Featured List

Jonathan Franzen

At a time when the phrase “literary event” is a quaint anachronism (see Vargas Llosa’s Notes on the Death of Culture), a new novel from Jonathan Franzen may be as close as book lovers can come these days to tweezing a piece of the nation’s attention.

 

And it looks like he has delivered the goods again, at least according to the literary giant slayer ... read more ...

The Book: The Top Ten

Heidi Julavits

Heidi Julavits has received the first major review for her diary/essay collection and it’s a rave. 

Heidi Julavits

Heidi Julavits has received the first major review for her diary/essay collection and it’s a rave. 

Jonathan Lethem

“Jonathan Lethem’s extraordinary career is a reminder of the not-so-distant past when working novelists published their new creations regularly and with a seemingly free-flowing hand,” Michael Greenberg writes in the New York Times Book Review. “If one book wasn’t up to snuff, there would be another to redeem it a year or two later. It was all part of the ebb and flow of a lifetime of work.

 

Joyce Carol Oates

“During her long and distinguished career, Joyce Carol Oates never has shied away from the controversy that can come with using celebrities and tabloid news stories as the inspiration for her fiction,” Jon Michaud observes in the Washington Post.

Peter Carey

Peter Carey is receiving astoundingly mixed reviews for new novel, Amnesia. Where some reviewers see genius, others eye a tedious mix. It’s enough to make you suspect that critics are not infallible!

 

Stewart O'Nan

Stewart O’Nan’s fifteenth novel, West of Sunset, is the latest in a line of works in which great writers essay the life of other great writers – one of my favorites is Frederick Busch’s 1999 novel featuring Herman Melville, The Night Inspector.

 

Tom LeClair

Top Ten Land may celebrate classic books, but like Bob Dylan, we don’t look back. We look forward to new lists that bring great works to our attention.

Ron Rash

   Ron Rash has received many glowing reviews, but it would be hard to top the mash note he received from Janet Maslin last week for Something Rich and Strange, “a major short-story anthology that can introduce new readers to this author’s haunting talents and reaffirm what his established following already knows.”

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New List

Siri Hustvedt

1.Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847).
2. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667).
3. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871–72).
4. Either/Or: A Fragment of Life by Søren Kierkegaard (1843).
5. Persuasion by Jane Austen (1817).
6. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1864–65).
7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927).
8. Stories of Franz Kafka (1883–1924).
9. The Golden Bowl by Henry James (1904).
10. Sorry, but I resist. This one could be Cervantes, Dostoyevsky, O’Connor, Proust, Tolstoy, Wharton, Dante, Bachman, or an eccentric choice, chosen because it is a book so spectacularly ignored, that brilliant small novel by Djuna Barnes, Nightwood.

 

Classic List

Paul Auster

 

1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605, 1615).
2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
3. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866).
5. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).
6. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922).
7. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850).
8. The Castle by Franz Kafka (1926).
9. Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, a trilogy by Samuel Beckett (1951–54).
10. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1759–67).

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