Well, this is kind of pathetic. Only three books. Work kicked my ass this month and I got sick. It stunk. I hope to get back on the horse in October. Also, I’ve made an adjustment to my book queue. I need to be a little more honest about what I’m going to have time for, so I’m dialing the list back a bit.
1. The Empty Family by Colm Toibin (5/5) - This is one of the books off Cate’s list for me this year. The stories are all gorgeous and honest. I don’t know what it is about Irish writers, but they really have an amazing sense of place. I enjoyed every bit of this book and was surprised to find the last story was one I’d read and loved in McSweeney’s. In fact, I’d been on Cate to read it. Mission accomplished there. I’ll need to read more of him.
2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (5/5) - This is the first novel I taught to my AP literature class. I’d read it before a few years ago, and I think, on that first read, I only gave it a 4. A lot of that came from how amazingly stark the writing is here. This is Hemingway’s first novel, and it takes the spare prose to an extreme. What it does with it is wonderful, though. My opinion of this book was greatly enhanced by the close reading I had to give it for teaching. If you’re paying attention, you can really see purpose behind every word, something you rarely see in fiction. This book deserves every bit of praise it’s ever gotten.
3. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (5/5) - I reviewed this on Monday.
Winter Book Queue:
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
The Bright Center of Heaven by William Maxwell
Songdogs by Colum McCann
Taft by Ann Patchett
The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith