2012 Christmas Book Wish List

“What is supposedly wrong is the ‘excessive’ consumption of Xmas. This lets supposedly normal consumption off the hook… So-called ‘normal’ consumption is what calls for critique.”

McKenzie Wark,
“A Christmas Carol: Dedicated to Scrooge and His Art Collection”

With Christmas just around the corner, I guess it won’t be bad to engage in some wishful thinking. And what better subject to indulge in such thoughts of imagined “consumerism” for a bibliophile like me than books? Since Christmas is about gifts, it is just fitting to celebrate the holiday season by unveiling my book wishlist.

Sometimes I receive books for Christmas, my Birthday, or other occasions. Most of the time, these presents end up unread and forgotten in bookshelves. Worse, they get donated to libraries or rummage sales. This is mainly because of the lack of prior investigation. To remedy this problem, here are some tips as to my taste of books.

In general, I like to read books by authors of progressive or revolutionary credentials, be they novels, biographies, manifestos, primers, or social investigations (Engels, Fanon, Freire, Guerrero, Lenin, Liwanag Mao, Marx, Sison, Stalin).

I also love particular literary writers: Bulgakov, Chekhov, Frank Herbert, Le Guin, Nick Joaquin, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Saramago.

Novels and short stories by 19th Century European realists (Balzac, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Zola) are also my thing. But not so much from the Anglo-American tradition. I also prefer fiction by Latin American writers like Borges, Carpentier, Cortazar, and Rulfo and mid-20th Century Japanese fiction, particularly those of Mishima.

I read collections of essays on literary criticism, cultural studies, philosophy, and critical theory. I also appreciate books on histories, travels, and philosophies.

As of the moment, the top three books that I would like to get hold of are as follows:

 Karl Marx's Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production, the reading of which has been put off for so long.

Karl Marx’s Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production, the reading of which has been put off for so long.

 Lu Xun's The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China, by the father of modern Chinese literature and Mao's ideal writer in his "Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art."

Lu Xun’s The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China, by the father of modern Chinese literature and Mao’s ideal writer in his “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art.”

 Peter Weiss' The Aesthetics of Resistance, Vol.1, the quintessential literary expression of the idea of art as political resistance.

Peter Weiss’ The Aesthetics of Resistance, Vol.1, the quintessential literary expression of the idea of art as political resistance.

Some of the other titles topping my book wishlist include Nick Joaquín’s Tropical Gothic and Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo. There’s Mikhail Bulgakov’s The White Guard, about the Russia Civil War from the point of view of the losing forces of reaction. This is a favorite of Stalin.

I would like to read Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Petals of Blood, a hard-hitting indictment of the neocolonial subjugation of Africa; Subcomandante Marcos’ The Uncomfortable Dead: A Novel by Four Hands, the guerilla commander’s detective novel set in Zapatista guerilla zones in Chiapas.

Then there’s Mo Yan’s Red Sorghum, the controversial Nobel winner’s novel of the Chinese peasant resistance to the Japanese occupation; and Juan Goytisolo’s The Marx Family Saga, a “what if” novel on Marx and his family living in the present neoliberal era.

I also like to have my own hard copies of Mao's 5 volumes of selected works.

I also like to have my own hard copies of Mao’s 5 volumes of selected works.

The rest of my book wishlist can be checked at Goodreads.

A “Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Marx & Engels” Doll would also be nice. But this seems impossible to get considering the price: $60.99.

After losing 2 caps with red stars, I also want a new Mao cap.

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4 thoughts on “2012 Christmas Book Wish List

    • Well, that has more to do with an attempt at “shooting the arrow at the target,” of making my readings fit my political work. But the list shows that this attempt has largely been a failure with my whimsical literary tastes trumping the practical. ;)

  1. Pingback: 2013 Christmas Wish List | Hello.Lenin!

  2. I basically found copies of all the books I’ve been pining for last year except for The Marx Family Saga by Juan Goytisolo and Uncomfortable Dead: A Novel by Four Hands by Paco Ignacio Taibo II and Subcomandante Marcos.

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