Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I read all the wrong books this year.

I try to read 52 books a year. This year I took a month off and still managed to read 63, but according to the NYT, I am not the best person to ask about books.
Their recent list of the 100 most notable books of 2008, lists 48 fiction books that I never even opened. I'm not even going to the non-fiction side of the list.
It's not that I didn't know about these great new releases, in fact I listened to interviews with more than 7 of the authors and heard in-depth reviews of more than 20 of them.
I just....didn't read them. *sigh*
I promise to do better next year--starting with these:

LUSH LIFE. By Richard Price. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) Chandler — and Bellow, too — peeps out from Price’s novel, in which an aspiring writer cum restaurant manager, mugged in the gentrifying Lower East Side of Manhattan, himself becomes a suspect.

UNACCUSTOMED EARTH. By Jhumpa Lahiri. (Knopf, $25.) In eight sensitive stories, Lahiri evokes the anxiety, excitement and transformations felt by Bengali immigrants and their American children.

THE UNFORTUNATES. By B. S. Johnson. (New Directions, $24.95.) This novel, first published in 1969, dovetails theme (the accidents of memory) with eccentric form (unbound chapters to be read in any order).

WHEN WILL THERE BE GOOD NEWS? By Kate Atkinson. (Little, Brown, $24.99.) Jackson Brodie, the hero of Atkinson’s previous literary thrillers, takes the case of a mother and baby who suddenly disappear.

THE WIDOWS OF EASTWICK. By John Updike. (Knopf, $24.95.) In this ingenious sequel to “The Witches of Eastwick,” the three title characters, old ladies now, renew their sisterhood, return to their old hometown and contrive to atone for past crimes.

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