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2009: What I read

I  seemed to have read no more than 47 books in 2009, which is somewhat down from the 59 I got through in 2008. I did finish with a flurry though – at one stage I seemed to have read no more than about 20 books by August or so. Here’s the list of the books.

Barker, Pat – Regeneration

Barrett, Andrea – The Middle Kingdom

Bond, Tiffany – Confessions of a Female Private Investigator

Chandler, Raymond – The Lady in the Lake, The Long Goodbye, The High Window, The Little Sister, Farewell, My Lovely, The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and The Woman He Loved

Crews, Harry – A Feast of Snakes, A Childhood: A Biography of a Place, The Gypsy’s Curse, Car, Body, Critical Perspectives on Harry Crews, Florida Frenzy, Scar Lover, Blood & Grits, Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews

Coetzee, JM – Disgrace, Stranger Shores, Youth

Croome, Andrew – Document Z

Cook, Kenneth – Wake in Fright

DeCeglie, JJ – Damned Good

Dick, Tessa – The Owl in Daylight

Disch, Thomas – The Wall of America

Donovan, Tom (ed) – The Hazy Red Hell

Gray, Alasdair – Poor Things

Hosseini, Khaled – The Kite Runner

Kalfus, Ken – Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies

Kinnane, Stephen – Shadow Lines

Landsdowne, Andrew – The Disposssessed

McCarthy, Cormac – The Road

Philby, Eleanor – Kim Philby: The Spy I Loved

Rafter, Steven – 209: A Story

Scholz, Carter – The Amount to Carry

Vandermeer, Jeff – Finch, Booklife

Walton, C.S. – Ivon Petrov, Russia though a Shot Glass

Warner, Alan – These Demented Lands, Morvern Callar, The Man Who Walks

Wilson, Charmaine – Spirit Whispers, Spirit Children

Whorton, James – Approximately Heaven

Ye, Yang – Vignettes from the Late Ming

Zhang, Lijia – “Socialism is Great!”

A year ago I vowed to read more books by women in 2009, but it appears that just 8/47 of these books were written by women. I did find a couple I liked through: Andrea Barrett and Pat Barker especially. But my highlight of the year was undoubtedly reading Harry Crews. Crews has published about 21 books, of which I’ve now read 10. I have another 2 (Celebration and The Mulching of America) to read, and another 9 to track down. Some of his earlier books, like Naked in Garden Hills, are ridiculously expensive secondhand. But I expect I’ll find some of them.

I’ve been on a book buying binge over the last couple of months and, as a consequence, I have no fewer than 39 books on my to-read list, which is nearly a year’s supply. 11 of these are by women. I plan to read Flannery O’Connor, Pat Barker (the second and third volumes in the ‘Regeneration’ trilogy), Richard Flanagan, Ken Kalfus, and the rest of Alan Warner and Harry Crews.

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