What I’m reading at present

At least three of the books below made my reading list because one of you told me it was worth it…..So here’s my current batch of ten, just in case they make you think of something else I should be reading. Who knows, you may find something of interest there as well.


  • Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Robin Sloan. Nearly finished. Relishing it, slowing it down as I approach the end.
  • Gray Men. Tomotake Ishikawa. An intriguing Noir Anonymous-era novel, translated from the Japanese, written by someone from my children’s generation. Midway.
  • Eminent Hipsters. Donald Fagen. Too much of a Steely Dan fan to miss this one. But haven’t started it yet.
  • Shoot The Woman First. Wallace Stroby. His two previous books were both Kirkus-starred. Rare. I liked them both. Just started this one.
  • No Man Is An Island. Thomas Merton. Recommended by a friend after I wrote the Forgiveness post. Loving it. Almost done.
  • Pure, White and Deadly. John Yurkin. Been fascinated/revolted by the sugar vs fats vs industry vs regulator shenanigans. Had to check this ’72 warning. Part way.
  • Trust Me, I’m Lying. Ryan Holliday. Recommended by a reader, focused on how people game today’s media, social and otherwise. Unstarted.
  • The Lowland. Jhumpa Lahiri. How can I not read a novel set at least partly in the Calcutta of my youth? Just getting into it.
  • Steps to An Ecology of Mind. Gregory Bateson. Reading it for the second time, slowly. Will probably be reading it for the next six months. Need to understand it better.
  • The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons. Lawrence Block. Been waiting patiently for this Rhodenbarr. Holding it off till my next daytime flight to San Francisco.

3 thoughts on “What I’m reading at present”

  1. Glad to see I’m not the only one who reads several books at once!
    My current library is:
    Art as Spiritual Activity – Rudolf Steiner’s Contribution to the visual arts / the 100 page forward by Michael Howard is brilliant. Just starting the Steiner section
    Confucianism and Democratization in East Asia by Doh Chull Shin Fascinating research from China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Singapore. Great contrasts with Western idealising of democracy.
    Humanize by Notter & Grant. Glad to get hold of this at last. Well written and exposes the tensions between old businesses ways and social media.
    Building Brand Authenticity by Michael Beverland Another useful tomb teasing out the subtle nuances of brand Authenticity
    Dialectic of Enlightenment by Adorno and Horkheimer So interesting to see mid-20th century academics tie themselves up in verbosity because they cannot see the self.
    The Plumed Spirit by DH Lawrence seen on a recent TV programme about Lawrence – “he indulges in a kind of literary fascism” Can’t wait to get started.
    Recognizing Islam: religion and society in the modern Middle East: Michael Gilsenan a noted reference tomb on Islam. Difficulty as ever is the view through western eyes.

    Shame linkedin dropped their book area as it was a good source of new reading.

  2. JP, if you are looking for a good music read or two, I just read the Graham Nash autobio and the new Johnny Jash bio by Robert Hilburn. The Nash bio was a good read: he is the hippie dream as well as whole lot of ego. The Cash bio was very good as well as very revealing. I think Hilburn said it best about this book in an interview: “I mean, I didn’t realize — I thought I knew Johnny Cash before I started the book. I wasn’t within a hundred miles of knowing Johnny Cash.” I felt the same way.

  3. Thanks Judd. I have a signed copy of Wild Tales. :-) Didn’t know about the Johnny Cash book, thanks, will bring into my reading plan.

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