Literature: Your picks?

Hello, shadow!I forgot to ask–what was the best book you read in 2006?? Leave a comment to let us readers know. 

The book need not have been published in 2006.  As I said earlier, I tend to go for the crusty stuff (my 2006 favorites were published in 1939 and 1978).  But it’s good to stay current. 

By the way–this site was designed to be interactive, so please do contribute.  Even though I may not be able to respond to each comment individually, I’m thrilled to know how you’re living, what you’re reading, and where your pursuit of nature has taken you (even if it is the duck pond in front of your office…as one brave “Down and Out” reader admitted in a comment a few weeks ago). 

Cheers! 

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6 responses to “Literature: Your picks?

  1. You already know mine…Japanland, A Year in Search of Wa by Karin Muller

  2. Some Other Country.
    A book of New Zealand short stories published in the 80’s. I was in a bookstore in Wellington, looking for a book of short stories, and asked for a recommendation. Luckily one of the employees actually knew what he was talking about, and highly recommended this book, claiming that students taking writing workshops in New Zealand are required to read this book.
    He was right. It’s incredible. Organized in chronological order, with the first story “At the Bay” written in 1922 by Katherine Mansfield, and the last story written in 1982.
    More than one of these stories brought me to tears. “The Quiet One” is incredible and sad. “A Fitting Tribute” had me wondering whether it was fiction or not. “The Day Hemingway Died” could easily have been written yesterday. Amazing. Read this book.

  3. creativelyselfemployed

    i loved devil wears prada as a fun read and i loved a million little pieces by james frey.

  4. Deborah Eisenberg Twighlight of the Superheroes, an exquisite collection of short stories, just edged out George Saunders In Persuasion Nation (I’m a short story partisan) for my favorite book of 2006. Eisenberg creates delicate interior landscapes of the characters emotions, so that a simple exchange about whether a cake is appropriate for tea time, for example, can bear all of the weight of accumulated tension between a brother and sister. The title story is also the best fiction about 9/11 I’ve yet read–not maudlin or strident, just real with all the quotidian dreck and mundane beauties of how we actually experience a collective event–I felt I understand the experience better after reading her.

    -Bill

  5. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.
    It’s not a hot new pick, but from someone who lives in the literary dark ages, this was a huge discovery for me. I was completely consumed by this book — for three days I took only short eating and sleeping breaks. It reads like a much “bigger” story, drenched with symbolism and allegory, but I think that’s where Rushdie kind of messes with his reader. He creates the sense of some larger message, and to some extent it’s in there, but it’s real strength is in the storytelling, the imagery, the characters. It’s just a vivid, ludicrous, tragic, hilarious story that stays with you.

    Also, I read this book in an Islamic country where, unknown to me at the time, there is still a fatwa against it, the author and anyone who reads it. oops.

  6. Power Vs Force by David Hawkins takes a look at the hidden determinants of human behavior. I am not suggesting this book to anyone; I am just saying it was my favorite read of 2006. I have loaned this book out to a couple of friends and they have promptly given it back to me and never asked to borrow another book again. To truly describe the depths of the book…blah, blah, blah, creepy…blah, blah, blah, metaphysical…blah, blah, consciousness. I also read A million Little Pieces but despised the level of integrity of the author.

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