June 25th, 2012 / 12:00 pm

Summer Reading List

I’ve literally got piles & piles & piles of books in my office.

So maybe my summer reading list is a bit ambitious. But I’m excited and optimistic.

Started my summer off with Man in the Holocene by Max Frisch (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1979) & just beginning Sátántangó by Laszlo Krasznahorkai (New Directions, 2012) which I’m super excited about. And afterwards I’ll have a good excuse to re-watch Béla Tarr’s beautiful film.


And then:

The Recognitions by William Gass (Dalkey Archive, 2012)
Milkbottle H by Gil Orlovitz (Dell Publishing, 1968)
The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1 & 2 by Robert Musil (Vintage, 1995)
The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean Radin (HarperOne, 1997)
On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction by Brian Boyd (Belknap/Harvard University Press, 2009)
Zippermouth by Laurie Weeks (The Feminist Press, 2011)
The Loop by Jacques Roubaud (Dalkey Archive, 2009)
I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita (Coffee House Press, 2010)
The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes (Knopf, 2011)
Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin (Bantam Books, 1984)
The Philosophy of Surrealism by Ferdinand Alquie (University of Michigan, 1965)
Habibi by Craig Thomson (Pantheon, 2011)
Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz (Bantam Books, 2009)
Pataphysical Essays by Rene Daumal (Wakefield Press, 2012)
All the Garbage of the World Unite by Kim Hyesoon; trans. Don Mee Choi (Action Books, 2011)
The Shock of the Lenders by Jorge Santiago Perednik; trans. Molly Weigel (Action Books, 2012)
The Number and the Siren: A Decipherment of Mallarme’s Coup De Des by Quentin Meillassoux (Urbanomic/Sequence Press, 2012)
The Sky Conducting by Michael J Seidlinger (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2012)
 You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake by Anna Moschovakis (Coffee House Press, 2011)
 The Listeners by Leni Zumas (Tin House, 2012)


What’s on your summer reading list??


  1. M. Kitchell

      Now I’m very excited.

  2. Isaac Estep

      Proust, Pulphead, Jackie Under my Skin,  Cyclonopedia, Philosophy of Fashion by Lars Svendsen. Also Emerson and Montaigne here and there. Possibly The Confessions by Saint Augustine. 

  3. Anonymous

      Let us know how far into Man Without Qualities you get – I like long, slow books, but Musil’s just too much for me. I’m not sure how anybody could get through Vol 2, much less Vol 1, but good luck!

  4. Janice Lee

      Yea we’ll see. Wishing myself good luck too haha.

  5. vjb77

      Recently finished All The Garbage of the World, Unite! and enjoyed the self described maze laid out by Hyesoon from start to finish. Also read Skin Horse from Action Books as well. They are putting out some amazing, groundbreaking stuff right now.

  6. Neil Griffin

      I’m also going to read Satantango. I loved the Melancholy of Resistance, so I have high hopes. Currently doing Naked Singularity and might do The Great Fire of London by Roebaud.

  7. Timothy Peyton

      I am reading Dark Reflections by Samuel Delany with full intention of reading his new one Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders.  
      Also :Paying for it by Chester Brown The Third Reich by Bolano Inventing Iraq by Tony Dodge 

  8. jtc

      finishing The Brothers Karamazov. Then: The Inner Loneliness. The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Influence by Caldini. Blow-up. Hopscotch. The Iliad. The Middle Length Discourses. And, hopefully, a shit-load of craft and grammar books. I don’t exactly have a “summer reading list” since I’m not in school anymore, but those are the books I’ll be reading in the near future.

      I liked Blankets by Craig Thompson quite a lot. All I know about Habibi is that I showed it to a friend of mine who grew up Muslim, and he said it felt to him like a person who knew nothing about Islam using a lot of Muslim/Arab iconography (hehe). Shallow, in a word, I guess. That’s not to dissuade you. In fact I’m excited to see what someone else (who I know absolutely nothing about re background in Islam) thinks of it. Just thought I’d let you know, though.

  9. hommeauxrats

      JR, William Gaddis, Dalkey Archive Press
      The Complete Donald Barthelme Short Story Output
      The Greek Myths, Robert Graves, folio Society
      Pour Sûr, France Daigle, 2011
      Onze, Annie Dulong, 2011
      Revenge of the Lawn / The Abortion / So the Wind Wont Blow It All Away, Richard Brautigan, Houghton Mifflin
      Noir Canada, Alain Deneault, Écosociété (Banned!)
      Catch-22, Joseph Heller, Simon & Shuster
      Le Bon sexe illustré, Tony Duvert, Minuit
      The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald, New Directions
      Soifs, Marie-Claire Blais, Boréal
      The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, Philip K. Dick, HMH
      Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafron
      Une Histoire populaire des États-Unis, Howard Zinn, Lux éd.

      Make it 2 summers.

  10. Shannon

      My stack has gotten a little larger than is entirely manageable. The next few in line are Ayti by Roxane Gay, Urdustan by Sabina England, Crocheting on the Edge Ruffles*Flora*Fringes*Points & Scallops by Nicky Epstein, Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur, The Speed Chronicles from Akashic and some other random crocheting crafty type books and whatnot. 

  11. bartleby_taco

      currently reading an etgar keret collection and some joe brainard, but this summer i would like to read moby dick for the first time! also will probably read the passion according to g.h., dublinesque, planets, and the no variations when i scrape up the money to buy them in the next few weeks or so

  12. Scott Riley Irvine

      the new clarice lispector translations
      dhalgren – samuel r delaney
      the two new caketrain chapbooks
      men in space – tom mccarthy

  13. Anonymous

      I’m trying to read more books published by indie presses. So:

      Person – Sam Pink
      The Human War – Noah Cicero
      Lucid Membranes – Tantra Bensko
      Miss Gone-overseas – Mitchell Anne Hagerstrom
      The Mosquito Song – ML Kennedy
      Austin Nights – Herocious

      The last three are from the same publisher. They make all their books by hand. Pretty impressive stuff.

  14. Trey

      will feel good if I can just actually read Don Quixote and East of Eden all the way through this time.

  15. William VanDenBerg

      Men in Space was surprisingly fun. Have you read C? 

  16. deadgod

      6 women, 16 men.  So that’s about a quarter of the summer, wasted.

  17. Michael J Seidlinger

      Some books I plan on rereading – 

      Sayonara, Gangsters – Genichiro Takahashi
      The Book of Lazaras – Richard Grossman
      The Wanting Seed – Anthony Burgess
      The Wind Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami

      Some books I plan on finally reading – 

      The Open Curtain – Brian Evenson
      Wool Omnibus – Hugh Howey
      I Am a Cat – Soseki Natsume
      Still Lives – Natsuki Ikezawa
      Office Girl – Joe Meno
      Edge – Koji Suzuki
      Daniel Fights a Hurricane – Shane Jones
      Wizzywig – Ed Piskor

  18. Scott Riley Irvine

      I haven’t, but Remainder was excellent, so I’m excited about MiS and C.

  19. elizabeth ellen

      midnight cowboy and the new sheila heti novel. or memoir. or whatever it is.

  20. Roxane

      EE, I started the Heti book. I like it a lot.

  21. jtc

      jeez. i have no women on my list. well, i honestly intend to read Autobiography of Red in the near future. And…something else.

      one thing I’d forgot to mention earlier: i am constantly frustrated by the way i read (i.e. quality over quantity). surely others face this; how do you deal with it? like, other than simply reading slower, how do you deal with it? like, do you actually just face the fact that if you really want to get the most out of a book (say, the recognitions, or ulysses, or infinite jest, or let’s say even a short book like autobiography of red) you have to accept the fact that you’ll read less than 10 books a year. [because i seriously think about the number of books i’ll read in a year, but that is stupid, except for the argument of spreading yourself thin so you can make vague references to as many novels as possible at cool parties. but i don’t even go to parties.]

  22. Anonymous

      In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories: Delmore Schwartz
      Ann Beattie: Distortions
      Wonderland: Joyce Carol Oates
      Tearing Down The Walls of Sound-Rise and Fall of Phil Spector: Mick Brown
      Lolita: Nabokov (again, its summer!)
      Sixty Stories: Donald Barthelme
      Love Goes In Buildings On Fire-Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever: Will Hermes

  23. O

      Jeez. Get a job.

  24. Bill Hsu

      Just read: xTx’s Normally Special, DeLillo’s White Noise, Kristine Ong Muslim’s We Bury the Landscape, Brian Evenson’s Immobility, Ander Monson’s Other Electricities, Stephen Beachy’s Distortion, etc

      Sara Levine, Short Dark Oracles
      Miranda Mellis, None of This is Real
      Kevin Killian, Spreadeagle
      Lauren Becker, Shutup/Look Pretty
      Dennis Cooper, God Jr
      Ryan Call, Weather Stations

  25. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Currently xTx’s Normally Special
      THEN AD Jameson’s AAF
      THEN James Tadd Adcox Map of the System of Human Knowledge
      THEN Johnny Martonaro bio
      THEN Franki Elliot’s Piano Rats
      THEN Prison Pit, pt. 3
      THEN Gary Indiana’s Resentment
      THEN Algren’s Walk on the Wild Side
      THEN Malcolm X Autiobio

  26. William VanDenBerg

      What’d you think of Immobility? I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list. 

  27. William VanDenBerg

      Collected Stories – Amy Hempel
      The Braindead Microphone – George Saunders
      Cities of the Plain – Cormac McCarthy
      The Magic Toyshop – Angela Carter
      Immobility – Brian Evenson
      The Ice Trilogy – Vladimir Sorokin

      And others as they come along.

  28. Anonymous

      Books I look forward to and will read ASAP (due out July/August):

      M John Harrison – Empty Space
      Alan Garner – Boneland

      The Stone Guests – I hope to read at least 2-3 of these Cetaceans by the end of the year.

      James Joyce – Finnegans Wake
      Stefano D’Arrigo – Horcynus Orca
      J.G. Farrell – The Empire Trilogy (ebook)
      Peter Esterhazy – Harmonia Coelestis
      Harry Mulisch – The Discovery of Heaven
      Joseph McElroy – Women and Men
      David Grossman – A un cerbiatto somiglia il mio amore (Isha Borahat MiBesora/English: To The End of the Land)

      Books near the top in my various tbr piles and more likely to be read this summer:

      Shirley Hazzard – The Great Fire
      Wesley Stace – Charles Jessold, Considered as Murderer
      Margery Allingham – The Tiger in the Smoke
      Muriel Spark – The Hothouse by the East River
      Herman Melville – The Confidence Man
      James Hogg – The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a
      Justified Sinner

      In Italian:

      Paolo Volponi – Il Sipario Ducale
      Goffredo Parise – Il Padrone
      Vittorio Imbriani – Il vivicomburio e altre novelle

      In German:

      Terezia Mora – Der einzige Mann auf dem Kontinent
      Alina Bronski – Die schärfsten Gerichte der tatarischen Küche

      In Spanish:

      Guillermo Saccomanno – El Oficinista
      José Donoso – Lagartija sin Cola
      Jorge Edwards – Persona non Grata

      In French

      Gustave Flaubert – L’éducation sentimentale

  29. deadgod

      I read a lot less than many people ‘here’ – maybe 200-250 pages a week of prose, all-in (excluding periodicals and the internet).  Maybe 40 books a year.  (I read quite a bit more when I had no tv, hadn’t ever been on the internet, and rode mass transit every day.)

      My thinking about quality-control is this:  try to pick books I want to finish (based on several obvious criteria:  first few pages, hear-say, knowledge of author/topic, and so on), and relax about stopping in the case that a book isn’t what I want.  I’m also (probably too) relaxed about half-finished piles, about returning in months or years to finish a book.

      Don’t worry about bluffing; just talk about what you think about what you’ve read, refer to your reading where it’s relevant, and let your ideas speak to people who listen to ideas.

  30. Bill Hsu

      I really enjoyed Immobility. It’s grim, riveting, and sometimes absurd and darkly hilarious. Think Last Days, a bit less concentrated, and with some Beckett-like dialog that’s very funny. I think I liked Last Days a little more, but that’s a hard act to follow.

  31. Anonymous

      I have 2.  I read these on the way to work.  

  32. shizhen