Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Am I a good reader?

Unusual question? It just popped into my head as I was reading the Letter from the Editor in my most recent issue of Bookmarks magazine. It was about David Foster Wallace's suicide. I actually have never read any of his books because I could never get more than 40 pages into Infinite Jest (a book I gave up on more than a decade ago). But here he is, being mourned by the literary community.

I read a large number of books, by today's standard, but am I any good at appreciating the best of the best?

Are you a "good reader"?

I'm very excited that Wally Lamb is coming out with a new book - The Hour I First Believed - on November 11th! Ten years has been much too long to have to wait for a new work of fiction from Lamb.

Malcolm Gladwell has another book coming out -Outliers: The Story of Success. I have read neither The Tipping Point nor Blink. What am I missing, I wonder?

The Booker Prize Short List . . .
The book that currently piques my interest the most - The Northern Clemency by Philip Henser
From Bookmarks: "In 20th-century northern England, two families' fates and connections intensify as they reflect the social landscape of the early Thatcher era."

The Booker Prize Long List . . .
I can't believe that A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif was on it. I read this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program. It was a struggle to finish it.

Of Bookmarks' Best Books of 2008 (50 in total), I have only read one - The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, which I enjoyed but thought could have been funnier. Netherland by Joseph O'Neill sat on my nightstand for a couple of months, marked off at around page 10. I left it, came back to it and started over. Nowe it sits buried on "to read" bookshelves.

Hmmmm . . .