(Half of) Boswell, Stanley Elkin: My ambitious plan to read all of Elkin devolved into a desperate plan to keep from defaulting on my mortgage. I hope to give this one (and the rest of the oeuvre) the time it deserves in 2010, because Elkin, aside from being funny, is a master craftsman on the sentence level.
The Braindead Megaphone, George Saunders: You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.
I Am Not Sidney Poitier, Percival Everett: It’s no Erasure, and I’m still not sure that the “whoa-crane-shot!” ending isn’t a shuck. But any book that features a Professor of Nonsense Philosophy is ultimately all right with me.
“The Sin of Jesus”, Isaac Babel (trans. Andrew R. MacAndrew): Grotesque, hilarious, profane, life-changing, and quicker than 8 Minute Abs.
Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, Michael Chabon: I read most of this waiting to hear Mr. Chabon read at the Tattered Cover in LoDo. I’d warned him in advance that, as somewhat of a book blogger (part book lover, part mugger), I’d have to come pester him after the reading. Of course, it never dawned on me that the time would come that I’d have to slide my copy of Manhood for Amateurs across the table and say “Hey…I’M THE RAKE!!!” That moment is the quintessence of life on the extreme margins of literature.
Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson: Great children’s book or greatest children’s book?
D.T. Max, “The Unfinished“: Still can’t believe DFW is gone.