Best reads of 2013…

Fiction
Best of the bunch, in rough chronological order:BE-Final-Cover

Umbrella, by Will Self
Thoroughly Modern Self…

Tenth of December, by George Saunders
A master’s class in short fiction.

A Delicate Truth, by John LeCarre
His umpteenth novel…so good.

TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann
Such lovely writing. Time travel, deep links of ordinary lives.

Joyland, by Stephen King
Pretty good beach read. Not the scary King, just charming and fun in a retro sort of way. 

Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon
Makes you sad, makes you laugh. You’re bored, exasperated, enthralled, enchanted, paranoid. And with all the NSA revelations this year, scary timely.

The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
After all these years, I finally read it. What a lovely, humane book. But nobody has a nice day – dark, dour and grim 13th century.

A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
A reread after 40 years. Wow.

 

Fiction (meh)

Er, uh, not so good. Is it just me?

Back to Blood, Tom Wolfe

A Hologram For the King, by Dave Eggers

 

Fiction

Forget it…

The Actor, by James Franco

 

Non-fiction

Letters, by Kurt Vonnegut
I just love collections of the letters of great writers.

The Event of Literature, by Terry Eagleton

The Fun Stuff, by James Wood
In which Keith Moon (of The Who) makes it into a wonderful book of Lit Crit

Neil Young – Waging Heavy Peace, by Neil Young

Mania, by Ronald Collins & David Skover

How Literature Saved My Life, by David Shields
We’re all bozos on this fiction bus.

Karl Marx, by Jonathan Sperber

Letters, Vol. 2, by Samuel Beckett
Wisdom.

The Dark Side of the Enlightenment, by John W. Fleming

Quack This Way, by David Foster Wallace & Bryan A. Garner
A little gem at the end of the year. DFW and BAG chat about language and writing.

  

Poetry

Quick Question, by John Ashbery

Trances of the Blast, by Mary Ruefle

Time of Useful Consciousness, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Emily Dickinson – The Gorgeous Nothings, Marta Werner, Jan Bevin
A beautiful presentation of Dickinson’s little poems, carefully written on envelopes, inside and out. Gorgeous indeed.
Gorgeous_Nothings_300_383

 

Unclassifiable

The Red Book – Liber Novus, A Reader’s Edition, by C. K. Jung
A strange communication from the early 20th century. Mystical visions on being and, more importantly, becoming. Transformative.

Madness, Rack and Honey, by Mary Ruefle

 

Drama

Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard

Darkside, by Tom Stoppard71aGtB+sPHL._SL1500_

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