Sunday, December 24, 2006

"New Yorker" writers' bedside reading

Contributors to the New Yorker's Winter Fiction Issue weighed in with books that they particularly enjoyed in 2006.

One entry:

Louise Erdrich

“The Hard Life,” by Flann O’Brien, is one of my very favorite short comic novels. The Aubrey/Maturin novels, by Patrick O’Brian, are so addictive that after I finish one I have to hide the next from myself for a little while in order to do anything else but read. I also suggest “Bangkok 8” by John Burdett, if after too much of the usual holiday cheer you need a thriller about jade, the sex trade, deadly snakes, and interesting forms of corruption in this life and the next. I like to read Barbara Pym in January, and look forward to my little pile of her books. Finally, “Strange Empire,” by Joseph Kinsey Howard, is the classic history of the grand and doomed attempt to form a Métis nation in North America—it’s full of marvellous detail and devastating portraits of Louis Riel, Poundmaker, Wandering Spirit, Gabriel Dumont, the action at Batoche, in Saskatchewan, and the saga of the Gatling gun.

Click here to see the books mentioned by Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, and Paul Theroux.

--Marshal Zeringue