This year I decided not to keep a list of what I read as I found myself sacrificing quality for quantity, so this list will be a bit sketchy, but here are a few worth checking out.
J M Bernstein, Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics. Huge, demanding, and, I think agenda-setting. This is philosophy at its highest pitch: broad in sources yet rigorous in argumentation, insightful on society, powerfully combining sociology and philosophy. This is the critical theory tradition at its best.
Jerrold Siegel, Modernity and Bourgeois Life. A fascinating history of the variations of ‘bourgeois’ in France, Germany and England since 1750.
Marilynne Robinson, Absence of Mind and When I was a child I read books. They’re by Marilynne Robinson. Enough said.
Robert Pippin, Henry James and Modern Moral Life. Perhaps the greatest Hegelian scholar of his generation, Pippin is also a very sensitive reader of fiction.
Christopher Insole, Kant and the Creation of Freedom. Fascinating book on Kant’s grappling with freedom and compatibilism, tracing the shifts in his thinking and showing how integral his theological metaphysics were to his critical philosophy. It will be very interesting to see how the field responds to this.
David Bentley Hart, The Doors of the Sea. Where was God in the Tsunami. Well-written and short, lays out the issues of theodicy and Christian theology very well. Interesting to read in light of Insole’s book. Also his Atheist Delusions – a very good counter-polemic.
Nigel Pleasants’, Wittgenstein and the idea of a critical social theory. Masterful summaries, incisive critiques, challenging conclusions.
Terry Pinkard, Hegel: A Biography. Ok, I didn’t finish this yet but it is very good. Same goes for Armatya Sen’s The Idea of Justice.
Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong.
Alois Hotschnig, Maybe this time.
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America.
James Kelman, how late it was how late.
Milan Kundera, slowness
David Grossman, To the end of the land
Nicole Kraus, Great House.