Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

It's the most wonderful day of the year. . . yes it's Thanksgiving, but that's not why.  Yes, it's also the night before Black Friday, which I also love, but that's not why.  It's the day that I found the New York Times 2010 Notable Books List online!  The list won't be published in the paper for two more weeks, but I've found that if you Google compulsively for it this time of the year, eventually it will appear!  Here is the list.

Of course, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen made the list.  Other books on my TBR list that made it are Great House by Nicole Krauss, and A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.  I was disappointed to see that Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin and Sunnyside by Glen David Gold didn't make the cut.  I was also surprised not to see Just Kids by Patti Smith, especially since it just won the National Book Award. 

After reading the new list, my TBR list now includes Contested Will - Who Wrote Shakespeare by James Shapiro, which is about the controversy concerning who actually wrote the works accredited to Shakespeare, and why we are so obsessed with the question.  I also added Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip by Lisa Robertson.  How could I not want to read a book by that name?

In other good news, Jonathan Safran Foer has a new book out!  It is called Tree of Codes, and it sounds really interesting.  According to the Vanity Fair article that I read, JSF loves the book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz.  He decided to write a new book using some of the words from The Street of Crocodiles, in the order in which they are written, to write an entirely different story.  The book is die cut, so that it looks like someone cut out some of Schulz's words on each page with an Exacto knife.  I am really excited about the concept of this book, but of course, I will have to read The Street of Crocodiles before reading Tree of Codes in order to appreciate it.  Additionally, Amazon says that if I order it, the book will ship in 1 to 4 MONTHS.  Huh???  Is JSF personally cutting out the omitted words just for me? 

All in all, it is a pretty wonderful day!

Still reading:  The Hidden by Tobias Hill.  OK.  I'll level with you.  The reason that I really wanted to read it is that the NYT review that I read made it sound like The Hidden would be along the same lines as The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.  So far (220 pages in) I am still intrigued, but prepared to be disappointed.  I'll keep you posted.

Still Listening to:  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  I am intrigued by this one too!  I keep forgetting it is a memoir - it seems more like fiction, but is so poignant because it is real.

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