Monday, January 02, 2012
Better Than Hamburger
Well, here we are at the beginning of a New Year.
When I was a kid, if someone had talked about life in the year 2012, I would have thought the story should include riding around in spaceships on a daily basis.
But here we are. And we still have cars!
Looking back on 2011, I acknowledge it as a fairly un-prolific year for me, as to both my reading and my blogging about reading.
I blame three things -- Firstly, a bit of emotional turmoil that took my mind away from pages for a while. Secondly, early-onset senility. Thirdly, hamburger.
Too much hamburger in my bloodstream, resulting in abject laziness.
All in all, I read only 39 books in total -- considerably down from my usual 50+.
Even so, there were so many memorable books among those. I'm going to try and choose five here as the ones I would most recommend to my friends.
And once again [I can literally feel hamburger clogging my valves…] I'm going to be customarily lazy and just sort of mention them without going into much of a defence of my reasonings. In other words, no reviews, nary a dust-jacket blurb.
In no particular order, here are the best five novels I read in 2011:
1) The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.
2) Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.
3) In The Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike.
4) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
5) The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.
As soon as I place those five books there I feel guilty, because…. what about The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O'Connor? Or Tomcat in Love by Tim O'Brien? Or Rules of Civility by Amor Towles? Or Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler?
Choosing is such a fickle business.
But in all seriousness, let's narrow it down to the one criteria of…. when you set the book down you literally are dying to pick it up again? The book that can make you forget your need for another burger?
For that I must say that The Line of Beauty by Hollinghurst, read back in a prior January, was all of that and more.
Wishing you all a terrific year of reading great books!