This is a list of books I’ve read, which is not to say they are all books I recommend.  Fact is, I read a fair amount of crap.

The Big SleepRaymond Chandler
Arvo PartPaul Hillier
A Passage to IndiaE.M. Forster
Nobody MoveDenis Johnson
The Best of H.P. LovecraftH.P Lovecraft
Los Angeles Noir 2Denise Hamiltion (editor)
Farewell, My LovelyRaymond Chandler
Where I Was FromJoan Didion
Too Much HappinessAlice Munro
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie
Point OmegaDon DeLillo
MusicophiliaOliver Sacks
Things Fall ApartChinua Achebe
The Savage DetectivesRoberto Bolaño
The Rest is NoiseAlexander Ross
The Talented Mr. RipleyPatricia Highsmith
Blood’s a RoverJames Ellroy
Murder on the LeviathanBoris Akunin
Demons in the SpringJoe Meno
Canterbury TalesGeoffrey Chaucer
Invisible ManRalph Ellison
Darkness at NoonArthur Koestler
Fire to FireMark Doty

Native SonRichard Wright
The Cold War Swap Ross Thomas
New York LandmarksCharles J. Ziga
Crimson SnowJules Stewart
Charlie Wilson’s WarGeorge Crile
The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, GentlemanLaurence Sterne
The Constant GardenerJohn Le Carre
FlashmanGeorge MacDonald Fraser
This Republic of SufferingDrew Gilpin Faust
Shadow CountryPeter Matthiessen
Best American Short Stories 2009Alice Sebold (editor)
A Most Wanted ManJohn Le Carre
Atmospheric DisturbancesRivka Galchen
Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen StoriesSteven Millhauser
The Forever WarDexter Filkins
The Dark SideJane Mayer
Thirty-Three TeethColin Cotterill
DeKok and the Mask of DeathA.C. Baantjer
Departing at DawnGloria Lise
The Monster of FlorenceDouglas Preston with Mario Spezi
The Girl with the Dragon TattooStieg Larsson
The Sack of RomeAlexander Stille
HungerKnut Hamsun
If on a Winter’s Night a TravelerItalo Calvino
BlackoutGianluca Morozzi
Foucault’s PendulumUmberto Eco
Gates of FireSteven Pressfield
DaemonLeinad Zeraus
GomorrahRoberto Salviano
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceJ.K. Rawling
This is Your Brain on MusicDaniel J. Levitin
Don QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes
Homage to CataloniaGeorge Orwell
The Nautical ChartArturo Perez-Reverte
The Diving-Bell and the ButterflyJean-Dominique Bauby
Down and Out in Paris and LondonGeorge Orwell
Mrs. DallowayVirginia Woolf
SaturdayIan McEwan
Bowling AloneRobert D. Putnam
Tree of SmokeDenis Johnson
A Slave No MoreDavid W. Blight
Time and MaterialsRobert Hass
Havana RedLeonardo Padura
Oscar Micheaux: The Great and OnlyPatrick McGilligan
Shulz and Peanuts: A BiographyDavid Michaelis
The Man SuitZachary Schomburg
Medical ApartheidHarriet A Washington
The Tailor of PanamaJohn Le Carre
Out Stealing HorsesPer Petterson
The PesthouseJim Crace
For Whom the Bell TollsErnest Hemingway

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your NameVendela Vida
HeydayKurt Andersen
Exit MusicIan Rankin
Hotel de DreamEdmund White
The Thin ManDashiell Hammett
Havana GoldLeonardo Padura
Knots and CrossesIan Rankin
Last Night at the LobsterStewart O’Nan
The Indian ClerkDavid Leavitt
Dreams from My FatherBarack Obama
Grammar LessonsMichele Morano
Booklyn Noir 3Tim McLoughlin and Thomas Adcock (editors)
The Bells of NagasakiTakashi Nagai
The Lottery and Other StoriesShirley Jackson
Empire of Blue WaterStephan Talty
Detroit NoirE.J Olsen and John C. Hocking (editors)
The Pugilist at RestThom Jones
Edith WhartonHermione Lee
By GeorgeWesley Stace
The Dirt on CleanKatherine Ashenburg
I am LegendRichard Matheson
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar WaoJunot Diaz
The Heart is a Lonely HunterCarson McCullers
Agent ZigzagBen Macintyre
The DoorMargaret Atwood
Havana BlueLeonardo Padura
Cheating at CanastaWilliam Trevor
The Honourable SchoolboyJohn Le Carre
ChrysalisKim Todd
Bleak HouseCharles Dickens
The Dante ClubMatthew Pearl
Be Near MeAndrew O’Hagan
We Have Always Lived in the CastleShirley Jackson
The HistorianElizabeth Kostova
Lisey’s StoryStephen King
The Way to ParadiseMario Vargas Llosa
My Life as a FakePeter Carey
A Farewell to ArmsErnest Hemingway
TriangleDavid von Drehle
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyJohn Le Carre
Oliver TwistCharles Dickens
In Cold BloodTruman Capote
An American TragedyTheodore Dreiser
SurveillanceJonathon Raban
The Wall Street Journal Complete Real Estate Investing GuidebookDavid Crook
The Atomic BazaarWilliam Langewiesche
Smiley’s PeopleJohn Le Carre
Dark HarvestNorman Partridge
What is the WhatDave Eggers
The Haunting of Hill HouseShirley Jackson
No Country for Old MenCormac McCarthy
The TerrorDan Simmons
Sword and BlossomPeter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams
Blood MeridianCormac McCarthy
The Glass KeyDashiell Hammett

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carre
Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
Richard Matheson’s I am Legend – Steve Niles and Elman Brown (graphic novel adaptation)
The Secret River – Kate Greenville
The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology – David Breckenridge (editor)
The Worst Hard Time – Timothy Egan
Grief – Andrew Holleran
The Great Deluge – Douglas Brinkley
The Places in Between – Rory Stewart
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Sweet and Low – Rich Cohen
The Time in Between – David Bergen
The Sheltering Sky – Paul Bowles
Best American Poetry 2004 – Lyn Hejinian (editor)
True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey
I am America (and So Can You!) – Stephen Colbert
The Hill Bachelors – William Trevor
Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
Sea of Thunder – Evan Thomas
The Looming Tower – Lawrence Wright
Theft – Peter Carey
The Boys of My Youth – Jo Ann Beard
Story – Robert McKee
A Three Dog Life – Abigail Thomas
Girlbomb – Janice Erlbaum
Fortress of Solitude – Jonathon Lethem
House of Leaves – Daniel Z. Danielewski
Self Help – Lorrie Moore
Screenplay – Syd Field
To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The First Hurt – Rachel Sherman
A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
Flight – Sherman Alexie
Schindler’s List – Thomas Keneally
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Nerve Damage – Peter Abrahams
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rawling
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Pale Criminal – Philip Kerr
The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
The Emperor’s Children – Claire Messud
How Cities Work – Alex Marshall
About Alice – Calvin Trillin
Four Screenplays – Syd Field
The Boy Detective Fails – Joe Meno
On Becoming a Novelist – John Gardner
The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop – Stephen Koch
District and Circle – Seamus Heaney
China Syndrome – Karl Taro Greenfield
The Brief History of the Dead – Kevin Brockmeier
The Things They Carried – Kevin O’Brien
Better for All theWorld – Harry Bruinius
All Aunt Hagar’s Children – Edward P. Jones
The Way of All Flesh – Samuel Butler
Blue Front – Martha Collins
The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky – Ken Dornstein
The Spider’s House Paul Bowles
Morocco: the Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges – Marvine Howe
Felicia’s Journey William Trevor
Morocco since 1830 C.R. Pennell
Inspector Ali Driss Chraibi
Flutes of Death Driss Chraibi
Mother Spring Driss Chraibi
Muhammad Driss Chraibi
Jean Genet in Tangier - Mohamed Choukri
Ten Little Indians – Sherman Alexie
Stolen Lives – Malika Oufkir
Quills and Other Plays – Doug Wright
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night -Time – Mark Haddon
Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris
How Would A Patriot Act? – Glenn Greenwald
The Razor’s Edge – W. Somerset Maugham
Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
Hiroshima – John Hersey
On the Golden Porch – Tatyana Tolstaya
The Whole – John Reed
Distant Star – Roberto Bolaño
Best American Mystery Stories 2002 – James Ellroy (editor)

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline – George Saunders
Alabanza – Martin Espada
The Voice at 3:00 AM – Charles Simic
Because They Wanted To – Mary Gaitskill
What the Living Do – Marie Howe
Absurdistan – Gary Schteyngart
Vindication – Lyndall Gordon
Small Island – Andrea Levy
The War Works Hard – Dunya Mikhail
Windows on the World – Frederic Beigbeder
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Motherless Brooklyn – Jonathon Lethem
The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargas Llosa
The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
The Tattoo Artist – Jill Ciment
Selected Poems – Pablo Neruda
Chile by Night – Roberto Bolaño
Rules for Old Men Waiting – Peter Pouncey
Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon – Dean Bakopoulos
Blind Huber – Nick Flynn
On Beauty – Zadie Smith
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Modern Short Stories – Arthur Mizener (editor)
Some Ether – Nick Flynn
Chile: A Literary Traveler’s Companion – Katherine Silver (editor)
Jack and Other New Poems – Maxine Kumin
Watch Where the Wolf is Going – Antonio Skarmeta
The House of Spirits – Isabel Allende
On Writing – Stephan King
Carnivorous Nights – Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson
Heart of the Old Country – Tim McLoughlin
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers – Yiyun Li
Sixty Stories – Donald Barthelme
The Assassin’s Gate – George Packer
A Sudden Country – Karen Fisher
The Peru Reader – Starn, Degregori, and Kirk (editors)
Captain Pantoja and the Special Service – Mario Vargas Llosa
Death in the Andes – Mario Vargas Llosa
Ulysses – James Joyce
Japanland – Karin Muller
The Art of Fiction – David Lodge
Conversation in the Cathedral – Mario Vargas Llosa
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Who Killed Palomin Molero? – Mario Vargas Llosa
American Prometheus – Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
Short Fiction: A Critical Collection – James R. Frakes and Isadore Traschen(editors)
Bound for Canaan – Fergus M. Bordewich
Luck is Luck – Lucia Perillo
The March – E.L. Doctorow
Bread and Roses – Bruce Watson
Controlled Burn – Scott Wolven
Beyond Glory – David Margolick
Beasts of No Nation – Uzodinma Iweala
In the Province of Saints – Thomas O’Malley
Love in the Driest Season – Neely Tucker
American Smooth – Rita Dove
The Tyrant’s Novel – Thomas Keneally
Plot & Structure – James Scott Bell
Swimming to Antarctica – Lynne Cox
Soul City – Toure
So Quietly the Earth – David Lee
The Sex Lifes of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific – J. Maaren Troost
The Second Life of Samuel Tyne – Esi Edugyan
On the Wing – Alan Tennant
The Art of Fiction – John Gardner
Blood Done Sign My Name – Timothy B. Tyson
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Best American Short Stories 2002 – Sue Miller (editor)
The O. Henry Awards: 2001 Prize Stories – Larry Dark (editor)
White Line Fever – Lemmy
The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford

The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson
Briarpatch – Ross Thomas
Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
Winesburg, Ohio – Sherwood Anderson
You Are Not a Stranger Here – Adam Haslett
Dubliners – James Joyce
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rawling
A Bit on the Side – William Trevor
Here Is New York – E.B. White
You’ve Got to Read This – Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard (editors)
Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson
The Cold War Swap – Ross Thomas
Building Fiction – Jesse Lee Kercheval
Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson
Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction – Patricia Highsmith
The Great Influenza – John M. Barry
The Island at the Center of the World – Russell Shorto
Rats – Robert Sullivan
Dancing With Cuba – Alma Guillermoprieto
Natasha and Other Stories – David Bezmozgis
Neither Here Nor There – Bill Bryson
Don’t Point That Thing at Me – Kyril Bonfiglioli
Creating Short Fiction – Damon Knight
Dubliners – James Joyce
Skin – Roald Dahl
The Specialty of the House – Stanley Ellin
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City – Nick Flynn
Ulysses – James Joyce
Brooklyn Noir – Tim McLoughlin (editor)
Scream at the Sky – Carlton Stowers
Oblivion – Peter Abrahams
Brooklyn Noir 2 – Tim McLoughlin (editor)
Harbor – Lorraine Adams
Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
The Broker – John Grisham
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathon Safron Foer
De Kooning: An American Master – Mark Stevens and Analyn Swan
Blackbird House – Alice Hoffman
A Bit on the Side – William Trevor
Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
Wedding of the Waters – Peter L. Bernstein
At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig – John Gimlette
Breaking the Tongue – Vyvyane Loh
Omaha Blues – Joseph Lelyveld
American Desert – Percival Everett
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
America (the Book) – Jon Stewart and the writers of the Daily Show
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
The Coffee Trader – David Liss
Who Killed Palomino Molero? – Mario Vargas Llosa
Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto – Gilbert Osofsky
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
Boss Tweed’s New York – Seymour J. Mandelbaum
The Elements of Style – William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
Border Town Girl – John D. McDonald
Uncle Fred in the Springtime – P.G. Wodehouse
The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
The Theory of Poker – David Sklansky
Gambling Theory and Other Topics – Mason Malmuth
Flashman and the Angel of the Lord – George MacDonald Fraser
Flashman and the Mountain of Light – George MacDonald Fraser
The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster

State of Fear – Michael Crichton
Flashman’s Lady – George MacDonald Fraser
Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
All the Shah’s Men – Stephan Kinzer
Ukridge – P.G. Wodehouse
Flashman and the Dragon – George MacDonald Fraser
The Code of the Woosters – P.G. Wodehouse
Flashman in the Great Game – George MacDonald Fraser
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
Hold ‘Em Excellence – Lou Krieger
Unburied – Charles Palliser
Medusa – Michael Dibdin
Blood Rain – Michael Dibdin
Dirty Tricks – Michael Dibdin
A Long Finish – Michael Dibdin
The Idiot – Fyodor Doestoevsky
Flashman – George MacDonald Fraser
Hold ‘Em Excellence – Lou Krieger
Yellow Dog – Martin Amis
White Noise – Don DeLillo
Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rawling
Ulysses – James Joyce
The New Bloomsday Book – Harry Blamires
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Casual Rex – Eric Garcia
The Quincunx – Charles Palliser
A Conspiracy of Paper – David Liss
The Master of Rain – Tom Bradby
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephanson
The White Russian – Tom Bradby
In the Hand of Dante – Nick Tosches
Claudius the God… – Robert Graves
I, Claudius – Robert Graves
La Guardia Come to Power: 1933 – Arthur Mann
The Winter Queen – Boris Akunin
Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien

Prey – Michael Crichton
Buddha’s Little Finger – Victor Pelevin
The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
SS-GB – Len Deighton
Hamlet – Willliam Shakespeare
Cold Six Thousand – James Ellroy
American Tabloid – James Ellroy
The Devil and Sonny Liston – Nick Tosches
Five Days in London – May 1940 – John Lukacs
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rawling
Al Smith and His America – Oscar Handlin
The Dinosaur Club – William Hefferman
Liars and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right – Al Franken
My Dark Places – James Ellroy
Beulah Hill – William Hefferman
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
Poker Nation – Andy Bellin
Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand
18 Best Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe – Edgar Allen Poe
Hollywood Nocturnes – James Ellroy
Mildred Pierce – James M. Cain
True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey
The Tweed Ring – Alexander B. Callow
Mary Reilly – Valerie Martin
The Way of the Traitor – Laura Joh Rowland
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Emperor of Ocean Park – Stephan L. Carter
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut
The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rawling
Black Hawk Down – Mark Bowden
Postman Always Rings Twice – James M. Cain
Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
White Jazz – James Ellroy
Five Points – Tyler Anbinder
Death of the Last Villista – Allen Martin

The Weaver’s Inheritance – Kate Sedley
The Summons – Peter Lovesey
The Wicked Winter – Kate Sedley
Plymouth Cloak – Kate Sedley
The Reaper – Peter Lovesey
Our Man in Havana – Graham Green
The Vault – Peter Lovesey
L.A. Confidential – James Ellroy
Everything’s Illuminated – Jonathon Safron Foer
Poker Nation – Andy Bellin
Adios, Muchachos – Daniel Chavarria
Black Lotus – Laura Joh Rowland
Murphy – Samuel Beckett
Ulysses – James Joyce
Little Flower – Elliot Lawrence
Big Nowhere – James Ellroy
The Company – Robert Littell
Inside Tracks – Robert Buskin
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
Rimbaud: A Biography – Graham Robb
Q – Quincy Jones
American Tabloid – James Ellroy
Cold Six Thousand – James Ellroy
The Westies – T.J. English
The Club Dumas – Arturo Perez-Reverte
The Flanders Panel – Arturo Perez-Reverte

15 Responses to Books

  1. I hope you enjoyed Gomorrah di Roberto Saviano, it’s a very important book for our nation :)

    Congratulations for the Pukkelpop concert, it was simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!! See you in Rome!!!! (and bring some t-shirts or cd’s!!!)

    Take care!!

    G B

  2. VALIS says:

    No Philip K Dick books? What?!
    Read “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”

  3. jesus christ… i had a hard time reading through the mere LIST of books you’ve read. pretty crazy. now, how about a tab for what you’ve been listening to over the last couple of months–or even years? you know, for us illiterates! i don’t own an ipod, but i love looking through ppl’s playlists for stuff i haven’t heard yet. i imagine yours would be pretty interesting… just a thought!

  4. mother goose says:

    wow. i second the philip k dick thing, especially the three stigmata of palmer eldritch.

  5. David Wm. Sims says:

    VALIS and mother goose: The list only goes back to 2002, but I did read “The Man in the High Castle” years ago.

  6. michael davison says:

    wow man, you do some serious page turning… can’t wait to pick over your list. i too have recently reread cervantes and chaucer. i actually saw the play version of allende’s “house of spirits” in spanish at the Repertorio Espanol on 27th St. a while back.

    i read bolano’s “savage detectives” recently, as well: did you enjoy “chile by night”? i also heartily recommend dick’s “eldritch” & “VALIS.”

    also – very few germans (any) on that list. how ’bout hesse, thomas mann, heinrich boll?

    i met you briefly on thurs nite – i was bangin’ away on the 12 string w/ cb…

  7. Raul Sclub says:

    was that a wee bong
    in the calculator case
    on your belt?

  8. L.Reese says:

    Curious. Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ has either been re-read regularly, or the book spanned several years to finish. What gives? Not maligning you if it’s the latter, for some reason it took me a couple years to finish ‘Eyeless in Gaza’ by Huxley.

    Great blog buy the way.

  9. David Wm. Sims says:

    L.Reese: I did read “Ulysses” six times. It’s so dense and complicated that I discover new things every time.

  10. L.Reese says:

    Good to hear. The only Joyce I’ve read thus far is Dubliners, tho’ I quite enjoyed it. There’s just too many books to read in one lifetime. Have you read any other Sherman Alexie? The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight In Heaven is great.

  11. L.Reese says:

    If you liked “White Noise” I recommend “The Body Artist.”

  12. Greg Schaal says:

    I highly recommend any of Edward Bunker’s books. “No Beast So Fierce” or “Little Boy Blue” are great.

    The “Parker” series of books by Richard Stark aka Donald Westlake are great “hard-boiled” books. Univ. of Chicago Press has been reissuing them for the past year or two.

  13. JP says:

    i’m olso a big fan of Ellroy and Dellilo, i’m humbly recommande you the work of this english master called David peace…espécially CB84 and Tokyo Year Zero..but the The Red Riding Quartet (74/77/80/83) is oslo super craazy!!..

  14. David Wm. Sims says:

    JP: I’m already interested in David Peace, but haven’t gotten around to reading any yet. My interest mainly came from seeing the BBC’s “Red Riding Trilogy,” which I loved.

  15. JP says:

    Hi David; yea, the BBC’s program is not so bad, the actors are very good ..but it’s not as intense as the books..i’v just finish “Tokyo year Zero” and i start “Occupied city” (witch are part of his new trilogie from japan, )…and he really return my brain upside down!.. And if you are into football(soccer) he olso write a very intresting book about a famouse football manager in the 70′s who manage the Player’s team of Leed’s United for 44 days!!: “The Damned Utd”…..crasy shit..big buissness!!

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