The Anthologist: A Novel


Thumbs up for The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker. Literature.

What I have to say is: YES! It’s a novel by a 21st century American man, told in near-stream-of-consciousness, with only the vaguest of plots, about poetry: all these things make a recipe for a book I don’t want to read. And yet I read the first chapter way back when in the NY Times, and was intrigued; and when my coworker, who was reading this book in downtimes at work, started cracking up and insisting I had to read such-and-such paragraph, which always made me crack up too, I made him promise to let me read it next.… >> Read more

My Antonia

Thumbs up for My √Āntonia by Willa Cather. Literature.

In spite of its title, I was struck by how much this book is not really about Antonia. Of course, we are warned in the beginning by the narrator, Jim, that he must tell Antonia’s story through his own experiences. But by dint of that, there are long sections in which Antonia does not appear, nor is she the off-screen impetus for the events which occur.… >> Read more

Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)


Thumbs up for Tales of the City and More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. Literature.

I want to go to San Francisco; since at the moment it’s impossible in reality, I thought I’d go mentally. These two books (you really have to read both) are, if you want to be honest, soap operas, following the interweaving lives of the inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane, as they all search for love (gay, straight, filial, platonic) and deal with the ups and downs of life.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock. Literature.

I don’t think that the second half quite lived up to its initial promise, but, if you are the sort of person who is willing to read something riddled with untranslated Latin and French, and even English words to send one scurrying to the OED, then it’s a pretty dang funny piece of Victorian social satire.… >> Read more