June 20, 2008
Summer arrives officially today, giving me the opportunity to reflect on almost a half year of reading. Books are strewn everywhere at our house, between the 52 Books, 52 Weeks project (which I am woefully behind in writing reviews) and the Book Notes series, I am approaching three digits in the number of books read so far in 2008.
Are you looking for something new to read on vacation, while grilling out on the patio, or sitting in your inflatable pool? Maybe I can help... What are you reading this summer? What are the exceptional books you have read this year?
So many quality books have stood out, here are the eleven books I have been recommending to family and friends most this year, regardless of genre. Links lead to my reviews either at the book's 52 Books, 52 Weeksor the Book Notes entry, otherwise a short review is offered:
Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw
By George: A Novel by Wesley Stace
The story of a show business family told (in part) by a ventriloquist's dummy is as innovative as it is timeless. Wesley Stace (known as John Wesley Harding when wearing his singer-songwriter hat) has written a modern Victorian novel.
The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudolph Wurlitzer
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee
Harry, Revised: A Novel by Mark Sarvas
Litblogger Mark Sarvas (The Elegant Variation) has produced a debut novel that captures the subtleties of relationships and pulls at your heartsrings while never forgetting how to make you laugh.
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Little Things by Jeffrey Brown
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
Possibly the most impressive post-9/11 novel written yet, O'Neill combines New York City, marital strife, and cricket into an unforgettable book filled with lyrical imagery.
Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
This magnificent debut collection of short fiction captures Africa's ethnic conflict through the eyes of ordinary children.
Lahiri's third book is a worthy successor to the Pulitzer-winning Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake. Unaccustomed Earth collects stories of immigrants with feet astride two continents (and cultures).
also at Largehearted Boy:
Previous lists at Largehearted Boy
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
directors and actors discuss their film's soundtracks
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2008 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)