Tuesday, September 02, 2014


People, as requested by absolutely no one,  here's my list of my favorite contemporary novels, limit one book per author.

I.  All-time greats:

Infinite Jest, Dave Wallace. I have actually read this book twice, loved it even more the second time.

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell. I was loving this book even before I figured out what was going on with the structure.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami.

Three Farmers on Their way to a Dance, Richard Powers

White Noise, Don DeLillo

In each case, it's really hard to only pick one book per author, you should read their whole oeuvre (with perhaps a couple of exceptions).

II. More Recent Works:

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, Steven Sherrill. Immortality is overrated.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz. Excited to see what Diaz will do next.

The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead. Awesome debut. I worry that poker has ruined Colson though.

The Ectstatic, Victor LaValle. His short story collection, Slap-boxing with Jesus is also not to be missed.

Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem. Probably the guy in part II who should be in part I. Everything is great. Try "as she climbed across the table" for a thoroughly post-modern love story.

White Tiger, Aravind Argia. Savage and Brilliant

The God of Small Things, Ahrudhati Roy. She's gone off the rails, but this is a brilliant novel.


Jim D. said...

Perhaps you haven't tried it, perhaps you didn't like it, but I encourage you and your readers to pick up "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin.

Whose sales some think were dinged a bit by the NYT's gratuitous identification of him as a conservative in its review (the book has nothing to do with contemporary politics).

Stuart said...

I really enjoyed Cloud Atlas, but Mitchell's dystopian "Corpocracy" was a little on the nose for my taste.