What & how I read this year

1. I read it – the whole thing – either in print or through an audio performance:

Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life

Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Confucius, The Analects (abridged, translated by Wing-tsit Chan)

The Doctrine of the Mean (translated by Wing-tsit Chan)

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (second read)

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (second read)

William Faulkner, The Hamlet (second read)

The Gospel of John (for the umpteenth time)

The Great Learning (translated by Wing-tsit Chan)

Homer, The Iliad (Robert Fagels)

Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

The Book of Mencius (abridged, translated by Wing-tsit Chan)

Patrick O’Brian, Blue at the Mizzen (third read)

Patrick O’Brian, The Hundred Days (third read)

Patrick O’Brian, 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (third read)

Patrick O’Brian, The Yellow Admiral (third read)

Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Terry Pratchett, Dodger

The Book of Ruth (umpteenth time)

James Salter, Light Years

James Salter, A Sport and a Pastime

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (umpteenth time)

Sol Stein, Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

Tao-te ching, translated by Wing-tsit Chan

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men (twice)

Joseph Wheelan, Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade: John Quincy Adams’s Extraordinary Post-Presidential Life in Congress

Virginia Woolf, Orlando (second read)

2. Reading currently, with an aim to finishing:

Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm

William Faulkner, The Town (second read)

Everett Fox, Give Us a King! (translation of I and II Samuel)

A. C. Graham, Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China

Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (third read)

Davie Johnson, John Randolph of Roanoke

Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man

Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman (second read)

3. Read a lot of it before giving it a rest, though I liked what I read:

Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text

Jorges Luis Borges, Collected Fictions

Jorges Luis Borges, Collected Nonfictions

Lucy Calkins, et al., Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement

Wing-Tsit Chan, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy

C. K. Chesterton, Essential Writings

Paul Revere Frothingham, Edward Everett: Orator and Statesman

Philip F. Gura, American Transcendentalism

Leviticus (third read)

Vladimir Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn

E. M. Standing, Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work

4. Skimmed, bought, and hope to read next year:

Allan Bloom, Shakespeare’s Politics

Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red

Peter Elbow, Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing

William Faulkner, The Mansion

Harvey C. Mansfield, America’s Constitutional Soul

Martin Palmer, Elizabeth Breuilly (Eds.), The Book of Chuang Tzu (Penguin Classics)

Alan Watts, Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion

I’m not counting three other categories. They include (5) books I returned to for inspiration, reference, pleasure, or for a page or two’s read before conking out and (6) books I started but gave up on. I couldn’t keep track of books from either of these two categories anyway. (The former category is my favorite reading; the latter is my least favorite.) Of course, there are (7) non-books – mostly the Internet, print periodicals, and student essays – which probably made up a plurality of my reading.

Reading newspaper

“Reading newspaper” by Kheng Cheng Toh. Used by permission.