Sunday, September 4, 2011

Extra credit.

The version of 1001 Books that we are using ends with books published in 2005. I had been thinking recently about how it is going to take me probably 20-30 years to read all of these books, and, during those years, a lot of other really good books will be published.

So I decided to read the New York Times Best Books of the Year for the years 2006-on, one every month or so. This way I can also read some newer good books as the years go on.

The first Best Book of the Year that I read is Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart, one of the Best Books of 2006. This book is a clever story that satirizes American values and how those values and ideals are transmitted across the world. Sometimes it seemed like the author was getting a little too cute, such as where the main character's girlfriend leaves him for the evil Professor Jerry Shteynfarb. On the whole though, I thought the book was funny and interesting. Halliburton, cost plus contracts and even Dick Cheney come into play in a story about a Russian guy who is trying desperately to get back to the US and finds himself the Minister of Multicultural Affairs in Absurdistan, a tiny republic on the Caspian Sea.

Next up, back to the regularly scheduled programming. Bonjour Tristesse is next on the list.

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