Monday, January 08, 2007

Chronicle, Links, A Reader's Year

A lot to cram in today, because this Wednesday (typical posting day) is a day of ABA. In the morning I will have the honor of participating in the Author Selection Committee for Book Expo America -- examining, along with other booksellers, the list of authors submitted by publishers (strictly confidentially!) as potential speakers and participants in BEA 2006 to be held in New York in June. Then in the afternoon, I'll be part of the first first ABA DTF -- the American Booksellers Association Digital Task Force. This will be a group of forward-looking booksellers taking a look at all those technological developments that occupy our minds, and figuring out ways that independent booksellers can take advantage of them and develop along with them. I'll give you my full report on those meetings next Monday.

In the meantime... with the dozens of independent bookstore closings in the news, have you ever wondered how many independent bookstores OPENED in 2006? Ninety-seven. That's how many. The ABA reports in Bookselling This Week on new bookstore openings (actually UP from 2005!), and the innovative approaches of this new generation of indie booksellers. Told ya, didn't I?

And here at home, the Times finally takes a look at the wonderful plethora of surviving and thriving indie bookstores in New York City. My bookstore gets a mention, along with the wonderful and inimitable Books of Wonder, St. Mark's, Oscar Wilde, and many other favorites. And this isn't even the half of them. How lucky we are around here.

In the spirit of this joy in books, I humbly submit for your persusal: A Reader's Year. Here are all of the books your Book Nerd read and reviewed this year. Of course, as with all of you, this doesn't represent the entirety of my reading. I read any number of comic books and compilations. I've probably read this book (by my friend Stephanie) a dozen time or so, all told. I'm in the middle of probably half a dozen other books that I'll finish at some point. And then there's the periodical and blog reading. But these are the books I faithfully recorded and reviewed here on the blog. You'll be pleased to note that I made my goal of 52 books read this year (if you count the last one, which I finished on New Year's Day). (The ALP recently did a similar tally, with the same restrictions; his total was 97, the rotter. Hence the L in ALP.) The bold titles represent my personal Best Of 2006; you can click through the archives to read my reviews.

All in all, it was a good year for books.

Books Read in 2006

#1: THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by A.M. Homes (Viking, April 2006)
#2: BLACK SWAN GREEN by David Mitchell (Random House April 2006)
#3: CONSIDER THE LOBSTER by David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown, December 2005)
#4: THE HOUR OF THE STAR by Clarice Lispector (New Directions, 1992)
#5: THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU by Carolyn See (Random House, May 2006)
#6: THE QUITTER Written by Harvey Pekar, Art by Dean Haspiel (Vertigo, 2005)

#7: THE BIG MOO: STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT AND START BEING REMARKABLE by The Group of 33, Edited by Seth Godin (Portfolio, 2005)
#8: THE UNFINISHED NOVEL AND OTHER STORIES by Valerie Martin (Vintage Books, May 2006)
#9: A CHILD AGAIN by Robert Coover (McSweeney's, 2005)
#10: MY LUCKY STAR by Joe Keenan (Little, Brown, January 2006)
#11: WHY I WAKE EARLY by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, paperback April 2005)

#12: THE PEOPLE OF PAPER by Salvador Plasencia (McSweeney's, June 2005)
#13: THE HOUSE OF PAPER by Carlos Maria Dominguez, translated by Nick Caistor, illustrations by Peter Sis (Harcourt, November 2005)
#14: TRIANGLE by Katherine Weber (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, June 2006)
#15: FIRMIN: ADVENTURES OF A METROPOLITAN LOWLIFE by Sam Savage (Coffee House Press, April 2006)
#16: WHAT JESUS MEANT by Gary Wills (Viking, March 2006)
#17: THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD by Kevin Brockmeier (Pantheon, February 2006)
#18: ADVERBS by Daniel Handler (Ecco, May 2006)

#19: VOYAGE ALONG THE HORIZON by Javier Marias (Believer Books, April 2006)
#20: BOOK BY BOOK: NOTES ON READING AND LIFE by Michael Dirda (Henry Holt, May 2006)

#21: FLY BY NIGHT by Francis Hardinge (HarperCollins, April 2006)
#22: THE LOST COLONY, BOOK 1: THE SNODGRASS CONSPIRACY by Grady Klein (First Second, May 2006)
#23: SACCO AND VANZETTI MUST DIE! by Mark Binelli (Dalkey Archive Press, July 2006)
#24: TOLSTOY LIED by Rachel Kadish (Houghton Mifflin, September 2006)

#25: ALL FOR LOVE by Dan Jacobson (Metropolitan/Holt, September 2006)
#26: WINDSHIFT by Andrea de Carlo (Rizzoli, August 2006)
#27: THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD by Agatha Christie (Black Dog and Leventhal, September 2006)
#28: THE TUESDAY CLUB MURDERS by Agatha Christie (Dell, 1961)

#29: CONVERSATIONS WITH MR. PRAIN by Joan Taylor (Melville House, June 2006)
#30: THE BEST OF SLATE: A 10TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY Edited by David Plotz, Introduction by Jacob Weisberg, Foreword by Michael Kinsley
(Atlas Books, June 2006)

#31: BROOKLAND by Emily Barton (FSG, February 2006)
#32: CROOKED HOUSE by Agatha Christie (St. Martin's, August 2002 [originally published 1948])
#33: THREE PLAYS BY THORNTON WILDER: OUR TOWN, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, THE MATCHMAKER by Thornton Wilder (Bantam Pathfinder Editions, November 1972 [plays originally published 1938, 1942, and 1957, respectively)
#34: SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS by Marisha Pessl (Viking, August 2006)
#35: HALF LIFE by Shelley Jackson (HarperCollins, July 2006)

(none - guess I was too busy this month...)

#36: KOCKROACH by Tyler Knox (William Morrow, January 2007)
#37: MRS. DALLOWAY'S PARTY by Virginia Woolf; compiled and edited by Stella McNichol (Harvest edition, 1973)
#38: PRIDE OF BAGHDAD by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Niko Henrichon (Vertigo, September 2006)
#39: A LOVER IN PALESTINE by Selim Nassib; translated by Alison Anderson (Europa Editions, February 2007)

#40: THE KILLING JAR by Nicola Monaghan (Scribner, April 2007)
#41: KLEZMER BOOK ONE: TALES OF THE WILD EAST by Joann Sfar (First Second Books, September 2006)
#42: THE DISSIDENT by Nell Freudenberger (Ecco, September 2006)
#43: THE SUBWAY CHRONICLES Edited by Jacquelin Cangro (Plume, September 2006)
#44: MR. THUNDERMUG by Cornelius Medvei (HarperCollins, April 2007)
#45: VAMPIRE LOVES by Joann Sfar (First Second Books, June 2006)
#46: MARGHERITA DOLCE VITA by Stefano Benni (Europa Editions, November 2006)
#47: THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly (Atria Books, November 2006)
#48: THE LADIES OF GRACE ADIEU by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, October 2006)

#49: THE YELLOW-LIGHTED BOOKSTORE by Lewis Buzbee (Graywolf Press, June 2006)
#50: THE DEVIL IN THE BUSH by Matthew Head (Felony & Mayhem, December 2005)
#51: THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE edited by Roxanne Coady (Gotham, October 2006) review to come
#52: WINTER'S TALE by Mark Helprin (Pocket, 1984) review to come

Do you have a list of what you read in 2006? What were your favorites of the year?


zan said...

You're the first person I've seen mention the Brockmeier book as a 2006 favorite; it was on my "best of" list too. And the Buzbee book is on my TBR shelf as well. Seeing your list reminds me of how many things got past me last year.

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jennifer said...

THE DISSIDENT was one of my favorites this year, too. And, I've been carrying around the Brockmeier, pretending that I'll get to it some time soon.

Although I'm still devising my best/worst list, here are some early contenders for favorites:

~Jenny Egan's THE KEEP
~Wendy Werris' AN ALPHABETICAL LIFE (I'm a former Holtzbrinck rep, and I loved reading about this part of the industry from someone who came of age in an earlier decade, in a different part of the country)
~Jonathan Lethem's GIRL IN LANDSCAPE
~Ishiguro's NEVER LET ME GO
~and a handful of Muriel Spark

I have an annotated list of the books I read in '06 here: Come visit me.

meleah rebeccah said...

In lieu of it being "DELURKING" week (or so I've heard, over in blog land) You are supposed to comment on blogs you read all the time but never say anything.

I have never commented, so, I wanted to take the time and let you know even though I don't comment, I READ you all the time, and LOVE THIS BLOG! so, um, thanks.

JMD said...

Looks like you read A Brief History of the Dead shortly after its release. I stumbled across some coverage of that book in a news magazine at that time and went to buy the book that same day. Its premise still haunts me, in fact.

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