Plodding Into Another Century

on Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Given that it took me til the start of September to hit the big hundred mark, it is a fitting tribute to my laziness that I wait until the month is almost out to mark the occasion. Guess this ain't gonna be one of those 200-books-a-year years after all. Disappointing. And I don't even have a greatly productive excuse to make it all okay.

What can I tell you? It's been slim pickings; few books have really resonated. Sure, there have been a bunch of decent reads, but as for really great books, ones that I will continue salivating over years into the future (a la Censoring An Iranian Love Story or Brodeck's Report from last year) few titles jump to mind. Definitely Roland Topor's claustrophobic masterpiece The Tenant, but that was from 1965. Ditto I. J. Singer's The Brothers Ashkenazi from 1937. I guess there was Hannah Pittard's haunting debut, The Fates Will Find Their Way (technically a 2010 book), Jesse Ball's The Curfew (and The Village On Horseback for that matter), I Hate Martin Amis Et Al by Peter Barry, and Jose Saramago's swansong Cain. Oh, and lest I fall victim to the same malaise of abject idiocy that possessed this year's Booker Prize judging panel, I feel obliged to give props to Yvette Edwards's A Cupboard Full Of Coats. Great book. But it still doesn't get me over the line when it comes to compiling a top ten.

Come on 2011, pick yourself up. You have two and a half months to prove yourself. I'm quite open to suggestions here, but until then I'll stick to mining the classics. Since book 100, G. K. Chesterton's absurdist spy classic The Man Who Was Thursday, I have kept almost exclusively to the road most travelled. Beckett, Orwell, Buzzati, Abe. And The Age Good Food Guide. Heck, I might as well have a good eating year!


Post a Comment