Thursday, August 6, 2009


. This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:
"What’s the most serious book you’ve read recently? (I figure it’s easier than asking your most serious book ever, because, well, it’s recent!)
I thought this would be slam-dunk easy, since I just last week finished reading Bernard Malamud's The Fixer, the grim tale of a Russian Jew falsely accused of the ritual murder of a Christian boy. Imperial-era prison, anti-Semitism, feudal justice system, and pogroms, not to mention poverty, adultery, child abuse, murder, and general violence -- it doesn't get any more serious. This one was so serious that it won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. But then I looked over my list of books that I've read in the last few months, and there are some contenders (linked to reviews): All Quiet on the Western Front (war) The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care (imminent crisis) Native America, Discovered and Conquered (ugly history) The Beggar (existential angst) Black Boy (American Hunger) (ugly history and existential angst) And I can't forget: The Letter from Death I need to go find my happy place. .


  1. Perhaps I can help you find a little is my first link to a smackdown review:

    Finally, eh?

    See this is why I am breaking up my Malamud reads with a light book on British slang. I need the balance:)

  2. I've read The Fixer, and although it was a long time ago, I remember liking it quite a lot. Yes, it is very grim. And I was never able to get beyond the first chapter of All Quiet on the Western Front - just too upsetting. I'm afraid these days I'm just a lightweight when it comes to my reading matter.

  3. Blue -- thanks for the list!

    Psmith -- Cool! I am going to read your review right now. And then add it to the challenge post, etc. Thanks!

    Joy -- I "seriously" doubt your lightweight description. I read you blog, remember? :)

  4. You deserve to take a break and indulge in some fluff for a while!

    BTW, thanks for sending me that link about the book bloggers conference. I'm going camping for most of the week before that, so I might be too wiped out, but I'd like to try and make it if I can. I wasn't able to find the spreadsheet or the basic info tho. Need to keep digging.

  5. You've got some seriously great picks here. Here's my response.

  6. I never think of "All Quiet on the Western Front" as particularly serious, though it really is. It's such a grim book but for some odd reason, I always remember the lighter parts to the story and not the terror filled moments...

  7. Wow. That is some serious stuff. Hope you were able to get to your happy place!


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