When a timeframe is not mentioned what stops one from thinking that the list has been going on forever? Something like all the books I've ever read, am reading, will ever read or want to? Oh no I did not want to go down the Babel path. Retrace: Close this para. Start another with new train of thought.
I was lying in bed last night next to a sleeping G who every now and then would put out an arm and manage to tug off the earphones of my iPod. Then, oh so carefully, I'd extricate the coveted accessory and press resume to continue listening to the World Book Club podcast with Lionel Shriver. The book being discussed was, of course, We Need to Talk About Kevin. I made a mental note to add said book to my reading list and this action led me to think about the various books I'd read and/or abandoned this year and somewhere in the consideration of The Gift or perhaps Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger, I slept. It may have been a dream or a crossthought but I also thought of Chenthil's post on books, which he called long, which I call woefully short, where he had tantalisingly set up his story of how he took to reading and then abruptly put a fullstop to it. I felt like turning the page to see if someone had torn off the rest (Chenthil: part two please!) The mashup of my pre-sleep pondering led to one good idea though - that of creating another list, this time for the year 2010 and focusing on Language.
For instance this Year 2010 list - and no cliched ten books in '10 - will necessarily include Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct, which I shall cheat and read this year and buy myself some time (yes the absurd is always around the corner.) I guess Bill Bryson, Noam Chomsky, Anne Fadiman, ...gosh there are plenty...So if you have any wonderful titles to recommend, I'd be grateful.
PS: I like the play on the title but I recommend you read it as reading 'lists'
PS2: the problem with language is it both expands and limits expression