The New Yorker’s List: A Year’s Reading

The New Yorker lists reviewers’ favorites from 2011 included some of my literary fiction favorites too.  You can read my reviews by clicking on the title:

Among those listed that I want to find and read in 2012:

       Started Early, Took My Dog (A private investigator looks for a woman’s natural parents.)

  • Train Dreams (The life and times of an anonymous drifter)
  • Coming to That (Poems on age)

Have you read any of them?

New York Times Top 5 Fiction Books of 2011

Four out of five – not bad.  The five best fiction books for 2011, according to the New York Times Book Review section include three I’ve read and reviewed; one I am currently reading; the fifth I will probably skip –  Ten Thousand Saints – unless you have a recommendation to reconsider?

The other four in the year’s top titles:


The Art of Fielding           Swamplandia!                       The Tiger’s Wife

Currently reading: 11/22/63

Not sure I agree with all of them – what about you – which books would you have picked for top 5?

Holiday Books – Notable Books for 2011

The New York Times Book Review section has their list of 100 notable books of 2011 ready for Christmas giving ideas.  I have a lot of catching up to do – I’ve only read 9 on the list. Click on the title to find my review:

The Art of Fielding

Blood, Bones and Butter


The Stranger’s Child    Swamplandia!  The Tiger’s Wife


The Sense of an Ending

For the complete list, click on 100 Notable Books of 2011

The Book Santa Brought

9780553459272_p0_v3_s192x300My favorite Christmas gift is always a book, and this year a good friend sent me Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores by Bob Eckstein.  A picture book with “true tales and lost moments from buyers, booksellers, and book lovers.” This book will always have a special place on my shelf.  Rizolli’s of New York City is in there – one of my favorites.  The store closed in 2014 after fifty years in midtown Manhattan, but happily it has relocated and reopened.

I plan to make a list of all the bookstores I have yet to visit – from all over the world – an itinerary for the future.

I Found This Post from 2011 – Merry Christmas!

9780971461222_p0_v1_s192x300When organizing categories for Christmas gifts – to help her calm the day’s frenzy – a friend with four children always included a game, a craft, something warm and fuzzy, and – of course – a book.  I remember finding a quiet corner to eat cookies and read my new book(s) on Christmas day.

In an article for USA Today, Darr Brieser asked authors to remember a Christmas book gift.  Chris Bohjalian, author of Secrets of Eden and more recently The Night Strangers, remembers his favorite Christmas book gift – The Joyous Season by Patrick Dennis, the author of Auntie Mame.

Michiko Kakutani for the New York Times offers some suggestions for Christmas gift giving that include The Art of Fielding and Moonwalking with Einstein – two of my favorite reads this year.


What books do you remember getting from Santa?

Related Reviews:

The World Series and The Art of Fielding

This year’s World Series has had more than the usual drama.  The Cardinals lost to the Rangers in the fifth game, blaming faulty phone lines and hard of hearing receivers relaying miscommunication.  The sixth game of the World Series was a nail-biter.  The Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals went into overtime.  The Rangers were ahead twice with two runs; the Cardinals came back both times to even the score, and then the home run that won the game in the eleventh inning.

batter-batter-batter – you’re the batter (David Freese)…

The excitement was catching, and I’m a Phillies fan!

Despite the drama, I started a new book while watching  – a book with a baseball theme seemed appropriate  – Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding.  On the second page, Henry, a seventeen year old shortstop with loads of potential “swapped his green Legion cap for a faded red St. Louis Cardinals one.”  An omen?

“Henry imagined the same scenario as always: he was playing shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series…ahead by one, two outs, bases loaded.  Make the last play and win it all.”

I had to stop reading to concentrate on the show.   In my real time, it’s the fifth inning in the seventh game, and the Cardinals really are ahead by one.

At last – the seventh game is history and the Series is over.   Now I can get back to my book.