Stevieslaw: A List of Winners from this year’s reading.

My friend, Fred Ramsey, got me started by putting a list on facebook of the books he had read this year.  I read a lot, which is great, but retain little, which is not great.  Here are some of my favorites from this year’s reading. I read little other than fiction these days.  Some of my choices are odd since I look for foreign authors.  On that note, I think the books published by “The New York Review of Books,” are worth a look. 

Henry James: The Ambassadors/ Portrait of a Lady—hard to read any other fiction after reading these.

Alan Bennett:  An Uncommon Reader

Roberto Bolano: The Skating Rink (an easy intro to his work).

Peter Carey: History of the Kelly Gang.

Junot Diaz: Drown–

Jennifer Egan: A Visit from the Goon Squad.

William Gibson: Spook Country.

Jaimy Gordon: Lord of Misrule.

David Grossman: To the End of the Land (long and repetitious—but)

William Kotzwinkle: The Fan Man.

Jonathan Lethem: Chronic City.

Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin.

William McIlvanney: Laidlaw.

Denis Johnson: Tree of Smoke

Ismail Kadare: The Siege/ The General of the Dead Army (the siege is brilliant)

Stief Larsson: all three

J.M.G. Le Clezio: Wandering Star.

Zachery Mason: The Lost Books of the Odyssey

Maile Meloy: Both Ways is the Only Way I Want it.

Tea Obreht: The Tiger’s Wife.

Sembene Ousmane: God’s Bits of Wood.

Victor Petevin: The Sacred Book of the Werewolf

Tom Rachman: The Imperfectionists.

Juan Jose Saer: The 65 years of Washington.

Jose Saramago: Blindness (finally, one I could finish and enjoy)

Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose.

Elizabeth Strout: Olive Kitteridge

Pramoe Dya Ananta Toer: This Earth of Mankind (1 of 4 volumes)

Jess Walter: The Zero

David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest (on my second try).

Any of the Venice mysteries of Donna Leon/ the mysteries of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo/ Alan Furst—start with the early ones/ Anything by P.G. Wodehouse—the Blandings Castle novels are my favorites/ I sat in on a class of Shakespeare this past semester—can’t go wrong there.

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