May 2010

I am staring at a vast pile of books that I've read these past two months. Truly insane quantities. The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman Many of these essays are truly delightful, funny and bright. A couple, however, were clearly sort of phoned in.

Border Crossing by Pat Barker I could read nothing but Pat Barker to the end of my days. I mean, not really. But you know what I mean.

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman A wonderful memoir about women saving each other's sanity and helping each other survive.

The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker The best. Ever.

Another World by Pat Barker Not my favorite of her books, but still pretty awesome.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen This is a huge book and I read it in a single day. So that tells you how great I thought it was.

Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby Delightful.

In the White Hotel by D.M. Thomas The Babi Yar scene puts today's callow young Holocaust novelists to shame.

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman She's funny. But what works on stage works less well on the page.

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen I bought this for a plane ride and ended up crying like a freak.

Happy Now by Katherine Shonk Quiet but moving.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson OK, am I the only person in the universe who has noticed that the writing in this book is appalling? I mean, truly truly appalling. And it's all creepy S&M shit.

The Husbands and Wives by Laurie Abraham Other people's bad marriages are like car accidents. You can't help but stare but it makes you feel bad.