Reading: 2004

The first book I finished in 2004 was Otto Dietrich’s Hitler…

  • Otto Dietrich – Hitler
  • Evelyn Waugh – Decline and Fall (Another serendipitous find in one of the second hand bookshops in Hiroshima. Decline and Fall is at times viciously hilarious. I first read Decline and Fall at college when I was 18 and I do not think I entirely “got it”. I would recommend the first half of it as a suitable primer in classroom management techniques to anyone who must perforce earn his crust in the field of juvenile pedagogics.)
  • Adam Nicolson – The Power and the Glory – Jacobean England and the Making of the King James Bible
  • Arthur Schopenhauer – Essays and Aphorisms (This is the Penguin edition with an excellent introduction by R. J. Holingdale, the translator of this selection from the second volume of Schopenhauer’s Parerga und Paralipomena.)
  • John Toland – Hitler: The Pictorial Documentary of His Life (This book was one of two free gifts that I received from a kind lady when I purchased a book from her on ebay. Thank you Betsy!)
  • Edmund Burke – Reflections on the Revolution in France (I have been meaning to read this book for several years now, so I was happy to come across it in my favourite second hand bookshop in Hiroshima the other day…)
  • William Thackeray – The History of Henry Esmond (Plucked from the 100 yen shelves of my favourite second hand bookshop in Hiroshima.)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (This is the third time I’ve read GG. The edition I read was “the definitive, textually accurate edition” with notes and a preface by Matthew J. Bruccoli.)
  • William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet (New Penguin Shakespeare, ed. notes & intro. T. J. B. Spencer, with Further Reading notes by Michael Taylor.)
  • William Thackeray – Vanity Fair
  • Charles Dickens – Nicholas Nickleby
  • Ernst Jünger – Storm of Steel (The recent translation by Michael Hoffman. Hoffman has rendered us a great service. See for an introduction to Ernst Jünger.)
  • Michael Long – The Unnatural Scene: a study in Shakespearean tragedy
  • Tom Bower – Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed and the Souring of British Football
  • Robert Harris – Fatherland
  • Stephen Fry – Making History
  • William Shakespeare – Love’s Labour’s Lost (Honorificabilitudinitatibus.)
  • J. G. Ballard – Running Wild
  • Colin Shindler – Manchester United Ruined My Life
  • Ben Macintyre – A Foreign Field
  • Harvey C. Mansfield – Machiavelli’s Virtue
  • Osamu Dazai – The Setting Sun
  • Julius Cicatrix & Martin Rowson – Imperial Exits (“Being an account of the varied an violent deaths of the Roman emperors.” A cheerful bit of bedtime reading!)
  • Osamu Dazai – No Longer Human
  • P. G. Wodehouse – Psmith in the City (Just the thing for a 13 hour flight.)
  • Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence – Bacon is Shakespeare (Honorificabilitudinitatibus again.)

Poetry 2004

  • Brian Patten – Love Poems

Audiobooks 2004

  • Charles Dickens – Bleak House (Penguin’s 4-cassette abridged version. Narrated by Beaty Edney and Ronald Pickup – worth getting just to hear Pickup in full flow.)
  • Amy Tan – The Bonesetter’s Daughter (6 CDs. Read by Amy Tan and Joan Chen.)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Lost World (An excellent 2 cassette live dramatization directed by Leonard Nemoy.)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter (This dramatic presentation, underscored with sound effects and music, builds up over the course of four audio-cassettes. The drama is interspersed with some occasional commentary on the historical background of the story.)
  • H. G. Wells – The Time Machine (Narrated by Ben Kingsley.)
  • Orson Welles – Interpretations of Literature (Welles reads excerpts from The Happy Prince; The Secret Sharer; Wakefield; The Tell-Tale Heart and other pieces.)

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