May 15, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | May 15, 2007 |


I’ve been trying to kickstart book reviews on Pajiba for a few months now. Unfortunately, we haven’t really managed to create a lot of enthusiasm, which is fine. We don’t seek out books that might be popular with you folks, we’re not experts in the field (well, one of us actually is) and taste in novels here is divergent, among both the staff and the readership. We just blurb-review whatever we happen to be reading at that time, and the results have been decidedly mixed. But, with the major newspapers whacking their book review sections, there’s fewer places to discuss books, so we’d like for Pajiba to offer at least a modicum of discourse, even with our relative lack of expertise.

So, I figured the best way to get some momentum behind that section of our site is to devote a Guide to it. Last week’s Freebie list was one of our most popular, and the Guide that came out of it was not only fun, but I think the choices you all made reflect the general sensibility of the site — a miraculous confluence, if you will. So, maybe you can marshal the same enthusiasm for Nick Hornby as you did Christian Bale — he’s not a bad-looking fella, after all.

So, the diversion is this: Name your five favorite books or, at least, the five books you’d most like to see discussed on the site. In an attempt to keep it modern (I don’t want to revisit Henry Miller or any of the Bronte sisters), please choose your five favorite novels from the last 15 years or so, and let’s just keep Harry Potter out of it, if you don’t mind. I’ve read and loved them all, but there’s not really anything there to add.

After a week or so, I’ll tally the mentions and, eventually, either me or the willing members of the site will join together to create a Guide out of it (don’t expect a quick turnaround, particularly if we need to read several books). At the very least, maybe we’ll be able to introduce a few literary gems for all of you ahead of beach-reading season.

Here’s mine, and it’s hard as hell to limit the number to five.

1. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby.
2. The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem.
3. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen.
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, Michael Chabon.
5. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides.

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Five Novels

An Afternoon Comment Diversion / Dustin Rowles

Comment Diversions | May 15, 2007 | Comments ()




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