Thursday, December 16, 2004

:: Books to look forward to ::




Both the New York Times and The Economist have come out with the list of best books of the year, and six titles made it to both lists:

1. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
2. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
3. The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
4. The Master, by Colm Toibin
5. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt
6. Chronicles: Volume One, by Bob Dylan

The most interesting ones, at least for me, are those by Orhan Pamuk and Stephen Greenblatt. From The Economist:
Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
A novel about the tensions between Turkey’s urban, secularist elite and their long-derided Islamist opponents. By the leading interpreter of Turkish society to the western world, it deals with such familiar Pamuk themes as faith, identity and betrayal.

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt
This historicist squeezes the most out of the few known facts about William Shakespeare. Unabashedly speculative, he is acutely alive to the historical context, with an appetite for understanding the legalities of the time, the meanings of words, and the importance of friends and mentors.
If you’re interested in reading both lists, you can check out the NY Times' Ten Best Books of 2004 (registration required; it's free, though) and The Economist’s Books of the year 2004.

Ah, what I would give for a quiet Christmas weekend with these two books, a plush sofa, and a bottle of rioja.

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