Book Recommendations From Kenyon Review Readers

The esteemed Kenyon Review asked readers to recommend books that:  a)  they just finished reading and would recommend, as well as b) classics they couldn’t live without.  Self thought the recommendations were so interesting that she printed out the entire list.  Unfortunately, the formatting was a hot mess and self grew quite dizzy trying to figure out whether the reader recommendations came after their names or before.  So, after Jackson Bliss commented that the book choices she attributed to him were not, in fact, his (Blush, blush), self decided to list the books without breaking them down by reader.

  • Chimamande Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Charles Baudelaire’s Paris Spleen
  • Elise Blackwell’s Hunger
  • Hermann Broch’s The Death of Virgil
  • Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake
  • Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage:  Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence
  • Frederick Exley’s “fictional memoir,” A Fan’s Notes
  • Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants
  • Peter Handke’s The Weight of the World
  • L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between
  • Homer’s Odyssey
  • Mina Loy’s The Lost Lunar Baedecker
  • Hilary Mantel’s Fludd
  • Andre Malraux’s The Walnut Trees of Attenburg
  • Colum McCann’s Everything in This Country Must
  • Deena Metzger’s Writing for Your Life
  • George Orwell’s A Collection of Essays
  • Charles Portis’ comic novel, The Dog of the South
  • Anthony Powell’s twelve-part A Dance to the Music of Time
  • J. F. Powers’ Morte D’Urban
  • Proust’s In Search of Lost Time
  • William Roughead’s “recounting of Scottish murders,” Classic Crimes
  • Harold Schechter, editor, True Crime: An American Anthology
  • Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader
  • Vikram Seth’s novel in verse about 1980s San Francisco, The Golden Gate
  • Shakespeare’s King Lear
  • Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human
  • Ruth Suckow’s short lyric novel, Country People
  • Patrick Suskind’s Perfume
  • Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the translation by Richard Peaver and Larissa Volokhonsky
  • Peter Trachtenberg’s “harrowing meditation on loss,” The Book of Calamities
  • David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Mr. Fortune’s Maggot

Oh, what a world of books! (Self also belatedly realizes that there is only one Asian or Asian American name —  Vikram Seth  —  on this list)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

2 Comments

  1. jacksonbliss said,

    January 8, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Great books, all. The only problem is, I didn’t recommend those books. But they’re good just the same.

    –Jackson Bliss

  2. January 8, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Dear Jackson,

    The e-mail from The Kenyon Review came out with NO formatting. Actually, let’s have the books you DID recommend. When I looked at the list, I guessed that the name BELOW the recommended books was the recommender. Maybe it was the name above???


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