Reading List

I keep a record of the books that I read (excluding poetry) each year. Often scoffed at as a geek thing to do, I enjoy looking back and remembering what I was reading and where various interests have taken me. Why share these lists? Though open to the accusation of nerdish narcissism I have decided to share these lists because I find it interesting knowing what other people are reading or have read, and often someone’ s choice of book can spark brilliant and interesting conversations. It is also good to share, so the idea that somebody may pick up a book as a result of seeing it on this blog is nice. The world needs a bit of niceness.

2020 Reading List

  • The Old Ways: A journey on foot – Robert MacFarlane
  • Fighting ISIS – Tim Locks
  • Arabia: A Journey Through The Heart of the Middle East – Levison Wood
  • The Clash of Civilizations: and the remaking of world order – Samuel P. Huntington
  • Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the rivalry that unravelled the Middle East – Kim Ghattas
  • Eastern Horizons: hitchhiking the Silk Road – Levison Wood
  • The Garden Jungle: or gardening to save the world – Dave Goulson
  • On The Marsh: a year surrounded by wildness and wet – Simon Barnes
  • Lost Illusions – Balzac
  • Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
  • Death In Venice – Thomas Mann
  • Lenin On The Train – Catherine Merridale
  • The Atrocity Exhibition – JG Ballard
  • The Offing – Benjamin Myers
  • The KLF: chaos, magic and the band who burned a million pounds – John Higgs
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: The Biography – Walter Isaacson
  • Ley Lines: secret spirit paths in Ancient Britain – Danny Sullivan
  • Atomised – Michel Houellebecq
  • Saturday Night & Sunday Morning – Alan Sillitoe
  • An Indifference Of Birds – Richard Symth
  • Marcel Proust: a life – Edmund White
  • Sweet Home – Wendy Erskine
  • Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe – Bill Bryson
  • The White Album – Joan Didion
  • Jim Jarmusch – Juan A. Suarez
  • The Tunnel – Ernesto Sabato
  • Yorkshire: A Lyrical History of England’s Greatest County – Richard Morris
  • Fire Season – Philip Connors
  • Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • A User’s Guide To The Millennium: essays and reviews – G. Ballard
  • Hit Factories: A journey through the industrial cities of British pop – Karl Whitney
  • William S. Burroughs And The Cult Of Rock ‘N’ Roll – Casey Rae
  • Our Man In Havana – Graham Greene
  • Mayflies – Andrew O’Hagan
  • Lowside Of The Road: A Life of Tom Waits – Barney Hoskyns
  • London Incognita – Gary Budden
  • A Room With A View – M. Forster
  • Into The London Fog: Eerie tales from the weird city – edited Elizabeth Dearnley
  • Never Hit The Ground – Kirk Lake
  • Xstabeth – David Keenan
  • Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson
  • Hauntology: Ghosts of Futures Past – Merlin Coverley
  • As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  • Nileism: The Strange Course of the Blue Nile – Allan Brown

2019 Reading List

  • In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin – Lindsey Hilsum
  • Birding Without Borders: An obsession, a quest and the biggest year in the world – Noah Strycker
  • The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi
  • Notes of a Dirty Old Man – Charles Bukowski
  • A Cook’s Tour: in search of the perfect meal – Anthony Bourdain
  • Curlew Moon – Mary Colwell
  • Hugo Chavez: and the Bolivarian revolution – Richard Gott
  • Resurrection Man – Eoin McNamee
  • Armed Struggle: A History of the IRA – Richard English
  • British Philosophers – D. Ritchie
  • The Man Who Planted Trees – Jean Giono*
  • Exile – Denise Mina
  • The Human Factor – Graham Greene
  • The Quiet American – Graham Greene
  • Who Rules The World? – Noam Chomsky
  • Tom Waits on Tom Waits: interviews and encounters – edited by Paul Maher Jr
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: an autobiography – Don McCullin
  • Rebirding: Rewilding Britain and its Birds – Benedict MacDonald
  • The Tenth Man – Graham Greene
  • The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s improbable path to power – Alex Nunns
  • Spurn Wildlife 2018 – SBO
  • The Complaints – Ian Rankin
  • Reporting the Troubles: Journalists tell their stories of the Northern Ireland Conflicted – Deric Henderson & Ivan Little
  • The Oldest Confession – Richard Condon
  • A Walk On The Wild Side – Nelson Algren
  • Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
  • A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches From Here And There – Aldo Leopold
  • Still Water: The Deep Life of the Pond – John Lewis-Stempel
  • The BBC National Short Story Award 2018 – Various
  • Prisoners of Geography – Tim Marshall
  • This Is Memorial Device – David Keenan
  • The Way Home: Tales from a life without technology – Mark Boyle
  • Water Shall Refuse Them – Lucie McKnight Hardy
  • One Day – David Nicholls
  • Charles Bukowski: locked in the arms of a crazy life – Howard Sounes
  • No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference – Greta Thunberg
  • Hollow Shores – Gary Budden
  • Tobacco Road – Erskine Caldwell
  • Psychogeography – Merlin Coverley
  • Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater – Thomas De Quincey
  • Stolen: How to save the world from financialisation – Grace Blakeley
  • To Kill The Truth – Sam Bourne
  • 24 Hour Party People – Tony Wilson*
  • For The Good Times – David Keenan
  • Portions From A Wine-Stained Notebook – Charles Bukowski
  • Dada And Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction – David Hopkins
  • The Autobiography: A Small Yes & A Big No – George Grosz
  • The People’s Music – Ian MacDonald
  • Art And Revolution – John Berger
  • The Imagined Village: culture, ideology and the English Folk Revival – Georgina Boyes
  • The Peregrine – A. Baker
  • Neither Nowt Nor Summat: In search of the meaning of Yorkshire – Ian McMillan

2018 Reading List

  • The Living Mountain – Nan Shepherd
  • Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House – Michael Wolff
  • Flying In The Face Of Nature – Simon Barnes
  • The Otters’ Tale – Simon Cooper
  • Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed – Simon Barnes
  • The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens
  • The Evening Sun Turned Crimson – Herbert Huncke
  • Ted and I: A Brother’s Memoir – Gerald Hughes
  • The Road – Jack London
  • Small Town Talk… the wild years of Woodstock – Barney Hoskyns
  • Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs – Ted Morgan
  • Behind The Binoculars – Mark Avery & Keith Bretton
  • A Sky Full Of Starling – Stephen Moss
  • Drinking – John Cheever
  • Society Of The Spectacle – Guy Debord
  • Common Ground – Rob Cowen
  • Wilding: The return of nature to a British farm – Isabella Tree
  • Birders: Tales of a tribe – Mark Cocker
  • Sailor Song – Ken Kesey
  • AA Gill Is Away – A. Gill
  • Future Days: Krautrock and the building of modern Germany – David Stubbs
  • The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House – Ben Rhodes
  • The Catcher In The Rye – D. Salinger
  • The World In Conflict: understanding the world’s troublespots – John Andrews
  • The Seabird’s Cry – Adam Nicolson
  • Oscar Romero: prophet of hope – Robert Morozzo Della Rocca
  • A Big Manhattan Year – David Barrett
  • The Signal And The Noise: The art and science of prediction – Nate Silver
  • Our Place – Mark Cocker
  • Post Office – Charles Bukowski
  • Visions of Cody – Jack Kerouac
  • what we talk about when we talk about love – Raymond Carver
  • Tom Waits: The Complete Story – Uncut
  • Journey To The End Of The Night – Louis-Ferdinand Celine

2017 Reading List

  • Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century – Mark Mazower
  • A Prospect of the Sea – Dylan Thomas
  • Few and Far Between – Charlie Elder
  • A Whole Life – Robert Seethaler
  • Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life – Edward O. Wilson
  • The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry – Wendell Berry
  • A Painter of Our Time – John Berger
  • Call of the Wild – Jack London
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde*
  • The Man Who Planted Trees – Jean Giono
  • The Judgement of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism – Ross King
  • L’Assommoir – Emile Zola
  • The Tobacconist – Robert Seethaler
  • Above Head Height – James Brown
  • The Philosophy of Marx – Etienne Balibar
  • Twilight’s Last Gleamings – William S. Burroughs
  • The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats as Taught By Allen Ginsberg – edited by Bill Morgan
  • The First Third – Neal Cassady
  • Miles: The Autobiography – Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe
  • Junky – Williams S. Burroughs
  • The Wilder Muir: The Curious Nature of John Muir – John Muir & Bonnie J. Gisel
  • The Ultras – Eoin McNamee
  • My Life As A Foreign Country – Brian Turner
  • My War Gone By, I Miss It So – Anthony Loyd
  • Bluebeard – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Rewild: the art of returning to nature – Nick Baker
  • 1919: Britain’s Year of Revolution – Simon Webb
  • Writing Across The Landscape – Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • Meadowland – John Lewis-Stempel
  • All That Man Is – David Szalay
  • The Running Hare – John Lewis-Stempel
  • Another Bloody Love Letter – Anthony Loyd
  • Down And Out On Murder Mile – Tony O’Neill
  • Nick Drake: the biography – Patrick Humphries
  • The Murder of Sonny Liston: A story of fame, heroin, boxing & Las Vegas – Shaun Assael
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce
  • Nico: the last bohemian – James Young
  • A Sky Full of Birds – Matt Merritt
  • Fingers In The Sparkle Jar: A Memoir – Chris Packham
  • Wild Kingdon: Bringing back Britain’s wildlife – Stephen Moss
  • How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher – Simon Barnes
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
  • The Wood In Winter – John Lewis-Stempel
  • Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe

2016 Reading List

  • The Shapes of Dogs’ Eyes – Harry Gallon
  • Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Private Lives of the Impressionists – Sue Roe
  • A Visit From The Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
  • The Life and Works of Manet – Nathaniel Harris
  • The Search For The Panchen Lama – Isabel Hilton
  • Dreaming of Dead People – Rosalind Belben
  • A Fool’s Alphabet – Sebastian Faulks
  • The Maine Woods – Henry David Thoreau
  • Sunrise With Sea Monster – Neil Jordan
  • Dylan On Dylan – Jonathan Cott
  • The Poison Artist – Jonathan Moore
  • The Lost Museum: the Nazi conspiracy to steal the world’s greatest works of art – Hector Feliciano
  • Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: a memoir – Bill Clegg
  • Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery – Bill Clegg
  • The 45% Hangover – Stuart MacBride
  • Deep In A Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker – James Gavin
  • The Wave – Lochlan Bloom
  • Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  • The Philosophy of Andy Warhol – Andy Warhol
  • Art and Yorkshire: From Turner to Hockney – Jane Sellars
  • Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
  • What Are You Looking At: 150 Years of Modern Art – Will Gompertz
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Espedair Street – Iain Banks
  • Thinks – David Lodge
  • The Vikings­: A Very Short Introduction – Julian D. Richards
  • The Many – Wyl Menmuir
  • Slavoj Zizek presents Terrorism and Communism – Leon Trotsky & Slavoj Zizek
  • Shooting History – Jon Snow
  • Salvador – Joan Didion
  • The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be – J.B. MacKinnon
  • The Philosophy of Modern Art – Herbert Read
  • Strange Places, Questionable People – John Simpson
  • Exile on Main St.: A Season In Hell With The Rolling Stones – Robert Greenfield
  • The North Water – Ian McGuire
  • Permanent Midnight – Jerry Stahl
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
  • Hand Me My Travellin’ Shoes: In search of Blind Willie McTell – Michael Gray
  • The Pie At Night: In search of the north at play – Stuart Maconie
  • While Flocks Last – Charlie Elder

2015 Reading List
+ Tibet: An Accidental Pilgrimage – Ivan Cooper
+ The Myth of Brilliant Summers – Austin Collings
+ Ask The Dust – John Fante
+ American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
+ A Philosophy of Walking – Frederic Gros
+ Goodbye, Amelia – Simone Felice
+ True Romance – Helen Zahavi
+ Fidel Castro: My Life – Ignacio Ramonet
+ Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall – Luke Haines
+ The Roadkill Collection – Jon Sindell
+ The Beach Beneath The Street: The Everyday Life And Glorious Times Of The Situationist International – McKenzie Wark
+ The People’s Songs – Stuart Maconie
+ Street Cat Bob – James Bowen
+ Dead Air – Iain Banks
+ The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
+ Walden – David Henry Thoreau
+ Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
+ Postcapitalism – Paul Mason
+ Dylan Thomas in America – John Malcolm Brinnin
+ A Death in the Family. My Struggle: 1 – Karl Ove Knausgaard
+ The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
+ Why I Write – George Orwell
+ Beyond Conservation: A Wildland Strategy – Peter Taylor
+ Joy Street – Frances Parkinson Keyes
+ Kerouac: a biography – Ann Charters
+ High Concept: Don Simpson and the Culture of Hollywood Excess – Charles Fleming
+ The Practice of the Wild – Gary Snyder
+ The Sceptical Gardener – Ken Thompson
+ Travels With Charley – John Steinbeck

2014 Reading List
+ Not In Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK – Anthony Summers
+ The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
+ Go – John Clellon Holmes
+ The Rum Diary – Hunter S. Thompson
+ Doctor Sax – Jack Kerouac
+ Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet – Elaine Feinstein
+ Communiqué – Chris Bradbury
+ Pirates, Punks & Politics. FC St Pauli: Falling In Love With A Radical Football Club – Nick Davidson
+ Bringing Down The Krays – Bobby Teale
+ High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
+ Folklore of Yorkshire – Kai Roberts
+ On The Road – Jack Kerouac*
+ Bad News – Edward St Aubyn
+ The Village Against The World – Dan Hancox
+ Utopia or Bust – Benjamin Kunkel
+ Fear and Trembling – Soren Kierkegaard
+ The Subterraneans – Jack Kerouac
+ The Outsider – Albert Camus
+ The Year of Dreaming Dangerously – Slavoj Zizek
+ Peter Camenzind – Hermann Hesse
+ Nausea – Jean-Paul Sartre
+ Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
+ The Great Wall of China – Franz Kafka
+ The Plague – Albert Camus
+ Hell’s Angels – Hunter S. Thompson
+ 1968: The Year That Rocked The World – Mark Kurlansky
+ Feral – George Monbiot
+ The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac
+ The Autobiography of a Supertramp – W.H. Davies
+ The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
+ Complicity – Iain Banks
+ Factotum – Charles Bukowski
+ Wonderland Avenue: Tales of Glamour and Excess – Danny Sugerman
+ Hollywood – Charles Bukowski
+ Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung – Lester Bangs

2013 Reading List
+ Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity – Dan Berger
+ Why Marx Was Right – Terry Eagleton
+ Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain – George Monbiot
+ The French Revolution: A Very Short Indroduction – William Doyle
+ Manson: The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family – John Gilmore
+ Hope and Glory: A People’s History of Modern Britain – Stuart Maconie
+ Social Memory: New Perspectives on the Past (Chapter 3 – Class and Group Memories in Western Societies) – James J. Fentress
+ Live Working or Die Fighting – Paul Mason
+ Martin McGuinness: From Guns to Government – Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnstone
+ Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel – Edmund White
+ Seeing Stars – Simon Armitage
+ Lou Reed: The Biography – Victor Bockris
+ Big Sur – Jack Kerouac
+ 24 Hour Party People – Tony Wilson
+ Women – Charles Bukowski
+ Animal Farm – George Orwell
+ Enemy Within: The Rise and Fall of The British Communist Party – Francis Beckett
+ Last Exit to Brooklyn – Hubert Selby Jnr
+ Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? – Mark Fisher
+ The Carpet King of Texas – Paul Kennedy
+ Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd – Mike Watkinson + Pete Anderson
+ Kill Your Friends – John Niven
+ The Fall – Albert Camus
+ Tellin’ Stories – Tim Burgess
+ High Society: Mind Altering Drugs In History and Culture – Mike Jay
+ Steppenwolf – Hermann Hesse
+ Touching From A Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division – Deborah Curtis
+ The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
+ The Castle – Franz Kafka
+ Lonesome Traveller – Jack Kerouac
+ The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
+ Straight White Male – John Niven
+ Too High, Too Far, Too Soon: Tales From A Dubious Past – Simon Mason
+ The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings – Alain Badiou
+ The Coming Insurrection – The Invisible Committee
+ John Lennon: The New York Years – Bob Gruen
+ Hemingway’s Chair – Michael Palin
+ Autobiography – Morrissey
+ Cold Water – Gwendoline Riley
+ Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them – Al Franken
+ Beauty In Decay: Urban Exploration – RomanyWG
+ Walk Like A Man: Coming Of Age With The Music Of Bruce Springsteen – Robert J. Wiersema
+ The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
+ The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
+ Red Shelley – Paul Foot
+ Beat Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews – Edited by George Plimpton
+ The Richard Matthewman Stories: Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape – Ian McMillan & Martyn Wiley