Books on my shelf this year:
Declare, Tim Powers – I love his work. 1940s-to-1960s war drama with the requisite supernatural element.
Europe Central, William Vollmann – "Through interwoven narratives that paint a composite portrait of [Germany and the USSR] and the monstrous age they defined, /Europe Central/ captures a chorus of voices both real and fictional–a young German who joins the SS to fight its crimes, two generals who collaborate with the enemy for different reasons, the Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the Stalinist assaults upon his work and life. With these and other unforgettable stories, Vollmann breathes life into a haunting chapter from the past and gives us a daring literary masterpiece."
2666, Roberto Bolaño – An epic story, a Christmas present from Mark, whose last such venture was "The Shadow of the Wind," which turned out pretty darn good too.
The Drawing of the Dark, Tim Powers – More Tim Powers, but medieval.
Shakespeare: The World As Stage, Bill Bryson – A tour through Shakespeare’s world to understand the context of his plays.
Strange Itineraries, Tim Powers – Short stories. Yes, someone went through my Amazon list and got me all the Tim Powers books.
Mothers and Sons, Colm Toibin – Saw him speak at Stanford and loved his talk and the excerpt.
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton – 1920s social drama, Pulitzer-winner. I’d heard of it but never read it.
The United States of Arugula, David Kamp – A history of food snobbery in America.
Seven Ages of Paris, Alistair Horne – A history of my favorite city.
Out of the Kitchen, Jeanette Ferrary – A book by our food writing teacher from last year’s class.
The View From The Upper Deck, D.J. Gallo – Sports humor from one of my favorite sports humorists.
Can I Keep My Jersey, Paul Shirley – The story of an NBA journeyman. Paul Shirley blogged on ESPN.com for a while and is always entertaining.
Jane Goodall, Dale Peterson – A biography by an author. I met him during his research at the U of M’s Center and read the book he co-authored with Jane, "Visions of Caliban." Haven’t gotten to this imposing volume yet.
Hopefully I can get through all of these in 2009! I’m looking forward to them.