Friday, December 01, 2006

BOOKS: What? A List? Well, If You Must...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It's enough to make you wish 2007 would just get here already. Another year-end "best of" list, this one from The New York Times:

The 10 Best Books of 2006

There are couple of pluses to this list I must point out. First, you have to admire the editors' restraint in keeping their list down to a mere ten titles. And second, I've never heard of Amy Hempel, but the description of her short stories has my interest decidedly piqued.

I'm bagged, peepz. All this water boiling and snow shovelling has taken its toll on my fragile west-coast constitution. Off for a weekend of R&R, and I'll be back in full force on Monday. TGIFrigginF.


Anonymous said...

Definitely check out the Amy Hempel book. I think some of those stories are out of print, so she's been long overdue for a collection like that.

Anonymous said...

I'd disagree with the Calamity Physics book. It's far too precious, and I saw the big moment at the end coming for miles.

landismom said...

Sigh. Another list on which I have read nothing. I am not literate any more.

Anonymous said...

I've also never read anything on this list; but I suppose the fact that I've still got over 200 unread books on my shelf, and that I tend to a) not be able to afford first run hardcovers and b) still have a lot of Faulkner/Nabokov etc. to read before I get to anything more recent.

I'm actually looking forward to cracking open a copy of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, though. I am one of those seemingly rare folks who does not believe that the late-Victorian realist conventions that have dominated prose fiction for the last hundred plus years is the pinnacle of what the novel can or should be; in fact I prefer when a novelist decides that they are going to put their art ahead of a style that dominates mostly for reasons of capitalism than of quality.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of them, but there are several that pique my interest. It's very easy to get me to read a book, apparently; all it takes is namedropping Gogol or Nabokov and I am dizzy with excitement.

Anonymous said...

'...I knew there was a pain in the room--I just didn't know whose pain it was.'
"The Harvest', by Amy Hempel, paragraph 5.

'I think there's a pain somewhere in the room,' said Mrs. Gradgrind, 'but I could't positively say that I have got it.'

And when we've finished with thoe charged with plagarism recently in this blog, let's dig up Shakespeare and have it out re the atrocities done 'Hollingshed's Chronicles.' Iambic pentameter, indeed.

'Hard Times,' by Charles Dickens, Book II, ch 9, par...19th from the ch end.