In keeping with New Year’s tradition on this blog, below is a list of books I read last year. Obviously, we’re already into February now, so I must apologize for the lateness of this post, and the paucity of posts generally. My main excuse is that a little over a year ago I was promoted to a new position at work, one with a steep learning curve. Complicating this was that for close to three months my old position went unfilled, so I was effectively doing both jobs (further complicated by a stint on jury duty!). Hence, I had little time or energy for blogging.
This also partly explains the shorter reading list this year. I had less time for reading as well — though thanks to a long commute on public transit, as well as a lack of enthusiasm for smartphones and social media, I still get more reading done than the average person.
It wasn’t just work that curtailed the list. This year I acquired nine volumes of the 1808-1811 edition of the Harleian Miscellany. For those unfamiliar with it, this is a large collection of scarce pamphlets and manuscripts from the vast library collected by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (1661-1724) and his son Edward. My method of reading this is what I would call “grazing”. I draw a volume at random from the shelf, scan the table of contents for a pamphlet that looks promising, and then read it. I have devoted many pleasurable hours to this activity, particularly in the past six months. But since I never completely read a volume systematically, from cover to cover, these extensive Harleian ramblings are not recorded in the list below.
So, in terms of quantity, there are 64 items on this year’s list. Although that’s nothing to sniff at, to put it in context, last year – a more typical one – I read 83.
In terms of content, there is less fiction than the previous two years, though it’s still represented (e.g. Austen, Brown, Fitzgerald, Hogg, Sterne). Poetry is also well-represented (though it usually is): Horace, Wordsworth, Herbert, Marlowe, and Golding’s translation of Ovid. Unlike in 2017, there are no plays.
Prominent are books on parliamentarianism & parliamentary history (e.g. Chandler, Timberland, Bradshaw, Robert’s Rules of Order, Bourinot’s Rules of Order, Jefferson’s Manual and the Rules of the House of Representatives). Without boring you with details, this is partly out of professional interest, stemming from my new position. But I also found it very interesting reading, and I think it is a trend that will continue this year.
Other than that, there are no prominent patterns to my reading this year, except perhaps for a slight tilt towards 17th-century English Toryism and Anglicanism: Lord Clarendon, Richard Hooker, The Book of Common Prayer, Charles I’s Eikon Basilike (as well as Jeremy Taylor sermons, which won’t appear until next year’s list, as I’m still reading them).
As with previous years’ lists, those books that I particularly enjoyed are bolded.
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ALDERSEY-WILLIAMS, Hugh. The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century. London: Granta Publications, 2015.
AUBREY, John. John Aubrey’s Brief Lives. Richard Barber (ed.). London: The Folio Society, 1975.
AUSTEN, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: Folio Society, 1975.
BERKELEY, George. A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. London: Jacob Tonson, 1734 (facsimile, Menston, UK: Scolar Press, 1971.
BLAKE, Sara. Administrative Law in Canada (5th edition). Markham, ON: LexisNexis, 2011.
BRADSHAW, Kenneth and David PRING. Parliament and Congress. London: Quartet Books, 1973.
BROWN, Charles Brockden. Arthur Mervyn: or, Memoirs of the Year 1793. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1980.
BUCK, George. The History of the Life and Reigne of Richard the Third. London: W. Wilson, 1647 (facsimile, London: EP Publishing, 1973).
BURTON, Robert. The Anatomy of Melancholy (Vol. II). London: Everyman Library, 1932.
CHANDLER, Richard (ed.). The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons (Vol. I: 1660-1680). London: Richard Chandler, 1742.
CHARLES I. Eikon Basilike, or The King’s Book. London: Alexander Moring, 1904.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND. The Book of Common Prayer. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1999.
CLARENDON, Edward Hyde, Earl of. The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon (Vol. I). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1817.
COKE, Sir Edward. Three Law Tracts. William Hawkins (ed.). London: J. Worrall, 1764 (facsimile, Abingdon, UK: Professional Books Limited, 1982).
COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor. Collected Works, Vol. 6: Lay Sermons. R. J. White (ed.). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972.
CUMMINGS, Brian (ed.). The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
DESCARTES, René. Philosophical Essays and Correspondence. Roger Ariew (ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000.
DISRAELI, Benjamin. Tory Democrat: Two Famous Disraeli Speeches. Sir Edward Boyle (ed.). London: Conservative Political Centre, 1950.
FITZGERALD, F. Scott. Tales of the Jazz Age. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1966.
GODWIN, William. The Enquirer: Reflections on Education, Manners, and Literature. London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1797 (facsimile, New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1965).
GODWIN, William. Enquiry concerning Political Justice (Vol. I). London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1798 (facsimile, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969).
HART, H. L. A. Law, Liberty, and Morality. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1963.
HAYEK, Friedrich A. Law, Legislation and Liberty (Vol. 1: Rules and Order). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
HAYEK, Friedrich A. Law, Legislation and Liberty (Vol. 2: The Mirage of Social Justice). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.
HAYEK, Friedrich. A. Law, Legislation and Liberty (Vol. 3: The Political Order of a Free People). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.
HELVÉTIUS, Claude Adrien. A Treatise on Man; His Intellectual Faculties and His Education (Vol. I). W. Hooper (trans.). London: Vernor, Hood and Sharpe, 1810 (facsimile, New York: Burt Franklin, 1969).
HELVÉTIUS, Claude Adrien. A Treatise on Man; His Intellectual Faculties and His Education (Vol. II). W. Hooper (trans.). London: Vernor, Hood and Sharpe, 1810 (facsimile, New York: Burt Franklin, 1969).
HERBERT, George. The Complete English Works. Ann Pasternak Slater (ed.). New York: Everyman’s Library, 1995.
HESIOD. Theogony, Works and Days, Testimonia. Glenn W. Most (trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.
HOGG, James. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. John Carey (ed.). London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
HOOKER, Richard. The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine, Mr. Richard Hooker, Containing Eight Books of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (Vol. I). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1807.
HORACE. A Poetical Translation of the Works of Horace (Vol. II). Philip Francis (trans.). London: W. Strahan et al., 1778.
JOHNSON, Charles W. Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States (105th Congress). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997.
JOHNSON, Samuel. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (Works, Vol. IX). Mary Lascelles (ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1971.
KEYNES, John Maynard. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Collected Works, Vol. VII). London: Macmillan, 1973.
LOCKE, John. Questions concerning the Law of Nature. Robert Horwitz, Jenny Strauss Clay, and Diskin Clay (eds. and trans.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990.
LOCKE, John. An Essay concerning Human Understanding. Peter H. Nidditch (ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.
MARLOWE, Christopher. The Poems. Millar MacLure (ed.). London: Methuen and Co., 1968.
MILL, John Stuart. On Liberty. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1992.
OVID. Ovid’s Metamorphoses: The Arthur Golding Translation 1567. Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2000.
POPE, Alexander. Selected Prose of Alexander Pope. Paul Hammond (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
ROBERT III, Henry M., et al. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th edition). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo, 2015.
ROCHEFOUCAULD, François, Duc de La. Maximes. London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1902.
ROWTHORN, Robert. The Costs and Benefits of Large-scale Immigration: Exploring the economic and demographic consequences for the UK. London: Civitas, 2015.
SHAFTESBURY, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of. Standard Edition, III,1: Correspondence (Letters 1-100). Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 2018.
SHAFTESBURY, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of. A Letter concerning Enthusiasm, to My Lord *****. London: J. Morphew, 1708.
SHAFTESBURY, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of. Sensus Communis: An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour. London: Egbert Sanger, 1709 (facsimile, New York: Garland Publishing, 1971).
SHAFTESBURY, Nicholas Ashley-Cooper, 12th Earl of, and Tim KNOX. The Rebirth of an English Country House: St. Giles House. New York: Rizzoli, 2018.
SIDNEY, Algernon. Court Maxims. Hans W. Blom, Eco Haitsma Mulier, and Ronald Janse (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
SMITHERS, Peter. The Life of Joseph Addison (2nd edition). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968.
SPENCE, Joseph. Observations, Anecdotes, and Characters of Books and Men (Vol. I). James M. Osborn (ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966.
STANFORD, Geoffrey. Bourinot’s Rules of Order (4th edition). Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1995.
STEELE, Richard, Joseph ADDISON, et al. The Tatler (Vol. IV). George A. Aitken (ed.). London: Duckworth and Co., 1899.
STEELE, Richard, Joseph ADDISON, et al. The Guardian. John Calhoun Stephens (ed.). Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1982.
STERNE, Laurence. Tristram Shandy. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1991.
SUN TZU. The Art of War. Peter Harris (trans.). New York: Everyman’s Library, 2018.
TIMBERLAND, Ebenezer (ed.). The History and Proceedings of the House of Lords (Vol. II: 1697-1714). London: Ebenezer Timberland, 1742.
TIMBERLAND, Ebenezer (ed.). The History and Proceedings of the House of Lords (Vol. VI: 1738-1740). London: Ebenezer Timberland, 1742.
TIMBERLAND, Ebenezer (ed.). The History and Proceedings of the House of Lords (Vol. VII: 1740-1741). London: Ebenezer Timberland, 1742.
TIMBERLAND, Ebenezer (ed.). The History and Proceedings of the House of Lords (Vol. VIII: 1741-1743). London: Ebenezer Timberland, 1743.
VANCE, J. D. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. New York: Harper, 2016.
WALPOLE, Horace. Selected Letters. Stephen Clarke (ed.). New York: Everyman’s Library, 2017.
WHICHCOTE, Benjamin. Select Notions. London: Israel Harrison, 1685 (facsimile, Menston, UK: Scolar Press, 1971).
WORDSWORTH, William. Selected Poems. New York, Everyman’s Library, 2000.