Sunday, 3 January 2016

An Experiment in Self-Discipline

I suppose this is something of a new year's resolution. Usually, I jump between different books depending on my mood. Inevitably, this leads to me staring many more books than I ever actually finish. I don't think there's anything wrong with not finishing a book in and of itself: life's too short to spend it reading uninteresting books. However, abandoning a book simply out of laziness is no excuse. As such, I'm going to try something.

I'm going to set myself short reading lists this year. Each list will consist of five books, alternating between fiction and nonfiction. After the final book on a list has been completed, and new one is drawn up. This might be designed to build on something I found especially interesting in my last list, or it may take me in a whole new direction. I'm also going to try and review what I've read, if I feel up to the task (I never wrote a review of Houellebecq's novel Submission simply because I didn't think I could do it credit).

I will post the lists on here. I'm also open to suggestions about what to include, though I am trying to get through the private library I've accumulated over the years, so if I don't already have a copy of the suggestion, I'll have to think carefully about its inclusion. I will also write a general assessment after finishing the last book on each list. I reserve the right to abandon a book in favour of another one if it proves especially tedious.

List 1:
1. The Glass Bees by Ernst Jünger
2. Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam by Peter Lamborn Wilson
3. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4. United States of Paranoia by Jesse Walker
5. Axiomatic by Greg Egan


  1. "The Glass Bees" is great, and "Notes from Underground" is a classic of course. "Sacred Drift" is fascinating and is probably my favorite book by Hakim Bey aka Wilson.

    1. I know nothing about Wilson at all! I only came across him because Coil used an extract from Sacred Drift (or possibly his book on angels) in their song The Golden Section ( If yo'd care to enlighten me?