- Life and Death are Wearing Me Out by Mo Yan (“Born Again” by Jonathan Spence)
- Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong (“Call of the Wild” by Pankaj Mishra)
- The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai by Wang Anyi (“Miss Shanghai” by Francine Prose)
- Serve the People! by Yan Lianke (“Kissing the Cook” by Liesl Schillinger)
- Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk by Nikolai Grozni (“Dharma Bum” by Amy Finnerty)
Born in Bulgaria, Nikolai Grozni studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston before moving to Dharamsala, India where he practiced Buddhism and is his memoir of his turning to and then away from Buddhism.
All the others are novels written by Chinese authors in Mandarin and translated to English. I’ve enjoyed many Chinese novels in English translation, such as A Dictionary of Maqiao by Han Shaogong, and Waiting: A Novel and The Bridegroom by Ha Jin.
Normally I’d write a bit about each of the novels and tell you why I want to read them, but today’s different.
Now, I’ve always kept a running private list of books that I’ve come across and want to read. And I’ve known for a long time now that the list is getting to be quite absurd. It has just about 300 books on it. I own about 400 books, some of which I have not read and are therefore also on my list of books to read.
But it wasn’t until today, writing this entry and reading through some of my previous entries of books I want to read that I’ve realized how ridiculous this list is. For me to read all these books that I want to read in one year, I would have to quit adding additional books and read full time!
If I want to take my time, well I still have to read at a faster pace than I add books and that just simply is not the case.
So . . . the moral of the story . . . be choosier about what books I read.
Keep my list, but realize that even within my list of books I want to read that I won’t get to read them all.
And consider publishing my list of books I’d like to read (with the ones that I own that I haven’t read removed from the list) to help me realize the absurdity of it all.