books read in 2008 by brent’s brother

I wasn’t going to release my list this year, but having now seen how my 2007 list scaled the elbuzzard heights last year, well I am hopelessly moved to act. I didn’t read as many books this year largely because I was very nearly crushed under the weight of Infinite Jest from January to probably April. Anyway, here they are:

1. Infinite Jest- David Foster Wallace
2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao- Junot Diaz
3. Winter’s Bone- Daniel Woodrell
4. The Boy Detective Fails- Joe Meno
5. The French Lieutenant’s Woman- John Fowles
6. Don’t Get too Comfortable- David Rackoff
7. Quiet Strength- Nathan Whitaker, Tony Dungy
8. Oh Pure and Radiant Heart- Lydia Millet
9. Kaffir Boy- Mark Mathabane
10. Triste Tropiques- Claud Levi-Strauss
11. The Canon- Natalie Angier
12. Bush at War- Carl Woodward
13. Bridge of San Luis Rey- Thorton Wilder
14. Bowl of Cherries- Millard Kaufman
15. The Plot Against America- Phillip Roth
16. Our Story Begins- Tobias Wolff
17. The Stand- Stephen King
18. Noodling for Flatheads- Burkhard Bilger
19. Ubik- Phillip K. Dick
20. Alligator- Lisa Moore
21. My Stroke of Insight- Jill Taylor
22. The Chosen- Chaim Potok
23. A Treatise on Human Nature- David Hume
24. The Wayward Bus- John Steinbeck
25. Terrorist- John Updike
26. Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
27. Unaccustomed Earth – Jhumpa Lahiri
28. The Adventures of Augie March- Saul Bellow
29. Why We Hate Us- Dick Meyer
30. Comedy by the Numbers- Eric Hoffman and Gary Rudoren
31. Heyday- Kurt Anderson

My favorite book in a route was The Boy Detective Fails. Least favorite, the creepy Tony Dungy book. Happy New Year to you all!


3 thoughts on “books read in 2008 by brent’s brother”

  1. Here’s my list:

    Title Author Rating Notes
    The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov ***** Read it before. One of the all-time greats.
    The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Book 1) J.R.R. Tolkien **** Read it before. I can read this book faster than anybody, because I skip all the poetry and descriptions of nature.
    Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character Richard P. Feynman ***1/2 What a character! And an asshole too!
    The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America Erik Larson ***1/2 Surprisingly, the parts about the serial killer are the worst parts of this book. The stuff about the world's fair in chicago is great! Now I understand every song on Sufjan Stevens' Illinois album.
    Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium Dick Meyer ***1/2 He makes good points, but he's preachy. Brent told me to read this.
    The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why Amanda Ripley ***1/2 Interesting statistics, and now I always look for emergency exits when I fly in a plane. I told Brent to read this.
    A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, Book 3) Gregory Maguire *** Wicked was so good, why can't this guy even get close anymore?
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Ron Hansen *** I read this after I saw the movie. Like the movie, it's kind of interesting, but falters throughout. It's better than the movie.

    Sandworms of Dune Brian Herbert *** I will read every Dune book that comes out, because I am a dork, and fear is the mind-killer.
    The Blind Assassin: A Novel Margaret Atwood *** Margaret Atwood burned me with the ending of Oryx and Crank, but I gave her another chance. This book is ok.
    The life and times of Tycho Brahe John Allyne Gade *** I have to give presentations on a 17th century atlas that we have in the archives that features Tycho Brahe's observatory. I wanted to do a little more research on him. He had a metal nose and kept a midget around him as a jester.
    An Idiot Girl's Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List Laurie Notaro ** This book was in our bathroom last Xmastime
    Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Mary Roach **1/2 I wanted racy, I got boring.
    Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother James A. Connor **1/2 See the explanation for the Brahe book for why I read this one. There are about two chapters on heresy trials. There is no reason the title should be Kepler's Witch, because it figures so unprominently in the story.
    Motherless Brooklyn Jonathan Lethem *1/2 What a piece of shit. This guy writes like a chickenshit Chuck Palahunik.

    This year I instituted the 50 page rule. If I got to page 50, and I was not interested anymore, I quit reading. Here are the books that are dead to me:

    Title Author Rating Notes
    Baudolino Umberto Eco quit I used to eat up everything by Eco. Now I have a hard time decyphering him. I'm getting dumber.
    Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy : A Novel Matt Ruff quit And you thought Atlas Shrugged was bad? Try a satire of it.
    The Naked and the Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition Norman Mailer quit I should give this one another chance.
    The Plot Against America Philip Roth quit zzzzzzzz

    Finally, a special case. This one is like 5 books in one, but it's the size of a big normal book, so I'm counting it as one.

    Title Author Rating Notes
    The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Deluxe Edition) Douglas Adams still reading, but mostly got bored and quit reading. I read the first two books and I don't see what all the hype is about.

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