Andy M.'s 2003 Book List
1.12.2004 by , every Tuesday.
Sorry, no stories this week, but soon you will be able to purchase a 100% quality book of stories brought to you in part by Kinko's. Stay tuned!
Last New Year's, a friend of mine resolved to read 52 books. She wound up reading 64. I liked her book list so much that I decided to post it. Here is talented freelancer Andrea M.'s rockin' 2003 literary journey (with comments!)
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1. How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
Dear Nick: I think you're dreamy.
2. A Child's Book of True Crime - Chloe Hooper
Dear Chloe: Your mix of fiction of non-fiction (or seeming mix) was tittilating. Delightful!
3. The Autograph Man - Zadie Smith
Dear Miss Smith: What the fuck happened?
4. Mister Sandman - Barbara Goudy
Barbara: Essentially, you wrote a movie, in a book. Sort of disappointing.
5. Twenty-Six - Leo McKay Jr.
Dear Leo: Can I call Leo? I suppose I can, since we had coffee, and I interviewed you for a story. I thought you wrote an important book. Bravo.
6. First Fieldwork - Barbara Gallatin Anderson
Dear Barbara: I bought this book for 50 cents because the dedication said "To Andrea, the intrepid". It ended up being quite lovely. I probably would pay a whole dollar for it, in retrospect.
7. Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Dear Mr. Thompson: Your head is messy. Are you happy now?
8. The Fifth Morningside Papers - ed. Peter Gzowski
Dear Peter: It's sad that you died. It's neat that they put out these books though. Canada is cool.
9. Grey - Judy MacDonald
Judy: Though overall I found your book a bit tiring, a couple of your stories were downright brilliant. And I liked the cover.
10. The Tesseract - Alex Garland
Dear Mr. Garland: See #3. I loved The Beach. What was this nonsense about?
11. The Rules of Attraction - Bret Easton Ellis
Dear Mr. Ellis: You are quite possibly mentally ill. But you take risks. I like that.
12. Anchoress - Esta Spalding
Dear Esta: Thank you for writing this book. It is amazing.
13. Losing It - Alan Cumyn
Dear Alan: I think we all could have lived without this book. It wasn’t bad, but, well, let’s be honest: it wasn’t good, either.
14. The Girl’s Guide To Hunting and Fishing - Melissa Banks
Dear Melissa: I like this book, but you already knew that. Why do you have to be such a one-hit wonder?
15. Shopaholic Ties The Knot - Sophie Kinsella
Dear Sophie: My roommate finds it stressful to read your books because she doesn’t understand how someone can let their finances get so out of control. I find it stressful to read them because all I can think is “Ooh! I need a new and very expensive scarf, too!”
16. Cat’s Crossing - Bill Cameron
Dear Bill: You picked my favourite subject–cats–and still mucked it up. Stick to journalism, whydontcha.
17. Speak The Truth, Laughing - Rose Zwi
Dear Rose: I think these stories are what one refers to as ‘compelling’. Good job.
18. The Crash of Hennington - Patrick Ness
Dear Patrick: I have a giant literary crush on you. Why don’t you bring your bad self on down to Nova Scotia?
19. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
20. The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe - Douglas Adams
21. Life, The Universe, And Everything - Douglas Adams
22. So Long And Thanks For All The Fish - Douglas Adams
23. Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams
Dear Mr. Adams: Surely, you have created modern classics. Surely, it’s not right for me to have such a crush on a robot.
24. White Noise - Don Delillo
Dear Don: Just as good the fourth time as the first. Why don’t I enjoy any of your other books?
25. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
Dear Michael: I am mad at you. Your story did, in fact, end. That made me sad.
26. Concrete Forest - ed. Hal Niedzvieki
Dear Hal: I think you’re swell, don’t get me wrong. But Canadian Urban Fiction scares the bejesus out of me.
27. Slumber Party - Christopher Pike
28. Last Act - Christopher Pike
29. Master of Murder - Christopher Pike
30. Road To Nowhere - Christopher Pike
31. Monster - Christopher Pike
32. The Wicked Heart - Christopher Pike
33. The Immortal - Christopher Pike
34. Gimme A Kiss - Christopher Pike
Dear Christopher, or should I say, Kevin: Your books still rock my free world. Also: keep on rocking me, baby.
35. Sabbath’s Theatre - Phillip Roth
Dear Phillip: Never, when I’m reading, am I so sure I’m actually reading a thinly-veiled portrayal of the author. Is it true? Are you really such a schmuck?
36. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - JK Rowling
Dear Ms Rowling: This was not a 700 page book. Get an editor. Also, 45 bucks for a kids’ book?
37. Bluebeard’s Egg - Margaret Atwood
Margaret! How excited I was to find I enjoyed your short-stories. I always felt like a bad Canadian, not liking your novels. Please write more short stories.
38. The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides
Dear Jeff: You did something very interesting with this book, and still managed to tell a good story. Please tell your secret to McSweeneys.
39. A Readers’ Manifesto - BR Myers
Dear Mr. Myers: You are a bitter, bitter man. I agree with you in some areas, but mostly I find you a bitter, bitter man.
40. Angel - Marian Keyes
Marian: The usual. But that’s okay, because that’s what I come to you wanting. So, uh, good job.
41. The Man Who Loved Only Numbers - Paul Hoffman
Dear Paul: This biography was quite nice, though it convinced me that I was secretly a mathematical genius. Was that your intention?
42. Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
David, meet Joey. He is a hundred times funnier than you. I don’t get your success. Oh well. Good for you, I guess.
43. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Dear Neil: I don’t even like science-fiction. And yet – and yet.
44. Ramona And Her Father - Beverly Cleary
Dear Bev: Normally, I reread kids’ book and find them disappointing. Yours are even better than I remember. Hurray!
45. Ella Minnow Pea - Mark Dunn
Mark: If nothing else, I admire your patience. I have already passed your book along to someone who will appreciate it more than I did.
46. Less Than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis
Dear Mr Ellis: I am still just as convinced that you are mentally unstable. Oddly, I cannot remember a single detail about this book.
47. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
Dear Mr. Fforde: You were kind of a loser in school, weren’t you? I can tell.
48. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Dear Yann: I tried to convince my boss to fly my to Saskatoon so I could see you. Does that worry you? Your book was fantastic. I love books that can still surprise me.
49. The Black Book - Ian Rankin
Dear Ian: How many nights have I stayed up too late finishing one of your books? Too many. TOO MANY.
50. Them - Jon Ronson
Dear Jon: How do you live? Are you not just a bundle of nerves now? You know they’re going to get you. You know they know where you live.
51. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Anita Loos
Dear Anita: Does it bother you that no one even knows your book exists? That Marilyn Monroe got famous and you didn’t? If it makes you feel any better, I tell everyone about it. I tell them how great it is.
52. Death By Television - Ian Johnston
Ian: Well, at least you tried. I mean, they can’t all be winners.
53. Bird By Bird - Anne Lamott
Dear Anne: You are possibly the cutest person ever. Your book is possibly the cutest book ever. That is all.
54. She’s Come Undone - Wally Lamb
Dear Wally: I used to love this book and now I have mixed feelings about it. What were you thinking when you wrote it? What do you really think about women?
55. The Art of the Playwright - Somebody Somebody
Dear Person: Um. Good job, I guess. Yes, much useful playwrighting stuff in here.
56. All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
Dear Doug: You almost never disappoint me. Also, way to go with the pink spine. Very pretty.
57. Island: Shipwreck - Gordon Korman
58. Island: Survival - Gordon Korman
59. Island: Escape - Gordon Korman
Dear Gordon: Stick to comedy, k? Also, we have so been there done that with the whole island thing.
60. The World According To Garp - John Irving
Dear Mr. Irving: I really enjoyed our time together. I hope to see a lot more of you in 2004.
61. Of Cats And Kings - Claire De Vries
Dear Claire: You are my cat-loving, trip-making, book-writing hero. If I didn’t love you so much, I would hate you. Call me!
62. Bag of Bones - Stephen King
Dear Steve: Your books make the best paperbacks. Also, the best blunt instruments. Yes.
63. Bridges With Spirit - Adam Voith
Dear Adam: You are pretty but cryptic. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
64. Hearts In Atlantis - Stephen King
Dear Steve: I like you when you do different things like this. Care for a game of hearts?