Sunday, July 13, 2008

Acme Garfunkel library


Art Garfunkel has been keeping a detailed list of every book he has read since 1968. It’s quite an impressive list. The last entry is No. 1,023, Booth Tarkington’s Magnificent Ambersons, dated 2007. It was apparently compiled by Mr. Garfunkel with help from a fan.

His Favorites page lists 135 books, from Rousseau’s Confessions, read in June 1968, to Charles Bukowski’s Post Office, dated February 2003. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve read only 18 of his 135 faves:

5. Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint
22. Bulfinch, Mythology
23. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
30. Jack Kerouac, On the Road
34. Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
35. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
39. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Abridged)
41. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
44. St. Augustine, Confessions
71. Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching
80. Harold C. Schonberg, The Lives of the Great Composers
82. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
95. Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
97. Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
99. Fredric Dannen, Hit Men
100. Will and Ariel Durant, The Story of Civilization VIII: The Age of Louis XIV [Actually, I don’t know if I’ve read this one, but I’ve read a bunch of the Durants’ series]
112. Franz Kafka, The Trial
130. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

(Of these, Gulliver’s Travels, St. Augustine’s Confessions and Freud would also place high with me.)

The photo above seems to have been taken in July 1981, while he was reading one of his favorites, David Halberstam’s The Powers That Be. Before that he read Goethe’s Faust, Part One. Apparently he didn’t spend a lot of time with Piers Anthony and Ghosts I Have Been.

(Via BB.)

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