Wednesday, December 06, 2006


100 Notable books from 2006

The New York Times recently highlighted 100 notable books of 2006 from their review archives. A few observations:
  • I have read exactly none of them. I choose to think this says more about my preference for waiting for the cheaper paperback version, or for my name to float to the top of the library’s months-long queues, than it says about my relevance as a consumer of contemporary literature.
  • I was pleased to see Stephen King’s latest, Lisey’s Story, make the list. He is so often denigrated as a populist writer, but I’d give my eyeteeth to be able to write like he does. I’m currently about 60 pages into Cell, his penultimate book, and after reading the NYT’s review for Lisey's Story, and especially this paragraph, I don’t think I’m going to be able to hold out until it comes out in paperback:

    In a 1993 essay, King wrote: ''The question which haunts and nags and won't completely let go is this one: Who am I when I write?'' The same question lies at the heart of his new novel. Scott Landon, the fragile, prize-winning novelist at the book's core, answers it like this: ''I am crazy. I have delusions and visions. ... I write them down and people pay me to read them.'' In ''Lisey's Story,'' King once again finds terror in the creative act, but for the first time he sees beauty there, too.
  • Apparently, if you’re going to write a successful non-fiction book, you have to use a colon in your title. Forty-four out of fifty of the notable non-fiction books can’t be wrong.
  • I’ve just added seven new books to my request list with the Ottawa Public Library.
What have you read recently that’s worth recommending?