The New York Times

By the Book: Richard Lloyd Parry

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Q: What books are on your nightstand?

A: The books beside my bed are like the expensive, and suspiciously unsullied, pair of running shoes in the cupboard: an aspiration, and a symbol of the man I would like to be rather than the one I truly am. I’ve got the “Collected Poems” of W.B. Yeats and Ted Hughes, both of which I did in fact read a good deal of over the summer. I’ve got “Asia’s Reckoning: The Struggle for Global Dominance,” by Richard McGregor, which I hear great things about. “Quennets,” by Philip Terry, is a book of experimental poetry, purchased in a fit of avant-garde fervour that I will no doubt get round to one of these decades.

Right at the bottom of the pile is “Ulysses,” by James Joyce. I know, I know ... I read it at university, and then got halfway through it again in my 30s. And then stopped. For a while, I kept it

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