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Your 2011 Christmas wishlist

Literary Snobs

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Edited: Nov 25, 2011, 4:25pm Top

There we are, our noses pressed against shop windows, hoping that Santa Claus can read our minds and knows what we want in the secret precincts of our hearts.

For me this year:


...and in terms of books:

Wade Davis' latest, about George Mallory's ill-fated Everest expedition. INTO THE SILENCE...more info here:


Nov 25, 2011, 9:44am Top

I wish for more time to read all the books I already have.

Nov 25, 2011, 9:53am Top

And more bookshelves? (A perennial complaint around here.)

Nov 25, 2011, 11:23am Top

Michele Bachmann's head on a pike?

Nov 25, 2011, 11:46am Top

3> Nope, got that part covered: e-books only (or borrowed p-books).

Nov 25, 2011, 4:08pm Top

The illustrated complete single book version of the Gormenghast trilogy. Am planning to start reading with a group in Jan.

Nov 25, 2011, 4:24pm Top

I listened to a BBC doc. on Peake--what a sad end he came to. D'you know much about his life, Anna?

Nov 25, 2011, 5:36pm Top

No, I had not even heard of the book. It sounds right up my alley, though. Did he die recently? Why is his life sad?

Edited: Nov 25, 2011, 5:47pm Top

No, he died some time ago.

He had a nervous breakdown after a play of his failed (early 1950's?) and his nerves were utterly shattered. He was committed to care and eventually was given a lobotomy. The last true GORMENGHAST book was dictated to his wife and, er, well, here, I'll just post a link to the doc., which was put together with the cooperation of his children, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth:


Nov 25, 2011, 5:58pm Top


Nov 25, 2011, 6:08pm Top

My pleasure. Happy (?) Thanksgiving.

Nov 26, 2011, 10:37am Top

Off the top of my head:

Library of America's Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor.
A nice Everyman hardcover of Samuel Beckett's Trilogy.
Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen.
The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and "Les Miserables" by Mario Vargas Llosa.
Milan Kundera's Laughable Loves.
James Baldwin's Going to Meet the Man.
Bob Dylan's Chronicles, Vol. 1 in a nice hardcover, please.
Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann, in a nice hardcover, please.
The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz.

An unlikely list, but one can dream....

Edited: Nov 26, 2011, 3:06pm Top

I don't want more books for Christmas, I just want to have the time to read all the ones I already own.

Edited: Nov 28, 2011, 10:15pm Top

#12 Great list. And make sure you see the bizarre Quay Bros. animated version of "Street of Crocodiles". It's...it's... (can only shake his head in abject admiration).

Addendum: a bonus gift: my thumbs pressing on Ian Sales' trachea.

By the way, thanks to a gift certificate from my mom, I picked up the new Wade Davis book alluded to in the original post. Folks, if you're looking for some outstanding non-fiction this year, it's hard to beat INTO THE SILENCE.

Nov 29, 2011, 5:01am Top

Addendum to Cliff on Peake - his decline was the result of the onset of, what is now generally believed to have been, Parkinson's.

He had planned to write a fourth Gormenghast novel which was then completed by his widow and published this year - the reviews were uniformly awful.

Nov 29, 2011, 9:58am Top

Inherent Vice and the time to read Against the Day

Dec 7, 2011, 9:34am Top

A few more books to add to my Christmas wishlist:

Two books by Ian Kershaw, THE END: Hitler's Germany 1944-45 and his acclaimed Hitler bio:


+ Vernor Vinge's latest, THE CHILDREN OF THE SKY:


History and science fiction. Gives me shivers...

Dec 7, 2011, 11:44am Top

More Iain Banks Culture novels! Damn, Excession is good.

Dec 11, 2011, 3:05pm Top

Stocking up for the year ahead:
the death of king arthur by Simon Armitage,
Third Reich by Roberto Bolano
The letter killers club
The Tunnel
The Prague Cemetery

Dec 11, 2011, 7:39pm Top

I'm on the side of "more time to read" (and more bookshelves would be nice, but I think we'd need a bigger house first...).

Love my kids, but had to get rather snappish yesterday when whenever I managed to secrete myself away somewhere with my book, they found me minutes later and started bugging me. Sigh. The constant rain in Sydney at the moment is getting on everyone's nerves.

I hope Santa brings some sunshine for Christmas.

And okay, I'd be very happy to find in my stocking:

Call for the Dead, John Le Carre
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
The Life and the Opinions of Tomcat Murr, E.T.A. Hoffman

They've all been languishing on my wishlist for a while, and are the three I'm most in danger of buying next time I just happen to pop into a bookshop. (So I'm avoiding bookshops until after Christmas.)

Dec 25, 2011, 9:31pm Top

Well, let's see, what did I get (bookwise)? Olive Editions of Brave New World and Crying of Lot 49, cause my fiancee remembered i liked those editions.

Pevear & Volokhonsky translations of Crime & Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

And Pawnee: the Greatest Town in America, cause my cousin knows I love me some Parks and Recreation.

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