New Year, New List

I read many books last year—108 to be exact. Looking over the list, there were some high points and low points. I had tried to write a little something about each book, but you can see that I gave up after a while. I’ll try again this year.

I finished Robert Graves’s Good-Bye to All That on 1/1/08 but I’m including it in last year’s list anyway. It’s a great book on which to end the year–what a wonderful memoir! Graves gives an excellent portrait of a nation on the brink of change. The First World War changed everything, including Graves. An officer sent over to France, he grew appalled at the callousness of the military command, not to mention the people back home reveling in their jingoism while scores of men died absolutely horrific deaths in the trenches.

I started reading a novel that won’t be out until this summer, which is why I’m not linking to it on the sidebar as there’s no book jacket info yet. It’s a debut novel by David Wroblewski titled The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. They’re calling it a modern retelling of Hamlet set in Wisconsin. Lee Boudreaux is the editor from Ecco and I tend to like the books on which she has worked. Hopefully this will be number one on my Reading List of 2008. Has anyone else started a good book?

5 thoughts on “New Year, New List

  1. Michael K.

    Jesus you must read quickly!! You put my paltry list to shame!

    How was The World Without End? Pillars… is one of my all-time faves.


  2. zan

    Congratulations on learning how to bend time!

    I made it to the mid-40s by reading mostly on my commute. But this year, as with every year, I try to remind myself that it’s not a competition. I read 40-something pretty great books last year, and that’s awesome.

    I think I might have just started a great book as well, and I’m only a few sentences in: Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, which I missed out on when everyone else was reading it a few years back.

    Happy New Year!


  3. Dave

    Edgar Sawtelle is great so far. I stayed home from work today, sick with the beginnings of a cold or flu, and read the first 200 pages. Only now (in a PW news item and here on Bookdwarf) am I hearing about the Hamlet connection, which I hadn’t considered. I don’t like to know much about a book before I read it — won’t read publisher blurbs or reviews, if I can avoid them — but already I’m curious to go back to the Shakespeare. By chance, I’m also in the middle of Heydey by Kurt Andersen (also very long, also very good), in which one of the characters, an actress, has a role in Hamlet.


  4. John Fox

    108. Quite impressive. For 2008, I’m just trying to read a bunch of short stories collections – no precise number, but just read them well. I will say that so far (so far!) my favorite collection has been Steven Millhauser’s new book, Dangerous Laughter.


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