I’m not even going that I’ll get around to reading A history of the first multiethnic upwardly mobile society in America, but the NY Times Notable Books of the Year are out. Here are the fiction ones that look good to me (basically, this is just a reminder to myself, but if you’ve been wondering what to get me for my birthday…):
Gilead By Marilynne Robinson. A demanding, grave and lucid novel in the form of a long letter from an aging preacher to his young son.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell By Susanna Clarke. A fantasy, involving a Yorkshire magician (Norrell) who comes to London in 1806 and takes on the handsome Jonathan Strange for a disciple.
The Plot Against America By Philip Roth. Charles Lindbergh is elected president in 1940 on a pro- Nazi platform, and a Jewish family in Newark suffers the consequences.
Snow By Orhan Pamuk. The line between farce and tragedy is drawn in blood where secular and Islamic Turkey seem to explode on contact.
At The Tomb of the Inflatable Pig By John Gimlette. An eccentric, hilarious, horrifying — that is to say, utterly faithful — picture of a country as strange as any on earth.
In The Shadow of No Towers By Art Spiegelman. An album, a monograph and an intimate memoir by the author of ”Maus,” who witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center at close range.
The 9 11 Commission Report How and why the government failed to protect us from Al Qaeda, with sweeping recommendations for reorganizing American intelligence.
On The Wing By Alan Tennant. An eco-thriller about studying falcons.
Osama The Making of a Terrorist By Jonathan Randal. A reporter’s guide to the vain, ascetic, humorless man and the Islamic geography that made him.
The Outlaw Sea By William Langewiesche. A report from the empty three-fourths of the globe, where 40,000 merchant ships operate with virtually no oversight.
Whats the Matter With Kansas By Thomas Frank. How, according to Frank, the rich and powerful have built a cynical alliance with culturally alienated heartlanders.
Read any other good books lately?