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Good Reading 2008

The obligatory year-end list...

Top Ten:
1. Aleksandar Hemon: The Lazarus Project (review)
2. Kent Haruf: Plainsong
3. William Maxwell: So Long, See You Tomorrow (review)
4. E.M. Forster: Howards End (review)
5. Raymond Chandler: The Long Goodbye (review)
6. Chris Abani: Song For Night (review)
7. Jim Thompson: The Kill-Off (review)
8. Nikolai Gogol: The Overcoat (review)
9. John McGahern: The Barracks (review)
10. Nick Hornby: A Long Way Down

Honorable Mention: Ben Tanzer: Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine (review); Richard Grayson: Highly Irregular Stories (review); Paul Fattaruso: Bicycle (review); Erskine Caldwell: Tobacco Road (review)

Re-readings: Hjalmar Söderberg: Doctor Glas (review); Nelson Algren: Never Come Morning

Book-to-Movie: Atonement (review)

2007 List
2006 List
2005 List
2004 List
2003 List
2002 List

December 14, 2008 in Books | Permalink


Many thanks for the shout-out buddy, and having moved from tenth on last year's list to honorable mention this year, I am definitely aiming for the "re-readings" list in 2009.

Posted by: Ben Tanzer at Dec 16, 2008 9:37:41 PM

Actually, making the re-reading list is probably more of a honor than making the top ten list, because I would never bother re-reading a book that I didn't absolutely love the first time. Note the titles re-read during the past several years: Doctor Glas, Never Come Morning, Waiting For Godot, Bartleby the Scrivener, Babbitt, Hunger, Sister Carrie, The Metamorphosis, Nowhere Man, The Man With the Golden Arm, High Fidelity, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Hunger (again), Chicago: City on the Make - most of them are monumental works of art.

One big downside to making the re-reading list, however: other than Hornby and Hemon, all of the authors are dead. So maybe you shouldn't wish for an appearance on that list after all.

Posted by: Pete at Dec 17, 2008 12:47:44 PM

I might be willing to consider making that trade-off, but let me talk to my wife about it first. She's very supportive of my writing, but maybe not that supportive. And thanks again, it rocks to be in company like this.

Posted by: Ben Tanzer at Dec 17, 2008 8:59:02 PM