2015: A Year in Books

I spend a lot of time writing – music and book reviews, fiction, blogs rants and all the rest. But when I’m not writing, I’d much rather hunker down with a good book than watch television, and generally favour books over films. Lunch breaks and train journeys and well as the wind-down before sleep will invariably find my immersed in a book. Inevitably, some of the material I’ve read will influence or inspire my own writing in some way or another, immediately or much, much later. These are the books I read in 2015, in chronological order. Some I enjoyed more than others, some I read for research or review purposes, some I’d read previously, others I’d started but abandoned and decided to revisit. Sometimes I read two books at a time, switching between sessions. Regardless of the circumstances, these are the texts which provided the literary backdrop to the last 12 months of my life – for anyone who may be interested. Mostly, it’s a record I like to keep which I tend to make public, just because.

 

Nick Jones – 9987

Ray Bradbury – Farenheit 451

Paul Ewen – Francis Plug: How to be a Public Author

JG Ballard – Running Wild

Chuck Palahniuk – Doomed

Danny King – The Pornographer Diaries

Megan Milks (ed) &Now 3

Ed McBain – Like Love

Ed McBain – Killer’s Payoff

Jim Thompson – The Grifters

Bill Shields – Lifetaker

Jeff Noon – Vurt

Paul Auster – In The Country of Last Things

John Niven – Straight White Male

David Gionfriddo – The Good Worlds are All Taken

Derek Raymond – He Died With His Eyes Open

John J. Niven – Cold Hands

Cormac McCarthy – The Road

JG Ballard – Super-Cannes

Supervert – Post-Depravity

PA Morbid – Gorged on Light

Reuben Woolley – Dying Notes

JG Ballard – Hello America

Mike Meraz – She Poems

Charles Bukowski – The Bell Tolls for No-One

Mark Fisher – Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures

Sue Fox – The Visceral Tear

Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

David Peace – Nineteen Seventy Four

JG Ballard – The Kindness of Women

2013: A Year in Books

When I’m not writing music reviews or books of my own, I spend a reasonable chunk of my free time reading books, for pleasure or for education. I’m not all about the hot new releases, the recommendations or the best-sellers. I read what I want, when I want, and occasionally, I read what I get sent (which is usually something I want to read anyway, which is a double bonus in many respects). So, in 2013, I read 28 books. They’re listed below. It’s not a ‘best of’ list, and the list isn’t about critical appraisal. I enjoyed some of the books I read more than others. Some, I’ve reviewed. Most, I haven’t. A handful of them I’d read before, the majority I hadn’t. So there you have it.

Warren Ellis – Gun Machine

Stewart Home – Mandy, Charlie and Mary-Jane

Arthur Miller – Focus

Davis Schneiderman – Blank

Davis Schneiderman – Drain

John Tottenham – Antiepithalamia & Other Poems of Regret and Resentment

JG Ballard – Concrete Island

Carl van Cleave – Incisions, Collisions and Aborted Missions

Michel Houellebecq – The Map and the Territory

James Higgerson – The Almost Lizard

Christopher Landon – The Shadow of Time

John D. Chadwick – The Theosophical Teapot

Robert Silverberg – The Second Trip

Jim Thompson – Savage Night

Mark Thomas – Bravo Figaro!

JG Ballard – Rushing to Paradise

Jim Thompson – The Killer Inside Me

Valerie Solanas – S.C.U.M. Manifesto

Brendan Behan – Borstal Boy

Davis Schneiderman – [SIC]

Elmore Leonard – Djibouti

Martin Amis – The Information

Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

JG Ballard – Kingdom Come

Clinton Heylin – Bootleg! The Rise & Fall of the Secret Recording Industry

Ed McBain – The Heckler / See Them Die

Michel Houellebecq – Whatever

Mark Manning – Crucify Me Again

2012: A Year in Books

This is not a ‘best books of 2012’ list, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to review or comment on the books listed here (other than those I’ve written reviews for or otherwise commented on, and those reviews can be found here and there and wherever). I spend enough of my life reviewing stuff and spouting opinion: I read for pleasure and research and reference and sometimes purely to learn. Some of the books I read during 2012 were books I had read before (Bukowski’s Post Office and Cunt by Stewart Home) and some of the books I read I enjoyed more than others. Many of them have informed my own writing in one way or another, or may do so in the future. The order they’re listed in is the order I read them in. So here it is, just because: my year in books. Nothing more – but nothing less.

 

Henry Sutton – Get Me Out of Here!

Adam Kotsko – Awkwardness

Jurek Becker – Sleepless Days

Alain Robbe-Grillet – The Voyeur

Marek Hlasko – Killing the 2nd Dog / The 8th Day of the Week

Various – A Dream of Stone and Other Stories

J G Ballard – Cocaine Nights

Chuck Palahniuk – Survivor

Henry Sutton – Bank Holiday Monday

Ian Price – The Activity Illusion

Carl Weissner – Death in Paris

J G Ballard – The Crystal World

Harry Harrison – Homeworld

John Steinbeck – Tortilla Flats

J G Ballard – The Unlimited Dream Company

Terry Taylor – Baron’s Court, All Change

Alain Robbe-Grillet – Repetition

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer – The Dialectic of Enlightenment

Malcolm Mc Neill – The Lost Art of Ah Pook is Here: Images from the Graphic Novel

Malcolm Mc Neill – Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook and Me

Supervert – Necrophilia Variations

Colin Wilson – Adrift in Soho

Dire McCain – Raising McCain

Steve Urwin – Tightrope Walker

Charles Bukowski – Post Office

Roger Protz – 300 Beers to Try Before You Die!

Stewart Home – Cunt

Carl Cederstrom and Peter Fleming – Dead Man Working

Karl van Cleave – Incisions, Collisions and Aborted Missions

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk

2011: A Year in Books

When I’m not busy writing, there’s nothing I like more than immersing myself in a good book. In fact, just as I’d describe myself as a compulsive writer, so I’d also describe myself as a compulsive reader. At times, it’s something that can prove to be something of a curse, as I’ll find myself distracted by any text within – or even just beyond – my range of focus. For his reason, rolling news channels can really test me, especially if the screen’s behind the head of someone who’s talking to me.

As a rule, I’m rather a ‘glass half empty’ sort of person, but this year, having found myself required to spend more time travelling to and from places of work (albeit for the same desultory pay-packet), I elected to make the best of a bad situation and use the time in transit to squeeze in a spot of light – and not so light – reading. Here’s a list of the texts I managed to plough through. A handful were re-reads, others were texts I’d stalled on previously and decided to attempt again (successfully this time) and others had been lurking on my shelf for some time. While I enjoyed some more than others, they all had their merits and enriched my life in some way during the last 12 months, and as such, I would happily recommend every last one of them.

Jarrett Kobek – HOE #999

Dennis Lehane – Shutter Island

JG Ballard – The Drowned World

Gary Cummiskey & Eva Kowalska (eds) – Who Was Sinclair Beiles?

James Wells – Hack

Alain Robbe-Grillet – The Erasers

Bill Drummond – $20,000

Chuck Palahniuk – Diary

Frank Kermode – Modern Essays

Mary Beach – Electric Banana

Carl Weissner – The Braille Film

Katrina Palmer – The Dark Object

JG Ballard – High Rise

Stewart Home – Memphis Underground

John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids

Edward S. Robinson – Shift Linguals: Cut-Up Narratives from William S. Burroughs to the Present

Raymond Chandler – The High Window

Alain Robbe-Grillet – Jealousy

Ed McBain – Sadie When She Died

RG Johnson – American Scrap-Dragon

Mike Meraz – Black-Listed Thoughts

Mark Merlis – American Studies

JG Ballard – The Complete Short Stories Vol. 2

Plato – The Symposium

Roland Barthes – Mythologies

JG Ballard – The Day of Creation

Michel Foucault – Language, Counter-Memory, Practice

Kathy Acker – Bodies of Work

Mark Fisher – Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Michel Foucault – The Will To Knowledge 1: The History of Sexuality

JG Ballard – The Atrocity Exhibition

Robert Lort (ed) – Azimute: Critical Essays on Deleuze and Guattari

Chuck Palahniuk – Lullabye

Shakespeare – The Tempest

Stewart Home – Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie

Nick Kent – The Dark Stuff

Valerie Solanas – S.C.U.M. Manifesto

Ivor Southwood – Non-Stop Inertia

 

Inertia

 

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk