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“Best of” 2012?

I am still digesting Gore Vidal’s Creation; I will write about it soon.

As everyone else is doing the same, I will add my small contribution the the extensive dearth of the “best of the year” lists.  Despite the fact that 2012 is not yet over, I know.  But as this time of the year is usually too busy for me to read more than one or two books more, I will probably be safe in assuming the following are my favorites of the year.

NB: These are the titles of my favorites that I read this year, not necessarily published in 2012.  I am always behind on the newest.

Favorite Classic: (tie!) I, Claudius by Robert Graves, Justine by Lawrence Durrell

Favorite Modern Fiction: Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore

Favorite Literary Fiction: The Cat’s Table by Michale Ondaatje

Favorite Non-Fiction: The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt

Books Update

I haven’t written anything in about a week now.  Rest assured my eyes did not fall from my sockets and I am still reading.  I have read two of the three books for my Japanese literature challenge and I plan to write about them very soon.

I had been feeling a bit demoralized lately.  I read a book that I felt was so bad it just took the creative wind out of my writing sails.  I won’t say which book, because I feel that it is no doubt very difficult to come up with ideas and write them down into a cohesive and complete story, and then get it published.  I have certainly never done it, and give credit where it is due to the authors who actually succeed.

However, this book left me in despair over the fate of literature- if this is what is “popular” are we at the end of good literature as we know it?  I wrestled with this, pacing and lamenting and no doubt annoying the stuffing out of C.  I was only dragged out of my book-induced hole and back into the light of good characterization and plot that makes sense when I saw that two of my favorite books of 2011 have now been published in paperback.  I wholeheartedly recommend both of them.

Rules of Civility, by first time author Amor Towles is absolutely lovely.  In Towles’ capable words the glitzy, gritty  New York of the 1930′s comes to life.  It is fabulously written and the female protagonist is both interesting and likeable (a much rarer thing than it should be in modern literature!).

Michael Ondaatje doesn’t have to build a reputation as a literary giant- he is already there.  While I personally have a love-hate relationship with his works (hated The English Patient, while Anil’s Ghost is in my “top-ten favorite books of all time” list), I can say without reservation that I loved The Cat’s Table.  Rich characters take an eventful sea voyage from India to England- what’s not to love?