Friday, March 9, 2007

Talking Books

One last item of note today: the new Kirkus Special has come online, highlighting Best Books for Reading Groups. I read some really thoughtful books and interviewed some very talented authors for this special. The lineup includes This Human Season, Louise Dean's brittle fiction about Northern Ireland on the eve of the hunger strikes; The Post-Birthday World, an alternate personal history by last year's Orange Prize Winner Lionel Shriver; and the most nebulous and ambitious book here, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, concerning a Pakistani man who finds that the fabled American "melting pot" doesn't quite work the way it's advertised in the wake of 9-11. These books aren't my usual cup of tea but they represent heady, serious writing on the part of all of these writers and are great reads to boot. You can read all about them here. Note that the magazine is in .PDF format, so it takes a minute to load.

Maybe I need to start my own book club. "Bang's best books for reading clubs who are into dimestore potboilers and broken knuckles and nickel-plated .45s and stuff." We could meet at airports.

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