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Old 29th Dec 2007, 8:56   #21
jim
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

1. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
2. Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky, Patrick Hamilton
3. The Partisan's Daughter, Louis de Bernieres 1/2
4. Kill Your Friends, John Niven
5. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
6. Miracles of Life, JG Ballard
7. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
8. The Damned Utd, David Peace
9. The Painted Veil, W Somerset Maugham
10. The Unconsoled, Kazuo Ishiguro
11. 1977, David Peace
12. Our Story Begins, Tobias Wolff
13. Netherland, Joseph O'Neill
14. 1974, David Peace
15. Sputnik Caledonia, Andrew Crumey
16. The Pesthouse, Jim Crace (abondoned)

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Old 29th Dec 2007, 8:57   #22
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

8 ) Crome Yellow - Aldous Huxley
7) The Apern Papers - Henry James
6) On Chesil Beach - Ian McKewan
5) Asylum - Patrick McGrath
4) Regeneration - Pat Barker
3) Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones
2) The Rain Before It Falls - Jonathan Coe
1) South of the River - Blake Morrison
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Old 29th Dec 2007, 18:10   #23
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

11 Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky by Patrick Hamilton (current)
10 The Statement by Brian Moore
09 Born Yesterday - the news as a novel by Gordon Burn
08 Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve
07 Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve
06 Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
05 Enigma by Robert Harris
04 The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
03 Severed by Simon Kernick
02 The Liar by Stephen Fry
01 Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 16:19   #24
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

50. Salem Chapel -- Mrs Oliphant
49. Rachel Ray -- Anthony Trollope
48. In Memoriam, A.H.H. -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
47. The Woman in Black -- Susan Hill
46. Reading the Oxford English Dictionary -- Ammon Shea
45. The Daughters of Danaus -- Mona Caird
44. The Resurrectionist -- James Bradley
43. The Fire Gospel -- Michel Faber
42. Tantrums and Tiaras -- Sarah Horne (a children's book which is fun, but gets its top rating mainly because one of my cats is pictured in the book...)
41. Nineteenth-Century Religion and Literature: An Introduction -- Mark Knight & Emma Mason
40. Sod That! -- Sam Jordison
39. Red Pottage -- Mary Cholmondeley
38. Mortification -- ed. Robin Robertson
37. Women and Literature in Britain, 1800-1900 -- ed. Joanne Shattock
36. The Spare Room -- Helen Garner
35. Save Me From Myself -- Brian 'Head' Welch
34. Everything is Illuminated -- Jonathan Safran Foer
33. ABANDONED Child 44 -- Tom Rob Smith
32. The Mill on the Floss -- George Eliot
31. The Loudest Sound and Nothing -- Clare Wigfall
30. Collected Stories -- Grace Paley
29. Their Eyes Were Watching God -- Zora Neale Hurston
28. The Thirty Nine Steps -- John Buchan
27. Frost in May -- Antonia White
26. The Victorians -- AN Wilson
25. The Uncommon Reader -- Alan Bennett
24. Ali Smith's Supersonic 70s -- Ali Smith (Pocket Penguin 70)
23. My Side of the Matter -- Truman Capote (Pocket Penguin 70)
22. The Story of a Marriage -- Andrew Sean Greer
21. Joshua Spassky -- Gwendoline Riley
20. Hearts and Minds -- Rosy Thornton
19. I Am Mary Dunne -- Brian Moore
18. Silent in the Grave -- Deanna Raybourn
17. The Crying of Lot 49 -- Thomas Pynchon (R)
16. Annie Dunne -- Sebastian Barry
15. Starfishing -- Nicola Monaghan
14. The Island of Doctor Moreau -- HG Wells
13. Clear -- Nicola Barker
12. Something Childish but Very Natural -- Katherine Mansfield
11. Watch Me Disappear -- Jill Dawson
10. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street -- Anon.
09. The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn -- Colin Dexter
08. The Ice Palace -- Tarjei Vesaas
07. The Painted Veil -- W. Somerset Maugham
06. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde -- Robert Louis Stevenson (R)
05. Girl Meets Boy -- Ali Smith
04. Asylum -- Patrick McGrath
03. Silk -- Alessandro Baricco
02. Dracula -- Bram Stoker (R)
01. Attention All Shipping -- Charlie Connelly
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 23:18   #25
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

1. On Beauty - Zadie Smith 1/2
2. A Family Daughter - Maile Maloy
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 14:00   #26
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

HAH! 27, just like Hendrix and Johnson and Cobain and Jones and Joplin and... wait a minute...

2007, 2006

JANUARY
  1. The Android's Dream - Scalzi, John
  2. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai Sijie
  3. Foreskin's Lament - Auslander, Shalom
  4. Propaganda - Holborn, Mark
  5. Pereira Declares - Tabucchi, Antonio
  6. The Audacity of Hope - Obama, Barack

    FEBRUARY
  7. Lust, Caution - Chang, Eileen
  8. No Country For Old Men - McCarthy, Cormac
  9. Death And The Penguin - Kurkov, Andrey
  10. Atonement - McEwan, Ian
  11. Hour of the Star - Lispector, Clarice
  12. När änglar dör - Roman, Andreas

    MARCH
  13. The Atrocity Exhibition - Ballard, JG 1/2
  14. Battle Royale - Takami, Koushun
  15. Heartlands - Forsgård, Nils Erik
  16. Kafka On The Shore - Murakami, Haruki
  17. Childhood's End - Clarke, Arthur C
  18. Jesus' Son - Johnson, Denis

    APRIL
  19. Madame Bovary - Flaubert, Gustave
  20. Gilead - Robinson, Marilynne
  21. The Great Transformation - Armstrong, Karen
  22. World War Z - Brooks, Max
  23. Skapelsekonspirationen - Kornhall, Per
  24. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - Henderson, Bobby

    MAY
  25. Cutting it Short - Hrabal, Bohumil
  26. A Doll's House - Ibsen, Henrik
  27. The Helmet of Horror - Pelevin, Viktor
  28. The Sea - Banville, John
  29. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly - Bauby, Jean-Dominique
  30. We, The Drowned - Jensen, Carsten
  31. The Way of a Serpent - Lindgren, Torgny
  32. African Psycho - Mabanckou, Alain

    JUNE
  33. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea - Mishima, Yukio
  34. I Served the King of England - Hrabal, Bohumil
  35. A Farewell to Arms - Hemingway, Ernest
  36. Coraline - Gaiman, Neil
  37. The Motel Life - Vlautin, Willy
  38. The Alchemist - Coelho, Paulo
  39. Mitt rätta jag - Glaser, Pernilla
  40. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Solzhenitsyn, Aleksander
  41. Doctor Whom (ET Shoots And Leaves) - Roberts, Adam

    JULY
  42. Snow Crash - Stephenson, Neal
  43. Reaper Man - Pratchett, Terry
  44. Vi i villa - Koppel, Hans
  45. Harlequin's Millions - Hrabal, Bohumil
  46. Människohamn - Ajvide Lindqvist, John
  47. Springsteenland - Larsson/Öser (ed.)
  48. Celestial Harmonies - Esterházy, Peter
  49. The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (audio) - Adams, Douglas
  50. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (audio) - Adams, Douglas

    AUGUST
  51. Life, the Universe and Everything (audio) - Adams, Douglas
  52. So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish (audio) - Adams, Douglas
  53. Measuring the World - Kehlmann, Daniel
  54. The Stone Gods - Winterson, Jeanette
  55. Mostly Harmless (audio) - Adams, Douglas
  56. White Nights - Dostoevsky, Fyodor

    SEPTEMBER
  57. Embers - Marai, Sandor
  58. The Yacoubian Building - al-Aswany, Alaa
  59. Imperium - Kapuscinski, Ryszard
  60. Quo Vadis - Sienkiewicz, Henryk (abandoned)
  61. Het Psalmenoproer - 't Hart, Maarten
  62. Aké: The Years of Childhood - Soyinka, Wole

    OCTOBER
  63. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time - Koselleck, Reinhart
  64. Jag sköt Paulo Coelho - Vahlquist, Staffan
  65. What's The Matter With Kansas? - Frank, Thomas
  66. Terra Amata - Le Clézio, JMG
  67. Under the Tongue - Vera, Yvonne
  68. The Story of Mister Han - Hwang, Sok-yong
  69. Dead Novices - Barakat, Salim
  70. Petals of Blood - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

    NOVEMBER
  71. Raga - Le Clézio, JMG
  72. Norrlands Akvavit - Lindgren, Torgny
  73. Les Honneurs Perdus - Beyala, Calixthe
  74. Pale Fire - Nabokov, Vladimir
  75. Den digitala framtiden - Skovdahl, Bernt
  76. Is och vatten, vatten och is - Axelsson, Majgull

    DECEMBER
  77. Binu and the Great Wall - Su Tong
  78. Secrets - Farah, Nuruddin
  79. Nowhere Man - Hemon, Aleksandar +
  80. Revolutionary Road - Yates, Richard
  81. Afganets - Bykau, Vasil
  82. Cosmos - Gombrowicz, Witold
  83. Letter to a Christian Nation - Harris, Sam
  84. The Restless Supermarket - Vladislavic, Ivan
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 12:25   #27
JunkMonkey
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

Aha! Well below the common denominator again (and dragging it down as usual too).

Jan
  1. Starcross - Philip Reeve
  2. A Darkling Plain - Philip Reeve
  3. Wizard - John Varley. Dull plodding sequel to Titan, a book which I remember having thoroughly enjoyed. I spent the first 250 pages of this book waiting for something to happen (apart from the endless discussions about the possible permutations and complications involved in being of an alien race with two sets of genitals and the endless geography lectures about the made-up place our bunch of dull characters plod through) and when something did happen in the last 100 pages I didn't care any more and all the author was doing was setting up the next book in what now turns out to be, according to the blurb, a "Towering Saga". I don't think I shall be bothering further.
  4. Dimension of Miracles - Robert Sheckley. Practising what I preach (I recommended this book as one of the 1000 'must read' books) and it was as good as I remember. Short, sharply written, and very funny. Everything that the John Varley wasn't.
February
  1. Watchmen - Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  2. The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  3. What Just Happened? - Art Linson
  4. Cluck! - The True Story of Chickens in the Cinema - John-Stephen Fink. Mildly amusing.
  5. The Golden Turkey Awards - The doyen of books about bad movies written in the early days days of VHS, it looks very dated now in the era of DVDs and Youtube which allow a much greater access to the works of all the great bad movie makers of the world.
  6. The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor - Sean Wright. Not the worst book I have ever read but pretty close. I was, to tell the truth, actually a bit disappointed that it wasn't worse given the pasting it has received. Don't get me wrong, it's crap but I suspect I have been desensitised by all the real turds I read and watch. This was ersatz crap. The main trouble with it as far as I was concerned was that it was so pedestrian. For a work of 'imaginative' or 'speculative' fiction it is remarkably unimaginative or speculative, just bloody, repetitive, infantile drivel. Wright must have read somewhere (like I have) Raymond Chandler's line about those moments when he wasn't sure what to do in a book. His answer was to have someone come through a door holding a gun. Every time Wright's muse runs into the sand (which is pretty fucking often) he brings on a horde of well-armed deranged killer mutant insect android things (with bombs in their skulls for no other reason that Wright wanted to call them 'Headbangers' - Geddit? Though given his weird overuse of hyphens they were probably "Head-Bangers") none of whom could have killed a determined hamster. They all get slaughtered with remarkable ease leaving the characters sat around in exactly the same pointless conversation they were in before the interruption. It was boring more than anything. The worst sin of all.
March
  1. Ilium - Dan Simmons. 580 pages of thrilling page-turning fun - followed by 20 pages of not quite tidying up all the loose ends (and deliberately pointing out that some of them are still loose) just in case he gets round to writing a sequel - that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I was hooked lined and sinkered. The man can write up a storm and he knows how to end a chapter but sometimes I wish modern SF books would END. Finish. Finito. No More. I wish authors could walk away from their final chapter thinking: "That's it, I'll not be returning to this place." not thinking: "Well, if I don't actually resolve anything and don't kill off too many characters I can spin a bit more money out of this one."
  2. Slow River - Nicola Griffith. An SF novel set in a sewage factory in Hull. Hull, the city which in 2003 was voted number one in the first annual 50 Worst Places To Live In The UK poll. A town where I lived for 10 years, at least one of them sharing a flat with the author of this book. (It was voted number one worst place after I had left, you understand). The fact that I knew Nicola all those years ago is the only reason I picked up the book in the first place, and the only reason I got to the end of it. (That and a horrible fascination to see if I could recognise myself in any of the characters. I'm pleased to say I didn't. It's now on my Readitswapit list if you're interested...)
  3. The Reefs of Space - Pohl and Williamson old school SF tosh in which our hero holds "The Secret" (of somethingorother) somewhere in the recesses of his mind inaccessible not only to himself but also to the various bands of evil, not so evil, and are they really as evil as they look? bad guys who chase him around the solar system in their desperate efforts to extract it, erase it, etcetea it. It's teenage, wish-fulfilment fantasy SF; at one point our hero, holed up in a luminescent asteroid out beyond the orbit of Pluto with only the beautiful daughter of the President of Everything and her giant space-faring, alien guinea pig for company, actually asks himself: "Am I a superman?" He isn't as it turns out. Nor is he, as he also suspects for a while, a reanimated corpse assembled from a bunch of dead bodies in order to act as a decoy for an absurdly complicated escape plan! Gosh! This book was first published as a serial in a magazine (a lot of SF novels were back then) and it just stops when the authors reached their allocated number of words: Five pages from the end:

    Bish! Bash! Bosh! Secret unlocked! Baddies thwarted! Terrible threat hanging over our hero banished! Girl steps forward. Clinch. Fade to black - can we have our seven hundred dollars please? Ta! Another one next month? Okay, we'll see what we can do.

    This book also contained more exclamation points than most novelists use in a lifetime!
April
  1. Antigrav - Ed. Philip Strick. Nice collection of 1970s SF shorts with a couple of smashers I had read years ago and forgotten. Joyous nostalgia.
  2. The Incredible Adam Spark - Alan Bisset. Dead pure Falkirk man.
  3. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - Charles Mackay. 700 pages of mass delusion and popular fruitcakery. First published in the early 19 C a great read and very funny in places. Get a free copy from Gutenberg.org here.
May
  1. The Dalky Archive - Flann O'Brien.
  2. The War of the Worlds - for a SF reader of over 40 years I find it amazing and baffling that I had never read this before. It's terrific!
  3. The Winged Man - A. E. Van Vogt, E. Mayne Hull, more thudding, exclamation mark ridden, gosh-wow! SF.
  4. Hollywood Babylon - Kenneth Anger. A quick read because I was about to lend it to a friend and I could resist having a good wallow in some real sleaze.
  5. Hollywood Babylon II - Kenneth Anger. Because sleaze is addictive and I wanted to see if the book would stand being read after spending an hour gluing it back together.
  6. The Hollywood Hall of Shame The Most Expensive Flops in Movie History - Harry and Michael Medved. Because it was on the shelves next to the Kenneth Angers.
  7. Son of Golden Turkey Awards - Harry and Michael Medved - and time to move on to a new shelf I think - before I start on The Complete Films of Norma Shearer ...
  8. The Princess Bride - I've long loved the film and was curious to read the book. It was an odd experience. The book, which was written before the film, added very little to the movie. It's all there on the screen. Max the Miracle Man is that Jewish on the page, It wasn't just Billy Cristal doing his usual 2000 year old Jew schtick. that weird voice Peter Cook does is there too. Minor changes were made. For instance, the complex joke of having the author William Goldman, who is supposedly the editor of an earlier long forgotten work, explaining some of the excisions he has made by relating the story of how his father in turn had, on the hoof while reading it to him, cut out all the boring bits, is simplified to Peter Falk as the Grandfather reading the story to the sick child. It was like reading a novelization of a movie.
June/July (I went on holiday and lost the plot a bit)
  1. West of the Sun - Edgar Pangborn
  2. Grey Lensman - E E 'Doc' Smith
  3. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe. A frustratingly curtailed book which was just segueing neatly from pretty standard (if somewhat Gothic) sea story into a Hollow Earth Fantasy when it just stops, ostensibly, the narrator died before completing his tale. It turns out that Jules Verne (the old hack) wrote a sequel of sorts. I may have to search it out - or maybe not... the only copy on eBay is £250!
  4. Dark Tides - Eric Frank Russell
  5. The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  6. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh. One of those 'Wickedly Funny' classics that isn't - isn't funny I mean, it may be a 'classic' but Waugh's stock joke seems to be to describe everything as 'ghastly' or 'horrid' and having a ineffectual central character to whom absurd things happen for no other reason than he lets them. I know the book is of it's time and I'm looking at it with 21st century sensibilities, but the frequent display of dated racist attitudes was a show stopper for me too.
  7. The Voyage of the Space Beagle - A E van Vogt. A bit of a clunky read now but the (for the time) innovative stories in this book are the common ancestor of all the Star Treks, Aliens, and tons of other SF Books and films.
  8. Alien Embassy - Ian Watson. It's an SF cliché that sooner or later our hero will have a revelatory experience, He'll stick his head some alien technology, get zapped with a ZogXynerth Mind Beam from Betelgeuse VII, or have the hypno-mindblocks that were implanted before the novel started un-locked. This gives the author the chance to do some verbal pyrotechnics and bore the pants off the reader. It's like the songs in Lord of the Rings, It's the bit I guess most people speed-read "Right, yeah, yeah, his getting his mind expanded blah blah blah?" This book was 200 pages of that bit.
August
  1. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad
  2. The Sky is Falling - Lester Del Rey
  3. Made in America - Bill Bryson
  4. Children of the Dead End - Patrick MacGill
September
Nothing. I didn't finish a single sodding book.

October
  1. Expedition to Earth - Arthur C Clarke.
  2. Supertoys Last All Summer Long and Other Tales of Future Time - Brian Aldiss
  3. Trigun - Yashuhiro Nightow. I found this one on ReaditSwapit and thought I'd finally have a bash at a Manga. 350+ pages of incomprehensibility later, reading, backwards and from right to left in the Japanese manner, I now am forced to admit that I don't - having long harboured suspicions that I wouldn't - understand Manga at all. The anonymous 'translation', was I suspect literally a word for word substitution by someone whose first language was not English. Part of the problem for me was that most of the onomatopoeic sound effects were still in Japanese (which isn't suprising as they were, as in most comics, part of the artwork rather than overlaid text) and I didn't have a clue what they meant. Was {Unknown Chacter}{Unknown Chacter}{Unknown Chacter}{Unknown Chacter} supposed to imply creaking doors, explosions, footsteps - laughter? I had no idea.
  4. The Best of Amazing - Creaky old SF.
November
  1. The Men Who Stare at Goats - Jon Ronson
  2. The Wizards of Odd - a collection of not very funny 'humorous' fantasy stories.
  3. The Worlds of Frank Herbert - Frank Herbert. I suspect, if this lot is anything to go by, that if he hadn't written Dune, Herbert would be long forgotten by now.
  4. Waters of Death - Irving A Greenfield. Atrociously underimagined SF which gets really dreadful whenever the subject got round to sex. Which it did. A lot.
    Quote:
    'Outside the office she didn't look so birdlike. In fact, she was rather pretty in a bland sort of way and though she was not endowed with the kind of figure that would make her a candidate for intense sexual admiration she was endowed with sufficiently womanly attributes to enable a man to acknowledge her womanhood.'
    I think this means she had nice tits.
December
  1. Old Men in Love by Alasdair Gray
  2. Masters of the Vortex - More thud and blunder super science SF. Dreadfully compulsive crap.
  3. Film Art - an Introduction - Bordwell and Thompson
  4. A Dictionary of Idiocy - Stephen Bayley
  5. The Visitors - Clifford D Simak
  6. Best SF of the Year 16 - Ed. Terry Carr
  7. With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed - Lynne Truss
  8. The Cassini Division - Ken McCleod
  9. The Graduate - Charles Webb
2009
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 12:26   #28
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

1. Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh
2. Skinny Dip - Carl Hiaasen
3. Belle du Jour -
4. Leaf Storm - Marquez (abandoned)
5. The Bookseller of Kabul - Asne Seierstad (abandoned)
6. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro /
7. Vile Bodies - Evelyn Waugh
8. The Girl at the Lion d'Or - Sebastian Faulks
9. The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 13:18   #29
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

6. Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
5. Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman
4. Miguel de Cervantes, Novelas Ejemplares (Exemplary Novels)
3. Sebastian Faulks, Human Traces
2. Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn
1. Will Self, The Book of Dave
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 13:49   #30
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Default Re: Palimplists 2008

46. Less than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis
45. Sieze the Day - Saul Bellow (R)
44. The Book Against God - James Wood
43. Sabbath's Theater - Philip Roth
42. Youth - J.M. Coetzee (R)
41. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
40. Homicide - David Simon 1/2
39. How the Dead Dream - Lydia Millet 1/2
38. Best and Edwards - Gordon Burn
37. Maynard & Jennica - Rudolph Delson
36. Joe College - Tom Perrotta
35. Dear American Airlines - Jonathan Miles
34. Oracle Night - Paul Auster
33. Bill Hicks Agent of Evolution - Kevin Booth with Michael Bertin
32. Bigger Deal - Anthony Holden
31. Teacher Man - Frank McCourt
30. Whatever Makes You Happy - William Sutcliffe 1/2
29. Wittgenstein's Mistress - David Markson
28. Straw Dogs - John Gray
27. Strangers on a Train - Jenny Diski
26. Buddha Da - Anne Donovan 1/2
25. Twilight / Moonbeam Alley - Stefan Zweig
24. The Heart of the Matter - Grahame Greene
23. The Book of Illusions - Paul Auster
22. Into the Wild - John Kruaker
21. Life of Pi - Yann Martell
20. Herself Surprised - Joyce Cary 1/2
19. The Isle of Dogs - Daniel Davies
18. The Mistress's Daughter - A.M.Homes
17. Eleven - David Llewellen
16. The Art of Travel - Alain de Botton
15. Northline - Willy Vlautin
14. Villages - John Updike 1/2
13. The Science of Happiness - Stefan Klein
12. All The Sad Young Literary Men - Keith Gessen
11. Absurdistan - Gary Shytengart
10. The Autobiography of Malcom X - with the assistance of Alex Haley
9. Engleby - Sebastian Faulks 1/2
8. The Brooklyn Follies - Paul Auster
7. Tourism - Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal 1/2
6. A Complaint Free World - Will Bowen
5. Light Years - James Salter
4. Stumbling on Happiness - Daniel Gilbert
3. Sudden Times - Dermot Healy
2. I'm Gone - Jean Echenoz
1. The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow

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