Friday, February 21

decades and novelty

there were exactly ten other blogposts on this blog with the word decade in them, before I wrote this one. is that serendipitous and random, or what?

once it is published, this newest post will ruin the nice resonance, but ah well.

just before the year switched from 19 to 20 last month, friend Chris and I swapped book lists in honor of a new decade. ten books published any time at all, but that we'd encountered and loved at some point within the last ten years.

here are mine, with links to any previous mentions/reviews:
A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf (2017)
Americanah, Chimamada Adichie (2018)
Pastoralia, George Saunders
the Prospero Lost series, L. Jagi Lamplighter
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (2013)
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (2015)
The Likeness, Tana French
After Method, John Law (2016)
Lines: A Brief History, Tim Ingold (2015)
Syllabus, Lynda Barry (2015)

and I may as well list a few close-ish runners-up too:
The Shape of Design, Frank Chimero (2015)
Spinster: Making a Life of Own's Own, Kate Bolick (2016)
Bats of the Republic, Zachary Thomas Dodson (2016)

all these books stand out against so many other books for usually a similar reason: novelty. 

sometimes, especially with the non-fiction, the novelty comes from an incredibly unique, expansive, and new-to-me set of ideas. more often it's channeled with a vibrant, undeniably rich and present voice--like with the Adichie and Saunders and French. with the Dodson book, it was quirky art and formatting.

if you are in need of good books to read, all these are awesome. (though the Law and Ingold are terribly academic. fair warning.)

sometime soon perhaps I'll blog about my current reading. bell hooks. Sarah Bakewell. the Tournament of Books is coming up soon, too...

in the meantime: may the decades ahead keep us all stocked up on delicious, expansive novelty, with just enough sameness underneath for us to stand on.

{ in the mountains somewhere near Denver; I love how the sky almost looks like a pathway }

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