imagesAugust: Still hiding out in my old-man rooms waving to the grandkids when they’re cavorting in the backyard and having my lonely plates of dinner delivered at arms length with the three day old but adequately fumigated mail.

I’m reading a lot but I’m also gorging on cable television series. Currently finishing five years of The Wire which my daughter considered as hard evidence that I was hopelessly behind the times. I didn’t tell her I just watched Mr. Lucky (oh, that Andamo).

Yesterday I made a list of American literature I still need to address. I had already acknowledged a great deal of James (still not a favorite) and now have added such as James Fenimore Cooper, Upton Sinclair, Mark Twain, Hamlin Garland, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, and William Dean Howells. I might even read Wolfe’s follow-up novels to Look Homeward Angel. Note that in most instances I have already read (or been forced to read at school) many of the major titles by these authors but even a quick glance at their bibliographies reveals that I have a long way to go.

This month I have scheduled just four classic novels: The Pathfinder, Louise de la Vallière, Elmer Gantry, and The Ordeal of Richard Feveral. The mix looks good. Perhaps a few titles pique your interest?

  1. Kalakuta Republic — Chris Abani
  2. Carny Kill — Robert Edmond Alter
  3. The Automobile Club of Egypt — Alaa Al Aswany
  4. A Good Man In Africa — William Boyd
  5. Riven Rock – T. C. Boyle
  6. The Pathfinder; or, The Inland Sea — James Fenimore Cooper
  7. Louise de la Vallière— Alexander Dumas
  8. Boswell – Stanley Elkin
  9. Glamorama – Brett Easton Ellis
  10. Middle C — William H. Gass
  11. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden — Jonas Jonasson
  12. The Man Who Spoke Snakish — Andrew Kivirähk
  13. Elmer Gantry — Sinclair Lewis
  14. The Ordeal of Richard Feveral — George Meredith
  15. Last Night at the Lobster — Stewart O’Nan
  16. Ghachar Ghochar — Vivek Shanbhag
  17. Baltasar and Blimunda – José Saramago
  18. Apocalypse Hotel: A Novel — Ho Anh Thai
  19. The Brave African Huntress — Amos Tutuola
  20. Braised Pork — An Yu


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