Reading hit list


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:

The List

  • 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
    • Heyday
    • 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)

9 comments

  1. The biography on Leigh Fermour is ok, but not great. It does tend to shatter a few illusions on the man. It is best read after The Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, I think.

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    • Thanks for the reconmendations🙂 who are the authors of those two title?

      Also added 2 more to the list :

      The Road to Oxiana, Robert Byron

      Shadow of the Silk Road, Colin Thubron

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  2. They are both by Leigh Fermor and are the account of his walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople.

    Shadow of the Silk Road is not bad, but I would suggest that you add John Man’s Genghis Khan to your list, I found it gripping and I have a feeling you will like it too. If you are interested in British Imperial history I would strongly recommend “Empire” by Niall Ferguson. Charles Allen has also written some very nice books, largely on India under the Raj including “Plain Tales from the Raj”.

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      • ok then. Here goes. Some of these I’ve read, but unlike the old days, haven’t had the time to look for the rest.

        Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
        1984 by George Orwell (found the chance to read it because of school)
        Animal Farm by George Orwell
        Ulysses by James Joyce
        Watership Down by Richard Adams
        No Easy Day by Mark Owen (read)
        Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
        A Song of Ice and Fire by R.R.Martin (only followed the TV series)
        Orange is the New Black (same as above)

        and now I’ve added Sutton and Genghis Khan of you guys.

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      • Thank you for sharing🙂 quite a few classics on the list. Personally Dostoyevsky is too intimidating for me. Any unread favs

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