutions this year nevertheless:

1 Read at least three books from Jorge Luis Borges’ A Personal Library or The Library of Babel; this continues to be an ongoing project of mine;

2 Finish reading José Saramago’s complete works: it’s just 4 more books; it’s feasible;

3 Read at least ten plays;

4 Try to reduce my book pile to 100 books;

5 Read books from 30 countries;

6 Read at least one book in Italian and Spanish, for practice.

This year I’d like to try something new. I’m going to let people vote on ten books from my reading list for me to read and review here. You can vote until January 30, just leave a comment here with the list. I’ll tally the votes and give the ten winners priority.

I also remain receptive to suggestions and challenges. If you think there’s a book I’d like to read, feel free to recommend it. Richard from Caravana de Recuerdos has already made me order 2666 for his group read. But I have a whole year to reduce my book pile to 100 books. Speaking of which:

A.J. Saraiva/Óscar Lopes: História da Literatura Portuguesa
Adam Zagajewski: A Defense of Ardor
Adam Zagajewski: Another Beauty
Adam Zagajewski: Two Cities
Afonso Cruz: Enciclopédia da Estória Universal - Recolha de Alexandria
Agustina Bessa-Luís: Longos dias têm cem anos
Albert Cossery: Men God Forgot
Albert Cossery: Proud Beggars
Aleister Crowley: The Simon Iff Stories
Alexandre O'Neill: Já Cá Não Está Quem Falou
Almada Negreiros: Ficções
Almada Negreiros: Manifestos e Conferências
Almada Negreiros: Poemas
Amílcar Cabral: Documentário
Ana Paula Arnaut: Entrevistas com António Lobo Antunes 1979-2007
Ana Teresa Pereira: Intimações de Morte
António Lobo Antunes: D'este viver aqui neste papel descripto
António Lobo Antunes: Fado Alexandrino
António Lobo Antunes: The Inquisitors’ Manual
António Mega Ferreira: Fernando Pessoa – Fazer Pela Vida
Antonio Tabucchi: Requiem
Arménio Vieira: No Inferno
Baltasar Lopes: Chiquinho
Benoît Peeters: Hergé, Son of Tintin
Bernardo Gomes de Brito: História Trágico-Marítima II
Brenda Turner: Out of your mind: The links between brain and body
Carlos Vaz Marques: Os Escritores (Também) Têm Coisas a Dizer
Christopher Hitchens: Arguably
Colin Tudge: In Mendel's Footnotes
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Corsino Fortes: A Cabeça calva de Deus
D.A. Russell/M. Winterbottom (ed.): Classical Literary Criticism
Dalila Pereira da Costa: O Esoterismo de Fernando Pessoa
Daniel N. Robinson: Wild Beasts and Idle Humours
Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy
Eça de Queiroz: Correspondência
Eduardo Lourenço: O Labirinto da Saudade
Fernando Dacosta: O Botequim da Liberdade
Fernando Pessoa: Obras de António Mora
Fernando Pessoa: Poesia 1902-1917
Fernando Pessoa: Prosa de Ricardo Reis
Fiama Hasse Pais Brandão: Obra Breve
Francis Bacon: The Major Works
Franz Kafka: Diaries
Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra
G.E. Bentley: The Stranger from Paradise
Gabriel García Márquez: Live to tell the Tale
Gaston Bachelard: The Poetics of Space
George MacDonald: Phantastes
Georges Minois: Histoire des Enfers
Giambattista Vico: New Science
Gonçalo M. Tavares: Um Homem: Klaus Kump/Joseph Walser’s Machine
Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, La Isla de los Jacintos Cortados
Gustav Meyrink: Der Kardinal Napellus
Irene Flunser Pimentel/Cláudia Ramos: Salazar, Portugal e o Holocausto
Isaiah Berlin: Russian Thinkers
Ivan Goncharov: Oblomov
Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
Jean-Baptiste Botul: Landru, précurseur du féminisme
Jim Steinmeyer: Hiding the Elephant
Joana Pontes/Rodrigo de Sousa e Castro/Aniceto Afonso: A Hora da Liberdade
João Gaspar Simões: Crítica III
João Paulo Borges Coelho: As Visitas do Dr. Valdez
João Rui de Sousa: Fernando Pessoa - Empregado de Escritório
John Keats: The Complete Poetry
John Lahr: Coward - The Playwright
Jorge de Sena: A Literatura Inglesa
Jorge de Sena: Uma Canção de Camões
José Cardoso Pires: Alexandra Alpha
Julio Cortázar: Hopscotch
Karl Kraus: The Last Days of Mankind
Langston Hughes: The Collected Poems
Louis J. Budd (ed.): New Essays on Huckleberry Finn
Luandino Vieira: Nós, os do Makulusu
Luandino Vieira: O Livro dos Rios
Luiz Pacheco: Diário Remendado 1971-1975
Manuel Alegre: Poesia
Manuel António Pina: Crónica, Saudade da Literatura
Manuel António Pina: Todas as Palavras
Marcel Schwob: Vies Imaginaires
Maria Antónia Oliveira: Alexandre O´Neill - Uma Biografia Literária
María Luisa Branco: Conversas com António Lobo Antunes
Maria Velho da Costa/Maria Isabel Barreno/Maria Teresa Horta: Novas Cartas Portuguesas
Mario Vargas Llosa: Capitão Pantoja and the Special Service
Max Hayward/ Edward L. Crowley (ed.): Soviet Literature in the Sixties
Mia Couto: Venenos de Deus, Remédios do Diabo
Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote
Miguel Torga: Poesia
Miguel Torga: Vindima
Mircea Eliade: Jurnal portughez
Mircea Eliade: Salazar și revoluția în Portugalia
Mutimati Barnabé João: Eu, o povo
Natália Correia: Poesia Completa
Neil Carson: Arthur Miller
Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince
Norman Doidge: The Brain that Changes Itself
Oliveira Martins: História da Civilização Ibérica
Oliveira Martins: Portugal Contemporâneo
Oscar Ribas: Ecos da minha terra
Pablo Neruda: Las uvas y el viento
Pablo Neruda: Canto General
Paulina Chiziane: O Sétimo Juramento
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón: El amigo de la muerte
Pepetela: A Gloriosa Família
Pepetela: Jaime Bunda, Secret Agent
Pepetela: Muana Puo
Pepetela: Yaka
Philip Roth: The Humbling
Ponson Du Terrail: Rocambole - L’Héritage Mystérieux I
Ponson Du Terrail: Rocambole - L’Héritage Mystérieux II
Raul Leal: Sodoma Divinizada
Rubem Fonseca: E do meio do mundo prostituto só amores guardei ao meu charuto
Rubem Fonseca: Ela e Outras Mulheres
Rubem Fonseca: Histórias de Amor
Rubem Fonseca: O Buraco na Parede
Ruben A: Páginas I
Rui Afonso: Aristides de Sousa Mendes – Um Bom Homem
Ruy Belo: Todos os Poemas I
Ruy Belo: Todos os Poemas II
Ruy Belo: Todos os Poemas III
Ruy Duarte de Carvalho: Lavra
Saint Augustine: Confessions
Selma Lagerlöf: The Miracles of the Antichrist
Shusaku Endo: A Life of Jesus
T.S. Eliot: The Sacred Wood
Uanhenga Xitu: Bola com Feitiço
Umberto Eco: Inventing the Enemy
valter hugo mãe: O Remorso de Baltazar Serapião
Vassilis Vassilikos: Z
Vergílio Ferreira: Espaço do Invisível I
Vergil: Bucolics, Georgics, Aeneid
Virginia Woolf: The Common Reader vol. 1
Virginia Woolf: The Complete Shorter Fiction
Vladimir Nabokov: Pale Fire
Voline: The Unknown Revolution
W.B. Yeats: The Collected Poems
W.B. Yeats: The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats vol. IV Early Essays
William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience

28 comments:

  1. Feliz Ano Novo Miguel! Aqui estao os meus votos. Em geral vou-te usar como cobaia para os em Portugues (estou determinada a ler mais na lingua-mae este ano!), outros ja li e queria a tua opiniao.

    Vladimir Nabokov: Pale Fire
    José Cardoso Pires: Alexandra Alpha
    Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
    Irene Flunser Pimentel/Cláudia Ramos: Salazar, Portugal e o Holocausto
    António Lobo Antunes: Fado Alexandrino
    Agustina Bessa-Luís: Longos dias têm cem anos
    Christopher Hitchens: Arguably
    Rubem Fonseca: Histórias de Amor
    Maria Velho da Costa/Maria Isabel Barreno/Maria Teresa Horta: Novas Cartas Portuguesas
    João Paulo Borges Coelho: As Visitas do Dr. Valdez

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    1. Alex, Feliz Ano Novo! Espero que a época festiva tenha sido prazenteira.

      Boas escolhas, verdadeiros desafios. Alguns acabei mesmo de receber pelo Natal. Quais é que já leste, se é que leste algum?

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    2. Ja li o Cardoso Pires, Lobo Antunes e Austen. Estou curiosa em relacao aos outros, especialmente ao Nabokov, Besse-Luis e Hitchens.

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    3. O Nabokov é genial, pelo menos o Ada ou Ardor. Tenho grandes expectativas a respeito do Fogo Pálido. A Bessa-Luís detesto, mas isto é uma biografia, posso-me surpreender. O Hitchens desconheço como escritor, mas acho que é ímpar na arte do debate televisivo. Mal posso esperar para ler todos estes livros.

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  2. Happy New Year! While there are canyon that list I would like to read or re-read, I'm only going to vote for Vico's "New Science" since that is one I was hoping to get to later this year. Regardless, have fun!

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    Replies
    1. Dwight, sure, I'll try to accommodate that request.

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    2. canyon? Should have been "so many"

      No rush on the Vico. I'm thinking I might have something like August or later as Vico-month for me. We'll see how it goes!

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    3. Geez, is there enough Vico for a whole month? ;)

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    4. Heh…there is the way I do it. At least when I view it as a major project. I think I'll plan on having August as "Vico month" for me, so plan on reading it after then.

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    5. Great, then I'll see if I can join you in August.

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    6. I'll post on this soon. I recommend letting me splatter post for a month, then approach the work. When I do a project, I DO a project *lol*

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    7. Sure, sure, take your time, I have to read 2666 meanwhile, and that's going to keep me busy for a while too.

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  3. I'm really excited to be reading 2666 with you. Bolano is a writer I've had a difficult time appreciating (understanding?) yet I find myself immersed in 2666 already. I know that you and Richard and the others will enrich this experience so much.

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    1. Thank you, Bellezza. It's my first Bolaño, so I'm anxious. I've heard so much good about him, my expectations are quite high.

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  4. Happy New Year to you.
    I can't make resolutions as they seem to have a really bad influence on my reading. But reading books in Spanish for practice is one on my list as well.
    Good luck with your plans.

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    1. Caroline, hi. I understand you, they have a way of conditioning one's choices, and I for one don't like being constrained, I'm just too anarchic to stick to plans. But most of these resolutions go in the direction of my general interests, so I'm good.

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  5. Great great resolutions and ideas Miguel.

    I love the fact that one of your resolutions is to reduce your pile of books down to 100!

    As for my votes:

    Because I have read these myself and am curious to read your thoughts on them:

    Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian

    Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy

    Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra

    Saint Augustine: Confessions

    Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince

    Vergil: Whichever you want to read


    And just because I am particularly curious about the works:

    Aleister Crowley: The Simon Iff Stories

    Francis Bacon: The Major Works

    Gabriel García Márquez: Live to tell the Tale

    Umberto Eco: Inventing the Enemy


    Have fun with this!



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    1. Oh, Brian, my reading list haunts me, it seems cursed, no matter what it keeps growing.

      Thanks for the 10 books!

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  6. I love the voting conceit. It feels so self-interested, but what the heck:

    Virgil - any, all
    Augustine
    Machiavelli
    Vico
    Keats
    Yeats - Poems
    Lagerlöf
    Woolf - Common Reader
    Nabokov
    Zagajewski - anything - I don't remember you writing at length about him yet

    Old books, mostly old books. Is your Karl Kraus the English abridgment or one of the (many) non-English translations of the whole thing? If the latter, please substitute Kraus for, let's see, Augustine.

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    1. My copy has like 500 pages, so I hope it's no abridgment!

      So these four books have 2 votes so far:

      Vladimir Nabokov: Pale Fire
      Giambattista Vico: New Science
      Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince
      Vergil: Bucolics, Georgics, Aeneid

      This is getting interesting.

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  7. Miguel - For me to vote on pretty much 90% of the Portuguese authors you list would be shooting in the dark - what I should probably do is pick 10 of those at random, since I learn so much from your posts on these authors I know nothing about. But I'll stick with what I vaguely know and cast my votes for the following:

    Dante
    Cossery
    Virgil
    Vassilikos
    Austen: Northanger Abbey
    Schwob
    Neruda
    Keats
    Yeats
    Augustine

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    1. Fine list, the final result is going to shape up into something very interesting. Still, it's interesting to see everyone timorously choose the well-known books instead of boldly suggesting titles they have no idea what they mean :)

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  8. These are my votes:

    Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (I've read this one, one of my all times favorite)
    Louis J. Budd (ed.): New Essays on Huckleberry Finn(Because I've read somewhere that the kid from Blood Meridian could be Huck)
    Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote(Haven't read it, but its a classic)
    Miguel Torga: Vindima(Because I like Miguel Torga)
    Philip Roth: The Humbling(Because I like Roth
    Umberto Eco: Inventing the Enemy(Because I like Eco)
    valter hugo mãe: O Remorso de Baltazar Serapião(Because I loved this book)

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  9. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
    Giambattista Vico: New Science
    Gonçalo M. Tavares: Um Homem: Klaus Kump/Joseph Walser’s Machine
    Julio Cortázar: Hopscotch
    Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote
    Pablo Neruda: Canto General
    Vergil: Bucolics, Georgics, Aeneid
    W.B. Yeats: The Collected Poems
    Selma Lagerlöf: The Miracles of the Antichrist
    Shusaku Endo: A Life of Jesus

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  10. Boa tarde, Miguel.

    Leu algo de valter hugo mãe neste ano? Se sim, o que achou?


    Abraço.

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    1. João,

      Olá.

      Recentemente li O Remorso de Baltasar Serapião. É uma violenta história passada numa vaga era medieval sobre um lavrador ciumento que acha que a esposa o anda a enganar com um nobre. Ainda que a história não me tenha encantado, achei o trabalho de linguagem bastante interessante, a nível sintássico: o VHM esforçou-se por evitar os ritmos modernos, as construções frásicas modernas. Não sei se isso o fascina, cada um tira interesses diferentes das suas leituras.

      Estou muito longe de pertencer ao clube de fãs dele, e admito que a ínclita geração de grandes escritores dos anos 2000 - Tavares, Tordo, Peixoto, Mãe - me parece uma fraude que a seu tempo vai ser desmascarada por gente com siso, mas o livro deixou-me com alento suficiente para tentar mais um do VHM. Espero que isto lhe sirva para alguma coisa.

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