I promised a few days ago that I would get back to the NYT Book Review's year-end list of Notable Books.
I'm actually more enthusiastic about this year's list than I was last year. I already have four of them on my shelf (thanks, Laura K. for the Edward P. Jones stories!), and there are at least six more that I'd like to pick up by the time they come out in paperback. (I feel compelled to mention that, like last year, I haven't even looked at the nonfiction portion of the list.)
A couple of old MSU alums have new books out: Richard Ford's third Frank Bascombe novel, The Lay of the Land, and Thomas McGuane's second collection of stories, Gallatin Canyon. Nell Freudenberger follows up her very good 2003 collection of stories Lucky Girls with her debut novel The Dissident. Thomas Pynchon, Colson Whitehead, Philip Roth, and Cormac McCarthy all have new novels. Amy Hempel and Joyce Carol Oates both have career-spanning collected stories volumes.
Finally, The Keep by Jennifer Egan, Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky, and The Uses of Enchantment by Heidi Julavits may not have interested me enough to merit $25 for a hardcover, but I may keep my eyes open for them at the library. (Glancing at the nonfiction list, I've read enough of Jonathan Franzen and Bill Buford's new books when sections appeared in the New Yorker that I may pick them up in paperback.)
Wow, that's compared to what, four books that I was interested in last year?
Oh, and while they may not have made the NYT Book Review's list, I would be remiss if I were to fail to mention Revelator's two titles to date: Michael Duncan's collection Line Jester & Other Stories, in which he combines strains of Sartre and Borges with a comtemporary fabulist ethic, and Andrew Hungerford's dreamy, searching one-act play Between the Water and the Air. Both are available for free download at Revelator, and are well worth a read.