November 2006

I'm off to MacDowell again, glory hallelujah. God I love that place. But I'm planning on reading a bunch so I have to update before I go. I'm in a hard place with my next book. I've tried a couple of different things and they haven't worked. I'm praying for inspiration. Wish me luck. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida I loved this book. She writes like Joan Didion.

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron I didn't feel bad about mine. Now I do. I swear it's sagging just a little. The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn If you only read one book this year, let it be this one, okay? Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky Or let it be this one. This may be the best unfinished novel I've ever read. And one of the best novels I've ever read. Restless by William Boyd I adore William Boyd. So why didn't I love this book? The Mystery Guest by Gregoire Bouillier A bizarre yet entertaining little book. Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn I'll never get sick of his vile characters. And he's maybe the funniest writer ever. A line of dialogue about a fat lady getting into an airplane seat. She thanks them for her patience and Roberts says, "It's sweet of her to thank us for something we haven't given her. Perhaps I should thank her for her agility." The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories by Valerie Martin She's a lovel writer. Got a little sick of the women's relationships, though. Good Faith by Jane Smiley I was ripping along happily to nearly the end, then I suddenly stopped caring. Probably more to do with me than the book, because this lady sure can turn a phrase.

The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut Could Africa be any more depressing?

The World Below by Sue Miller I wish I could write book after book with such grace and competence. Blue Nude by Elizabeth Rosner I just needed more story, but I loved the kibbutz part. So familiar to me. Don't Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff AGAIN I caused a scene on a plane by laughing like a maniac while reading a Rakoff book. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud I can't really figure out why I didn't like this book more. After This by Alice McDermott It's not charming Billy, but then what ever will be? Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose She's pompous as hell, and her book list is positively asinine, but I did learn some things from this book. The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver Great idea for a novel. The Uses of Enchantment by Heidi Julavits Awesome. Hysterically funny and wrenching. And not just because she's my friend.

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson She's amazing, but my favorite is still Behind the Scenes at the Museum. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards My editor loved this book.