Currently Reading

“What’s this called? I asked.


A long, slow University.”

-Roberto Bolano-


Fall 2016

Having completed my PhD coursework at the European Graduate School this Summer, my reading list has morphed to include a robust bibliography regarding my impending dissertation.  Here are the books I’m reading through at home…the office shelves carry many other related inquiries for research time at work…I don’t have the time to type the titles out, but if any one who’s interested can’t make out author or title, just shoot me a message!

“I decided to continue drinking and living in just this way.

My whole life long”

– Georges Bataille

Chin-deep in labor, family, relationship & studies…

Works for survival:

Writers, Antoine VolodineAntoine Volodine, Writers

Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature

Samuel Beckett, The Grove Centenary Editions

Ivan Vladislavic, The Loss Library & Other Unfinished Stories

Franz Kafka, I Am a Memory Come Alive

Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co.

Montano’s Malady

Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

William James, The Writings of William James

Mikhail Bakhtin, Works of

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Questions

Works that expand:

Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900

William Franke, A Philosophy of the Unsayable

Ian Hodder, Studies in Human-Thing Entanglement

Paolo Virno, When the Word Becomes Flesh

Werner Hamacher, Minima Philologica

Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community

Paul Feyerabend, Against Method



And so begins 2015…

determined to let the book out – to invite, enable, release, nurse and nurture, labor, expose and extend…

in the following essential company:

Donald Barthelme – Sixty Stories

Mike Bartlett – Cock

Ben Lerner – 10:04

Samuel Beckett – Grove Centenary Edition – Complete Works (4 volumes)

William Vollmann – Seven Dreams Series

David Foster Wallace – The Pale King

Herman Melville – Moby Dick

William Vollmann – You Bright & Risen Angels

W. S. Merwin – The Moon Before Morning

Jack Gilbert – Collected Poems

William Bronk – Life Supports

William Stafford – The Way It Is

Ben Lerner – Mean Free Path

Arkadii Dragomoshchenko – Dust

Nathalie Sarraute – The Age of Suspicion

Peter Mendelsund – What We See When We Read

Paul Armstrong – How Literature Plays With The Brain

Dan Beachy-Quick – Work From Memory

Steven Moore – The Novel – an alternative history

David Foster Wallace – Both Flesh and Not

Alberto Manguel – The Library at Night

Nicholas Basbanes – On Paper

Peter Morville –  Intertwingled

Mark Johnson – The Meaning of the Body

Clarice Lispector – Discovering the World

Jean-Luc Nancy – Being Singular Plural

Manning + Massumi – Thought in the Act

Humberto Maturana Romesin – Fundamental Relativity

Maturana & Varela – The Tree of Knowledge

Edgar Morin – On Complexity

Tim Ingold – Being Alive

Collins & Rush (eds.) – Making Sense: For an Effective Aesthetics

and the proposed construction of:

(Parenthesis) : Swarm  – Poetry

Resulting – A Novel

DEMONstructions – myths & stories

Failing Better – A Novel

and beginning a PhD in Communication at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee Switzerland!


hand eye heart

Seasonal Affect Re-Order – Winter 2014

seasonal affect

Ben Lerner – 10:04

Daniel Kehlmann – F

Jon Fosse – Melancholy II

Donald Antrim – The Verificationist

Clarice Listpector – The Stream of Life

Alejandro Zambra – Ways of Going Home

Eric Chevillard – The Author & Me

Stephane Mallarme – Collected Poems

Jack Gilbert – Collected Poems

William Bronk – Life Supports

Tomas Transtromer – The Great Enigma

Edmond Jabes – From the Book to the Book

Li-Young Lee – Book of My Nights

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Peter Mendelsohn – What We See When We Read

Stephane Mallarme – Divagations

Johann Goethe – Conversations with Eckermann

Gabriel Josipovici – Touch

Steven Moore – The Novel

Jacques Derrida – Writing & Difference

Donald Barthelme – Not-Knowing

Michel Serres – The Five Senses

Peter Sloterdijk – Critique of Cynical Reason

John Deely – Four Ages of Understanding

Alfred Whitehead – Process & Reality

Lauren Berlant / Lee Edelman – Sex, or the Unbearable

Mark Johnson – The Meaning of the Body

Collins & Rush – Making Sense

Jacques Derrida – On Touching-Jean-Luc Nancy

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Summer Season – 2014 – the Sustenance Border

Spring 2014 has been a chaotic season of change and uncertainty – exit of spouse and partner, upheaval of constitution of home, struggle for reliable financial sustenance, scrapping scrambling and stumbling toward survival…  What has emerged is not so much a resolution of any external rhythm or regulation, but a slow arrival of a kind of internal calm…acceptance of the external instability…

The Calming Corral

Barbara Fredrickson, Love 2.0

Erin Manning & Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act

Bruce Bromley, Making Figures

Pablo M. Ruiz, Four Cold Chapters

Carol Maso, Break Every Rule

Paul Armstrong, How Literature Plays with the Brain

Paul Bains, The Primacy of Semiosis

Rick Hanson, Just One Thing

Cheri Huber, When You’re Falling, Dive

Tristan Garcia, Form and Object

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Danah Boyd – It’s Complicated: the Social Lives of Networked Teens

Steve Krug – Don’t Make Me Think

Elizabeth Castro & Bruce Hyslop – HTML5 & CSS3

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Leaving the Sea, Ben Marcus

Age of Wire & String, Ben Marcus

Collected Poems, Jack Gilbert

Moon Before Morning, W. S. Merwin

John the Posthumous, Jason Schwartz

A Whaler’s Dictionary, Dan Beachy-Quick

Work from Memory, Dan Beachy-Quick & Matthew Goulish

Xenia, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

Microscripts, Robert Walser

A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of his arm a Book, Edmond Jabes

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The Piles – Summer 2013

In corner 1:

Interactive Information Seeking, Behaviour & Retrieval by Ruthven & Kelly

Dynamic Patterns by Kelso

Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective by Schunk

The Embodied Mind by Varela, Thompson and Rosch

Situated Cognition by Kirshner & Whitson

The Tree of Knowledge by Maturana & Varela

On Complexity by Morin

Always More than One by Manning

brain, mind and the signifying body by Thibault

Agency & Consciousness in Discourse by Thibault

a thousand plateaus by Deleuze & Guattari

Difference & Repetition by Deleuze

Agent, Person, Subject, Self by Kockelman

Reassembling the Social by Latour

The Primacy of Semiosis by Bains

and corner 2:

Theories of Human Communication by Littlejohn & Foss

Language & Relation by Fynsk

The Dialogic Imagination by Bakhtin

Speech Genres & Other Late Essays by Bakhtin

The Infinite Conversation by Blanchot

negotiations by Deleuze

A Foray into the Worlds of Animals & Humans by Uexkull

The Evolution of Information by Goonatilake

The Subject of Semiotics by Silverman

Chaos by James Gleick

The Telling by Laura (Riding) Jackson

Exploring Complexity by Nicolis & Prigogine

The Parasite by Michel Serres

Touch by Josipovici

and in corner 3:

Bowstring by Shklovsky

Precision & Soul by Musil

Captivity by Sheck

Xenia by Dragomoschenko

Erasure by Everett

Cain by Saramago

Hello, the Roses by Berssenbrugge

Abstraktion und Einfuhlung by Everett

Glyph by Everett

Raised from the Ground by Saramago

Terra Amata by Le Clezio

Avalovara by Lins

The Preparation of the Novel by Barthes

Lines by Ingold

Patron-Driven Acquisitions by Nixon, Freeman and Ward

Architectures of Possibility by Olsen

I can’t see the other corner from here….

Spring 2013 – Gathering Information

The following is the whole hurly burly from whence my daily readings come, those listed are indeed those that “make my head throb heart-like” (the list is therefore edited):

Readings in Information Retrieval edited by Karen Sparck Jones and Peter Willett

The Study of Information: Interdisciplinary Messages edited by Fritz Machlup and Una Mansfield

New Directions in Cognitive Information Retrieval by Amanda Spink and Charles Cole

Logic and the Organization of Information by Martin Fricke

Language and Representation in Information Retrieval by David C. Blair

Wittgenstein, Language and Information: ‘Back to the Rough Ground!’ by David C. Blair

Being There by Andy Clark


The Social Foundations of Language and Thought edited by David R. Olson

Beyond the Information Given by Jerome Bruner

In Search of Mind by Jerome Bruner

Symbols, Selves and Social Reality edited by Kent Sandstrom, Daniel Martin & Gary Fine

Making Sense: The Acquisition of Shared Meaning by Katherine Nelson

Thought & Language by Lev Vygotsky

The Social Construction of Reality by Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann

Actual Minds, Possible Worlds by Jerome Bruner


A Sign is Just a Sign by Thomas Sebeok

The Subject of Semiotics by Kaja Silverman

Atomic Light (Shadow Optics) by Akira Lippit

Language, Counter-Memory, Practice by Michel Foucault

The Order of Things by Michel Foucault

The Essential Peirce by Charles Peirce

Of Grammatology by Jacques Derrida


Nothing is Hidden by Norman Malcolm

Insight & Illusion by PMS Hacker

Wittgenstein: A Social Theory of Knowledge by David Bloor

Emotions and Understanding: A Wittgensteinian Perspective edited by Ylva Gustaffson, Camilla Kronqvist and Michael McEachrane

Philosophical InvestigationsThe Blue and Brown BooksZettel, by Ludwig Wittgenstein


A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans by Jacob von Uexkull

Chaos by James Gleick

not exactly: in praise of vagueness by Kees Van Deemter

The Information by James Gleick

Inner Vision by Semir Zeki

Of Mind and Other Matters by Nelson Goodman

Abstraction & Empathy by Wilhelm Worringer

An Alchemy of Mind by Diane Ackerman


Forthcoming by Jalal Toufic

dictionary of modern anguish by R.M. Berry

Diary of a Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee

Xenia by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

Collected Fictions by Jorge Borges

The Language of Inquiry by Lyn Hejinian

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

The Loop by Jacques Roubaud

The Distant Sound by Gert Jonke

The Way It Is  by William Stafford

From the Book to the Book by Edmond Jabes

Captivity by Laurie Sheck


titles actively reading – Winter 2012-2013

I realize that perusing others lists, regardless of contents, is a particularized human curiosity and can seem to have the ephemerality of a jotted grocery list.  For thinkers and writers, artists and conversationalists, however, the listings of their prominent inputs often supply an interesting lens to the ingredients comprising their simmering outputs, and whether or not I count as fitting any of the vocational activities mentioned above, reporting on what constitutes my daily company and nourishing fare in the way of emotional/intellectual stimulation also serves as a kind of “works cited” for anything I produce.  In other words, the books listed below are the energies currently haranguing and contorting, shaping and materializing in me toward what might count as knowledge.  As I’ve noted before, the books that I have at the “active ready” (available at arm’s length to my working space of a desk) number around 60, but for these lists I am paring them down to those I am likely to complete sections of on a weekly basis.  I will highlight one or two that are blowing me away as I organize and catalog them here:

Things Literary

Degenerative Prose – edited by Mark Amerika and Ronald Sukenick

The Language of Inquiry – Lyn Hejinian 

worth every month of reading!
worth every month of reading!

Life Sentences – William Gass

All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age – Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly (jury’s out)

Farther Away – Jonathan Franzen

Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace – D.T. Max

Conversations with David Foster Wallace – edited by Stephen Burn

[The Legace Of] David Foster Wallace – edited by Samuel Cohen and Lee Konstantinou (kudos)

Both Flesh and Not – David Foster Wallace (ah, yes)

Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews – Donald Barthelme


Several short sentences about writing – Verlyn Klinkenborg 

exceptional things
exceptional things

Of Grammatology – Jacques Derrida (again!)

Language & Relation…that there is language – Christopher Fynsk (thick, rich and work to digest)

Things Scientifical/Philosophical

Principles of Emergent Realism – Roy Wood Sellars

Actual Minds, Possible Worlds – Jerome Bruner

Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together AgainAndy Clark

The Labyrinth of Language – Max Black

The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans – Stanley Greenspan and Stuart Shanker

i of the vortex – Rodolfo Llinas 

particularly fine!
particularly fine!

The Evolution of Information: Lineages in Gene, Culture and Artefact – Susantha Goonatilake

Talking Philosophy: Dialogues with Fifteen Leading Philosophers – edited by Bryan Magee

Philosophical Investigations – Ludwig Wittgenstein (ever and always)

The Social Construction of Reality – Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann

The Life of Numbers – from an idea by Antonio Duran


Theories of Human Communication – Stephen Littlejohn & Karen Foss (oh so useful)

Piaget and His School: A Reader in Developmental Psychology – edited by Barbel Inhelder & Harold Chipman

Thought and Language – Lev Vygotsky

Here Comes Everybody – Clay Shirky

Things Artsy

The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain – Eric Kandel


Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain – Semir Zeki

The Museum of the Mind – John Mack

What Are You Looking At? : The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art – Will Gompertz

Cabinets of Wonder – Christine Davenne 


Fictiony Things

The Flame Alphabet – Ben Marcus

This is Not It – Lynne Tillman

Awaiting Oblivion – Maurice Blanchot

the village on horseback – jesse ball

The Triumph of Love and Other Paintings – Michael Westlake

The Pale King – David Foster Wallace (still :))

Collected Fictions – Jorge Luis Borges

so masterful!
so masterful!

The Man Who Loved Children – Christina Stead

Amateurs – Donald Barthelme

Things Poesy

Opus Posthumous – Wallace Stevens

The Way It Is – William Stafford

The Selected Levis – Larry Levis

From the Book to the Book – Edmond Jabes

Xenia – Arkadii Dragomoschenko

Life Supports – William Bronk

the staple diet

Well, that’s what I’ve perused today!  Should be sufficient to sustain me through these Winter months!  I encourage you to investigate any you’re unfamiliar with, or pay a rewarding visit to any you haven’t seen in awhile!  Treasures await!  New thoughts are beckoning!

Read . Think . Read . Think . Read . Think . Read

Survival Supplies – Seasonal Semester

The way I go about selecting what I “need” to be reading ends up functioning by the time the list competes its way out to also be a “Recommended Reading” list, as if the titles that capture my attention withstand engagement and require careful full attention clearly I’ve decided (for me) that these books are worth adding to my internal world.  So the purpose of periodically posting the books I spend time in each week (usually for a few months), is both a bibliography to the thought that comes out in my writings, as well as an “I think these books are worth anyone’s time” should you share some of my interests.  That being said, it is August, and I’m in a full week of graduate school (full-time) after over 15 years of private personal schooling within my home and 16 years of marriages, parenting and retail employment.  Reentry is daunting, particularly as technologies of education have changed radically, so all my moments are being rearranged and reallotted, but I need books and literary languages for so many things in my life (indeed, for quality of life itself), that my body demands I make moments for all it craves throughout every process.  The following is what lines my desk as “essential” as I enter this Fall semester (many are repeats – not quite finished from the busy Summer):

This time, from left to right around the perimeter:

Christoph Niemann: Abstract City

Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Michael Chorost: World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the     Internet

Gerald Edelman: second nature: brain science and human knowledge

Antonio Damasio: Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

Norman Doidge: The Brain that Changes Itself

Mengert & Wilkinson, eds.: 12×12: Conversations in 21st Century Poetry and Poetics

Michael Holquist: Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World

Michael Chabon: Manhood for Amateurs

Viktor Shklovsky: Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar

Lyn Hejinian: The Language of Inquiry

Octavio Paz: Convergences: Essays on Art & Literature

Ronald Sukenick: narralogues


Ben Marcus: The Flame Alphabet

Lance Olsen: Girl Imagined by Chance

G. Gospodinov: And Other Stories

John Gardner: The Wreckage of Agathon

Lynne Tillman: This is Not It

David Foster Wallace: The Pale King


Wallace Stevens: Opus Posthumous

William Bronk: Life Supports

Larry Levis: The Selected Levis

William Stafford: The Way It Is

Edmond Jabes: From the Book to the Book

Arkadii Dragomoschenko: Xenia

Rosmarie Waldrop: Curves to the Apple

Edward Sapir: Language

J.R. Firth: Speech

Ann Smock: What is There to Say?

V.N. Volosinov: Marxism and the Philosophy of Language

H.L. Hix: Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes

M.M. Bakhtin: The Dialogic Imagination

Maurice Blanchot: The Infinite Conversation

Richard Rubin: Foundations of Library and Information Science

Cassell / Hiremath: Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century

Carol Kuhlthau: Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library & Information Services


19 thoughts on “Currently Reading

  1. David

    This is picking out one guy out of a hundred there, but I’m glad other people are into Peter Berger! He’s such an awesome philosopher.

  2. Pingback: Currently Reading – updated « manoftheword

  3. Pingback: Currently Reading « manoftheword

  4. Pingback: Charting Change | "The Whole Hurly Burly"

  5. I’m new to your site but already your reading list is making me clap my hands nerdily and go “yay”. Hope you don’t mind if I make some coffee and settle down here for a while.

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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