Saturday, January 31, 2009


I sometimes read the blog Largehearted Boy. I read it mostly to find out what the author's been reading. Every year, he vows to read 52 books in 52 weeks, and I love book lists. A week or so ago, I read about a book titled You Or the Invention of Memory by a writer named Jonathan Baumbach. I followed the link, read about the PR rep who had sent Largehearted Boy the book (for free) and noticed that that rep was sending 365 free copies of the book. 
I emailed her to ask if she would send me a copy here, and assumed she wouldn't because shipping wouldn't exactly be cheap, but she agreed to send me one. She still has copies lying around in (or rather, crowding) her apartment, so if you're interested in getting a copy, shoot her an email at her website For those of you who have seen The Squid and the Whale with Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels, Jonathan is the writer and director's father. 
In other book news, I'm trying to accomplish the same thing as Largehearted Boy. So far this year, I've read: 
I'm currently reading Either Side of Winter (Benjamin Markovits) and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (Siri Hustvedt). I've also tried to finish Independence Day (Richard Ford), to no avail. 

I find Lily Dahl to be an extremely disappointing book, full of clichés, and a mishmash of styles that gives me a headache and makes me want to bang my head on the wall. The characters are stereotypes, you feel like she's tried to create the sort of colorful characters you find in older writers, but has failed miserably. Reading the book is like watching a train wreck. Actually, it's like watching a 126-train pile-up(I might liken it to a 260-train pile-up when I'm done with it). How could such a talented writer write such a bad book, I keep wondering. 

Anyway, I'm still waiting for the nice mailman to brind me my copy of The Washington Story, the sequel to Crossing California. When it's here, I'll think about what to order next, from my very full Amazon cart. 

It could be any of those books: 
  • Then We Came to the End: a Novel - Joshua Ferris 
  • Boychiks in the Hood: Travels in the Hasidic Underground - Robert Eisenberg 
  • In Hoboken - Christian Bauman 
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness - William Styron 
  • The Black Veil: A Memoir With Digressions - Rick Moody 
  • The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History - Jonathan Franzen 
  • Bright Lights, Big City - Jay McInerney 
  • God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America - Hanna Rosin Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem 
  • The Fortress of Solitude - Jonathan Lethem 
  • A Model World And Other Stories - Michael Chabon 
  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh - Michael Chabon 
 And some recent additions to my wish list: 
  • Netherland - Joseph O'Neill 
  • Garden State - Rick Moody 
  • Song For The Butcher's Daughter - Peter Manseau 
  • Miles From Nowhere - Nami Mun 
  • Werewolves in their Youth - Michael Chabon 
  • You Don't Love Me Yet - Jonathan Lethem 
  • Man in the Dark - Paul Auster (This one I want to read badly but I'm waiting until I find a cheaper copy).

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