Inundated in books

In order to get free shipping from, I always order three books at a time.

Combine that with work, my Economist subscription, and other demands upon my time and the consequence is that I have several dozen books either ongoing or not yet started. Indeed, stacks of books now occupy my entire kitchen table.

My latest acquisitions are Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table, which was named by the Royal Institute as the best science book ever, and Bill McKibben’s edited collection of key environmental writings: American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

11 thoughts on “Inundated in books”

  1. Wouldn’t an ereader solve the problem of shipping, desk space and (unmentioned) environmental concerns associated with paper books?

  2. Me too! I always order three books from, and I always have a bunch of books on the go at the same time, plus a backlog of unread books.

  3. I am now in even worse shape than before.

    In New York, I picked up two collections of Richard Feynman’s writing (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher) as well as a copy of Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

    I got them all at an excellent used bookshop in SoHo, called Housing Works.

  4. is now offering free shipping on orders of over $25, down from $39 before.

  5. My book inundation is about as bad as ever.

    Nearly done:

    • Hofstadter, Douglas. I Am a Strange Loop. *
    • Ignatieff, Michael. The Warrior’s Honour: Ethnic War And the Modern Consciousness. *
    • Levi, Primo. The Periodic Table. *
    • Roth, J.D. Your Money: The Missing Manual. *

    More than half done:

    • Biver, Steven. Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting.
    • Gore, Al. Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.
    • Kahr, Brett. Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head?: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies.
    • McKay, Matthew et al. Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work. *
    • Norton, Peter. Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City.
    • Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
    • Rushdie, Salman. Midnight’s Children.
    • Stern, Nicholas. The Global Deal: Climate Change and the Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity.
    • Wilde, Oscar. De Profundis, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and other writings.


    • al-Aswany, Alaa. The Yacoubian Building.
    • Baylis, John and Steve Smith. The Globalization of World Politics.
    • Cherry-Garrard, Apsley. The Worst Journey in the World.
    • Doucet, Clive. Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and Politics as Usual.
    • Gardiner, Stephen et al. eds. Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. *
    • Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd.
    • Hesse, Hermann. Steppenwolf.
    • Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell.
    • Lowry, Malcolm. Under the Volcano.
    • Milton, John. Paradise Lost.
    • Woods, Ngaire. The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, And Their Borrowers.


    • Aldrich, Richard. GCHQ: The Uncensored Story Of Britain’s Most Secret Intelligence Agency
    • Ali, Monica. Brick Lane.
    • Cunningham, Michael. Specimen Days.
    • Darby, Andrew. Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling.
    • Feynman, Richard. Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher.
    • Findley, Timothy. The Wars.
    • Horgan, John. The End of Science.
    • Jones, Edward. The Known World.
    • McCarthy, Cormac. The Road.
    • McKibben, Bill ed. American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau.
    • Munro, Alice. The View from Castle Rock.
    • Murakami, Haruki. Sputnik Sweetheart.
    • Nabokov, Vladimir. Ada, or Ardor.
    • Patterson, Kevin. Consumption.
    • Powell, Douglas and William Leiss. Mad Cows and Mother’s Milk: The Perils of Poor Risk Communication.
    • Slovic, Paul. The Perception of Risk.

    * Actively being read

  6. I finished two books over the weekend:

    Levi, Primo. The Periodic Table.

    Ignatieff, Michael. The Warrior’s Honour: Ethnic War And the Modern Consciousness.

    Reviews are forthcoming.

    I am also making good progress on Richard Feynman’s Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher and Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work by Matthew McKay et al.

    As of now, I have 16 fiction books ongoing and 21 non-fiction.

  7. Geez Pete’s list of “Top 50 Essential Non-Fiction Books for Weirdos”
    David Pescovitz at 9:52 AM Thursday, Feb 10, 2011

    Inspired by the Modern Library’s “Top 100” list, Cheryl Botchick over at the Geez Pete blog took a crack at listing his picks for the “Top 50 Essential Non-Fiction Books for Weirdos.” Now, of course this is a “fool’s errand,” as she says, and the word “weirdo” is made of an infinite number of pocket subcultures, but it’s still a list of mostly really great, inspiring, or at minimum, provocative, books (not that I’ve read them all). Next, Geez is planning to tackle fiction for weirdos.

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