Books of 2010

For want of a better place to record this, here are the books I read in 2010.

Kurt Vonnegut – Galapagos
Roald Dahl – Boy/Going Solo
Philip K. Dick – The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldridge
Richard Brautigan – In Watermelon Sugar
Haruki Murakami – Norwegian Wood
P.G. Wodehouse – Very Good, Jeeves
Momus – The Book of Jokes
Momus – The Book of Scotlands
Orwell – Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Charles Burns – Black Hole
Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment
Heller – Catch 22
Philip Roth – Portnoy’s Complaint
Will Self – Dorian
Waugh – Vile Bodies
Alasdair Gray – 1984, Janine
Paul Auster – Leviathan
Henry James – The Turn of the Screw
Dorothy Parker – Selected Stories
John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meaney
James Meek – The People’s Act of Love
Oliver Sacks – The man who mistook his wife for a hat
Mark Twain – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Larkin – Selected Letters
Robert Kiyosaki & Sharon Lechter – Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Kurt Vonnegut – Bluebeard
Walter Kirn – Up in the Air
Haruki Murakami – Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami – After the Quake
Grant Morrison – All Star Superman Vol 1
Neil Gaiman – Whatever happened to the caped crusader?
Haruki Murakami – South of the Border, West of the Sun
Haruki Murakami – Sputnik Sweetheart
Richard Herring – How not to grow up
Stewart Lee – How I escaped my certain fate: the life and deaths of a standup comedian
Tim Eyre – North Korea 2002.
Ian Macpherson – Confessions of a justified genius (Manuscript)
Ian Macpherson – A very nautical boy (Manuscript)
Dominguez and Robin – Your money or your life
Richard Boston – Beer and Skittles
Alain de Botton – Status Anxiety
Alan Moore – Top Ten, Vol. 1
Alan Moore – Top Ten, Vol. 2
Warren Ellis – Crecy
Woody Allen – Side Effects

In 2011, I would like to read:

Hitchens – Letters to a Young Contrarian
Vonnegut – Player Piano
Vonnegut – Jailbird
Vonnegut – Hocus Pocus
Starret – Seaports in the moon
O’Brien – At swim two birds
Hoban – Ridley Walker
Pirsig – Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Amis – Lucky Jim
Gray – Straw Dogs
Wilson – An Incomplete Education
Soderstrom – The Walkable City


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

6 Responses to “Books of 2010”

  1. Anna says:

    That’s funny, Murakami and Vonnegut are my favourite authors! I very highly recommend Jailbird and Hocus Pocus – Hocus Pocus has one of the longest and most articulate rants/monologues in it that I’ve ever read.It changed the way I talk to myself in my head for months afterwards. Have you read Slapstick and Cat’s Cradle as well? They are my most favourite Vonneguts.

    Also, have you read ‘The Wind Up Bird Chronicle’ by Murakami? After I read it, I wished that my life was as surreal as a Murakami novel. I’m sure it encouraged me to quit my job 🙂

    I read ‘Status Anxiety’ by Alain De Botton in 2007 when I was working as a slave labour architecture graduate – and it convinced me to quit that job too! Ah, the power of literature.

  2. Vonnegut and Murakami are among my favourites too. I think Jailbird, Player Piano and Hocus Pocus are the only of Vonnegut’s works I’ve not yet read. 2011 could be the year! I think I’ve read everything of Murakami now, except for the brand new one ‘IQ84’ which I don’t think has been translated into English yet. Glad you are a fan of these writers too. They are eminently readable. Have you ever tried Richard Brautigan? If you like Murakami and Vonnegut, you may like him too.

    Cat’s Cradle was the first Vonnegut I read. I don’t think it’s my favourite but it made a lasting impression. My favourites are probably Slaughterhouse 5 and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Just great. To come to your other question, I have indeed read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and enjoyed it very much. I think my favourite it Norwegian Wood. An effortless and enchanting piece of literature.

    Funnily enough, I identify with some of Murakami’s characters too. The guy in ‘Wind-Up Bird’ enjoys the kind of luxurious unemployment to which any Escapologist would aspire!

    I think we both read Status Anxiety around the same time. At the time I didn’t realise what a lasting effect it would have. It was only upon re-reading it in 2010 that I realised quite the effect it had on me. It may have inspired New Escapologist more than anything else.

  3. Anna says:

    I haven’t read anything by Richard Brautigan! Where would you suggest I start?

    Status Anxiety was a revelation for me. Before I read it, I was hell bent on doing a property & construction management degree after finishing architecture, so I could boss around builders and make lots and lots of money. This path would never have made me happy, but at university all anyone ever talked about was how they were going to be rich and successful! It was all pervasive. I even ended relationships because the other person was not ambitious. That boggles my mind now.

    The book stopped me in my tracks and convinced me that I did not need to be rich to be happy, and that indeed I already had everything I needed. I went back to university to study art history – the most directionless discipline I could think of! And how fabulous it was!

    Back on the Vonnegut note – I really did like some of his less famous works the best, like Slapstick (or ‘Lonesome no more!). No one ever talks about Slapstick! It was the first Vonnegut I read – when I was 15. Boy did it blow my mind.

  4. I’m jealous! Starting Brautigan from afresh! I’d start with ‘Trout Fishing in America’. It is a tiny book, pretty representative of his style and very lovely indeed. I personally started with ‘A confederate general from Big Sur’ which is not a good one, sadly, so it took me a while to pick up my second one, which was indeed ‘Trout Fishing in America’. Enjoy! Personal favourites include ‘The Abortion’ and ‘In Watermelon Sugar’.

    I liked ‘Slapstick’ too! Fell apart a bit in the second half, I felt, but immensely enjoyable nonetheless.

  5. Reggie says:

    I know he didn’t rate it himself, but I have always been fond of Slapstick; Or, Lonesome No More. Although, I have learned not to recommend it to people.If they’ve read Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions, then it’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater or Galapogos.

    Did you know there was a God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater musical, written by Ashman & Menken, the same gents behind Little Shop of Horrors?

  6. I didn’t know about the musical, Reggie. How interesting. Now that I investigate, I see there are plenty of Vonnegut adaptations for stage and screen. Dan recently showed me a trailer for an upcoming film of Harrison Bergeron. This one, alas, looks properly rotten.

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