I work during the daytime and write my own books (and watch way too much sports) at night, so I don’t read as much as I should. However, once in a while I do get a chance to read.
The best book I read this year was Seven Ages of Paris by the historian Alistair Horne. A thousand years in the life of a city in 400 pages… it was tres magnifique and was so good that I then read his wonderful and poignant The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 I also read and enjoyed American Prometheus, the biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. It was thorough and terrific but just not quite as funny as the section of my masterpiece Funnymen which takes place in Los Alamos while the A-bomb is being invented.
I also read and liked Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan. It had me laughing aloud and, at times, envious. It fell apart a bit toward the very end but I liked it and recommend it to anyone who needs a guffaw or two. I will certainly read whatever he comes up with next.
I also began re-rereading the early short stories of Hemingway. You know something? He wasn’t bad.
I hope to work a lot less and read a lot more next year.