I keep a list called “books to look up”. Had it for years on various digital platforms. Its real title should be “list of things I want to read in heaven”. The heaven in this case is a cool veranda. Where time is meaningless. Intruded only by a mosquito free breeze. Its only other occupants: a Hansi Putuwa (planter’s chair) and a glass of perfectly chilled Elephant House Ginger Beer.
Back to the list. It started as a place to jot mentions of interesting sounding books. It’s grown beyond that into carrying author’s names and fragments of references. I have forgotten why I noted some of the entries. All of them are unread.
Yet I trust the list. Inclusion in it is based on a single strict criteria: a ring of approval by a nameless voice in my head. Its a picky voice that keeps the list unbloated.
Do you keep such a list? Show me yours. Here’s mine:
- African Elites in India Robbins, K.X. & McLeod, J.
- Inside Roman Libraries Book Collections and Their Management in Antiquity George W. Houston
- works by David Bezmozgis
- works by A. Igoni Barrett
- Asiff Hussein, author of Zeylanica: A Study of the Peoples and Languages of Sri Lanka
- Books by Donald Barthelme (an author I have never read. He got added to the list after I heard a Rushdie reading the short story “Concerning the Body Guard”
- Michelle Herr’s Dispatches (recommended by David Blacker along time ago)
- Books by Kurt Anderson:
- True Believers
- Turn of the Century
- Patrick Leigh Fermor : An Adventure, by Artemis Cooper (recommended in The Economist)
- Positive Linking : How networks can revolutionise the world. No idea why I added this one. Bet an article in The Economist is to blame
- ‘Sutton’: America’s 1920s, Bank-Robbing ‘Robin Hood’ by Paul Omerod
- The Signal and The Noise by Nate Silver
- Flowers of Hell by Nguyen Chi Thien (discovered via Nguyen Chi Thien’s obituary in The Economist)