On the way home from South Korea, I lost one box of books—the Odyssey I read crossing the Aegean, Lu Xun's Call to Arms someone gave me in China, a de Tocqueville full of notes ...  Other nameless treasure slipped away.  Now I read on a Kindle and list my invisible books.

BOOKS IN 2017

January

A History of Food—Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat

A Late Dinner—Paul Richardson

Soup & Bread—Martha Bayne

Eats, Shoots & Leaves—Lynne Truss

The Art of Memory—Francis Yates

Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student—Edward P. Corbett and Robert J. Connors

Kristin Lanvransdatter I: The Wreath—Sigrid Undset

 

February

Silence—Shūsaku Endō

We Refugees—Hannah Arendt

Aura—Carlos Fuentes

Pedro Páramo—Juan Rulfo

La Estación Violenta—Octavio Paz

La Paz de los Sepulcros—Jorge Volpi

Conversación y Repaso: Intermediate Spanish

Letters—Epicurus

Letters—Seneca

 

March

Incidents of Travel in the Yucatán, Volume 1—John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood

The Popol Vuh

Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs—Harri Kettunen and Christophe Helmke

Writing in Maya Glyphs: A Non-Technical Introduction to Maya Glyphs—Mark Pitts

Hieroglyphic Decipherment Guide—Inga E. Calvin

The Sea Around Us—Rachel Carson

A Month in the Country—J. L. Carr

Kafka: A Very Short Introduction

Mexico—Lonely Planet

The Souls of Black Folk—W. E. B. Du Bois

Under the Jaguar Sun—Italo Calvino

Breaking the Maya Code—Michael D. Coe

El Laberinto de Soledad—Octavio Paz

Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia—Rigoberta Menchú

 

April

In Patagonia—Bruce Chatwin

An Account of Magellan's Voyage 1518-1521 (Patagonia Section)—Antonio Pigafetta

Argentina—Lonely Planet

Trekking in Patagonia—Lonely Planet

Voyage of the Beagle—Charles Darwin

Walden (in Spanish)—Henry David Thoreau

 

May

The Land of the Blessed Virgin: Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia—W. Somerset Maugham

Chile—Lonely Planet

Racism: A Very Short Introduction

How to Lie with Statistics—Darrell Huff

Moments of Reprieve—Primo Levi

Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction

Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada—Pablo Neruda

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

American Politics: A Very Short Introduction

 

June

Residencia en la Tierra—Pablo Neruda

A un Sembrador—Gabriela Mistral

Ternura—Gabriela Mistral

Ayer Soñé con Valparaíso: Crónicas Porteñas—Manuel Peña Muñoz

Historias de Aquí y de Allá—Luis Sepúlveda

 

Books in 2016

January

Moby-Dick—Herman Melville (at the 25-hour Moby-Dick Marathon in New Bedford, Massachusetts)

Ghosts of Spain—Giles Tremlett

 

February

Tales of the Alhambra—Washington Irving (in the Alhambra!)

 

March

Challenging Students at Fort Worth Christian School to Engage the Economically Disadvantaged in Their Community—James Hensley

The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies—Robert Kirk (in Scotland)

The Second Common Reader—Virginia Woolf

 

April

Walden—Henry David Thoreau

Music: A Very Short Introduction

Tao Te Ching—Laozi

Gypsy Ballads—Federico García Lorca (in Andalucia)

Spain—Insight Guides

Driving over Lemons—Chris Stewart (in Andalucia)

Getting to Yes—Roger Fisher and William L. Ury

 

May

Paradiso—Dante (in Florence)

Doce Cuentos Peregrinos—Gabriel García Márquez

 

June

C1 Spanish

 

July

Freud's Travels—Daniela Finzi (in Vienna)

Alemán para el Viajero

Homage to Catalonia—George Orwell (in Catalonia)

*The Truce—Primo Levi

Deutsche Grammatik & Rechtschreibung—PONS

Economics: A Very Short Introduction

 

August

Dasda: Deutsch als Fremdsprache für Jugendliche Grundkurs Lehrbuch—Katja Baginski

Letters—Vincent van Gogh (in Amsterdam)

Tagebuch—Anne Frank (in Amsterdam)

Hedda Gabler—Henrik Ibsen (in Oslo)

 

September

"Babette's Feast"—Isak Dinesen (in Copenhagen)

Hamlet—Shakespeare (at Elsinore where it's set!)

 

October

Social Work—A Very Short Introduction

Between the World and Me—Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

November

Soledades, Galerias, Otros Poemas—Antonio Machado

 

December

The Castle—Franz Kafka (in Prague at his home and the Café Louvre!)

M Train—Patti Smith

 

Books in 2015

January

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism—Max Weber

Writing Fiction—Janet Burroway

The Writing Life—Annie Dillard

Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction

Memoir from the House of the Dead—Dostoevsky

The Narrow Road to the Deep North—Matsuo Basho

The Summing Up—W. Somerset Maugham

Snow Country—Yasunari Kawabata

 

February

The Fall of Language in the Age of English—Minae Mizumura

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower—Professor X

Black Like Me—John Howard Griffin

Cane—Jean Toomer

Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well—Pellegrino Artusi

Journalism: A Very Short Introduction

Management: A Very Short Introduction

 

March

Organizations: A Very Short Introduction

Toxic Charity—Bob Lupton

Tender Buttons—Gertrude Stein

Animal Farm—George Orwell

My Larger Education—Booker T. Washington

 

April

Walden—Henry David Thoreau

Guatemala—Lonely Planet

For the Time Being—Annie Dillard

Education: A Very Short Introduction

Photography: A Very Short Introduction

Advertising: A Very Short Introduction

 

May

Law: A Very Short Introduction

Siddhartha—Herman Hesse

Libre Soy: Portraits of a New Guatemala—Allison Voigts

 

June

The Vocation of a Teacher—Wayne C. Booth

We Could Almost Eat Outside—Phillippe Delerm

Other People's Trades—Primo Levi

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler—Italo Calvino

Invisible Cities—Italo Calvino

Up from Slavery—Booker T. Washington

Architecture: A Very Short Introduction

Koran: A Very Short Introduction

The Conquistadors: A Very Short Introduction

A True History of the Conquest of New Spain—Bernal Diaz

The Maya—Michael D Coe

 

July

On Becoming a Person—Carl Rogers

Reading the Past: Maya Glyphs—S.D. Houston

The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other—Tzvetan Todorov

Esperanza

 

August

El Peregrino—Paulo Coehlo

Reading the Maya GlyphsMichael D Coe

Art Theory: A Very Short Introduction

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies—Bartholome de las Casas

Maya Art and Architecture—Mary Ellen Miller

Twenty Years at Hull House—Jane Addams

Pedagogy of Hope—Paulo Freire

 

September

Georgics—Virgil

Origin of Inspiration—Samuel Adoquei

The Maya Scribe and His World—Michael D. Coe

The Ten Commandments and Beyond—Bob Epley

When Helping Hurts—Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

The Book of Strangers (The Book of the Literature of Strangers)

The Red and the Black—Stendahl

Celebration of Awareness—Ivan Illich

The Monkey Wrench—Primo Levi

 

October

Education and Experience—John Dewey

Fragments—Heraclitus

Tools for Coviviality—Ivan Illich

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers—Leonard Koren

Meditations—Marcus Aurelius

The House Beautiful—Frank Lloyd Wright

Steering the Craft—Ursula K. Le Guin

The Prince—Machiavelli

 

November

Women at The Hague—Jane Addams

Chicago—Lonely Planet

Jane Addams' Travel Medicine Kit—Terri Kapsalis

Siddhartha—Herman Hesse

Ha Jin's Introduction to Lu Xun (Lu Hsun)

Spain—Lonely Planet

Kindergarten Chats—Louis Sullivan

A System of Architectural Ornament—Louis Sullivan

Journals—Thoreau

Holy the Firm—Annie Dillard

A Gift of Love—Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Courage to Teach—Parker Palmer

Excerpts from Weber Selections in Translation—Max Weber

The Other Face of the Moon—Claude Lévi-Strauss

La Casa en Mango Street—Sandra Cisneros

 

December

A Storyteller and a City—Kenny J. Williams

Deschooling Society—Ivan Illich

I and Thou—Martin Buber

Morphology of the Folk Tale—Vladimir Propp

The Pillow Book—Sei Shōnagon

International Migration: A Very Short Introduction

A Path Appears—Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Collection of Sand—Italo Calvino

Stride toward Freedom—Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Books in 2014

If This Was a Man—Primo Levi

Man's Search for Meaning—Victor Frankl

The Return of the Prodigal Son—Henri Nouwen

Walden—Henry David Thoreau

Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Computer: A Very Short Introduction

Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction

Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

The Art of Public Speaking—Lucas

The Art of Public Speaking—Dale Carnagie

The Empire Writes Back—Bill Ashcroft

Lectures on Russian Literature—Vladimir Nabokov

The Instruction of Ptah-Hotep

Living by Fiction—Annie Dillard

The Encantadas—Herman Melville

The Common Reader—Virginia Woolf

Memory: A Very Short Introduction

Siddhartha—Herman Hesse

How to Shit Around the World—Dr. Jane Wilson-Howarth

Writing: A Very Short Introduction

Fashion: A Very Short Introduction

Animal Vegetable Miracle—Barbara Kingsolver

Lincoln's Speeches

Rhetorica ad Herennium

The History of Writing Instruction

The Periodic Table—Primo Levi

 

BOOKS IN 2013

The Institutes of Oratory—Quintilian

Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres—Hugh Blair

Republic—Plato

Walden—Henry David Thoreau

Of Grammatology—Jacques Derrida

Democracy in America—Alexis de Tocqueville

The Tempest—Shakespeare

Tristes Tropiques—Claude Lévi-Strauss

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword—Ruth Benedict

The Feminine Mystique—Betty Friedan

Dispatches—Michael Herr

The Things They Carried—Tim O'Brien

An Actor Prepares—Constantin Stanislavski

A Pilgrimage to Angkor—Pierre Loti

 

*You should really read Primo Levi.