Friday, January 29, 2010

Best of 2010, Update 6

I'm almost half way through Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone and I'm finding myself totally immersed in his 1950s Ethiopian setting. This one comes in at 534 pages and I suspect that I will be sorry to see it end. Thanks to the heads-up from Class Factotum (and because my library finally got it on the shelves) I didn't miss out on this experience...late as I am to the party.

This lunchtime I finished up the Joyce Dyer memoir, Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood, the book in which she revisits the neighborhood in which she spent the first five years of her life. Because so little of her old neighborhood looks anything like she remembers it, Dyer takes an interesting approach to her "reconstruction" of those early years and learns and reveals many intimate details from her family history. My review of the book will come in a day or so.

So, after 10 books, this is what the real time list now looks like:

1. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley and Eddie Dean (biography)
2. The Opposite Field - Jesse Katz (memoir)

3. The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim (novel)

4. Homer & Langley - E.L. Doctorow - 4.0 (novel)
5. Blind Submission - Debra Ginsberg (2006 novel)
6. Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood - Joyce Dyer (memoir)
7. Get Out of the Way - Daniel Dinges (novel)
8. Boston Noir - Dennis Lehane, Editor (short story collection)

9. The Unnamed - Joshua Ferris (novel)

10. William S. and the Great Escape - Zilpha Keattey Snyder (Children's book)
Just a reminder: When I reach 11 total books, one will drop off to reflect a current Top Ten. From that point onward, a book will drop from the list each time I add a new one - and once a book drops off the list, it is gone forever.


  1. Homer and Langley was pretty great, though I found myself even more interested in the actual events of their lives.

    Blind Submission is on my TBR list, glad to see it's worth a nod on your list!

  2. I'm so glad you are enjoying Cutting for Stone! When I finished it, I immediately sought his other books and was not disappointed. The man is amazingly talented.

  3. I'm curious about the real Homer and Langley myself, TLL. I've tried to watch the TV shows about hoarders a time or two and cannot imagine living like that or with someone who suffers the mental illness. It puts the book into context.

  4. Factotum, I posted my review a few minutes book of 2010 to this point. Great story, great characters, great history lesson. Thanks for tipping me about this one.