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[Saturday Reads] My #ReadingGoals (or List Of Books That I Wish To Find) Thanks to Alameddine’s “An Unnecessary Woman”

#ReadingGoals thanks to "An Unnecessary Woman"

Myra here.

Last week, I shared my thoughts about Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Womana make-believe memoir of a woman in her 70s, who has devoted her entire life to literature and translating novels that moved her – into Arabic. One of the greatest things I loved about the book is that it has introduced me to authors who were previously unknown to me, and made me keen to rediscover novelists whom I already know and am familiar with but haven’t read for quite awhile now.

Hence, I made a list of some of the books Aaliya mentioned, as well as the authors that she has referenced in the novel and some of their published works that I was able to find. It is to be noted though that I added a few more novels besides that caught my eye, written by the authors that Alameddine cited. I hope to read some of these, at least, in my lifetime. I did not include Roberto Bolaño in this list, since I already own most of his books, and it is my intention to tackle his 2666 for our upcoming reading theme – or so I declare.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, Herzog by Saul Bellow, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino – all familiar-to-me authors but these are some of their works I have not read yet.

Dubliners by James Joyce; Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth; Flight Without End by Joseph Roth.

The Fall by Albert Camus, The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, Waiting For The Barbarians by J. M. Coetzee.

Gould’s Book Of Fish by Richard Flanagan, The Charterhouse Of Parma by Stendhal, The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat.

The Lover | Wartime Notebooks | and Practicalities by Marguerite Duras, The Year Of The Death Of Ricardo Reis by José Saramago, Fear Of Flying by Erica Jong.

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, Hopscotch | Blow-Up | We Love Glenda So Much by Julio Cortazar, Final Exam by Julio Cortazar.

The Conformist by Alberto Moravia, Pan by Knut Hamsun, Hunger by Knut Hamsun.

Corydon by André Gide, Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, This House Of Grief by Helen Garner.

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, The Garden Of The Departed Cats by Bilge Karasu, A Long Day’s Evening by Bilge Karasu.

The Moon And The Bonfires by Cesare Pavese, Fateless by Imre Kertész, Kaddish For An Unborn Child by Imre Kertész.

The Issa Valley by Czeslaw Milosz, A Tomb For Boris Davidovich by Danilo Kis, The Encyclopedia Of The Dead by Danilo Kis.

The Professor And The Siren by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa, The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa, A Book Of Memories by Péter Nádas.

The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom, Danube by Claudio Magris, Microcosms by Claudio Magris.

Murphy by Samuel Beckett, Ransom by David Malouf, An Imaginary Life by David Malouf.

How I Came To Know Fish by Ota Pavel, Tomorrow In The Battle Think On Me by Javier Marias, A Heart So White by Javier Marias.

Your Face Tomorrow Volume 1: Fever And Spear by Javier Marias, Your Face Tomorrow Volume 2: Dance And Dream by Javier Marias, Your Face Tomorrow Volume 3: Poison, Shadow And Farewell by Javier Marias.

Sepharad by Antonio Muñoz Molina, In The Night Of Time by Antonio Muñoz Molina, Hymns To The Night And Spiritual Songs by Novalis.

Selected Poems by C. F. Cavafy, The Keeper Of Sheep by Fernando Pessoa, The Book Of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles, Sonnets To Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Dearest Father by Franz Kafka, Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald.

The Vivisector by Patrick White, Fires by Marguerite Yourcenar, Memoirs Of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar.

The Elephant by Slawomir Mrozek, A Short History Of Decay by E. M. Cioran, The Book Of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon.

Maps by Nuruddin Farah, Sophie’s Choice by William Styron, Sensual Delights Of The Heart: A Tale Of Medieval Arab Erotica by Ahmad Al-Tifashi.

Cinnamon Shops by Bruno Schulz, This Way For The Gas Ladies And Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski.

Have you read any of these books yet? Any title that caught your eye?


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7 comments on “[Saturday Reads] My #ReadingGoals (or List Of Books That I Wish To Find) Thanks to Alameddine’s “An Unnecessary Woman”

  1. Sounds like an amazing book. It reminds me of Will Schwalbe’s book “The End of Your Life Book Club.

    On Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 9:01 PM, Gathering Books wrote:

    > Myra GB posted: ” Myra here. Last week, I shared my thoughts about Rabih > Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, a make-believe memoir of a woman in her > 70s, who has devoted her entire life to literature and translating novels > that moved her – into Arabic. One of the gre” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James McHugh & Vivian Chang

    This book is one of the worst I’ve ever read. It’s pretentious and badly written. Complete dribble.
    That said, I am amused that so many books were referenced in the story and congratulate you on the time you obviously spent going through the novel finding them. I remember at the time thinking what a complete wanker the author was for trying to include every book he’d ever read into the non-existent plot. Argh. Why did I ever waste my time?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to agree that this book is clearly not for everyone. 🙂 I selected this book for one of my online book clubs – and the response to it has been mixed. There were several who described the book pretty much the way that you did, with the lack of plot, and yes a few described it as incredibly pretentious. There were others, though, who reveled in the literary journey of Aaliya and enjoyed the book references (like I did). If anything, I am thankful it has led me to all these books/authors, which I am now dying to find and read. 🙂


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