Reading List

Alphabetical, by author

The Man With The Golden Arm, Nelson Algren
Katerina, Aharon Applefeld
The Burn, Vassily Aksyonov
Samedi the Deafness, Jesse Ball
Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
Tranquility, Attila Bartis
Humbolt’s Gift, Saul Bellow
The Loser, Thomas Bernhard
The Tree Of Heaven, R. C. Binstock
Amulet, Roberto Bolano
2666, Roberto Bolano
The Silent Angel, Heinrich Boll
Trout Fishing In America, Richard Brautigan
A Confederate General from Big Sur, Richard Brautigan
The Abortion, a Historical Romance, Richard Brautigan
Lithium For Medea, Kate Braverman
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You, Peter Cameron
His Illegal Self, Peter Carey
The Autobiography Of Red, Anne Carson
The Beauty Of The Husband, Anne Carson
Journey To The End Of The Night, Louis Ferdinand Celine
Pinocchio’s Nose, Jerome Charyn
Baroque-A-Nova, Kevin Chong
The Contortionists Handbook, Craig Clevenger
The Master Of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee
The Uncannily Strange and Brief Life of Amedeo Modigliani, Velibor Colic
62: A Model Kit, Julio Cortazar
Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar
Versailles, Kathryn Davis
Break It Down, Lydia Davis
End Zone, Don Delillo
Mao II, Don Delillo
Bad Marie, Marcy Dermansky
The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt
The Book of Common Prayer, Joan Didion
Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion
Phone Rings (many others), Stephen Dixon
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevski
Marble Skin, Slavenka Drakulic
Failing Paris, Samantha Dunn
The Lover, Margarite Duras
Justine, Laurence Durrell
War Story, Gwen Edelman
A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
Happy Baby, Stephen Elliott
Rubicon Beach, Steve Erickson
I Am Not Sidney Poitier, Percival Everett
Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
The Great Inland Sea, David Francis
Stray Dog Winter, David Francis
Nightfather, Carl Friedman
Veronica, Mary Gaitskill
Atmospheric Disturbances, Rivka Galchen
Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons
Pornografia, Witold Gombrowitcz
The Comedians, Graham Greene
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary, Xiaolu Guo
20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, Xiaolu Guo
Cockroach, Rawi Hage
Hunger, Knute Hamsun
The Tennis Handsome, Barry Hannah
Ray, Barry Hannah
Mariette In Ecstasy, Ron Hansen
Generation Loss, Elizabeth Hand
Cannibals, John Hawkes
Picture This, Joseph Heller
Music For Torching, A.M. Homes
The Deep North, Fanny Howe (& in Radical Love, 5 novels)
Indivisible, Fanny Howe (ditto)
Sweet Days Of Discipline, Fleur Jaeggy
Nobody Move, Denis Johnson
The Stars At Noon, Denis Johnson
Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson
The Uses of Enchantment, Heidi Julavits
The Castle, Franz Kafka (Mark Harman translation)
Collaborators, Janet Kauffman
Tristessa, Jack Kerouac
The Autobiography Of My Mother, Jamaica Kincaid
Death In Rome, Wolfgang Koeppen
Torpor, Chris Kraus
The Notebook, Agota Kristof
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, John Le Carre
Gun, With Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
Why The Tree Loves The Axe, Jim Lewis
Eeee Eeeee Eee, Tao Lin
Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector
The Passion of GH, Clarie Lispector
The Last Novel, David Markson
Vanishing, David Markson
Child Of God, Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
Panama, Thom McGuane
Fisher’s Hornpipe, Todd McEwen
The Mao Game, Joshua Miller
Some Things That Meant the World to Me, Joshua Mohr
Alligator, Lisa Moore
February, Lisa Moore
In The Cut, Susanna Moore
The Land Of Green Plums, Herta Muller
Here They Come, Yannick Murphy
The Sea Of Trees, Yannick Murphy
The Tribes of Palos Verdes, Joy Nicholson
The Bird Artist, Howard Norman
I Lock The Door Upon Myself, Joyce Carol Oates
The Rise Of Life On Earth, Joyce Carol Oates
Coming Through Slaughter, Michael Ondaatje
Billy the Kid, Michael Ondaatje
The Shawl, Cynthia Ozick
Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk
Tokyo Year Zero, David Peace
Slow Lie Detector, Les Plesko
Funeral for a Dog, Thomas Pletzinger
Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
Hammerklavier, Yasmina Reza
Notebooks Of Malte Laurids Brigge, R. M. Rilke
One DOA, One on the Way, Mary Robison
Why Did I Ever, Mary Robison
Carnival Wolves, Peter Rock
My Abandonment, Peter Rock
A Certain Smile, Francoise Sagan
The Catcher In The Rye, J.D. Salinger
Arrogance, Joanna Scott
Hula, Lisa Shea
Maus, Art Spiegelman (graphic novel)
The Engineer Of Human Souls, Josef Skvorecky
Three Delays, Charlie Smith
Eat the Document, Dana Spiotta
Lightning Field, Dana Spiotta
Jesus Saves, Darcy Steinke
A Flag for Sunrise, Robert Stone
Dog Soldiers, Robert Stone
First, body, Melanie Rae Thon
The Flying Troutmans, Miriam Toews
Van Gogh’s Bad Café, Frederic Tuten
The Palm-Wine Drinkard And His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster In The Dead’s Town, Amos Tutuola
03, Jean-Christophe Valtat
The Story Of My Baldness, Marek Van Der Jagt
Why The Child Is Cooking In The Polenta, Aglaja Veteranyi
The Benjamenta Institute, Robert Walser
Life With A Star, Jiri Weil
Breaking And Entering, Joy Williams
State Of Grace, Joy Williams
Cassandra: A Novel And Four Essays, Christa Wolf
Lowboy, John Wray

Krapp’s Last Tape, Samuel Beckett
Wit, Margaret Edson
Lady Grey, Will Eno
Three Days of Rain, Richard Greenberg
Homebody : Kabul, Tony Kushner
Alamo, A Radio Play, Rick Moody
Aunt Dan & Lemon, Wallace Shawn
The Designated Mourner, Wallace Shawn

Best America Poetry (Any Year)
Matthew Dickman, All American Poem
The Mercy Seat: Collected And New Poems 1967-2001, Norman Dubie
Kaddish, Allen Ginsberg
Human Wishes, Robert Hass
Star Ledger, Lynda Hull
Song, Brigit Pegeen Kelly
The Dollmaker’s Ghost, Larry Levis
All Day Permanent Red (Iliad), Christopher Logue
Rapture, Susan Mitchell
Residence On Earth, Pablo Neruda
Collected Poems, Frank O’Hara
After Nature, W.G. Sebald
Ooga Booga, Frederick Seidel (also, collected works)
Billy the Kid, Jack Spicer
Collected Poems, Gerald Stern
Come on All You Ghosts, Matthew Zapruder

Short Stories
Come To Me, Amy Bloom
Antwerp, Roberto Bolano
The Insufferable Gaucho, Roberto Bolano
Stories In An Almost Classical Mode, Harold Brodkey
Fourteen Stories, Stephen Dixon
Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson
Do The Windows Open?, Julie Hecht
Happy Trails to You, Julie Hecht
Daddy’s, Lindsay Hunter
The Pugilist At Rest, Thom Jones
No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July
Bed, Tao Lin
Stranger Things Happen, Kelly Link
Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, Sarah Manguso
Birds Of America, Lorrie Moore
Like Life, Lorrie Moore
Stories (anything by), Alice Munro
Stories In Another Language, Yannick Murphy
City Of Boys, Beth Nugent
The Diving Pool, Yoko Ogawa
Black Tickets, Jayne Anne Phillips
In The Year Of Long Division, Dawn Raffel
The Ice At The Bottom Of The World, Mark Richard
Franny And Zooey, J D Salinger
An Explanation For Chaos, Julie Schumaker
Nightwork, Christine Schute
Crystal River: Three Novellas, Charlie Smith
First, Body, Melanie Rae Thon
Thirteen Stories & Thirteen Epitaphs, William T. Vollmann
Girl With Curious Hair, David Foster Wallace

U And I, Nicholson Baker
The Possessed, Elif Batuman
The Intelligence of Evil, Jean Baudrillard
Fatal Strategies, Jean Baudrillard
Daisy Bates In The Desert, Julia Blackburn
Desierto, Charles Bowden
This Wild Darkness, Harold Brodkey
Literature and the Gods, Roberto Calasso
The Marriage of Cadmus & Harmony, Roberto Calasso
The Ruin Of Kasch, Roberto Calasso
The Temptation To Exist, E M Cioran
French Theory, Francois Cusset
Geography Of The Imagination, Guy Davenport
Pure Immanence : Essays On A Life, Gilles Deleuze
Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
Dust, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko
But Beautiful (jazz), Geoff Dyer
Writing And Madness: Literature /Philosophy/Psychoanalysis, Shoshana Felman
Is There A Text In This Class?, Stanley Fish
A Kind of Testament, Witold Gombrowitcz
The Fate Of Reading, Geoffrey H. Hartmann
The Modernist Papers, Fredric Jameson
Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Soren Kierkegaard
Metaphysical Horror, Leszek Kolakowksi
The Curtain, Milan Kundera
The Winged Seed, Li-Young Lee
Tristes Tropiques, Claude Levi-Strauss
Plausible Portraits, James Lord
The 18th Brummaire Of Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx
The Same River Twice: A Memoir, Chris Offutt
Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia
Peterson’s Field Guides To (Any Subject)
Darwin’s Worms: On Life Stories And Death Stories, Adam Phillips
Houdini’s Box, Adam Phillips
Derrida, an Egyptian, Peter Sloterdijk
Under The Sign Of Saturn, Susan Sontag
Sources Of Self, Charles Taylor
The Delighted States, Adam Thirlwell
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol
The Broken Estate, James Wood
The Parallax View, Slavoj Zizek

Music & Art & Photos
Astral Weeks, Van Morrison (recording)
Max Beckman (Met catalog)
Eric Fischl (with intro by Peter Scheyeldahl)
Robert Frank, Moving Out (retrospective)
Philip Guston Retrospective, Philip Guston
Exiles, Joseph Koudelka (photos)
Drawings And Digressions, Larry Rivers (art & essay)
Gymnopedies, Eric Satie
Deformer, Ed Templeton
Francesca Woodman: Photographic Works
Square America, website photos ( [gone now but you can find images on Google]
R.B. Kitaj (retrospective/from the Met)
Mary Woronov, Wake for the Angels (art and stories)

Freeze, Die, Come To Life (Russian, DVD only)
Hiroshima Mon Amour, Marguerite Duras
How To Draw A Bunny (documentary)
Let The Right One In (vampires!)
The Marriage of Maria Braun, Fassbinder
A Woman Is A Woman, Jean Luc Godard
Vivre sa Vie (My Life to Live) Godard
Brand on the Brain, Guy Maddin
Paradise Not Yet Lost, Jonas Mekas
The Five Obstructions, Lars Von Trier
Shoot the Piano Player, Francois Truffaut
Red, Kieslowski
Alice in the Cities, Wim Wenders
Wings Of Desire, Wim Wenders
Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Reference Books
Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
Roget’s Thesaurus (the original, not alphabetical)
The Fashion Dictionary, Mary Brooks Pickens
Peterson’s Field Guides
Thomas Brothers maps (paper)
The Myths of Greece and Rome, H.A. Guerber
Bullfinch’s Mythology
The New World of Dreams, Woods and Greenhouse
The Listener’s Dict. of Musical Terms, Helen Kaufman
A book of fabric swatches
A book of paint swatches
A book of architectural terms
Air Force Manual Search & Rescue Survival

  1. Janet Fitch says:

    Fantastic! Some of these I heard about from Les when he first discovered them, others surprise me (Baudrillard, Deleuse), many I’ve never heard of. Many we both had shared. A treasure house of a particular sensibility.

  2. Great lists! Thank you!!

  3. Eclectic list by a sophisticated reader and writer.

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