The 52 Books I Read in 2015

At the onset of 2015 I decided that I would make a conscious effort to read more books. I had always loved reading, but my annual levels of literature consumption had dipped considerably due to increased levels of whiskey consumption. Apparently, it’s hard to get lost in your favourite novel when you’re slurring about dumb shit that’s pissing you off, and trying to make the room stop spinning by holding various walls.

Anyway, since I used playing cards as bookmarks, I decided that 52 books would be an optimum number to strive for. This number provided me with a structure and a goal, and forced me to sometimes pick and choose when and where I’d decide to read larger works, or books that would take more time to plow through. It was a fun exercise, and I’m glad to say I accomplished it with time to spare!

You will notice that a few of these books are excessively short, and also that a two of them are collections of poetry. If you take issue with this, and make some claim that The 52 was somehow not legit because of this, I can only reply with, “fuck you, I read 52 books, I’m practically a human library. I’m basically Good Will Hunting.”

Thank you,

PS: I have starred certain works that I feel deserve particular mention for being my favourites out of this endeavor, and also because they would be the ones first recommended by me to anyone with a love of reading.

A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela *
A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr. *
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
Ultramarine (Poems) by Raymond Carver
Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez *
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera *
The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas
Grendel by John Gardner
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog by Dylan Thomas
Cujo by Stephen King
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame (Poems) by Charles Bukowski
Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead by Neil Strauss
Junky by William Burroughs
My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
My Struggle: 1 by Karl Ove Knausgård
Dark Days by Randy Blythe
Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver *
Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby *
Cathedral by Raymond Carver
Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
Fury by Salman Rushdie
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath *
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
Hunger by Knut Hamsun
1978 by Daniel Jones
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Drop by Denis Lehane
Night by Elie Wiesel
Just Kids by Patti Smith ** (My book of the year, nay, the fucking decade.)
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Soft Machine by William Burroughs
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas
Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera
The Night of the Gun by David Carr
Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo
Stars of the New Curfew by Ben Okri
Detective Story by Imre Kertesz
Antwerp by Roberto Bolano

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