Monthly Archives: January 2014

2666: THE REREAD

One of my sister’s favorite expressions in high school was “Well, there’s always the next Tori Amos/Bruce Springsteen album.” My mother says something similar every now and again: “Well, as long as you have books, you’ll never be lonely or bored.” To me, what makes these two expressions similar are the  sentiments behind them: there’s always something to look forward to. Tori Amos has a new album out in May. I have a plane ticket to go hiking in Spain for two weeks in April and a marathon to run in Edinburgh in May (I’m already two sessions behind in my goofy Excel spreadsheet training schedule, LOLZ, whatever, just tellin’ myself that I’m so badass it doesn’t even matter!). I’m going to London this weekend to see Jude Law in Henry V (thus making up for not seeing him in Hamlet in 2009, something I will always regret). I signed up to get email notifications from the Royal Shakespeare Company in case tickets for the stage versions of “Wolf Hall” and “Bringing Up the Bodies” ever become available. “Wolf of Wall Street” was just released in theaters, my current bedside reading is a fantasy novel sequel (Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear), Game of Thrones Season 4 premieres April 6th, etc, etc, etc. Oh, my classes this semester don’t seem too bad either.

So if you really put your mind to it, there are a lot of things to look forward to. To be grateful for. And one of the things I’ll always be grateful for is Bolaño– my old buddy, old pal, loyal steadfast companion. I’m rereading 2666 right now, slowly but surely, wearin’ my metaphorical boxing gloves (BRING IT ON!!!!) and taking copious notes on every page–the last time I read it (five years ago!!) was my friend Claire’s hardcover copy, so I didn’t even dare fold over the pages. Not this time. We are marking this shit up like illegal graffiti artists.

Rereading Bolaño has made me realize (or maybe remember?) three important things: number one, he is the kind of writer who will always make you want to write yourself (if that’s your thang). Number two, whenever I read Bolaño, I am never lonely or bored. My feelings when I read him remind me of what Orwell said about reading Henry Milleryou feel the peculiar relief that comes not so much from understanding as from being understood.“He knows all about me,” you feel; “he wrote this specially for me,” speaking directly to you in a raspy cigarette-infused Chilean accent with occasional Mexican slang. Number three: if you are any way a book lover yourself, there’s no way you can’t be sympathetic to Bolaño’s worldview, in which poets are as glorious as ancient Roman gladiators. He’s on your side, Bolaño is–you are on the same gawky bespectacled team.

I’ve thought about a lot of things while rereading 2666 (I’m currently about to start Book 3, the Part about Fate). Here are a few scatterings:

– Bolaño’s novels are always so intensely dependent on world-building via literature. We get the names of authors that we never know are real or imaginary, publication dates, extensive italicized bibliographies, names, dates, numbers. No wonder people keep saying that The Savage Detectives and 2666 (and maybe even Nazi Literature of the Americas) are the novels that Borges could/would have written.

– 2666 discusses many different kinds of reading: reading for pleasure, reading for knowledge, for enigmas, labyrinths. Is the point of reading that it can be the souvenir of a pleasantly-spent evening, a sigh of satisfaction, a lovely escape? Is the “book culture” of academics (the supposedly most devoted of readers) an elitist snobbish profession filled with self-professed cannibals, delivering lectures like massacres? Is it more important to read, to try to gain knowledge and understanding in the face of horror and doubt, or is it more important to take action (the way the police detectives and journalists do in Book 4), even when your actions might be pathetically futile and useless?

– There’s lots of windows. And dream sequences. And references to lights, and mirrors, and doubles. Oh, abysses too.

– The impossibility of ever really knowing not just anything but anybody, from the people in your close circle of loved ones and friends to the targets of your obsessions.

– Everything is either a joke or a misunderstanding.

– During one apocalyptic dream sequence (and there’s quite a few of them) we get the following description about an ancient statue rising out of the ocean: “it was horrific and at the same time very beautiful.” (79) What better way to describe Bolaño’s writing?

– We also meet an artist who cuts off his own hand for his artwork, then dies by literally falling into an abyss. Yes, literally. It happens when he’s shut up in a mental institution, I should add. I honestly don’t know how Bolaño could have made a stronger point about what he sees is the Fate of the Artist.

– When the academics first arrive to Mexico in Book 1, one of them stays in a bathroom where a giant chunk is missing from the toilet seat, as though someone had taken a huge bite out of it. “How the hell did no one notice this?” he wonders. In the margins of the book I scrawled, KEY QUESTION OF NOVEL.

– Culture vs. barbarity is another big theme. Are the academics really that much more refined than the uncaught murderers in Santa Teresa?

– There’s also a lot of attention paid to literature vs. reality, to different modes of storytelling, of representing and ordering reality. Does the order of a story conceal “a verbal disorder that would shake us to the core if we were to experience it”? (174) Is it okay to turn “a brutal story of injustice and abuse, an incoherent howl with no beginning or end, into a neatly structured story” in which chaos is turned to order? What if chaos and disorder is the genuine truth of things? Is it okay for literature to lie like this?

– Oh, that image of the book hanging on the clothesline, fighting off the elements of the desert, as the university professor nervously watches, seeing how long it will last. Could there be a better image of Literature vs. Reality? “When they got home it was dark but the shadow of Dieste’s book hanging from the clothesline was clearer, steadier, more reasonable, thought Amalfitano, than anything they’d seen on the outskirts of Santa Teresa or in the city itself, images with no handhold, images freighted with all the orphanhood in the world, fragments, fragments.” (206)

– Those similes! The sky purple “like the skin of an Indian woman beaten to death.” (210) A raised hand like a tattered flag, the fingers like the flags of the unvanquished. (179) There’s also a lot of references to ancient history–Barcelona is like a medieval city, a professor checks on his back garden like a feudal lord surveying his lands.

– Another straightforward commentary on the goals and intentions of 2666 itself: “Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown… they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.” (277)

Great, imperfect, torrential…. I can’t wait to reread the rest of it. Something to look forward to.

"Poet & Vagabond"

“Poet & Vagabond”

I used to read everything, Professor, I read all the time. Now all I read is poetry. Poetry is the one thing that isn’t contaminated, that isn’t part of the game. I don’t know if you follow me, Professor. Only poetry—and let me be clear, only some of it—is good for you, only poetry isn’t shit. (226)

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Top Herzogian Moments in Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn”

I loved this book! I can’t believe it took me this long to read it. I knew by the very first chapter that it was an absolute classic–the kind of novel Borges would have written if he was old and German and living in Norfolk. Everything is tied together in way that feels so mysterious and obscure and yet makes perfect sense. From the first pages we go from being “cocooned” in a hospital and thinking about poor Gregor Samsa, climbing the armchair with his trembling legs and looking out the window, to epic digressions about the history of silkworms and silk production in China, England and Germany, until we end on the very last page with musings about how once upon a time the only acceptable way for ladies to express grief was through wearing “heavy robes of black silk taffeta.” From herring fishing to the Holocaust, from Kafka to Conrad, from apocalyptic visions of death and decay to mourning the things that we’ve lost–uff, what a journey.

The whole time I was reading I kept thinking how amazing it would be to have an audio version of this book narrated by Werner Herzog. In tribute to the fact that this hasn’t happened yet, here is my list of top Herzogian moments in The Rings of Saturn:

– In Chapter II,  the narrator is visiting a decaying English manor, where “I was saddened to see, in one of the otherwise deserted aviaries, a solitary Chinese quail, evidently in a state of dementia, running to and fro along the edge of the cage and shaking its head every time it was about to turn, as if it could not comprehend how it had got into this hopeless fix.” (pg. 36) It’s “a state of dementia” that really gets me here–could there BE a better metaphor for humanity? Sebald in general is fascinated by the act of humans looking at animals throughout this book. I can’t help but be reminded of  Bad Lieutenant’s camera fixing upon the iguana and alligator’s unblinking stares.

– Eating lunch in a seaside town: “The tartare sauce that I had had to squeeze out of a plastic sachet was turned grey by the sooty breadcrumbs, and the fish itself, or what feigned to be fish, lay a sorry wreck among the grass-green peas and the remains of soggy chips that gleamed with fat… My plate was a hideous mess once the operation was over.” (pg. 43) O, the Humanity!!

– Eating fast food: “No longer able to decide on a place to eat, I bought a carton of chips at McDonalds, where I felt like a criminal wanted worldwide as I stood at the brightly lit counter.” (81)

– English motorways, where cars glide “like beads on an abacus designed to calculate infinity.” (90)

– The fate of Jewish, Serbian and Bosnian child prisoners in Croatia, following the camps’ liberation: “Many of those who were still alive were so hungry that they had eaten the cardboard identity tags they wore about their necks and thus in their extreme desperation had eradicated their own names.” (98)

– The Chinese Empress’ view of her silkworms: “These pale, almost transparent creatures, which would presently give their lives for the fine thread they were spinning, she saw as her true loyal followers. To her they seemed the ideal subjects, diligent in service, ready to die, capable of multiplying vastly within a short span of time, and fixed on their one sole preordained aim, wholly unlike human beings, on whom there was basically no relying.” (151)

– On writing: “If asked, one could not say whether one goes on writing purely out of habit, or a craving for admiration, or because one knows not how to do anything other, or out of sheer wonderment, despair or outrage, any more than one could say whether writing renders one more perceptive or more insane.” (181-182)

– Sugar trade and the arts in England: “The capital amassed in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries through various forms of slave economy is still in circulation… One of the most tried and tested ways of legitimizing this kind of money has always been patronage of the arts, the purchase and exhibiting of paintings and sculptures… At times it seems to me… as if all works of art were coated with a sugar glaze or indeed made completely of sugar.” (194) Reminds me of Barry Unsworth’s Sugar and Rum, another book I would really like to reread soon. Bolaño would have LOVED this passage. Art as complicit in the suffering of others? Oh yeah. This section also made me think of those Mexican & Colombian narcos who are obsessed with collecting expensive artworks.

– Impressions of the family that own another epic, decaying manor where the narrator is staying: “It struck me that all the members of the family were continually wandering hither and thither along the corridors and up and down the stairs. One rarely saw them sitting calm and collected, singly or together. Even their meals they usually ate standing. What work they did always had about it something aimless and meaningless and seemed not so much part of a daily routine as an expression of deeply engrained distress.” (211) “Deeply engrained distress”—bwa ha ha ha! Maybe I’m just a really dark and sick person, but this passage reminds me of my family over the Xmas holidays, on the days when no one bothers to prepare lunch or dinner.

– Norwich wool weavers and their tendency to “suffer from melancholy and all the evils associated with it, understandable given the nature of their work, which forced them to sit bent over, day after day, straining to keep their eye on the complex patterns they created. It is difficult to imagine the depths of despair into which those can be driven who, even after the end of the working day, are engrossed in their intricate designs and who are pursued, into their dreams, by the feeling that they have got hold of the wrong thread.” (283) Hmm, perhaps a commentary on Sebald’s  process of writing the book we’re now reading?

This last quote especially reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about recently: in really great works of art, most of them seem to possess a degree of awareness of the medium that they’re working with. In mainstream movies, for example, you have the standard Hollywood romantic comedy view of the world, in which  the camera holds very still, shots are a standard length, and you follow a cast of smiling gleaming characters throughout. In movies that are ART, though, you have a view of the world in which the camera possesses a degree of awareness about how it is a camera. Think of the blood splattering on the lens during the uprising scene in Children of Men (starting around 1:15), drawing your attention to it. Or that famous shot in Goodfellas that just goes on and on forever, where the camera follows Ray Liotta and his new girlfriend down the stairs, through the kitchen, and into this amazing nightclub world of gangsters and decadence where waiters bring you your own table and set it down in the best place in the house. Or that part in Mean Streets (recently watched over Xmas break) where Harvey Keitel is drunk and the camera seems to be literally inside his head, making the viewer (or at least me) epically nauseous. (A more contemporary example of this technique also happens several times in the film 12 Years a Slave, which I just saw last night and is actually what kicked this whole thought process into action.)

Now, I’m not a film critic or even a media studies person, so I can’t like talk on and on about the meaning of shots and the way that cameras are set up and what that’s supposed to imply for the position of the viewer or whatever. But the other thing I noticed is that for both the Children of Men and Goodfellas clips, they are considerably long unbroken  shots (at least 3-4 minutes). I’d love to figure out a way to compare this technique to the methods that Sebald uses in Saturn, where paragraphs go on for pages, dialogue is unattributed and (perhaps most famously) text is broken up by black and white photographs, inserted with no explanation. I guess on a very basic level, this technique reminds me of what I was saying earlier–in the same way that Children of Men and Goodfellas seem to possess a degree of awareness about how they are movies, literally moving through space as they attempt to look at these characters that they’re following, Rings of Saturn also possesses a degree of awareness about how it is a book that’s being written. I personally find this technique a lot more honest and interesting than a book, film or painting that is just pretending to be, like, this unfiltered accurate depiction of reality. Maybe that’s why so many of my personal favorite books play with this idea–in A Naked Singularity you have that self-commentary on the nature of ambition and failure, you have Hamlet and his at times painful awareness that he’s playing a role, the wronged hero who’s unable to act, and basically all of Borges. Reality and history has never been straightforward and simple, so great works of art shouldn’t try to pretend that it is, you know? That would just be a lie–a fictional delusion.

Rembrandt’s painting “The Anatomy Lesson,” just one of the many works of art that Sebald (oops, I mean the narrator) is obsessed with throughout Saturn. Sebald notes how the victim’s hand is anatomically incorrect, thus turning “this otherwise true-to-life painting into a crass misrepresentation at the exact centre point of its meaning, where the incisions are made. It seems inconceivable that we are faced here with an unfortunate blunder. Rather, I believe that there was deliberate intent behind this flaw in composition. That unshapely hand signifies the violence that has been done to Aris Kindt [the dead body, a thief hanged for his crimes an hour before]. It is with him, the victim, and not the Guild that the painter identifies. (16-17)

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Hiding in Westeros

game

I’ve been hiding in the warm safe comfortable womb that is Westeros for the past threeish weeks. Soon I will have to emerge… but not yet. I’ve almost reached the saturation point, via the books, TV series and (yes) board game (I was the Lannisters twice–thank God for my alliance with the Tyrells and the Greyjoys’ reluctance to attack, or else the Baratheons and Starks would have surely crushed me).

In terms of Nerdy Fandom, I rank myself a 2.5 out of 5, with 5+ being full-blown, Comic Con-attending and message board-arguing level of passion, and 1 being this guy. In contrast, I’ve read/skimmed the books, watched the show, and can talk about the series with energy and enthusiasm. However, don’t ask me to explain what’s going on in Dorne or the Iron Islands, or how many siblings Tywin has. I am pretty skimpy on what’s been going on in the North and with Dragon Lady as well. Since my sister is capable of doing all of these things and more (thus earning her the nickname of ‘Wikipedia’ from her boyfriend), I  hereby grant her with the prestigious level of 4 out of 5. Congrats, sis!!

I am not a fantasy/sci-fi person. It’s like I want to be… but I’m not. I’m not interested in going to Comic Con or writing fanfiction. I couldn’t get through ‘The Two Towers,’ and I didn’t like Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ (one of David Foster Wallace’s favorite books; go figure). I enjoyed Dune but am not interested in reading any of the sequels, haven’t read any of the Hitchhiker’s books since I was a youth, and somehow had the prescience to stay away from Wheel of Time (my older brother is still bitter about that debacle…). When it comes to fantastical literature (or whatever you want to call it), I guess I  like the books that tend to be more ‘literary’–the Philip K. Dicks, the Margaret Atwoods. And then there’s the books by folks like Ray Bradbury or Patrick Rothfuss, books that are  guilty pleasures for me, ones I read for pure escapism, when I just want to get out of my life and be transported, not think about anything else. And then there are the books that are absolute classics, the ones I’ll always feel nostalgic about–Ender’s Game and Watership Down. There’ll always be a part of me tempted to read (or at least skim) every book on this list. In the end, though, I haven’t drunk the Kool Aid. I am not a card-carrying member.

I am definitely saying this in a way that is sort of sad and regretful, rather than snarky. Being a truly committed nerd has always seemed sort of fun to me–there are worse things to do with one’s time, you know? It seems so fun from a distance, people who can just throw around phrases and references so effortlessly and knowingly: oh yeah, so how about those Martells? It’s like having a secret language, an intimate community to belong to. Ultimately, though, I guess there are just soooo many books in the world that I want to read, that at a certain point I have to draw the line.

That hasn’t been happening these past three weeks. The line has definitely been gone, erased, trampled underfoot and crushed in the mud by a ton of blood and swords and dragons and treachery and twincest and zomg, reading a fantasy series can really suck you in and take up a lot of your time. How did these books get to me, when other ones didn’t? What is it exactly about them?

First, I think there’s the visceral deliciousness of escapism. One of the best parts about reading  is when you are completely absorbed into the fictional world. You don’t need to think or worry or have to deal with anything else other than the words that are in front of you. It reminds me of the same feeling you get when you’re doing yoga, exercising or meditating. You’re not anywhere else. You’re in one place. And the great thing about reading fantasy, is that the  place where you are is Not Here. You are in a Different World. You are thus retreating from reality in the purest sense of the word. In terms of blissful escapism, I can definitely see how reading fantasy can turn into a crack pipe.

What’s good about escaping specifically into Westeros is that the level of detail that goes into the world-building is EXTREMELY complicated and dense and rich. If you’re going to read these books, you REALLY have to be paying attention and making sure you’re keeping track of who’s who. You gotta be mindful. It’s hard to be fretful or distracted by other things in your life when you’re trying to figure out who is it that Lancel Lannister is married to, again? And who the heck are the Hightowers? The Darrys?

The second thing that I think really got me hooked  were the characters. Simply put, they are great.  Well-developed story archs, rich backstories, intriguing motivations, interesting journeys. Maybe it is really that basic–to have a good book, you need to have good characters. I love books that are great based on what they do with language and style (As I Lay Dying, Mrs. Dalloway), but ultimately, nothing takes the cake so much as good old-fashioned well-developed characters.

What’s most worth mentioning about the characters in the ASoIaF series (see how I used the acronym there?!) is what is most often said about the series: this is not a black and white world. There are no Voldemorts here. The villains are never really villains, and the heroes are never truly good or honorable either (for a good discussion on this tendency, especially seen through Jamie Lannister, see this article). What I would really LOVE to see one day is a book set in a Game of Thrones-type world (rich in lore, backstory, and history) with the narration and style of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (two books that the more I think about, the more I admire). That…. would be the shizz.

The other important thing that these books reminded of is that ultimately, on a very basic level writing and reading has to be FUN. As Dorothy Allison says, writing needs to be “a place of joy… It needs to be what you want to do, what you love to do.” Yes, sometimes it’s good for you to read books that are kind of a ‘slog,’ like eating the nuts in the peanut mix that aren’t almonds or pistachios but you know are good for you anyway and you don’t want them to go to waste. And yes, while writing you can’t always be like this undisciplined monkey mind child who only wants to do things when they’re enjoyable. But you gotta have the dragons. And you gotta have your swords. Maybe that’s the main lesson to be learned here… when in doubt, bring in the dragons.

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Books of 2013

These are the books I’ve read in 2013, according to my Goodreads account. I put an asterisk (*) next to the ones I liked a lot. The total number of books I read was 86, the best year I’ve had since 2009, when I first started keeping track.

The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)
***A Naked Singularity (Sergio de la Pava)
Black Vodka (Deborah Levy)
Tenth of December (George Saunders)
*All Dogs Are Blue (Rodrigo De Souza Leao)
MaddAddam (Margaret Atwood)
White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin (Michael W. Clune)
The Childhood of Jesus (JM Coetzee)
Open City (Teju Cole)
By the Sea (Abdulrazak Gurnah)
The Castle (Kafka) – read back in high school
*May We Be Forgiven (A.M. Homes)
Micro (Michael Crichton)
The Periodic Table (Primo Levi)
Summer Blonde (Adrian Tomine)
Shoplifting from American Apparel (Tao Lin)
*Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)
The Illustrated Man (Ray Bradbury)
***Runaway (Alice Munro)
*NW (Zadie Smith)
Winesburg, Ohio (Sherwood Anderson)
Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (Zadie Smith)
Anagrams (Lorrie Moore)
The Book of My Lives (Aleksander Hemon)
Other Stories and Other Stories (Ali Smith) – “The hanging girl” is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read!
More Terrible Than Death: Drugs, Violence, and America’s War in Colombia(Robin Kirk)
The Emigrants (W.G. Sebald)
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Philip Pullman)
The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira (Cesar Aira)
***Hawthorn & Child (Keith Ridgway)
I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith)
A Winter Book (Tove Jansson)
Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
*Oblivion (David Foster Wallace)
Feed (M.T. Anderson)
V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)
*What I Talk About When I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Haruki Murakami)
Herland (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
In Persuasion Nation (George Saunders)
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (George Saunders)
The War of the End of the World (Mario Vargas Llosa)
*Bring Up the Bodies (Hilary Mantel)
*Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel)
*The Summer Book (Tove Jansson)
*The She-Devil in the Mirror (Horacio Moya Castellanos)
The Father Thing: The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick #3 (Philip K. Dick)
Beyond Bogotá: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia (Garry Leech)
In Evil Hour (Gabriel García Márquez)
Memories of my Melancholy Whores
 (Gabriel García Márquez)
***Hypothermia (Alvaro Enrigue)
Beyond Lies the Wub: The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick #1 (Philip K. Dick)
Down By the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family (Charles Bowden)
*The Armies (Evelio Rosero)
The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes)
***One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel García Márquez) [re-read]
Amy’s Eyes (Richard Kennedy) [re-read] (children’s book)
Little House on the Prairie series (Laura Ingallas Wilder) [re-read]
My Colombian War: A Journey Through the Country I Left Behind (Silvana Paternostro)
*Artful (Ali Smith)
The Secret of Evil (Roberto Bolaño)
Free Love and Other Stories (Ali Smith)
Heliopolis (James Scudamore)
The Art of Subtext (Charles Baxter)
*Ghostwritten (David Mitchell)
News of a Kidnapping (Garcia Marquez) [reread]
What I Know (Andrew Cowan)
*Jacob’s Room (Virginia Woolf)
*Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of Visions, Dreams and Realizations(Robert A. Johnson)
The Voyage Out (Virginia Woolf)
After the Quake (Murakami)
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence (Geoff Dyer)
There But For The (Ali Smith)
Empire of the Sun (J.G. Ballard)
Law of the Jungle: the Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure (John Otis)
*The Question of Bruno (Aleksander Hemon)
Elizabeth Costello (JM Coetzee) [reread]
*The Art of Political Murder (Francisco Goldman)
***The Sound of Things Falling (Juan Gabriel Vásquez)
*Death of a Suicide (David Vann)
Child of God (Cormac McCarthy)
The Master (Colm Tóibín)
The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)
*Housekeeping (Marilynne Robinson)
Woes of the True Policeman (Bolaño)
Summertime (JM Coetze)

Books I read a significant portion of but for whatever reason (time, laziness, losing it on the bus) never technically finished (i.e. read every page): Family Ties (Clarice Lispector), Tomorrow in the Battle Think of Me (Javier Marias), The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick Volume 5- Little Black Box (Philip K. Dick), The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick Volume 4: The Days of Perky Pat (Dick), Tyrant Memory (Horacio Castellanos Moya), The diaries of Franz Kafka, 1914-1923 (Kafka), Montano by Enrique Villa-Matas, Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction (edited by Alvaro Enrigue), Love and Other Obstacles (Aleksander Hemon–this was the bus victim ):)

Children’s books I reread (a favorite treat of mine!): Five Children and It, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Tripods trilogy, Beyond the Burning Lands trilogy, The Boy in the Dress (can’t remember the author but a really cute book!), a ton of Tintin books, a ton of Momintroll books.

To see books of 2012 click here.
To see books of 2011 click here.
To see books of 2010 click here.
To see books of 2009 click here.

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