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In honor of the New Year. . . - Dead Letter Office [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
I would prefer not to

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In honor of the New Year. . . [Dec. 31st, 2006|12:06 am]
I would prefer not to
deadlettroffice
[oblomova]
What book did you read last year that really made an impression upon you? What are you looking forward to reading in the year ahead?

I enjoyed Jokes and the Unconscious by LJ's own postmaudlin and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. Well, by "enjoyed," I mean that I couldn't put them down and they made me cry and laugh at the same time. I also finally read Courtroom 302 by my Reader colleague Steve Bogira, which didn't tell me a whole lot I didn't already suspect about our criminal injustice system, but told it extremely well.

Right now, I'm reading Utopia Parkway by Deborah Solomon, the biography of Joseph Cornell, and it's fascinating.
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[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2006-12-31 01:47 am (UTC)
Fiction: On wouldprefernot2's recommendation (granted, a recommendation several years old) I finally checked out China Miéville. I read The Scar and loved it. Another awesome read was Farthing by Jo Walton. I couldn't put Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell down (just like everyone else who read the thing). Other highlights include American Gods by Neil Gaiman, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Márquez, both of which I should have read some time ago.

Non-fiction: I read more Indian and Nepalese Maoist books than any sane person really should. Currently reading Revolution in the Air by Max Elbaum, which is great so far.
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[User Picture]From: angel80
2006-12-31 02:00 am (UTC)
There are two that I read this year that really made an impression on me:
Faisal Devji, Landscapes of the Jihad
Antony Loewenstein, My Israel Question

My major reading achievement was finishing Naguib Mahfouz' Cairo Trilogy. I wasn't hugely impressed by the third volume, but the first two were excellent.

I loved Sjowall and Wahloo, not so keen on Henning Mankell, but next up I'm going to try Karin Fossum (Scandinavian whodunnit genre). Anyone have further recommendations in that department?
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2006-12-31 02:02 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed The Open Curtain by Brain Evenson.

Next year? Who knows? I'm a huge browser-n-plucker, like Jeff!
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From: oblomova
2006-12-31 05:31 am (UTC)
I found myself reading a lot of very Chicago-centric books in the last three months of the year (Algren, Sara Paretsky, Jane Addams, The Devil in the White City), not really as a conscious plan. And I got halfway through my pledge to re-read all of Shakespeare's history plays. (Am I really going to be any the worse for not finishing the Henry VI trilogy? Am I?)
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[User Picture]From: amnesiascope
2006-12-31 04:11 pm (UTC)
I really liked Utopia Parkway. Were you reading it in preparation for a review?
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From: oblomova
2006-12-31 04:39 pm (UTC)
Actually, yes. I started reading it a couple months ago because I was reviewing the production of Hotel Cassiopeia, based on his life and work, at Court Theatre. The show was disappointing, but I like the book. (Didn't finish it before the show, put it aside to finish some other things, and just picked it back up again.)
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[User Picture]From: amnesiascope
2006-12-31 04:16 pm (UTC)
The new edition of Richard Wright's Black Boy which includes his Chicago memoir, American Hunger. Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul: Memories and the City which is really setting the tone for my read-through of the new translation of his The Black Book. And because I was reading so much Benjamin earlier in the year, finally finishing Time Regained.
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[User Picture]From: alsoname
2006-12-31 07:39 pm (UTC)
I don't read a lot of fiction, but I went on a mini-Southern-lit kick and especially enjoyed Dorothy Allison's Cavedweller and Bastard Out of Carolina. As for nonfiction, No Logo by Naomi Klein was excellent. I'm currently reading Marion Nestle's Food Politics, which is like a food version of No Logo.
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