I finished reading Inherent Vice Saturday, a week after I finished listening to Gravity’s Rainbow. The two books couldn’t be any more different, especially style-wise. It’s sometimes hard for me to believe they were written by the same author. But I enjoyed both equally. Last night I started reading The Crying of Lot 49 to the wife, mostly as a sort of joke “Pynchon Bedtime Stories” hour. That I’m going to enjoy, too.
But finishing a book that I get really excited about always leaves me with a bit of a void to fill. What do I read next? Is there anything I’ve been pining for? Anything I’ve already started that I need to finish? I have an entire book shelf dedicated to books I haven’t read yet. How do I decide what to pull from it?
Because there’s almost never anything on any of the shelves I’m as excited to read as what I just finished, I usually wait a few days for the rush of finishing the last book to subside. Then I pick the next book. This is what I’m debating on right now.
- Being Dead by Jim Crace. I’ve already started this one (for my writing class), but truth is, though, I’ll probably never finish it.
- 14 Stories by Stephen Dixon
- Cake by Tristan Davies. This and Dixon were recommended to me by a coworker. They’re both collections of short stories, each about 150 pages.
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. A recommendation from Canelli.
- Moby Dick. I’ve read it once. It’ll be a shame to die without rereading it.
- The Iliad.
- The Odyssey. I have three or four different translations of both of these. I really should make a go at them.
- BeoWulf translated by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Shahnameh. I put this one down after Rostam died. I just–the grief was too much. I don’t know, maybe I’m kidding myself. I may never finish this one.
- Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. I don’t think I’ve ever actually read any of his longer works, and this one has the reputation as being The One. How can I not read it (at some point)?
So that’s my list right now of potential next books. As always, I’m open to suggestions.