Sunday, December 4, 2016

What Is Going On With The Book List, This Year??????????????????

                                    This week, after much anticipation, The New York Times published its list of The Ten Best Books of 2016.  Now, of course, I narrow it down to five, because I am primarily interested in Faction, which I invest a lot of time and money each year in reading.

                                     The list is surprising this year, but the surprise is more what's not on the list, than on.  And who the hell ever heard of some of these books?  Let's take a lot at the list and find out.

                                      The New York Times ten Best Books Of 2016
                                       1. The Association Of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan
                                       2.  The North Water, by Ian McGuire
                                       3.   The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
                                       4.   The Vegetarian, by Han Kang
                                        5. War And Turpentine, by Stefan Hertmans

                                     "The Association Of Small Bombs?"  What  the hell is that?  And who would want to read it?  And now, I have to!  "War And Turpentine?"  I'd rather read "War And Peace!"  I have, and will again.  "The Underground Railroad?"  I know it, and I know of Colson Whitehead, but I have never read a book of his I liked.  "The Vegetarian" sounds potentially interesting, as does "The North Water," by one whose opinion I value highly told me they did not like the Han King novel.

                                          What is wrong with The New York Times?  Where are--My List, Again, darlings________             1. The Nix, by Nathan Hill
                                          2. The Queen Of The Night, by Alexander Chee
                                          3. The Sport Of Kings, by C.E. Morgan
                                          4. Surrender, New York, by Caleb Carr
                                          5. Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran Foer

                                          .....Not to mention titles by some big writers like Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, Ann Patchett, and Annie Proux!!!!!!!!!!!  Is The Times Selection Committee populated by that most depressing of groups, The Disciples Of Joan (Didion)!!!!!!!!!  I have been to twelve step meetings that were more upbeat.

                                            Why does everything with The Times list, lately, have to be a goddmaned political agenda?  What about literature for pleasure's sake--beauty of language and narrative thought?  My list exemplifies that, girls, so I suggest you stick with that.

                                            Maybe I should not be so hung up on The Times.  But it is still the paper of record, so it has to be acknowledged.  I have never seen a more dismal book list than the one this year.

                                              Hey, Times, I have news for you--the list should stimulate reading, not prevent it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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