March 16th, 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.
Model Home by Eric Puchner— done! Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart— done!
- ToB Finalist #1 (TBD)
- ToB Finalist #2 (TBD)
- The Uglies Quadrilogy — Have finished the first.
- Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje — I am currently reading this for a Book Club meeting next Sunday. And by “am currently” I mean “should probably start”.
- Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon — Already knocked out of the ToB, though it could still go zombie.
- Skippy Dies by Paul Murray — Also bumped from the ToB.
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Eagan — The book that defeated Skippy Dies in the ToB and thus a potential finalist.
- Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game* by Michael Lewis
- A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
- The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements* by Sam Kean
- The Pale King by David Foster Wallace — due for publication on April 15th, of course.
- Columbine* by Dave Cullen
- Jesus’ Son: Stories by Denis Johnson – This one gets in by virtue of being the only book recommended by the author of another book on the list (i.e., suggested by Dave Cullen above).
- Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets* by David Simon
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies* by Jared M Diamond
- Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex* by Mary Roach
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson — This was on my 2005 list and I never got around to it. Second time’s a charm?
- Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea* by Barbara Demick
- Kraken by China Mieville
- The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry
- The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
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.