My list of 2007 literary highlights, over on the website, has been bugging me. It’s clearly tilted toward the end of the year. (Because, of course, of my poor memory.)
So I’m throwing in some things I overlooked.
2007 was a great year for blurbing. Again, I’m going to forget some books here, but the books I had the pleasure of blurbing in 2007 included: A Poisoned Mind (Natasaha Cooper); An Ordinary Spy (Joseph Weisberg); Saturday’s Child (Ray Banks); Head Games (Craig Macdonald); The Graving Docks (Gabriel Cohn).
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta. Endings are one of my persistent pet peeves in fiction, especially in literary fiction. They often peter out, as if the writer had no intention of sullying himself; satisfying endings are the mark of genre fiction, after all. Or they’re a little too perfect and feel unearned. (I know, I sound very hard-to-please here.) Perrotta finds such graceful ways to exit his stories.
Last Night at the Lobster. I’m a huge fan of O’Nan’s.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma. A terrific book that makes the case for eating meat, even as it makes (for me) the case for not eating meat at certain fast food restaurants. To wit: “Mistakes are inevitable on an assembly line that is slaughtering four hundred head of cattle every hour. (McDonald’s tolerates a 5 percent ‘error rate.’)” It’s no coincidence that 2008 is the year that I’m going in with friends to buy a cow raised on a Virginia farm. I’m told I’ll be getting enough beef to last my family a year.
I’ll keep adding to this in the comment section, as other highlights occur to me.