Friday, July 17, 2009

And even more summer reading suggestions. . .

MobyLives points us to this blog post from the L.A. Times that lists the top 61 (how do they come up with this optimal number?) postmodern reads. Everything from Tristram Shandy to Roberto Bolano's 2666 is included. What makes this list fun are the annotations. Symbols beside each title will helpfully let the reader know whether this book is Thin (less than 200 pages) or Fat (over 1000 pages), whether it "comments on its own bookishness" or has a "self-contradicting plot". Some interesting choices here, and by no means are they all fiction. Michael Herr's Dispatches, his reportage on the Vietnam War, is here along with a favourite of mine - Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage - his very funny account of not writing a biography of D.H. Lawrence. Hamlet is even included (it's "thin", "plays with language", "disrupts/plays with form", is a "postmodern progenitor", "includes fictional artifacts, such as letters" and "comments on its own bookishness".

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