Sunday, March 28, 2010

Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication. - Mike Krzyzewski

It's that time of year again: March Madness. I am, always have been, and will forever remain a loyal Duke fan. Go, Blue Devils! They play Baylor at 5pm tonight. Since I will be partaking in an early Easter dinner (my brother-in-law and his family are in town this week, not next) AND there is a concurrent Penguins game, I may not actually get to watch it. No matter, we all know who wins. (Coach K, my crush on you has abated somewhat but I still love you.)

And as usual, along with NCAA happiness comes The Morning News 2010 Tournament of Books. Each year, I enjoy perusing the list, seeing what I need to read, and hearing lots of opinions on the ones I already have. Is there a purer joy in life than talking books?
This year's long list (usually they only release the sixteen competing novels, so this longlist is a fun first):

The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood - Haven't read. Need to. Have I ever read a less-than-stellar book from Atwood? I have not.

The Anthologist, Nicholson Baker - Baker will always have a special place in my heart for Double Fold. I should read this, althoough his past fiction has left me less than enthused.

Rage, Sergio Bizzio - never heard of this. I have to go spend some time on Powells or Amazon after I write this post. Anything I leave completely blank below? Assume this comment goes there, too. I have some work to do.

The Women, T.C. Boyle - really, all I need to know is when did he become TC instead of T Coraghessen?

Await Your Reply, Dan Chaon

Trouble, Kate Christensen - one of you lovely people is a big Christensen fan - Bearette? I really need to check this out.

Little Bee, Chris Cleave. Ooch. Helluva book. But I am still conflicted about my feelings regarding it.

Fever Chart, Bill Cotter - love the title. The premise interests me, as does its comparison by several reviewers to John Kennedy Toole's brilliant and hysterical Confederacy of Dunces.

Four Freedoms, John Crowley

Everything Matters!, Ron Currie Jr.

Spooner, Pete Dexter - I liked Paris Trout, so I find myself drawn to this. Plus, one Amazon reviewer says this about Spooner: "It's like reading Garrison Keillor through a glass of blood: relentlessly dark, yet ultimately affirming." How do you resist any book described thusly?

Homer & Langley, E.L. Doctorow - he's as prolific as Joyce Carol Oates. Which fills me with suspicion. However, the subject matter of this book compels me to read it.

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, Apostolos Doxiadis

The Believers, Zoe Heller

Last Night in Twisted River, John Irving - Really? Irving jumped the shark three books ago, as far as I am concerned. And yet I probably will check it out at some point, just for old times' and Garp's sake.

The Book of Night Women, Marlon James

Under the Dome, Stephen King - my first reaction is, REALLY? Stephen King? But I enjoyed many of King's earlier books (Salem's Lot is one of the scariest books I have EVER read), and many people I respect have read - nay, devoured - this and loved it.

The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver - see Atwood, above.

Big Machine, Victor Lavalle - the cover is migraine-inducing, and the story sounds like something Dave Eggers would wax rhapsodic over. I'll more than ikely pass.

Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem - I like Lethem. I appreciate his inventiveness and his playfulness with the written word. I find his characters endearing. I will read this. Altho I suspect Motherless Brooklyn will always be my favorite Lethem.

The Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon - this isn't even available in the States till September. Grrrr....

Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann - wow, this book is EVERYWHERE suddenly. It's being considered for my book group, and since I just watched a fabulous little film called "Man on Wire," about Philippe Petit, the man who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers, this book is just about perfect for my mindset right now. Doesn't hurt that it's getting great reviews...

Ransom, David Malouf

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel - This looks intriguing.

The City & The City, China Mieville

Manituana, Wu Ming

A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore - I have to point out that this is getting
uniformly disappointing reviews. And much as I like Moore's writing, too much of it at once can be stultifying.

Miles from Nowhere, Nami Mun

Once a Runner, John Parker - yeah, I'll read this since I consider myself a runner of sorts. Despite my 12-minute-mile pace.

Lark and Termite, Jayne Anne Phillips - another book suddenly appearing everywhere I read about books.

Generosity, Richard Powers - Didn't he write The Echo Maker? Y.A.W.N.

Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon - seriosuly, is he still alive?

Wetlands, Charlotte Roche - yeah, I can tell you right now I won't read this. Sorry. I couldn't stomach Palahniuk either.

My Abandonment, Peter Rock

That Old Cape Magic, Richard Russo - fine enough book, but Russo has written much better.

Burnt Shadows, Kamila Shamsie

The Help, Kathryn Stockett - I predict this book will become required reading for, if not high schoolers, at least African American and women's studies classes at universities everywhere.

Far North, Marcel Theroux - I do dig post-apocalyptic novels.

The Alternative Hero, Tim Thornton - I like Nick Hornby well enough but do we really need more novels in the vein of his?

Brooklyn, Colm Toibin - I had this out from the library just a week ago. But I am going to admit here, before you all - I am sick of reading about the Irish. After Angela's Ashes, I tell you, I gave up. The Irish people were turned into a franchise, and it sickens and bores me. The Irish put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us poor mutts.

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Wells Tower - I don't usually do short stories.

This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper

My Bird, Fariba Vafi

The Book of Fathers, Miklos Vamos

The Informers, Juan Gabriel Vasquez - I wish it had a more original title, but it looks like a terrific book.

A Short History of Women, Kate Walbert

Half Broke Horses, Jeannette Walls - Oh, good, did she conjure up some more half-truths and self-indulgent "reminiscences"? Gah.

The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters - creepy, and good. A upside down look at class relations in England, and beautifully written.

Sag Harbor, Colson Whitehead - I never read The Intuitionist, even though it was popularly and critically acclaimed. I own it, but it just never grabbed me enough to pick it up. However, this novel looks completely unlike Intuitionist, and it looks like something I would really enjoy.

Lowboy, John Wray

Discuss among yourselves, please.

11 comments:

Bearette24 said...

i love kate christensen. the epicure's lament, the great man, trouble - it's all good.

Katya said...

There are Stephen King books I would consider, such as Duma Key and almost any entry from the Dark Tower series, but Under the Dome? No. I didn't hate it but I will have to say it is one of my least favorite King books ever. And it is weirdly cumbersome, making it hard to hold when reading.

teachergirl said...

The Help was delicious and being here in the deep south, hard to hear. Interesting discussion, though, from folks who were disturbed that a white woman wrote it. I was just glad someone wrote it.

John Irving - bless his heart. Can't/won't do it anymore. Along with several others I refuse to even mention.

Jess said...

So many I need to get around to sooner or later - Atwood, Let the Great World Spin (recommended by a reliable coworker). Can't remember what else I heard about Lark and Termite, but it was all good (although the author's name ALWAYS makes me think she writes paperback romances). Oh, and The Little Stranger - got to put that on the list, too.

Oh hey! I got an ARC of the new David Mitchell. Since I've yet to read Cloud Atlas (I know, I know) would you like me to send it to you? I thought of you when I grabbed it.

Suse said...

Just prior to clicking over here I got a ping from my library telling me the copy of Man on Wire dvd I ordered is ready. Snap!

Also Wolf Hall is on my holds list, but I'm way down the queue.

That description of being like Garrison Keillor through a glass of blood was chilling.

Badger said...

Hey, guess how many of these I've read?! Sigh.

I love Lethem too, but after You Don't Love Me Yet I no longer trust him. Not to mention Girl In Landscape. Oy. Yes, Motherless Brooklyn is his best, and The Fortress of Solitude is his second best, and the rest is uneven AT BEST.

I've GOT to read The Help. Maybe in 2011, when I'm buying fiction again.

oakleyses said...

ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, tory burch outlet, gucci handbags, tiffany and co, air max, nike free, burberry pas cher, michael kors pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin, christian louboutin shoes, jordan shoes, polo outlet, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, prada handbags, uggs on sale, longchamp outlet, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, nike free run, ugg boots, jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, kate spade outlet, nike outlet, nike air max, longchamp outlet, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ray ban sunglasses

oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, polo lacoste, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, kate spade, replica handbags, michael kors outlet online, new balance, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, nike air force, michael kors, sac vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk, ray ban uk, nike tn, nike roshe run uk, burberry handbags, abercrombie and fitch uk, converse pas cher, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban pas cher, coach outlet store online, sac hermes, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, michael kors, hollister pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, hogan outlet, coach outlet, timberland pas cher, ralph lauren uk, coach purses, hollister uk, north face uk, oakley pas cher, nike free uk, uggs outlet, nike air max

oakleyses said...

nike air max, insanity workout, vans outlet, vans, hollister, ghd hair, hollister, bottega veneta, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, ralph lauren, mcm handbags, oakley, mont blanc pens, nike roshe run, p90x workout, nfl jerseys, babyliss, instyler, toms shoes, wedding dresses, gucci, louboutin, hollister clothing, abercrombie and fitch, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, jimmy choo outlet, lululemon, lancel, celine handbags, herve leger, chi flat iron, asics running shoes, longchamp uk, hermes belt, baseball bats, ferragamo shoes, nike trainers uk, soccer shoes, valentino shoes, timberland boots, reebok outlet, converse, nike air max, ray ban, converse outlet, north face outlet, beats by dre, nike huaraches

oakleyses said...

nike air max, insanity workout, vans outlet, vans, hollister, ghd hair, hollister, bottega veneta, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, ralph lauren, mcm handbags, oakley, mont blanc pens, nike roshe run, p90x workout, nfl jerseys, babyliss, instyler, toms shoes, wedding dresses, gucci, louboutin, hollister clothing, abercrombie and fitch, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, jimmy choo outlet, lululemon, lancel, celine handbags, herve leger, chi flat iron, asics running shoes, longchamp uk, hermes belt, baseball bats, ferragamo shoes, nike trainers uk, soccer shoes, valentino shoes, timberland boots, reebok outlet, converse, nike air max, ray ban, converse outlet, north face outlet, beats by dre, nike huaraches

oakleyses said...

canada goose, links of london, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose jackets, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, hollister, ugg pas cher, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, moncler, canada goose outlet, swarovski crystal, supra shoes, canada goose, wedding dresses, moncler outlet, swarovski, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler outlet, moncler, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, pandora charms, canada goose uk, pandora uk, moncler, moncler, louis vuitton, ugg uk, moncler uk, karen millen uk, coach outlet, doudoune moncler, ugg, canada goose outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, replica watches