Match Frame

Thoughts from an American editor and filmmaker in New Zealand about film and video production and post-production. Plus whatever else I feel like talking about.

Location: Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand

A work in progress.

Monday, December 18, 2006

book list 2007

So I decided, as you do, to compile a list of all the recommendations I've received over the past few years that I haven't taken action on, in order to assemble a reading list so I don't just re-read the same authors over and over again. (Some of those authors are on here, too, to be fair.)

This list doesn't include some books I own that I intend to tackle (two Neal Stephenson books, Vollmann's RISING UP AND RISING DOWN, Richard Powers' THE TIME OF OUR SINGING, Dave Eggers' HOW WE ARE HUNGRY, Ben Marcus's NOTABLE AMERICAN WOMEN, and, um, some others), and a few books I have from the library that I won't get to til next year probably. (Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD and Michel Houllebecq's A POSSIBILITY OF AN ISLAND rating high amongst them.)

Have I mentioned how GALATEA 2.2 by Richard Powers blew my mind? It did.

Anyway, the list (and, no, I don't really expect to read all of these in 2007, but hopefully I will make a dent:

John Banville: The Sea
Saul Bellow: Henderson the Rain King
John Burnett: Where Soldiers Fear To Tread
*Italo Calvino: If On A Winter's Night A Traveller, Mr. Palomar
Peter Craig: Hot Plastic
Lydia Davis: Almost No Memory
*Don DeLillo: The Body Artist
Don DeLillo: Mao II
Joan Didion: The Year of Magical Thinking
Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy
*Nathan Englander: For the Relief of Unbearable Urges
Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex
Percival Everett: American Desert
Michel Faber: The Crimson Petal and the White
Richard Ford: The Lay of the Land
*Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
Samuel Fuller: A Third Face
David Gates: Wonders of the Invisible World, Jernigan
Haddon: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Kent Harrington: Red Jungle
Eric Hansen: Motoring with Mohammed: Journeys to Yemen and the Red Sea
John Irving: A Prayer for Owen Meany
Ken Jennings: Brainiac
Tore Janson et al: A Natural History of Latin
*Franz Kafka: The Castle
*Ken Kalfus: The Comissariat of Enlightenment
Elizabeth Kostova: The Historian
Ray Kurzweil: The Singularity Is Near
William Langewiesche: Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert
Daniel Levitin: This Is Your Brain on Music
*Mark Leyner: Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog
Sam Lipsyte: Home Land
Margaret Macmillan and Richard Holbrooke: Paris 1919
*Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian
Carson McCullers: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
Ron McLarty: Memory of Running
Ben Mezrich: Bringing Down The House
Rick Moody: The Diviners
Christopher Moore: The Stupidest Angel
Haruki Murakami: The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, The Elephant Vanishes
George Orwell: Down and Out In London
George Pelecanos: The Night Gardener
Andrew X. Pham: Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
*Richard Powers: The Gold Bug Variations
Richard Powers: Gain, The Echo Maker
Mary Roach: Stiff
Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Harry Saint: Memoirs of an Invisible Man
George Saunders: In Persuasion Nation
Alice Sebold: The Lovely Bones
Carl Shuker: The Method Actors
Ignazio Silone: Fontamara
Laura Slater: Opening Skinner's Box
Dodie Smith: I Capture the Castle
Zadie Smith: White Teeth
Hunter S. Thompson: The Rum Diary
Leo Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilych
John Updike: Rabbit Redux
Jennifer Vanderbes: Easter Island
*David Foster Wallace: Oblivion, Consider the Lobster, Girl With Curious Hair
David Wallis (ed): Killed
Franz Wisner: Honeymoon with my Brother
Noboru Yoshimura: Inside the Kaisha

(* = my flatmate owns it, nothing more or less exciting than that)

Any additional recommendations? I think I may permanently maintain this list on my computer as a reference.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

super list of books! its a real treat.

i noticed you have zadie smith - white teeth on your list. great book.. inspired me to write this.

i had a simliar brainwave last week, and decided was going to read up all of this year's man booker proze nominees. here's the list btw. and then to blog on each ofcourse.

am tempted to abandon my list in favour of the one you have here!!

18/12/06 10:43 PM  
Blogger dd said...

Well, I can't vouch for everything on the list, but somebody has to me, so there's that. (The authors on the list I've read are Calvino, DeLillo, Didion, Eugenides, Ford, Franzen, Irving, Kafka, Lipsyte, McCarthy, Moody, Murakami, Orwell, Powers, Thompson, and Wallace.)

The Booker Prize List is mostly new to me. I have read a book by David Mitchell which I liked (NUMBER9DREAM) and I have his other two books on my shelf to read at some point.

Thanks for dropping by!

18/12/06 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so excited about your book list! I'm going to make one for myself. Here are my thoughts on your list, for what it's worth:

1. Skip the Joan Didion. The book doesn't live up to the hype (at least in my mother's and my opinions).

2. Move the Murakami up to number 1 on your list. I see you've read other Murakami; this one is his best. My next favorite is Kafka on the Shore.

3. Sam Lipsyte was my favorite discovery of 2006 - hope he's yours of 2007.

4. If you can find a copy of The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian (just published by McSweeney's), add it to your list. I'm 200 pages into it and am already sad that it will end someday.


19/12/06 8:50 AM  
Blogger dd said...

How do you guys feel about Joan Didion in general? I think I've read just about everything; I particularly have loved her non-fiction (I can't say enough good things about THE WHITE ALBUM and SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM), so I'm curious if it's disappointment or taste.

I read THE SUBJECT STEVE by Lipsyte forever ago, and it was a bit gruesome, even for my tastes, though the specifics have been lost to memory. For some reason, whatever I read about HOME LAND made me want to seek him about again.

The only Murakami I've read, apart from some short stories in AFTER THE QUAKE I browsed at a friend's house, is NORWEGIAN WOOD, which I liked well enough, though not enough to send me on a rabid Murakami hunt. (As opposed to Richard Powers, who I am now officially rabid about. You read any, Brannon?)

19/12/06 10:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home