Booklist 2011

Today in the Tournament of Books, it’s Model Home by Eric Puchner vs. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, with the verdict rendered by …. me? Wait, seriously? Who let me do literary criticism?

Well anyway, mistakes were made and I think it’s best we just move on. But I am going to check two novels off my goal of reading 20 recommended books this year. Check! The other check!

I still have two more ToB novels to judge, which brings my required reading for the year up to four. As for the remainder my 2011 Booklist, I asked you for suggestions. Based on your feedback, here are the 25 books I have selected. (Twenty-five rather than twenty so I can abandon a couple of books if I don’t care for them.) Non-fiction books are denoted by an asterisk.

I’ll be reading Anil’s Ghost this week, followed by the ToB Finalists. After that: Black Swan Green. I’ll post a reading schedule for it, and every other book I tackle this year.

Thanks again for your recommendations.

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14 comments.

  1. What do the asterisks indicate?

  2. You’re going to LOVE “Anil’s Ghost”. It is a great book and the kind that you can read over and over again and keeping getting even more out of it. Enjoy!

  3. I hope “Guns, Germs, and Steel” isn’t going to be one of the abandoned books. That one changed the way I look at the world.

  4. I’m currently reading “The Half-Made World” by Felix Gilman, and it’s surprisingly good. The closest reference point I can think of is the Golden Compass trilogy. It’s not remotely similar in plot, but it has that same surprising feeling, that you’re reading a book that you have not read before. (Most of the time I read a book, it just feels like a retread of something I’ve read before…)

    I’m only a fifth of the way into “The Half-Made World” but I’m already recommending it to people. It gets all of my scant free time.

  5. “Jesus’ Son” is one of my favorites, so I’ll hope you enjoy it. The stories read pretty quick, so you’ll be able to bang it out in no time. After you read it, the movie version with Billy Crudup is pretty good, too.

  6. That’s a great looking list. I wish I read fast enough to read all those. I really need to wrap up reading this Faulkner thing I’ve gotten bogged down in. (Light in August.) I get lost in his sentences and have to keep lolling around in them.

    I was tickled that you picked my book and Denis Johnson’s. For a minute I thought maybe that meant I wrote like him. Or some sort of similarity if you’d be attracted to read both of us. Turned out the similarity was that I suggested him. Haha.

    But I almost like that more. Almost.

    Now I have two things to worry about you not liking. But I hope you do.

  7. Josh is right. Even a tortoise like me can knock Jesus’ Son out in an afternoon or two. Which is the sad part. I wish there were more.

    I also smile whenever I think of the film. It’s not one of my all-time favorites like the book, but it has a warm place in my heart. Whole lot of sweetness there.

  8. Just finished Black Swan Green. Best fiction book I read in a long time! On par with Cloud atlas IMHO.

  9. Kraken by Mieville is terrific. I LOVE China Mieville – his UN LUN DUN (technically a children’s/YA) is amazingly awesome.

    I might pilfer your list for some new reading material. There’s enough on here that I’ve read and liked a lot to make me think the other titles might be worth a read.

  10. Thanks for opening yourself up to input. It’s nice to see three of the books I voted for/plugged up there.

    I still maintain that anyone who doesn’t insist that people drop everything they’re doing to read “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Does it help that Brad Pitt is making another George V. Higgins novel into a movie, “Cogan’s Trade”? I’d almost think Cogan’s Trade was quite good… if I hadn’t read “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” first. But they made a movie of that already, with Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle, and apparently it’s indelible.

    Anyhow, “The Friends of Eddie Coyle.”

  11. Also, here’s a link to the trailer that I just looked up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3DHgPRV0-E

    GOD! What is it about you and “The Friends of Eddie Coyle”? Just shut up already!

  12. Moneyball; Guns, Germs, and Steel and Gilead are all worth reading. hope you get to and through them :-)

  13. Started ‘Skippy Dies’ a few days ago and so far so excellent.
    You’re certain to enjoy it.
    (Although I did go to an all-boys religious school in south suburban Dublin so the book is setting off all sorts of flairs in my brain.)

  14. If you were unfortunate to catch a mouth infection from your metal braces, could you write a book called ‘Gums, Germs and Steel’?
    (I’ll get my coat)

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