Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Final Top 10 For 2007

Safekeeping, by Abigail Thomas
A Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas
Here If You Need Me, by Kate Braestrup
Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction, by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola
Housekeeping vs. the Dirt, by Nick Hornby
The Polysyllabic Spree, by Nick Hornby
"Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?", by Beverly Daniel Tatum
The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Stones of Florence, by Mary McCarthy
(Not that You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions, by Steve Almond

2007 was, as is often the case for me, a year of author jags: Abigail Thomas and Nick Hornby both had multiple books in the top ten. There's a fuller discussion of Thomas's work here, but let me take a moment to sing the praises of Nick Hornby. Both titles on my list are collections of his book reviews for The Believer. I would love Hornby forever on the basis of his appreciation of Marilynn Robinson alone, but in addition to that he is everything one could want in a reviewer: opinionated, funny, forthright about his prejudices, willing to be pleased, and, above all, firmly on the reader's side. He talks about books the way your best-read friends do—as if he has discovered something he knows you'll love and can't wait to tell you about it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Excellent Technical Blog Post on Writing

I subscribe to a lot of technical blogs for work. This post was on one of them, Signal vs. Noise, today: [On writing] John Gruber, Paul Graham, Joel Spolsky, and Judge Judy. Well worth reading.