Wednesday, November 28, 2007

98 Books I Haven't Read

So the New York Times has posted their 100 Notable Books for 2007? And I've only read one (if you don't count Harry Potter) Naturally, I read the shortest one, On Chesil Beach by Ian was excellent! Truthfully, I rarely rush out to buy the newest crop because there are so many old ones waiting in line for my scattered attention.
There are some temptations on the list --- a new book by Richard Russo who wrote Empire Falls, a new one by Philip Roth and one by Annie Dillard. Tom Perotta who wrote Little Children has written one that sounds good, The Abstinence Teacher. (Being made into a movie by the Little Miss Sunshine people).I'll get to them one of these days.
Scanning the list, I see the effects of globalization. Americans have written books set all over the place. There are quite a few translations and books set in every corner of our shrinking globe. Stick a pin in the map where eachbook takes place....what country gets the most pins?
But only one notable children's book? Couldn't they find another one to go with Harry Potter? Or weren't they looking?
You can also see the great divide between "notable" and "popular" literature, at least in the eyes of the New York Times. None of the books book clubs are reading made it into the elite group. Water for Elephants and The Glass Castle are two titles that spring to mind...or were they last year's picks? The most frivolous book sounds like Tina Brown's The Diana Chronicles. How did fun loving Diana sneak into such a high-minded party?
The overall effect is discouraging --- all those worthy books and so little time. Guess I'll order The Diana Chronicles and pour a glass of wine and forget the rest for now.

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