The New Yorker, 13 December 2010 (Including Book Reviewers’ 2010 Favorites)

This was the issue of The New Yorker that self must have missed, last December when she was in Bacolod.

The fiction is about a Somali suicide bomber:  “His hair is the color of ash and is cursed with kinks that no comb can smooth out.  From the little she has heard so far, his voice has not broken.  Yet his face crawls with the deep furrows she associates with the hardened features of a herdsman from the central region, where all of Somali’s recent political instabilities have originated.  Shabaab, the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union, has been trying to terrorize the residents of the city into submission, and it appears to have succeeded to a degree.  She assumes that he is one of the Shabaab conscripts and suspects that he has been charged with “consecrating” —  or, rather, “confiscating” —  a house in the neighborhood from which he and his colleagues will launch their attacks on their enemy targets.” (“Youngthing,” by Nuruddin Farah)

In addition, this issue has a list of “Reviewers’ Favorites from 2010.”  Oh, goodie goodie!  Self loves book lists.  She can’t believe her luck:  it is the beginning of August, and already she has a Best Books of the Year list.  So what if the books were from 2010.  Self is so behind in her reading that she’s only reading books that she entered on her list in 2008.  Herewith, a sampling of the more interesting books:

  • Operation Mincemeat, by Ben Macintyre (Yet another smashing World War II story from Mr. “Truth is stranger than fiction” Macintyre)
  • Supreme Power, by Jeff Shesol (concerning F.D.R’s court-packing scheme)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson (Self would read this book for the title alone.  It’s about “the heroic exodus from the South”)
  • The Master Switch, by Tim Wu (about “finding patterns in the fates of information empires”)
  • Nox, by Anne Carson (“On the contours of absence”)
  • Room, by Emma Donoghue
  • To the End of the Land, by David Grossman (Two characters take “a hike in the Galilee,” as well as “into the past”)
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell (a “formidable historical novel”)
  • February, by Lisa Moore (about “the consequences of grief”)
  • The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer (a “capacious Holocaust love story”)
  • Private Life, by Jane Smiley (about a woman married “to an eccentric scientist”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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