The impossible pile of books to read in 2017

in Musings by

A list of books that have been hidden in my shelf and now demand my attention.

Despite having moved countless times and between countless countries for the past several years, I have always manage to lug around a quite sizeable collection of books. I can’t help myself. Living in the Bloomsbury district of London (don’t worry, at a student dorm, I’m not a millionaire) I was forced to buy all the fantastic offers I found in the second hand bookstores that dotted Marchmont Street. And in Washington DC there were so many independent bookshops from each of which I had to buy at least one bookish souvenir. Then in Copenhagen, there’s ark.

Bottom line is, despite not having moved properly into my apartment yet, I still have a whole lot of books, and I haven’t read even a fourth of them. So I decided to make a big pile of the ones I wanted to read in 2017 and present them to you in all their diversity. So far the pile is as large as the number of books I usually read per year, so we’ll see how this New Year’s Resolution works out. Perhaps you can save me some time by letting me know which ones are worth the effort.


23Pirates and Farmers by David Hickey

This was hanging around ark books for a while, and in the end I had to buy it just because of the title.  Apparently this guy is quite the provocateur in art circles with his little essays on why some art is amazing and some art is shit. One would think this was now a thing of the past, but apparently not.

New Forest by Josefine Klougart 21

Everyone in Denmark has been talking about Josefine Klougart for ages, and I haven’t read a word. The book is as beautiful as she is, with as much darkness on the cover as you might surmise lies lurking beneath her blonde hair, and a friend of mine could get me a copy for free. There, done.



Economics: The User’s Guide by Ha-Joon Chang 

I’m trying to educate myself to overthrow the system, though I’m not sure a Cambridge professor is the right place to start.



11On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky 

In line with educating myself: Am I an anarchist? Who is this ubiquitous Noam Chomsky? This, and much more, I hope to have answered by this book.



12We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

I’m so behind.



13Junior Rambo by Jakob Silas Lund

This book is written by one of my friends and is a biography of a rebel soldier who fought in the Sierra Leonean civil war. I’m thinking it’s an important read, though it’s not going to be a pleasant one.



14Krigens by Naja Vucina Pedersen 

A tiny sliver of a book I had pushed upon me by a very adamant bookseller on Vesterbro. Looks very promising, but still haven’t opened it.



15The Stranger by Albert Camus 

So that maybe I can understand the conversations of my existentialist friends.




16Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

As if.




17Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

I’m drawn to introverted, Scandinavian books. This looks to be one of them.




18Forestilling om the 20. Århundrede by Peter Høegh

I love novels that have grande titles such as this one: “Conceptions of the 20th century”. But forestilling could also be translated as show or performance. Which is it? I must know.




19Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

People have told me that I should read this book ever since I wrote my Master’s thesis on memory of the Holocaust in contemporary Europe, and I am apparently a slave to people’s will.



20The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

So many Jonathans! So many Holocaust novels! There is a conspiracy in the literary world which must be unravelled.



1Århundredets Kærlighedskrig by Ebba Witt-Brattström

Another grandiose title (badly translated: The love-war of the century), this time by a Swedish feminist who called out everyone’s unadulterated love of Karl Ove Knausgaard as a product of patriarchal society. Represent.



2Om Foråret by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I know, but I’m also a product of patriarchal society!




3Det Store Fald by Peter Handke 

Another grandiose title (The Great Fall) by another pessimistic European man. So many these days.




4Atlanterhavet Vokser by Julie Sten-Knudsen

A beautiful poetry collection about having an adopted, brown sister in a white, xenophobic country. I hear she mentions Beyonce.



5The History Manifesto by Jo Guldi and David Armitage

A well-worded defense on the need for history in politics. Basically born from an urge to get historians into power again and oust those soulless, contextless economists!




6Post-Capitalist Society by Peter Drucker

My boyfriend gave me this because he knows about my plans to overthrow the system, and it does say that it’s a classic on the front page. However, Amazon lists Peter Drucker as a “Business guru”, so I’m sceptical.



7Realizing Hope: Life Beyond Capitalism by Michael Albert

Now here’s someone who actually means business.




8Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon

Because colonialism is still a thing.




9Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson

Because nation states are still a thing.




Vinterbørn by Dea Trier Mørch

Because feminism is still a thing, and I want to know what it looked like in the Danish welfare state of the 70’s.




Which books will you be reading this year? Let us know in the comments – maybe we will be inspired to order some of them home!

Aspiring writer and avid reader of fiction. Has an odd penchant for white, American male authors such as Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen. Likes to discuss the failings of neoliberalism and other systems of oppression. Has yet to find a way to do anything about them. Had her eyes opened by postcolonial and gender theory (which has yet to do anything to her love of aforementioned white American male authors). Prefers Nescafé over real coffee, which everyone in the bookshop finds strange.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.