Through the Literature Glass: A literary retrospective

This day marks the first anniversary of this blog! To mark the occasion I have listed all books that I have read in this past year in a table with some additional information like genre and number of pages and with a rating in the form of X/10 points. These were the books that appeared in the “Current Literature” section in the right sidebar on the post pages throughout the year.

It should be noted that I read these books voluntarily, so all literature for my university classes – with the notable exceptions of Japanese Society (which I read in private last year and which later incidentally appeared as a mandatory reading in my Anthropology class) and 東京原発 (no reason) –, like textbooks and short stories, is not included. Furthermore, the following kinds of readings are not included in this table: photo-books (Brassaï, Escher etc.); reference books (Programming in Scala); and all books I only read parts of (Adorno’s Musikalische Schriften, Hofstadter’s Le Ton Beau de Marot etc. etc.).

I have to concede that I did not read as much as I expected. But, then again, I had a lot of university readings to do with up to 80 pages of short stories a week in my literature class plus innumerable other pages in textbooks and papers for other seminars. And, somewhat unexpectedly, I did not read as much as I’d hoped while traveling. I must have been busy looking at the scenery and taking photographs…

All of that did not prevent me at all, however, from letting my book-collecting addiction do its work (as was mentioned – in German and Japanese – here…). So I bought (roughly) between 40 and 50 books (plus one and a half months of uncounted books I bought back in Germany) of which around 25 decorate my desk at the moment. But, as always: Everything at the proper time.

Now, by providing this table, I want to give you a small glimpse of my literary taste and I hope that maybe you’ll find some interest in one of the works mentioned. Thus: Happy reading!

Title Author(s) Genre Pages Rating
Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo Christiane F., Kai Hermann, Horst Rieck Autobiography  333 10/10
Lila: An Inquiry into Morals Robert M. Pirsig Philosophy 480 9/10
Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett Play 245 10/10
Japanese Society Nakane Chie Sociology, Japanese studies 162 10/10
Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society  Daniel Barenboim & Edward W. Said  Music, Art, Politics 208 10/10 
Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch  George Bernard Shaw  Play  300 9/10 
たけしくん、ハイ!  ビートたけし  Autobiography 135 7/10 
Niedertracht und Ewigkeit  Jorge Luis Borges  Contemporary literature, Short stories, Essays 240 9/10 
東京原発  山川元  Contemporary literature, Satire 261 6/10 
The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition  Oscar Wilde  Classic  304 10/10 
Der Vorleser  Bernhard Schlink  Contemporary literature  207 9/10 
こころ  夏目漱石  Classic  378 10/10 
The Universe: Leading Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries, and Future of the Cosmos Editor: John Brockman Physics, Cosmology, Philosophy 400 10/10
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence Karen Armstrong History, Religious studies 521 10/10
Jazz Poems Editor: Kevin Young Poetry 256 9/10
Surface Structure and Interpretation Mark Steedman Linguistics, Syntax 144 8/10
注文の多い料理店 宮沢賢治 Children’s book  236 10/10
Spiegel und Maske Jorge Luis Borges Contemporary literature, Short stories 256 8/10
雪国 川端康成 Classic  205 10/10
Die Verwandlung Franz Kafka Classic  80 9/10
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce Classic 320 10/10
Dialog in Leticia Ernst Tugendhat Philosophy 143 10/10
Narziß und Goldmund Hermann Hesse Classic 320 6/10
日本人の知らない日本語 蛇蔵&海野凪子 Language, Manga 143 9/10
日本人の知らない日本語 2 蛇蔵&海野凪子 Language, Manga 159 9/10
日本人の知らない日本語 3 蛇蔵&海野凪子 Language, Manga 159 8/10
Inherent Vice Thomas Pynchon Contemporary literature, Crime fiction 371  10/10 
Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science Editor: Steve Paulson Science, Religion, Philosophy  312  10/10 
Entlausung in Tokio: Ein Liederbuch für Weitermarschierer Miles Bramarbas  Satire 51 7/10
Japanese Literature: An Introduction for Western Readers Donald Keene  Literary science 117  8/10 
Watchmen: The Deluxe Edition  Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons  Comic book, Classic  448  10/10 
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and Other Clinical Tales  Oliver Sacks  Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Philosophy  256 10/10 



Mumon

  1 Response to “Through the Literature Glass: A literary retrospective

  1. だれか
    July 8th, 2015 at 02:16 AM

    ratingとありますが、どのような判断基準で査定したのですか?拝見したところ、すべてのジャンルは異なりますが、それを同一の基準で評価することに違和感があります。

    • Leo Born
      July 8th, 2015 at 09:14 AM

      Ratingは二つのことを意味していますが、シリアスな意味には様々な要素が含まれています。しかしその要素の内訳を示すのは余りにも困難なので、簡単に言えば、ジャンルがもたらす期待に基づいて(哲学的な本と子供の本は当然違う基準で評価されます、小説とノンフィクション及び専門書も同様です)、自分の好みに合うかによって、本の評価を査定しました。各ジャンル内では、ほぼ同じ判断基準が使用されたとして考えて下さい。

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