Scott Esposito’s excellent literature and culture blog Conversational Reading likely needs no introduction here (don’t forget his Quarterly Conversation either). Lucky for us, Scott has kindly pitched in with his best reads of 2006 for our year end extravaganza at The Millions:
Looking over the books I read in 2006, it seems like a banner year. I see a lot of novels that amazed me, and many that have expanded my view of what literature is and what it can be in the future.
Still, one novel towers above all the rest: Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. This is a book that is experimental is the very best ways while also providing more traditional literary pleasures like well-defined characters and beautiful prose. Anyone who hasn’t read it should make an effort to tackle this masterpiece.
A very close second (and it’s very difficult to choose which of these two I enjoyed more) is Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry.
- Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson
- Bouvard And Pecuchet by Gustave Flaubert
- Atomik Aztex by Sesshu Foster
- Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
- The Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald
- The Blue Guide to Indiana by Michael Martone
- Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino
- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
- The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter