A Book-a-Month in 2011

Now that the dissertation is all but done, I’m turning my time to some things that have been back-burnered.  One of them is reading books I want to read, not often possible when one is on an eight-year PhD journey.  So my goal this year is to read a book a month, alternating between non-fiction and fiction.  I’ll be occasionally blogging about each book I read, so I’d welcome any blog readers who’d like to join me in any of the below.  You can see, I’ve got a half of the slots to fill, so I am open to suggestions, particularly in the fiction category:


Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace (this is what I’m currently reading, and it’s awesome)

Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy by Michael Polanyi

The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own. By David Carr


Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (one of my favorite novels of all time, and due for a re-reading)

I'm A Lot Like Dave Eggers. Seriously.

What with the dissertation hanging over my head, I don’t get a lot of time to read for pleasure. However, I did buy a few books last January, spurred on by several “Best Books of the Decade” lists. It took me over half the year to finish Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (which I loved).

It’s taken me slightly less long to complete Dave Eggers’s masterful, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.  The book chronicles Eggers’s early twenties, during which both his parents died and he was left to raise his adolescent brother (along with his older sister, who eventually committed suicide, and brother, who only helped out on occasion).

Eggers’s book was a smashing success, and I imagine that many of my readers are aware of it and have even read it.  So I won’t waste your time recounting the plotline.  Instead, I’ll muse in an existential way (which, I think, is in keeping with Eggers’s own posture in the book).

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