Rainy Afternoon: “American Gangster” and NYTBR Holiday Issue 2007

Self has just seen American Gangster. It was a cold and rainy afternoon and self felt she needed a break from grading. So, sometime after lunch, self found herself in decrepit Century Park 12 on Bayshore, which for some reason was showing the movie with distracting Spanish subtitles that were huge, huge, and every time the characters uttered expletive “Fuck” there came this Spanish word in big white letters, “C—o! C—o! C—o!!” Self is so glad she wasn’t watching Michael Clayton with such.

Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington were excellent. The woman who plays Denzel’s wife in the movie looks like a young and less buxom Salma Hayek. The montage scene at the end — Denzel and his wife and mother are at church while all the s— is “going down,” so to speak — was so reminiscent, even derivative, of The Godfather. C’mon, Ridley! Self thought you had more originality than to crib from another director! Other than that, however, movie as a whole was great. Self gives it 3 1/2 out of four stars (Self still thinks Michael Clayton was the best movie she saw all year, with The Bourne Ultimatum and The Kingdom and maybe Ratatouille close seconds)

In the meantime, self simply cannot resist posting about The New York Times Book Review’s Holiday Issue. Self knows that others, like writingdegreezero, have already posted abouat The New York Times Best Books of the Year. But self is behind, always playing catch-up as usual.

And, holy cow! We have some real rain at last. It’s coming down in sheets and self had to put on her legwarmers. (But, once again, I digress)

Without further ado, here are the books self is interested in reading after perusing The New York Times Book Review’s Holiday Issue, starting with the NYTBR List of 100 Notable Books of 2007:

Fiction:
Note: Starred titles are debuts.

The Abstinence Teacher, Tom Perrotta
The Bad Girl, Mario Vargas Llosa
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, Dinaw Mengetsu
Falling Man, Don DeLillo
House Lights, Lea Hager Cohen
House of Meetings, Martin Amis
In The Country of Men, Hisham Matar
The Indian Clerk, David Leavitt
Knots, Nuruddin Farah
Matrimony, Joshua Henkins
The Maytrees, Annie Dillard
Mothers and Sons: Stories, Colm Toibin
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid
* Remainder, Tom McCarthy
The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño
* The Septembers of Shiraz, Dalia Sofer
Sunstroke: And Other Stories, Tess Hadley
* Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris
* Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money, Rebecca Curtis
Varieties of Disturbance: Stories, Lydia Davis

Nonfiction:
The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Archbishop?, Francisco Goldman
Cleopatra’s Nose: 39 Varieties of Desire, Judith Thurman
Edith Wharton, Hermione Lee
Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, Rajiv Chandresekeran
Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Gread Depression, Mildred Armstrong Kalish
Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point, Elizabeth D. Samet
Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer, Tim Jeal
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia, Orlando Figes
The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939 – 1945, Saul Friedlander

And here are the books self is interested in reading after perusing the rest of the Holiday Issue:

(1) After reading Alex Witchel’s review of Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life :

Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

(2) After reading Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s review of Vincent Virga and the Library of Congress’ Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations :

Vincent Virga and the Library of Congress’ Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations

(And self would like to point out for benefit of dear blog readers that only self’s long-standing interest in maps kept her plowing through an extremely long-winded review that proceeded to give the entire spectrum of map history from prehistoric times, and did not actually mention the aforementioned book until paragraph 7)

(3) After reading Florence Williams’ review of Jonathan Miles’ The Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century:

Jonathan Miles’ The Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century

(4) After reading Floyd Skloot’s review of Michael Knight’s pair of novellas, The Holiday Season :

Michael Knight’s The Holiday Season

(5) After reading Edward Lewine’s review of Harold Schechter’s The Devil’s Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and The Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century :

Harold Schechter’s The Devil’s Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and The Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century

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