I’ve read a lot of really good (and some so-so) books this summer, and have half-read almost as many. Here they are, as recommendations, or for no particular reason, in no particular order. (“Summer” for me this year means May until now, with a dash of April while the semester was winding down.) I hope to do some reviews, probably of the gaming ones, after I set up shop in the new house.

Piero Heliczer, A Purchase in the White Botanica (poetry)
Virginia Woolf, Orlando (novel)
Rick Moody, Purple America (novel)
McKenzie Wark, Gamer Theory (theory)
Chris Crawford, Chris Crawford on Game Design (theory)
John Nathan, Mishima: A Biography (biography)
George Battaille, My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man (novellas)
Jill Magi, Threads (poetry)
Jeremy Reed, Scott Walker: Another Tear Falls (music)
Johny Rogan, Morrissey and Marr: The Severed Alliance (music)
Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques (memoire/anthropology)
Kester Rattebury et al., Architecture Today (art)
Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City (art)
Isabelle Eberhardt, The Oblivion Seekers (stories)
Jessica Smith, Organic Future Cellar (poetry)
Yukio Mishima, Madame Sade (play)
Alexander R. Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (theory)
Lewis Williams, Scott Walker: The Rhymes of Goodbye (music)
Raymond Radiguet, Count D’Orgel (novel)
Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden (novel)
ActionScript 3.0 Animation (programming)
Ryan Daley, Armored Elevator (poetry)
Erika Fishcer, Aimee et Jaguar (biography)
Marilyn Hacker, Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons (poetry)
Joshua Clover, The Totality for Kids (poetry)
Andre Breton, Mad Love (prose)
Stephen Dunn, Riffs & Reciprocities (prose poems)
Roger Callois, Man, Play and Games (theory)
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens (theory)
Marjorie Welish, The Annotated “Here” and Selected Poems (poetry)
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (novel)

I have a pretty bad tendency of putting books down and finishing them some months later. These are books I’m at least a third of the way through:

Christian Hawkey, The Book & Funnels (poetry)
John Clare, “I Am” The Selected Poetry (poetry)
Samuel Greenberg, Poems (poetry)
Rodney Koeneke, Musee Mechanique (poems)
Stephane Mallarme, Divigations (prose)
Gertrude Stein, Fernhurst, Q.E.D. and other early writings (novellas)
Lorine Neidecker, Collected Works (poetry)
Flash MX Game Design Demystified (programming)
AI for Game Developers (programming)
Ian Bogast, Unit Operations (theory)
Nick Montfort, Twisty Little Passages (criticism)
Peter Handke, Kaspar and Other Plays (plays)
Erik Ehn, The Saint Plays (plays)
Pierre Guyotat, Eden Eden Eden (novel)
Geoffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (novel)
Tony Hoagland, Donkey Gospel (poetry)
Rogert Shattuck, Forbidden Knowledge (criticism)
Ronald Hayman, Theatre and Ant-Theatre (criticism)

Most importantly, though — even if it doesn’t count as reading, it is research, of sorts — is that I finished Shadow of the Colossus. Big deal? Well, I haven’t really played a video game in, oh, probably decades, certainly not with those new-fangled controllers, and this is an amazing one and took quite a long time (at least by my TV-weary standards).

If you don’t play video games, or don’t have a PS2, borrow one or go to a friend’s house and play this one, you won’t regret it. Not to sound like a snob, but it’s the first mainstream video game I’ve played that really convinced me of the cultural import of video games, for reasons I won’t describe now (and that don’t have only to do with the visual appeal). But I haven’t played a lot lately except for a bunch of experimental on-line things.