What better day of the week than Wednesday to show off my lack of erudition? In an act of Godelian irrelevance, I’ll try to post a significant 0-fer (as in, “I’ve never read a book, play, story or essay by [x]”) every week.
This week’s 0-fer isÂ . . .
George Bernard Shaw!
You’d think, in my late-teen pretentious superhero-fixated years, I’d have mistakenly read Man and Superman, but you’d be wrong.
Now why don’t you leave a comment about one author you really should have read by now but never have?
You can find past 0-fers 0-ver here!
When I was a small press book publisher, I was put on the Comp list at Bookforum. Despite not having published a book since 2003 and closing down the company in 2004, I’ve remained on the freebie list. The new issue arrived last week, on the heels of my 0-fer festival (here, here and here).
So, of the 60+ books that got reviewed in this ish, how many of them was I interested in reading about, and possibly buying?
Two: The Philip Johnson Tapes: Interviews by Robert A.M. Stern and Herbie Archives. (Curiously, Dan Nadel’s review of Herbie â€” a comic book about a fat guy who gets superpowers from enchanted lollipops â€” was placed in the nonfiction section of the table of contents.)
I still need to check out William Vollmann’s essay on why Nazi photography is creepy. Or maybe I don’t. And Tom Vanderbilt’s review of books on how the suburbs and the internet are alienating or fragmenting or something seems pretty blatherous. I did have high hopes for this Richard Price interview, but then I discovered that it was a Richard Prince interview.
I’ve been going on lately about my inability to read contemporary books, but I realized that I should check to make sure I’m not full of crap. To that end, I checked through the last 3 years of my list of All The Books I’ve Read, sorted by date of publication, and realized that I am full of crap! Here’s a PDF of 2006-2008, each year sorted by book-date.
I decided to include all books from that year and the previous one as “brand spankin’ new,” arbitrary as that seems.
- 2006: 5 new books (2 novels), 11 overall published this decade, 35 overall
- 2007: 7 new (4 novels & 1 play), 14 from this decade, 31 overall
- 2008: 8 new (6 novels), 13 from this decade, 29 overall
So I guess I have been more susceptible to book-hype lately! Or there were a bunch of good books out last year. Still, maybe I should follow the suggestion of one of my newer readers (hey, Zeke!) and put a ban on any books that are fewer than 3 years old.
I’ve never read anything by John Irving, either.
(I could go on with this series forever! Esp. around Nobel time!)
I never read anything by John Updike â€” who died of lung cancer today at 76 â€” either. I hear those Rabbit novels are supposed to be good. Any recommendations?
I have not read a single one of these books.
(I’m also convinced that no one’s actually read all of 2666, and that it’s going to be the Great Unread Novel On Everyone’s Coffeetable, Bookshelf or Nightstand of its era.)