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Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
Despair - Vladimir Nabokov

Just a word or so on this one—then a warning of sorts. Neither will be particularly useful, and neither should be given much weight. If your Read list is lacking an adequate Nabokov presence, if it lacks gravitas, pick this up, read it, pat yourself on the back, give it the obligatory 4 stars, and try to forget, as quickly as you can, that you saw the ending coming. It’s Nabokov, it matters, probably more than you will; certainly, more than I. There are funny bits, and sinister bits, and clever bits, and the world’s a wonderfully complicated place in which to live. But, you’ll probably be able to find much more engaging reads at any corner. Grab one, enjoy it, move on. Or, read this one, enjoy it (more or less), and move on. Even with constant reference to YOU, the reader, you’ll likely remain at a remove from the narrator and his story. It’s good (enough), and funny (enough) and clever (enough), and then over (but not quite soon enough).

Now, for the advice. Be cautious, very cautious, when raiding other people’s To Read list with the silly inclination of ‘beating him (or her) to the punch,’ by snagging a short one. It could bite you in the ass. Whatever the short lived joy of said beating is, it remains complicated by the bitten ass. The ass you’ll be unable to sit on right away while trying to read something else. Isn’t that just the way things work out? My Advice Part II: read your own damn To Read list—you know, the one you have an interest in and from which you’ll likely feel greater reward. That said, next in line: The Lord Chandos Letter, from Vila-Matas’ reading list. I’ve known me too long to take my own advice.