Just some of mine – I’d love to read about yours. Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams (Warner Books), a compact little book set in the early 1900s, time viewed from different imagined angles – hugely descriptive, a real dazzler – skews your perspectives in the most creative way.
The Poems of Frederick Seidel 1959-2009 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) – raw, combative, strangely beautiful, political … a real discovery.
Otto Weininger Sex and Character (www.kessinger.net) – it absorbed Wittgenstein and isn’t too far removed from Houston Chamberlain and other fantastical reactionaries. Itchy grains of intuition mixed in with some very weird misconceptions … influential in its day, but something of an embarassment in ours. Instructive, revealing, depressing.
Swansong 1945 (Granta) by Walter Kempowski – ‘a collective diary from Hitler’s last birthday to VE day’. Read about 130 pages so far. Absorbing chronicle from the Bunker to despatches from abroad – harrowing, enlightening, uplifting, touching. A wonderful read – one of my books of the year.