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Monday, February 12, 2007

Smoke's 2006 Book List

  • Rings of Saturn - W.B. Sebold
    very good, but dense

  • Authenticity - Diedre Madden

  • Fearless Jones - Walter Mosley
    pretty good, not his best

  • Jayber Crow - Wendell Berry
    highly recommended - see my full review on

  • The Street - Ann Petry
    highly recommended, very disturbing

  • What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America - Thomas Frank

  • Self-Made Man - Norah Vincent
    disappointing -- see my full review on

  • The Healing - Gayle Jones
    highly recommended, very originial, I'll reread this every few years to learn more about writing.

  • The Mayor of Macdougal Street: A Memoir - Dave Van Ronk and Elijah Wald
    very interesting, recommended

  • Booking Passage - Thomas Lynch
    good, not as good as I expected though

  • Ice, Mouth, Song: A Collection of Poems - Rachel Contreni Flynn
    highly recommended

  • Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood - Alexandra Fuller
    very good

  • The Shadow of a Gunman: The Selected Plays of Sean O'Casey - Sean O'Casey
    I loved it ... but I think it's for folks that are really interested in Irish history.

  • Time to Murder and Create - Lawrence Block
    I love Block. Good.

  • When the Sacred Ginmill Closes - Lawrence Block

  • Irish on the Inside - Thomas Hayden
    Very interesting. His writing is wooden.

  • Grief - Andrew Holleran
    Good, but I expected great.

  • The Other Side - Mary Gordon
    Very good.

  • A Little Yellow Dog - Walter Mosley

  • Irish New York - Bob Swacker, Leslie Jenkins

  • Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era - Elizabeth Pepin, Lewis Watts
    Very interesting.

  • Contact Sheet 101: South to West Oakland - Lewis Watts
    Photographs. Good.

  • Gone Fishin' - Walter Mosley

  • Blessing of the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988 - 2000 - Lucille Clifton
    Very good.

  • Bad Boy Brawly Brown - Walter Mosley

  • Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography - Chester Brown
    Very good. But Im into Manitoba history.

  • The Short Fall from Grace: Poems - Stewart Florsheim
    Very good. Disclosure: I know the author.

  • Almost There - Nuala O'Faolain
    Highly recommended. I really liked this.

  • Triangle - Katherine Weber

  • Murder on the Prowl - Rita Mae Brown

  • A Ticket to the Boneyard - Lawrence Block
    Very good.

  • The Polysyllabic Spree - Nick Hornby
    Loved it. Love his humor.

  • Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
    Chilling. Warning: You must read something hopeful about the world right after you read this.

  • The Niagara River - Kay Ryan
    Highly recommended.

  • Bones and Silence - Reginald Hill
    Highly recommended. I love him.

  • The Night of the Burning - Linda Wulf
    Really really good. Disclosure: I know the author.

  • The Commute: an extended poem in XXVI parts - Patricia Edith
    Highly recommended. These are rich rich poems. She is an inspiration to me -- in many ways. Disclosure: The author is one of my best friends.

  • Pictures of Perfection - Reginald Hill
    Highly recommended.

  • Franny and Zooey - J. D. Salinger (re-read)
    Still love it.
    Note: Tried to re-read The Catcher in the Rye and couldn't. Could not relate to the middle-class juvenile. When I was younger, I could. What does that say? I kept thinking "Quit all the complaining!" Wanted to shake him.

  • The Skeleton Man - Tony Hillerman

  • Catch as Catch Can - Rita Mae Brown
    Fluffy. I used to think of her as such a deep person.

  • Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency - by Alexander McCall Smith
    Good. Later ones are much better though.

  • Hope in the Dark, 2006 edition - Rebecca Solnit
    Very good.

  • Mules of Love: Poems - Ellen Bass
    Great ... I love her poetry.

  • Grayson - Lynne Cox
    Calming. Should have read this after Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

  • Right as Rain - George Pelecanos
    So good. Good solid mystery writer.

  • The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
    Very good but it took me a while to really get into it.

    Note: I've forgotten all the poetry and children's books I've read. Determined to keep better track in 2007.

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