My Favourite Books

Here are some of my favourite books, a pleasant way to remind myself of what I’d also like to reread. One day they might be all that exists on a single shelf in my library (together with a a few shelves of classics). All are books that I especially love or revere, but I’ve tried to avoid the obvious choices because no one needs to be told to read Ovid, Homer, Dante, Proust, Kafka, Beckett or Woolf. There are all wonderful in their diverse ways, and are ordered loosely by how much I think about them. Please feel free to ask questions below on any of these choices.

  • Jon Fosse, Septology. trans. Damion Searls. Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2022.
  • Friederike Mayröcker, brutt, or The Sighing Gardens. trans. Roslyn Theobald. Northwestern University Press, 2008.
  • Clarice Lispector, Água Viva. trans. Stefan Tobler. New Directions, 2012.
  • Maria Gabriela Llansol, Geography of Rebels trilogy. trans Audrey Young. Deep Vellum Publishing, 2018.
  • Moyra Davey, The Problem of Reading. A Documents Book, 2003.
  • Marlena Haushofer, The Wall. trans. Shaun Whiteside. Quartet Books, 1990.
  • Thomas Bernhard, Yes. trans. Ewald OsersQuartet Books, 1991.
  • Dorothy Richardson, Pilgrimage. J. M. Dent, 1967.
  • V. S. Naipaul, The Enigma of Arrival. Viking, 1987.
  • Paul Griffiths, The Tomb Guardians. Henningham Family Press, 2021.
  • Jacques Roubaud, Great Fire of London. trans. Dominic Di Bernardi. Dalkey Archive Press, 1991.
  • Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten. trans. Christopher Middleton. University of Texas Press, 1970.
  • Ágota Kristóf. The Notebook. trans. Alan Sheridan. Grove Press, 1997. (This collection includes The Proof and The Third Lie. trans. David Watson & Marc Romano respectively).
  • Lisa Robertson, Baudelaire Fractal. Coach House Books, 2020.
  • Gerald Murnane, A Million Windows. Giramondo Publishing, 2014.
  • Josefina Vicens, The Empty Book. trans. David Lauer. University of Texas Press, 1992.
  • Jeremy Cooper, Ash Before Oak. Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2019.
  • Anthony Rudolf, Silent Conversations. Seagull Books, 2013.
  • Thomas Bernhard, Wittgenstein’s Nephew. trans. Ewald Osers.Quartet Books, 1987.
  • Philippe Jaccottet. Seedtime. trans. Tess Lewis. Seagull Books, 2013.
  • Mathias Enard, Compass. trans. Charlotte Mandell. Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2015.
  • David Gilmour, The Last Leopard. Eland Publishing, 2007.
  • Jorge Semprún, Literature or Life. trans. Linda Coverdale. Viking, 1997.
  • Pascal Quignard, The Hatred of Music. trans. Matthew Amos and Fredrik Rönnbäck. Yale University Press, 2016.
  • Adam Zagajewski. A Defense of Ardor. trans. Clare Cavanagh. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
  • Max Frisch, Homo Faber. trans. Michael Bullock. Abelard-Schuman, 1959
  • Denton Welch, Maiden Voyage. L. B. Fisher, 1945.
  • Denton Welch, In Youth is Pleasure. Routledge, 1944.
  • Gillian Rose, Love’s Work. Chatto & Windus, 1995.
  • Christa Wolf, Cassandra. trans. J. Van Herk. Virago Press, 1984.
  • Jon Fosse, Melancholy II. trans. Eric Dickens. Dalkey Archive, 2014.
  • Alix Cleo Roubaud, Alix’s Journal. trans. Jan Steyn. Dalkey Archive, 2010.
  • Geoff Dyer, But Beautiful Jonathan Cape, 1991.
  • Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence. Granta Books, 2008.
  • Gabriel Josipovici, Moo Pak. Carcanet Press, 1994.
  • W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn. trans. Michael Hulse. Harvill Press, 1998.

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