November 2010

I've been reading books about Salzburg, about Budapest, about all sorts of things. Most of them are our in my office, but it's been so long that I thought I would update now, and try to remember to update the others later. Half Baked by Alexa Stevenson I didn't expect to enjoy this memoir. I'm sort of over my dead baby phase. But the writing was really fine, unusually so for the genre.

Missionary Stew by Ross Thomas Michael and I are doing a pilot for HBO, and I've been reading lots of spy stories.

Swamplandia by Karen RussellSuper fun, well-written. A little rough around the edges.

Esther's Inheritance by Sándor Márai Hungarian fiction, man. Phew.

Embers by Sándor Márai I am ashamed to admit this, and perhaps you'll think I'm unintellectual, but I just don't GET this writer.

Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian A fun, quick read.

Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre Really really fun book and fun writer.

An Exclusive Love by Johanna Adorján Not particularly memorable memoir of the "my grandparents and the Holocaust" school.

Shadow Knights by Gary Kamiya So. Much. FUN!!!

Skylark by Dezsåo Kosztolányi Lovely and weird as hell. Lord, those Hungarians. Odd ducks.

Uncommon Sense for Parents With Teenagers by Michael Riera Sigh.

Nemesis by Philip Roth I haven't liked a Roth so much in quite a while.

The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey Meh.

To the End of the Land by David Grossman I cannot sum up everything I feel about this wrenching novel in a line or two. Just read it.

Fatelessness by Imre Kertész This is one of the most breath-taking and devastating Holocaust memoirs I've ever read. And trust me, I've read A LOT of them, lately.

The Great House by Nicole Krauss I only read this novel out of panic, because it's so similar to my own. She even has the Hungarian Gold Train in her book, which honestly made me want to quit writing and just go back to criminal defense. But, you know what? It's very different from my book despite some glaring (and terrifying) similarities. It's a good novel, especially the section from the point of view of the elderly Israeli.