Thursday, January 7, 2010

On Jeopardy this category is Potpourri

From Tayari Jones: the list of books nominated for the NAACP's Image Award. I've read only two of them, which brings me up short, though I've read other books by quite a few of the authors represented here. I'm going to put a number of these on my to-read list. Especially the poetry and children's books, neither of which I read very much, both of which I've been meaning to.

Speaking of children's books and work by writers of color, I recently came across this and this. For some time now I've been checking out Zetta Elliott's blog Fledgeling, which follows these issues and more.

Also thanks to Tayari Jones for the heads-up on what sounds like a great book: Wench, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

The death of Mary Daly reminds me of all those books I read in the 70s, like her Gyn/Ecology, originally published in 1978.

Several pieces about books set for publication in 2010 have caught my interest ... only to quickly lose it. A combination of the usual subjects--of my distaste, that is, like Roth, DeLillo, MacEwan--and of the overrated, at least by my read of their earlier books, like Ferris, BolaƱo, Egan, Lipsyte, Shriver, Carey, Mitchell, plus a soupcon of the reactionary like Kostova and Amis. David Foster Wallace is in a class apart as the worth of Infinite Jest eludes me yet a lot of folks I respect seem to like him and now that he's become sort of a saint I'm squeamish about dissing him; still, I doubt I'll rush to buy his posthumous The Pale King. On the other hand, there are a number of titles I'm looking forward to. These include the latest by Louise Erdrich, Philip Pullman, Chang-Rae Lee, Rachel Cusk, Carleen Brice, the always reliable and always underrated Anne Tyler, the uneven but always worth checking out Jane Smiley, and Jasper Fforde of whose silly 'Eyre Affair' series I am, I admit, quite fond.

Most of the 'coming in 2010' lists that I've seen are, surprise surprise, pretty limited. Heavily weighted toward the white, the male, the written in English. I'll be keeping my eye out for writers from the rest--that is, the vast majority--of the world.

Check it out: Fuck Yeah Marxism-Leninism.

And now for something completely different ... and hilarious. Especially for anyone who is like me an inveterate watcher of TV documentaries of this sort. I'm having trouble importing the actual video, but please do go watch it on Youtube: Beatles 3000. You won't regret it.