My Reading

This is a list of books I’ve read. Obviously not all the books I’ve read, just those I’ve read or re-read since implementing this list, and some entries I’ve scavenged off of Goodreads. I use it to keep passages I want to remember or favourite quotations.

I Shall Wear Midnight | Terry Pratchett

Somewhere - some time - tere’s a tangled ball of evil and spite, of hatred and malice, that has woken up. And it’s waking up all the old stories too - stories about evil old witches…

Finished on October 22, 2020


Unseen Academicals | Terry Pratchett

Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they’re in the mood for trying anything else. This is not going to be a gentleman’s game.

Finished on October 4, 2020


Wintersmith | Terry Pratchett

Tiffany Aching leaps into a dance — and suddenly the spirit of winter is in love with her. He’s showering her with snowflakes and offering her a crown of ice — which is creepy, but also just a little bit … cool. Now she’s dancing to his tune. She can’t change the steps. But unless Tiffany can work out how to deal with the Wintersmith, there will never be another springtime.

Finished on July 27, 2020


Thud! | Terry Pratchett

Koom Valley, the ancient battle where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls, was a long time ago. But if he doesn’t solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office.

Finished on June 17, 2020


A Hat Full of Sky | Terry Pratchett

No real witch would casually step out of their body, leaving it empty. Tiffany Aching does. And there’s something just waiting for a handy body to take over. Something ancient and horrible, which can’t die.

Finished on April 7, 2020


Monstrous Regiment | Terry Pratchett

Polly Perks has to become a boy in a hurry if she wants to find her brother in the army. Cutting off her hair and wearing the trousers is easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape takes more time. And there’s a war on. There’s always a war on. Polly and he fellow raw recruits are suddenly in the thick of it. All they have on their side is the most artful sergeant in the army and a vampire with a lust for coffee. Well… they have the Secret. And it’s time to make a stand.

Finished on March 11, 2020


The Wee Free Men | Terry Pratchett

Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home.

Finished on February 23, 2020


Night Watch | Terry Pratchett

For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution. Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably-priced love! And a hard-boiled egg!

Finished on February 13, 2020


The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents | Terry Pratchett

Maurice, a streewise tomcat, has the perfect money-making scam. Everyone knows the stories about rats and pipers, and Maurice has a stupid-looking kid with a pipe, and his very own plague of rats - strangely educated rats… But in Bad Blintz, the little con suddenly goes down the drain. For someone there is playing a different tune and now the rats must learn a new word. Evil. It’s not a game any more. It’s a rat-eat-rat world. And that might only be the start…

Finished on January 29, 2020


The Last Hero | Terry Pratchett

He’s been a legend in his own lifetime. He can remember the great days of high adventure. He can remember when a hero didn’t have to worry about fences and lawyers and civilisation. He can remember when people didn’t tell you off for killing dragons. But he can’t always remember, these days, where he put his teeth. He’s really not happy about that bit. So now, with his ancient sword and his new walking stick and his old friends - and they’re very old friends - Cohen the Barbarian is going on one final quest.

Finished on January 17, 2020


Thief of Time | Terry Pratchett

On the Discworld time management is the job of the Monks of History, who store it and pump it from where it’s wasted (like underwater - how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there’s never enough time. But the construction of the world’s first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time for Lu Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd. Because it will stop time. And when time stands still, everything stops with it. Then there really is no future.

Finished on January 8, 2020


The Truth | Terry Pratchett

William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld’s first newspaper. New printing technology means that words just won’t obediently stay nailed down like usual. There’s a very real threat of news getting out there.

Finished on November 20, 2019


The Fifth Elephant | Terry Pratchett

A few days ago Sam Vimes was a copper. An important copper, true - chief of police - but still, at his core, a policeman. But today he is an ambassador - to the mysterious, fat-rich country of Uberwald. Today Sam Vimes is also a man on the run.

Finished on October 8, 2019


Carpe Jugulum | Terry Pratchett

In a fit of enlightenment democracy and ebullient goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald’s undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.

Finished on August 1, 2019


The Last Continent | Terry Pratchett

There’s nothing like the issue of evolution to get under the skin of academics. Especially when those same academics are by chance or bad judgement deposited at a critical evolutionary turning point when one wrong move could have catastrophic results for the future.

Finished on June 29, 2019


Jingo | Terry Pratchett

Throughout history, there’s always been a perfectly good reason to start a war. Never more so if it is over a ‘strategic’ piece of old rock in the middle of nowhere. It is after all every citizen’s right to bear arms to defend what they consider to be their own. Even if it isn’t. And in such pressing circumstances, you really shouldn’t let small details like the absence of an army or indeed the money to finance one get in the way of a righteous fight with all the attendant benefits of out-and-out nationalism.

Finished on June 6, 2019


Hogfather | Terry Pratchett

There are those who believe and those who don’t. Through the ages, superstition has had its uses. Nowhere more so than in the Discworld where it’s helped to maintain the status quo. Anything that undermines superstition has to be viewed with some caution. There may be consequences, particularly on the last night of the year when the time is turning. When those consequences turn out to be the end of the world, you need to be prepared. You might even want more standing between you and oblivion than a mere slip of a girl - even if she has looked Death in the face on numerous occasions.

Finished on April 21, 2019


Feet of Clay | Terry Pratchett

For members of the City Watch, life consists of troubling times, linked together by periods of torpid inactivity. Now is one such troubling time. People are being murdered, but there’s no trace of anything alive having been at the crime scene. Is there ever a circumstance in which you can blame the weapon not the murderer? Such philosophical questions are not the usual domain of the city’s police, but they’re going to have to start learning fast.

Finished on February 7, 2019


Maskerade | Terry Pratchett

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, the Discworld’s greatest witches, are back for an innocent night at the opera. Naturally there’s going to be trouble, but at the same time there’ll be a good evening’s entertainment with murders that you can really hum to.

Finished on December 20, 2018


Interesting Times | Terry Pratchett

There are many who say that the art of diplomacy is an intricate and complex dance. There are others who maintain that it’s merely a matter of who carries the biggest stick. The oldest and most inscrutable (not to mention heavily fortified) empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes; warlords are struggling for power - and what the nation wants, to avoid terrible doom for everyone, is a wizard. Rincewind is not the Disc’s premier wizard – in fact, he can’t even spell ‘wizard’ – but no-one specified whether competence was an issue. And they do have a very big stick.

Finished on October 29, 2018


Soul Music | Terry Pratchett

Other children get given xylophones. Susan just had to ask her grandfather to take his vest off. Yes. There’s a Death in the family. It’s hard to grow up normally when Grandfather rides a white horse and wields a scythe – especially when you have to take over the family business, and everyone mistakes you for the Tooth Fairy.

Finished on September 22, 2018


Men at Arms | Terry Pratchett

The City Watch needs MEN! But what it’s got includes Corporal Carrot (technically a dwarf), Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detritus (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman… most of the time) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving). And they need all the help they can get, because someone in Ankh-Morpork has been getting dangerous ideas - about crowns and legendary swords, and destiny. And the problem with destiny is, of course, that she is not always careful where she points her finger. One minute you might be minding your own business on a normal if not spectacular career path, the next you might be in the frame for the big job, like saving the world.

Finished on June 28, 2018


Lords and Ladies | Terry Pratchett

It’s a hot Midsummer Night. The crop circles are turning up everywhere-even on the mustard-and-cress of Pewseyy Ogg, aged four. And Magrat Garlick, witch, is going to be married in the morning. Everything ought to be going like a dream. But the Lancre All-Comers Morris Team have got drunk on a fairy mound and the elves have come back, bringing all those things traditionally associated with the magical, glittering realm of Faerie.

Finished on March 18, 2018


Small Gods | Terry Pratchett

Religion is a controversial business in the Discworld. Everyone has their own opinion, and indeed their own gods. Who come in all shapes and sizes. In such a competitive environment, there is a pressing need to make one’s presence felt. And it’s certainly not remotely helpful to be reduced to be appearing in the form of a tortoise, a manifestation far below god-like status in anyone’s book. In such instances, you need an acolyte, and fast. Preferably one who won’t ask too many questions.

Finished on January 23, 2018


Witches Abroad | Terry Pratchett

Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills—which unfortunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother. So now it’s up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn’t marry the Prince.

Finished on November 12, 2017


Reaper Man | Terry Pratchett

On the Disc, as here, they need Death. If Death doesn’t come for you, then what are you supposed to do in the meantime? You can’t have the undead wandering about like lost souls. There’s no telling what might happen, particularly when they discover that life really is only for the living.

Finished on September 5, 2017


Moving Pictures | Terry Pratchett

People might say that reality is a quality that things possess in the same way that they possess weight. Sadly alchemists never really held with such a quaint notion. They think that they can change reality, shape it to their own purpose. Imagine then the damage that could be wrought if they get their hands on the ultimate alchemy - the invention of motion pictures, the greatest making of illusions.

Finished on July 17, 2017


Eric | Terry Pratchett

Discworld’s only demonology hacker, Eric, is about to make life very difficult for the rest of Ankh-Morpork’s denizens. This would-be Faust is very bad… at his work, that is. All he wants is to fulfill three little wishes… to live forever, to be master of the universe, and to have a stylin’ hot babe.

Finished on May 6, 2017


Guards! Guards! | Terry Pratchett

Here there be dragons… and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a dragon has appeared in Discworld’s greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King.

Finished on April 24, 2017


Pyramids | Terry Pratchett

It’s bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn’t a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he’s been trained at Ankh-Morpork’s famed assassins’ school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun. First, there’s the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad – a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal - not to mention a headstrong handmaiden - at the heart of his realm.

Finished on February 6, 2017


Wyrd Sisters | Terry Pratchett

Kingdoms wobble, crowns topple and knives flash on the magical Discworld as the statutory three witches meddle in royal politics. The wyrd sisters battle against frightful odds to put the rightful king on the throne. At least, that’s what they think.

Finished on November 28, 2016


Sourcery | Terry Pratchett

Once upon a time, there was an eighth son of an eighth son who was, of course, a wizard. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, said wizard then had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son – a wizard squared (that’s all the math, really). Who of course, was a source of magic – a sourcerer.

Finished on October 13, 2016


Equal Rites | Terry Pratchett

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late.

Finished on August 7, 2016


The Light Fantastic | Terry Pratchett

In The Light Fantastic only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world.

Finished on July 23, 2016


The Colour of Magic | Terry Pratchett

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE on the planet.

Finished on June 14, 2016


Raising Steam | Terry Pratchett

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork, a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all the elements - earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear. Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work - as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital… but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse.

Finished on March 26, 2016


Making Money | Terry Pratchett

It’s an offer you can’t refuse. Who would not to wish to be the man in charge of Ankh-Morpork’s Royal Mint and the bank next door? It’s a job for life. But, as former con-man Moist von Lipwig is learning, the life is not necessarily for long.

Finished on February 29, 2016


Mort | Terry Pratchett

Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse - especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.

Finished on July 17, 2015


Going Postal | Terry Pratchett

Arch-swindler Moist Van Lipwig never believed his confidence crimes were hanging offenses - until he found himself with a noose tightly around his neck, dropping through a trapdoor, and falling into… a government job?

Finished on July 2, 2015


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes | Arthur Conan Doyle

A collection of eleven detective stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous literary creation, Sherlock Holmes.

Finished on September 20, 2014


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes | Arthur Conan Doyle

A collection of twelve detective stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous literary creation, Sherlock Holmes.

Finished on September 10, 2014


The Sign of the Four | Arthur Conan Doyle

When a beautiful young woman is sent a letter inviting her to a sinister assignation, she immediately seeks the advice of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes.

Finished on August 30, 2014


A Study in Scarlet | Arthur Conan Doyle

From the moment Dr John Watson takes lodgings in Baker Street with the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, he becomes intimately acquainted with the bloody violence and frightening ingenuity of the criminal mind.

Finished on August 21, 2014


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy | Douglas Adams

People of Earth, your attention please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. Plans for development of the outlying regions of the galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.

Finished on August 15, 2014


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows | J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is preparing to leave the Dursleys and Privet Drive for the last time. The future that awaits him is full of danger, not only for him, but for anyone close to him - and Harry has already lost so much. Only by destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes can Harry free himself and overcome the Dark Lord’s forces of evil. In a final and perilous journey, Harry must find the strength and the will to face a deadly confrontation that is his alone to fight.

Finished on August 13, 2014


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince | J.K. Rowling

It’s Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort’s sinister forces amass and a spirit of gloom and fear sweeps the land, it becomes clear to Harry that he will soon have no choice but to confront his destiny. Can Harry succeed in the death-defying tasks ahead?

Finished on August 8, 2014


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | J.K. Rowling

This novel by J.K. Rowling continues the further adventures of boy wizard Harry and his friends. Harry is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School, and what he is about to discover will turn his world upside down.

Finished on July 26, 2014


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire | J.K. Rowling

This is the pivotal fourth novel in the seven part tale of Harry Potter’s training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at the Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened in a hundred years.

Finished on July 17, 2014


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But when Harry arrives at Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school.

Finished on July 10, 2014


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little does he know that this year will be just as eventful as the last. Harry keeps hearing strange voices, sinister and dark messages appear, and then Ron’s sister Ginny disappears.

Finished on June 29, 2014


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone | J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever.

Finished on June 20, 2014


The World of Wal-Mart | Nicholas Copeland

This book demonstrates the usefulness of anthropological concepts by taking a critical look at Wal-Mart and the American Dream. Rather than singling Wal-Mart out for criticism, the authors treat it as a product of a socio-political order that it also helps to shape. The book attributes Wal-Mart’s success to the failure of American (and global) society to make the Dream available to everyone.

Finished on June 13, 2014


Beowulf | Unknown

The earliest extant poem in a modern European language, “Beowulf” is an epic that reflects a feudal, newly Christian world of heroes and monsters, blood, victory, and death.

Finished on June 2, 2014


Quidditch Through the Ages | Kennilworthy Whisp

The most checked-out book in the Hogwarts Library, and a volume no Quidditch player or Harry Potter fan should be without!

Finished on May 15, 2014


Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy | René Descartes

Descartes’ ideas not only changed the course of Western philosophy but also led to or transformed the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, physics and mathematics, political theory and ethics, psychoanalysis, and literature and the arts. This book reprints Descartes’ major works, Discourse on Method and Meditations.

Finished on February 5, 2014


The Rites of Rulers | Christel Lane

Although considerable attention has been paid to those cultural revolutions which result in fundamental social upheavals, the less spectacular silent cultural revolutions which leave the existing social structure intact, focusing instead on the behavioural dimension of ideology, have been neglected. In this book, Christel Lane examines such a silent revolution, exploring the ways in which it was achieved in the Soviet society of the time through the instrument of ritual.

Finished on January 31, 2014


A Doll’s House | Henrik Ibsen

A Doll’s House (1879), is a masterpiece of theatrical craft which for the first time portrayed the tragic hypocrisy of Victorian middle class marriage on the stage. The play ushered in a new social era and “exploded like a bomb into contemporary life”.

Finished on January 26, 2014


The War Poems | Siegfried Sassoon

For The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon, Sir Rupert Hart-Davis has arranged the poems as far as possible in the order of their composition. A useful Biographical Table is also included, so that students, scholars, and other readers can trace the movement of the soldier alongside the mind of the poet. Fourteen of the poems in this volume are published for the first time.

Finished on September 23, 2013


Literary Theory | Terry Eagleton

This classic work covers all of the major movements in literary studies in this century. Noted for its clear, engaging style and unpretentious treatment, Literary Theory has become the introduction of choice for anyone interested in learning about the world of contemporary literary thought.

Finished on September 21, 2013


The Trial | Franz Kafka

Written in 1914 but not published until 1925, a year after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.

Finished on August 8, 2013


The Sociological Imagination | C. Wright Mills

C. Wright Mills is best remembered for his highly acclaimed work The Sociological Imagination, in which he set forth his views on how social science should be pursued. Hailed upon publication as a cogent and hard-hitting critique, The Sociological Imagination took issue with the ascendant schools of sociology in the United States, calling for a humanist sociology connecting the social, personal, and historical dimensions of our lives. The sociological imagination Mills calls for is a sociological vision, a way of looking at the world that can see links between the apparently private problems of the individual and important social issues.

Finished on April 18, 2013


A Briefer History of Time | Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking’s worldwide bestseller A Brief History of Time remains a landmark volume in scientific writing. But for years readers have asked for a more accessible formulation of its key concepts—the nature of space and time, the role of God in creation, and the history and future of the universe. A Briefer History of Time is Professor Hawking’s response.

Finished on April 4, 2013


Discipline and Punish | Michel Foucault

In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner’s body to his soul.

Finished on December 12, 2012


Rabelais and His World | Mikhail Bakhtin

This classic work by the Russian philosopher and literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin (1895—1975) examines popular humor and folk culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, especially the world of carnival, as depicted in the novels of François Rabelais.

Finished on November 19, 2012


Goodbye To All That | Robert Graves

An autobiographical work that describes firsthand the great tectonic shifts in English society following the First World War, Robert Graves’s Goodbye to All That is a matchless evocation of the Great War’s haunting legacy.

Finished on June 3, 2012