Reading Roundup

Here are the books I wrote reviews on in 2007. Not everything I read got a review, mostly if it was a sequel or I didn’t feel it warrented a review (usually nonfiction). In retrospect, I didn’t realize I read so much genre stuff. In fact, I really only see three books that would truly be at home on the literature shelves (Pale Fire, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gravity’s Rainbow). McCarthy is considered literature, but his writing is clearly genre (western thriller, post-apocolyptic). Not that there’s anything wrong with indulging in a healthy dose of genre stuff – if anything, most of the greatest novels would fall under the genre title these days.

The numbers are also somewhat disappointing. I started out the year aiming for a book a month (which is a pretty low goal). I’m going to up it to two a month in 2008.

Some short lists:

Best Literature

  1. Gravity’s Rainbow
  2. Pale Fire
  3. The Road

Most Fun to Read

  1. The Confusion
  2. Accelerando
  3. The Gunslinger

Best Storytelling

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Children of Hurin
  3. The Confusion

Most Brilliant Ideas

  1. Man in the High Castle
  2. Gravity’s Rainbow
  3. Accelerando

The Scar – Overwrought worldbuilding
Gravity’s Rainbow – postmodern literature at its most original
No Country for Old Men – Subverts the bag of money thriller
Sirens of Titan – Vonnegut still discovering his powers
Man in the High Castle – brilliant psychological alternative history
Fire Upon the Deep – original aliens, forgetful plot
Children of Hurin – Tolkien gone emo
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – fantasy happy meal
Dark Tower II – King’s messy imagination
To Kill a Mockingbird – southern gothic at its finest
Haunted – short story collection, lots of filler
The Road – stunningly bleak minimalism
The Confusion – historical fiction through a sci-fi lens
The Gunslinger – mythologizing the western
Pale Fire – a literary virtuoso at work
Accelerando – the singularity explored

Show Comments