Clearing the Air

Since everyone else seems to be doing it, I’ll go on record and state that I’ve only read seven of the alleged “100 Most Notable Books of 2005”. But many of these books (the Gaitskill, the Powers Mark Twain bio, et al.) are ones I’d like to read, while I have no burning interest to read others (Harry Potter, Eggers). If they’re going to start taking away litblog credentials, they’ll have to start with me. I can only cite lack of time and a tendency to read more small press and genre titles as my primary defenses.

And speaking of strange lists, what is John Grisham doing on the Post‘s top 5 fiction list?

Back to our regularly scheduled hiatus.


  1. I am sort of horrified by the Grisham thing. I love good popular fiction (and admittedly it’s years since I read anything by Grisham, maybe he’s improved–though usually bestselling authors become worse not better writers over the years), but Grisham’s novels are sort of sub-book: they share with Dan Brown a relentless narrative pacing (including reliance on extremely short chapters) and a flatness of language and characterization that makes them near-unreadable–by me, at least. To mention Grisham and Scott Turow in the same breath seems to me ludicrous.

    NYT notables: I just went and counted, and I’ve only read five (Harry Potter, Never Let Me Go, On Beauty, Prep, Veronica), which seems pitiful except that the list is really not my kind of thing at all! I’ve got four more (two fiction, two non-) in the immediate TBR pile (Beyond Black, Missing Mom, Damrosch Rousseau biography and Kimmelman Accidental Masterpiece), but I don’t think there are more than half a dozen books additional on the list that I have any urge to read at all.

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