Johnny Unitas: The Greatest Quarterback

imagesThe older you get, the less you try to acknowledge evidence of the ever-more rapid passage o time. Yet, being human and a typical example of the ugly American, I did scan the various end of year lists (and some end of decade lists) on the internet: best books, worst movies, and even those whom we lost. As far as movies and television are concerned there are fewer and fewer celebrities available for me to revere other than as a distant memory.

Living as I am with my daughter’s family I have noticed that more and more of my most mundane references are met with black stares and rolling eyes. Help! And grandpa isn’t even senile. My heroes are being forgotten.

But I still have books!

Interestingly, despite having read some excellent contemporary fiction, my end-of-year lists are dominated by the more established, classical fiction of Dumas, Lawrence, Stendhal, Dos Passos, Zola, Virgil.  Note my highly subjective Best of List:

  1. Women In Love — D. H. Lawrence
  2. The Years — Annie Ernaux
  3. Nana — Émile Zola
  4. The Recognitions — William Gaddis
  5. The Big Money — John Dos Passos
  6. Wolf Solent — John Cowper Powys
  7. The Count of Monte Cristo — Alexander Dumas
  8. Between the World and Me — Ta-Nehisi Coates
  9. Nostromo — Joseph Conrad
  10. The Famished Road — Ben Okri
  11. The Swimming-Pool Library — Alan Hollinghurst
  12. The Monk — Matthew Lewis
  13. The Mysteries of Udolpho — Ann Radcliffe
  14. The Aeneid — Virgil (Fagles)
  15. The Charterhouse of Parma — Renate Stendhal
  16. Sputnik Caledonia — Andrew Crumey
  17. Infinite Jest — David Foster Wallace
  18. Eyes — William H. Gass
  19. The Dead Girls — Jorge Ibarguëngoitia
  20. Bend Sinister — Vladimir Nabokov

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