Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tournament of Books 2008

The Morning News has published their lists of books for the Tournament of Books 2008. And here they are:

Run by Ann Patchett
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Petropolis by Anya Ulinich
Ovenman by Jeff Parker
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
You Don't Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem
New England White by Stephen L. Carter
Remainder by Tom McCarthy
The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida
Shining at the Bottom of the Sea by Stephen Marche
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke

Some interesting ones on there. Anyone read any of them? Run by Ann Patchett pops up here again. And I might take a look at The Shadow Catcher, a fictional book that uses Edward Curtis, a photographer whose goal was to document Native American cultures as part of the background story. His photographs were somewhat controversial because he would dress his subjects up in traditional costumes with traditional props, even if the people were more assimilated into the "modern" world. I wrote a grad school paper on him so I think it would be interesting to see how this book portrays him, even if its fictionalized.


allisonmariecat said...

Wow, I have not read a single book on this list. I have had previous novels by Ian McEwan, Ann Patchett, and Vendela Vida in my to-read pile for ages, though. I'll have to see what they're all about--I still have a B&N gift card left from Christmas, so maybe I can get through a couple.

allisonmariecat said...

Thanks for posting this, Holly! I miss being more attuned to the literary scene, as I was in college, and these round-ups really give me a chance to get caught up in last year's literature, so I'm at least not decades behind.

I ordered Petropolis, What The Dead Know, and Then We Came To The End, so hopefully I'll be reviewing them soon. I was really interested in The Shadow Catcher, An Arsonist's Guide, You Don't Love Me Yet, and The Brief Wondrous Life... but they're only in very expensive hardback right now (I know I'm getting old, because I gasped when I saw one of the prices and said, "$25 for a book! I remember back when paperbacks were $3.50"). Petropolis is hardback, too, but bargain book priced at $5.98 on bn.com. If I finish the three I ordered, maybe Lilah and I will finally find the library so I can read the others :)

Some of the books are intriguing, but when you read the summary and/or reviews, you realize you have no idea what the book is *about*--characters, plot, etc. That makes me nervous, because if a gimmick or groundbreaking technique is the main thing being talked about, sometimes the story suffers for it. I'm really not 100% sure about The Arsonist's Guide, but the premise really grabbed me. Remainder sounds really intriguing, but the reviews are scaring me off because they talk about how there's not really a story. Call me old-fashioned, but I like stories, and I think we were better off before deconstructionism hit. See? Getting old :)

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