December 27, 2010
The Goat Rope book shelf: fiction
I'll wait for the movie on this one.
I like to think of the week between Christmas and New Year's Day as Slacker Week--and I plan to live up to it. There will be no links this week but rather a look back at the year in reading.
I make it a point never to divulge the number of books I get through in a year lest my employer realize that I'm pretty good at slacking the rest of the year too. I did get a bit less read this year, probably due to spending more time in physical training to prepare for karate my trip to Okinawa and to try to keep the edge.
While I didn't read a huge amount of fiction this year, here are some notable books:
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I think I've read most if not all this writer (of Appalachian origins, let it be noted) has produced. Some of her fiction can be a bit preachy but her latest offering really hit the spot. It's the story of a young man who winds up hanging out with the likes of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Leon Trotsky and then gets chewed up by the post WWII Red Scare. I think one reason I enjoyed it so much was due to our recent trip to Mexico where we hung out in the same places.
The Fall by Albert Camus. It's been decades since I read this one (The Plague being my favorite of his) and I was curious to give it another look. It has been interpreted as the author's own confession of his shortcomings and failure.
The Kiss and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov. I've read a lot of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy but not so much of Chekhov. The Good Doctor had a great eye for human actions and emotions and life's little situations. I plan on heading back for more.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction but La Cabra recommended this post-modern novel of separate but related stories across time.
Finally, I hit the children's section to take another look at Alice in Wonderland, an adult book thinly disguised as a children's classic. Also, I've never read any of Madeline L'Engle, but was inspired to try A Wrinkle in Time after seeing my nephew devour it.