Keeping that string alive

The “illiterati” string continues. The National Book Critics Circle today announced its “Good Reads — Winter List” (formerly known as the “Best Recommended List”). As with the inaugural list, I don’t fare well — and I even voted this time.

I’ve read none of the top five in fiction. Moreover, the book for which I voted, Dorothea Dieckmann’s Guantanamo, didn’t even make the fiction long list. I did, though, actually read one of the in the top 10, Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses. The fact I read it and it made the top 10 is probably proof of just how good it is.

I did read one of the top five in nonfiction, Musciophilia by Oscar Sacks. As I indicated in a brief review, though, I wasn’t overwhelmed and it didn’t make my radar when I case my vote. The book that got my sole vote, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia by Orlando Figes, ended up 21st in the nonfiction longlist.

I’m not sure if this indicates I don’t follow the crowd or I’m simply adrift.

[I]f this world were anything near what it should be there would be no more need of a Book Week than there would be a of a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Dorothy Parker, Constant Reader

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