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My Reading Year, 2011

Dec 16, 2011

My Reading Year, 2011

Ten great books I read this year:

Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove

“I’m sure partial to the evening,’ Augustus said. ‘The evening and the morning. If we just didn’t have to have the rest of the dern day I’d be a lot happier.”

Jay-Z, Decoded

We were kids without fathers…so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history, and in a way, that was a gift. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves…Our fathers were gone, usually because they just bounced, but we took their old records and used them to build something fresh.

Charles Portis, The Dog of the South

My wife Norma had run off with Guy Dupree and I was waiting around for the credit card billings to come in so I could see where they had gone.

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught–nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!

Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

All you had to do was look at each of your players and ask yourself: What story does this guy wish someone would tell him about himself? And then you told the guy that story. You told it with a hint of doom. You included his flaws. You emphasized the obstacles that could prevent him from succeeding. That was what made the story epic: the player, the hero, had to suffer mightily en route to his final triumph. Schwartz knew that people loved to suffer, as long as the suffering made sense. Everybody suffered. The key was to choose the form of your suffering. Most people couldn’t do this alone; they needed a coach. A good coach made you suffer in a way that suited you.

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies

'But, Dennis, do you think Mr Slattery'd be teaching it to us if it was really about anal sex?' ' What does Mr Slattery know?' Dennis scoffs. 'You think he's ever taken his wife up the road less travelled?'

Errol Morris, Believing Is Seeing

The essays in this book should be seen as a collection of mystery stories.

Maureen McHugh, After the Apocalypse

Cahill lived in the Flats with about twenty other guys in a place that used to be an Irish bar called Fado. At the back of the bar was the Cuyahoga River, good for protection since zombies didn’t cross the river. They didn’t crumble into dust, they were just stupid as bricks and they never built a boat or a bridge or built anything. Zombies were the ultimate trash.

Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

Xerography—every man’s brain-picker—heralds the times of instant publishing. Anybody can now become both author and publisher. Take any books on any subject and custom-make your own book by simple xeroxing a chapter from this one, a chapter from that one—instant steal!

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent.

Ten other good books I read:

See my past reading years: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

What should I read in 2012?

110 notes

  1. ainnajawaher reblogged this from austinkleon
  2. culture9vulture answered: Thinking fast and Slow
  3. baroquechalkboard answered: insanity defense mere anarchy-woody allen
  4. flytochicago answered: The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
  5. walahraban reblogged this from austinkleon
  6. wonderdave answered: Everything is Everything by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
  7. lahikmajoe answered: Still love Moby Dick all these years later. What an astounding book.
  8. marcoromano said: Jung and The Story of Our Time - Laurens van der Post
  9. marcoromano answered: Re-Visioning Psychology - James Hillman
  10. steeplechasearch answered: mila 18 by leon uris
  11. ykrgnn reblogged this from austinkleon
  12. mx-yamazaki answered: You should totally read the Forever War, by Joe Haldeman :)
  13. artreats answered: I just finished an amazing book this morning.. “Trader” by Charles de Lint..I am certain you will find it amazing as well..Tim
  14. emhc said: try haruki murakami - what I talk about when I talk about running. title is something like that anyway!
  15. ecantwell answered: Reading The Art of Fielding right now and LOVING IT. Have you read A Visit From the Goon Squad yet? Because it’s awesome.
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