Monday, December 27, 2010

Reflecting on the Year and Looking to the Future of My Happy Reading

2010 was rife with awesomeness, reading-wise. I've added Philip K. Dick and Vladimir Nabokov to my list of all-time favorite authors. George Saunders remains among my topmost with a really just neat short story, "Escape From Spiderhead," that appeared in the recent issue of The New Yorker. David Markson, though sadly he passed away this year, also left a positive impression on me with "Wittgenstein's Mistress." William Gaddis proved his intangible value in my mind with "J R." Adam Levin and Patrick Somerville are two great young, Chicago-area writers I look forward to continuing things from. I've got "The Instructions" and I'm making headway with that, a really just enjoyable read so far. And I've got "The Cradle" and I'm waiting with bated breath for "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature." A D Jameson is another young Chicago-area writer worthy of note, and not simply because I know him, but because he has produced some damned inventive fiction you ought to check out. (Hell, he introduced me to Philip K. Dick and David Markson's awesomeness, among a great many other things.) Jameson's criticism is always thought-provoking, likewise, and his talent for honest and earnest introspection is unrivaled, as I see it. Lots of men-heavy talk here, but I mustn't forget to mention Lorrie Moore, who has just got lots of stuff that's worth your time. Lindsay Hunter and Karen Russell are two other female authors I've enjoyed in 2010, cannot wait for "Daddy's" to arrive. Oh, and I really enjoyed Shirley Jackson's "The Possibility of Evil," which I look forward to attempting to teach to high school students in 2011.

As for the future, i.e. 2011, well, let's start with several books I've gotten for Christmas. There's "The Physics of Imaginary Objects" by Tina May Hall, and that's just got an awesome title. Then there's "Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls" by Alissa Nutting, which isn't that also an awesome title? "Daddy's" as already mentioned. "The Museum of the Weird" by Amelia Gray. Somerville's titles, "The Cradle" and "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature." Roald Dahl's "My Uncle Oswald." "Pnin" by Vladimir Nabokov. Oh and philosophy by Soren Kierkegaard.

It should be a great year! How was your book haul? What do you look forward to in 2011, book-wise?" I'll probably give Nicole Krauss' "Great House" a try, and Jim Shepard's "You Think That's Bad." "The Pale King" by David Foster Wallace, also, which seems like a good idea, reading-wise.


  1. That's a good Christmas book haul, as you say. I also got "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature," and look forward to opening it very soon.

    Glad to hear you also discovered David Markson, as have I in the past few years. "Reader's Block" was the one that got me.

  2. I'll have to give "Reader's Block" a look. And yeah, Patrick Somerville is a real treat. Keep me updated as to your thoughts about the "Universe in Miniature in Miniature."

    Happy New Year!