Book Lists

In the Shadow of the Gonzo Fist
By February 20, 2008 4 Comments Read More →

In the Shadow of the Gonzo Fist

I’m reading Thomas Kohnstamm’s Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics & Professional Hedonism (Three Rivers). Kohnstamm, bitten early by the travel bug, has an early-life crisis (at the time the book takes place, he’s still in his twenties), walks away from his job, and flies to Brazil to […]

How to Read Books
By February 11, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

How to Read Books

Or should that be “how-to-read books”? In the Independent, D. J. Taylor’s review of James Wood’s How Fiction Works mentions the “very considerable critical sub-genre: the literary user’s manual.” Which includes: How to Read a Novel, by John Sutherland (2006) How Novels Work, by John Mullan (2006) Fifty-Two Ways to Read a Poem, by Ruth Padel […]

These Good Reads come Best Recommended
By February 11, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

These Good Reads come Best Recommended

Trying to catch up on a few older items today. The National Book Critics Circle’s “Best Recommended” list is now “Good Reads“–but the new list is still susceptible to some of the same old criticisms, capably voiced by Ron Hogan on Galleycat: If you were ever truly fascinated by what a cluster of people “from […]

Editors' Choice & Top of the List!
By January 7, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Editors' Choice & Top of the List!

Busy, busy day here. But the new issue of Booklist is live, and so are Editors’ Choice and Top of the List. Check ‘em out–they’re free! (Love or loathe our picks? Let me know!)

Listing to One Side
By December 4, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Listing to One Side

The Washington Post‘s Top Ten Books of 2007. The New York Times Sunday Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2007. (In common: The Savage Detectives, Tree of Smoke.) The National Book Critics Circle launches a new kind of list: the Best Recommended List. (Publishers Weekly called it the Most Recommended List.) (In common: Tree of Smoke.) […]

They Don't Write Novels Like They Used To, Apparently
By October 29, 2007 6 Comments Read More →

They Don't Write Novels Like They Used To, Apparently

Apparently the last half century has been a time of drought in Chicago letters. In its November issue, Chicago Magazine (“Tough Love: Great Chicago Novels“) offers its list of the “ten essential Chicago novels.” But while inclusion doesn’t necessarily hinge on a novel’s status as classic, the results skew that way, with only one post-1953 book–Sandra Cisnero’s The House on Mango Street […]

Still Waiting for the Definitive 9/11 Novel?
By September 11, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Still Waiting for the Definitive 9/11 Novel?

In a brief article in USA Today (“Novels about 9/11 can’t stack up to non-fiction“), Bob Minzesheimer notes that nonfiction about 9/11 outnumbers novels by a staggering ratio: Six years after the twin towers fell, enough non-fiction has been published about Sept. 11, 2001, to fill an entire section of a bookstore: 1,036 titles, according to Books in Print. […]

The Things They Didn't Carry
By August 30, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

The Things They Didn't Carry

My absence yesterday was not, in fact, because I was tired out from writing my massive Tuesday post – I was home with a sick kid. (Mine, fortunately.) And now today I feel almost to tired to post. But books never rest, and neither do I. (Huh?) From the Guardian (“Alastair Campbell tops poll of discarded books,” […]

Havoc Wreaked–Cheap

Havoc Wreaked–Cheap

Di Herald’s kick-ass readalike on Kick Ass Heroines reminded me of why I wanted to play striker for Manchester United and use a meter maid for goal practice this morning. I wasn’t parked more than ten minutes! It wasn’t even 8 a.m.! And she saw me coming to move my car! But the more I think about […]

Booklist vs. the Tribune

Booklist vs. the Tribune

The Chicago Tribune’s Julia Keller offers this year’s thoughts on the Great American Novel (“The Great American Novel was written by:“). And chooses American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis. I’m thinking she was swayed by the fact that the word American is in the title. Last year, Bill Ott asked us to vote for the […]