The Millions Top Ten: March 2009

April 1, 2009 | 15 books mentioned 2 min read

Time again for another installment of one of our newer features, The Millions Top Ten. Check out the original introduction for an explanation of how it works. The new list:

This
Month
Last
Month
  Title On List
1. 1. cover Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences 2 months
2. 2. cover 2666 3 months
3. cover The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker 1 month
4. cover Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste 1 month
5. 4. cover Olive Kitteridge 2 months
6. 3. cover The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 3 months
7. (tie) cover Knockemstiff 1 month
7. (tie) 7. cover The Dud Avocado 3 months
9. 8. (tie) cover A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again 3 months
10. 5. cover Infinte Jest 3 months

We have three debuts on our list this month.

The Rejection Collection is a book edited by New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee that, as its title suggests, collects cartoons that didn’t quite make it into the New Yorker. And it’s not that these cartoons weren’t good enough to get in, it’s that they were just a little “off,” too weird or even off-color to grace the magazine’s hallowed pages. We wrote about the book when it came out in 2006, and we also wrote about its sequel, The Rejection Collection Vol. 2: The Cream of the Crap when it appeared in 2007.

Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste is another quirky addition to the top 10. It’s a part of the 33 1/3 series of books about songs. Carl Wilson’s entry, about a Celine Dion song, was singled out by Dan Kois in his Year in Reading post in December. Reading the book, Kois said, “was to be both inspired and filled with despair.”

Finally, we also add Donald Ray Pollack’s collection Knockemstiff, newly out in paperback. Knockemstiff was another Year in Reading selection. Kyle Minor described the book as “Eighteen wild and wooly stories from southern Ohio, in which a lifetime’s experience is distilled to nine or twelve pages of the most thrilling sentences I’ve ever read.” And he compared it to Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son.

Meanwhile, sentence diagramming tome Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog remains at the top thanks to the enduring quality of Garth’s recent post parsing President Obama’s sentences.

Dropping from the list are Susan Sontag’s Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963, Paul Beatty’s The White Boy Shuffle, and J.K. Rowling’s work of Potter lore The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

See Also: Last month’s list.

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