Art Garfunkel: Lit King


This week's New Yorker features an Talk of the Town piece on Art Garfunkel and the 1,023 books he's read since 1968. Apparently he first posted the list on his website over a decade ago, but this is the first I heard of it (sorry, keeping up with all-things-Garfunkel isn't a priority for me). As the writer Nick Paumgarten points out, reading 1,023 books means he's kept a pace of reading about 2.16 books a month. Now, for the last few years, I joined a friend of mine in trying to read at least 52 books each year (i.e. a book a week). However, my friend and I both look like cheaters compared to Art Garfunkel. I read my share of heavy shit, like Pynchon's Against the Day and Mailer's Executioner's Song. But I also dig taking a breather by reading Nikki Sixx's Heroin Diaries, which takes about two days to finish. Glancing through Garfunkel's list, however, makes him look like a heavyweight champion of reading. Foucalt, Balzac, Proust, Tolstoy, Spinoza, Chesterton, Henry James, St. Augustine, Aristotle. You won't find a biography of Lemmy from Motorhead on Art's list. Matter of fact, Art says he read Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and considered it "frauduelent". Oh...that Art Garfunkel!

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