All that glitters?
Thinking about Joyce Maynard.

Another snore-worthy list from the ALA.

I have never been a huge fan of the American Library Association.

Each year this opinion is solidified when I check out their lists of Notable Books. It's always one of the least interesting lists I come across, and this year is no exception. Here are the books they suggest:


  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
  • Kate Atkinson - Life After Life
  • Edwidge Danticat – Claire of the Sea Light
  • Juliann Garey – Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
  • Paul Harding – Enon
  • Kristopher Jansma – The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
  • Herman Koch – The Dinner
  • Anthony Marra – A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
  • Claire Messud – The Woman Upstairs
  • Ruth Ozeki – A Tale for the Time Being
  • Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch

No kidding, I find this fiction list so boring my eyes literally started wandering anywhere else across the room by the time I got to Paul Harding.


  • Scott Anderson – Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
  • Nicholas A. Basbanes – On Paper
  • Cris Beam – To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care
  • Daniel James Brown – The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • Ian Buruma – Year Zero: A History of 1945
  • Sheri Fink – Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
  • Margalit Fox – The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code
  • Simon Garfield – On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks
  • Robert Hilburn – Johnny Cash: the Life
  • Brendan I. Koerner – The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking
  • Virginia Morell – Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures
  • Eric Schlosser – Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
  • Rebecca Solnit – The Faraway Nearby

Wow, I'm even worse with this list than I was with the New York Times Notable list. The only one I've read here is Sheri Fink's Five Days at Memorial.

Has anyone read any of these books? Should I read any more of them, or can I just accept that I will never want to read much of anything that the ALA wants me to?