sábado, 1 de enero de 2011

13 Is My Lucky Number

Please pardon the apparently self-serving nature of this post, but I've just been informed that I have to submit a best of the year list for books I read in 2010 to maintain my blogging credentials for 2011.  First half-truth of the year out of the way, Happy New Year to all of you!  And away we go...

My favorite novels (in alphabetical order by author)

1) Roberto Arlt's Los siete locos (Argentina, 1929)

2) Roberto Bolaño's La literatura nazi en América (Spain, 1996)

3) Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary #1, #2 and #3 (France, 1857)

4) Le Comte de Lautréamont's Maldoror (France, 1868-69)

5) Herman Melville's Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (USA, 1851)

6) Georges Perec's Life A User's Manual (France, 1978)

My favorite nonfiction work

7) Euclides da Cunha's Backlands: The Canudos Campaign #1, #2 and #3 (Brazil, 1902)

My favorite poem

8) Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy I: Inferno (Verona, 1314)

8) Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy II: Purgatorio #1, #2 and #3 (Verona, 1315)

8) Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy III: Paradiso (Ravenna, 1321)

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order by author again)
9) Roberto Arlt's El juguete rabioso (Argentina, 1926)
10) Thomas Bernhard's Wittgenstein's Nephew (Austria, 1982)
11) Tomás Eloy Martínez's Santa Evita (Argentina, 1995)
12) Marcel Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah (France, 1921-22)
13) Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (England, 1925)

15 comentarios:

  1. Hey, this is a heck of a list, one astounding book after another. I've read six of the top eight, and three of the honorable mentions, the two Arlts under your influence. The Cunha I'm fitting in this year, I hope. No wait, it's New Year's Day - I resolve.

  2. I'm so with you on Madame Bovary. Wait, do I see Mrs. Dalloway amongst her ranks? :) Those two made my list as well. Wish I could say that I loved Perec as well as you bright and learned readers of The Wolves. Alas, I think his intelligence, and yours, far superior to mine.

  3. I was told Arlt was hard to find. I hope to find copies too. And I was planning to tackle the Perec and Da Cunha (different translation) this year. Should be exciting.

  4. You forgot your 2010 release favorites.

  5. Does Arlt have anything translated into English? (I take your recommendations to heart because you have such great taste.)

  6. We are pleased to inform you that we have received your post, "13 is My Lucky Number," and have therefore renewed your status as a Blogger in Good Standing for the 2011 calendar year. Please find enclosed your updated identity card, which we recommend punching out along the perforations and carrying in your wallet at all times. :-)

    This is, for serious, an impressive list. I am looking forward to diving into my copy of La literatura nazi en América as soon as I have some foreign-language bandwidth not being frantically devoted to French!

  7. Oh good, I can refer back to this post when I am updating my TBR list. I need to get my mitts on that Bolano title for sure. :)

  8. Feliz año Richard¡¡¡¡¡
    Los 7 locos es un librazo, comparto con voz la ubicación en el ranking. Moby Dick también me gustó mucho, creo que es una semilla enorme en la literatura yanky.


  9. *Amateur Reader: Glad you approve of the list--and what a high batting average you have re: the books already read from it! Am quite confident that the da Cunha will please you, by the way (good plan, er, resolution, that).

    *Bellezza: Not sure intelligence has anything to do with it, ha ha, but Life A User's Manual would have been near the very top of my list if I had had to choose--so glad you were at least able to read along with us on that one (I think that and Frances' Madame Bovary readalong were two of my three favorite readalongs of the year)!

    *Rise: I don't know anything about the book buying scene in the Phillipines, of course, but there should be a couple of Arlt titles in English available through Amazon (and maybe Book Depository?). Da Cunha and Perec's Life A User's Manual should be out and out knockouts for you!

  10. *Frances: You're right, but I also forgot to mention my YA "dishonorable mentions." That should even things out!

    *Claire: Thanks for humoring me! :D To answer your question, though, Arlt's first two novels (both of the ones on my list) are available in English under the titles Mad Toy and The Seven Madmen. Amateur Reader also wrote about both of them on his blog last year if you'd like to compare our reactions.

    *Emily: Thanks for the list thumbs-up and the identity card renewal--you cracked me up with that one! Can't wait to see what you make of that Bolaño when the time comes, but I understand there's only so much foreign language RAM available at a given time. Cheers!

  11. *Sarah: That Bolaño is amazing: one of my three favorites by him along with 2666 and The Savage Detectives. All totally different, too!

    *Mario: ¡Feliz año! Sí, me acuerdo de tus post sobre Moby Dick hace un rato. Otro librazo, por cierto. Y gracias a los dioses de la lectura, tengo más libros por y sobre Arlt en el tintero para 2011. ¡Un abrazo!

  12. Happy New Year. Bonne année et bonne santé, comme on dit chez nous.

    Great list. I have to try Bolano.

  13. *Bookaroundthecorner: Bonne année! Distant Star is my other favorite of the shorter Bolaños, but I'd probably recommend The Savage Detectives if I had to recommend the ideal book for a first-time reader of his. It turned me into a convert anyway. Cheers!

  14. I keep seeing all these excellent end-of-year lists around, and they're wreaking havoc with the length of my TBR list! I'm really going to have to try some Bolaño one of these days as so many readers seem to love his works. I'm definitely being exposed to more and more non-American or British authors, and I love this expansion of my horizons.

  15. *Amanda: Bolaño's one of my all-time favorites, so I hope you get off to a good start with him. I also love seeing everybody's end of the year lists, to the point that I'm still playing catch-up with those!