Jane McCallion’s shameful secret

7 Jan

I have a shameful secret.

I buy books almost compulsively, but read so infrequently that soon they will outnumber the books I own that I have read. It’s true.

See what I mean?

So, in 2017, Ive decided to try and rectify this situation. First: stop buying books. Seriously. Second: take stock of the books I do have and try to read all of them over the course of the year.

The list below is the list of shame. It’s organised thematically (fiction, essays, classical literature, science, management, general non-fiction, technology/robots and the future of work, feminist literature), but not necessarily in the order I will read them. That, I’m going to leave up to Twitter (after all, this was originally a blog about the use and misuse of social media!) If you want to help me and don’t already follow me, I’m @janemccallion.

I also intend to write brief reviews of the books after I’ve read them, so stay tuned for that. Now, without further ado:

The List


  • Maddaddam
  • Origin
  • Space
  • Time
  • The Circle
  • Arrival
  • Dracula
  • Our Friends from Frolix 8
  • Foundation and Empire
  • Second Foundation
  • Dune
  • Ficciones
  • Les Belles Images
  • Master and Margarita
  • Asterix Chez Les Pictes


  • The Collapse of Complex Societies
  • Art of the Soluble
  • Retour au Meilleur des Mondes (Brave New World Revisited)
  • The Mind’s Eye
  • Seeing Voices
  • Netymology
  • After Babel
  • The Secret Life of Words
  • La Voz Dormida
  • The Tanner’s Figure

Classical Literature

  • Utopia
  • The Republic
  • The Odyssey


  • Question Everything
  • Why are Orangutans orange?
  • Computing with Quantum Cats


  • The Art of War
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People

General Non-Fiction

  • Eyewitness to History
  • Dial M for Murdoch
  • Googled
  • Join Me
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying

Technology, robots and the future of work

  • Our Work Here is Done
  • The Rise of the Robots
  • The Rise of the Humans
  • Postcapitalism
  • Society’s Genome

Feminist literature

  • Living Dolls
  • Moranthology
  • Men Explain Things to Me


And there you have it – the 47-book long list of shame. For reference, the one I’ve had the longest is Dracula – I was meant to read it for AS-Level English Literature and, er, well I didn’t.

As each book is completed, I’ll cross it off the list. Here’s to a more well-read me!


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