Shopping for literature people is always such fun, perhaps because I am deluged with ideas of what I myself would love to find under my tree. My Christmas list this year is thick with literary goodies.
- The Round House. Louise Erdich’s “The Red Convertible” is one of the first stories I learned to teach well. Now a National Book Winner, I am itching to get my hands on her latest work.
- The Racketeer. I confess that the last time I read a John Grisham novel I could not legally drink. In junior high and high school I enjoyed his legal thrillers, but I did not buy into his attempts at Southern Literary Drama (see: A Painted House). Positive reviews and a return to legal form tempt me to pick up his latest release in hope for some page turning goodness.
- Building Stories. I’m not normally a fan of gimmicky books, but this graphic novel collection by Chris Ware seems witty and well-written. Who can turn that down?
- Tarantino XX 8 Film Collection. No, Tarantino is not technically a literary figure, but as a screen writer and director, his work speaks volumes. Pulp Fiction taught me about Modular narrative years before I delved into Madison Smartt Bell’s Narrative Design. (For more on another favorite Tarantino film of mine, see my recent Cinefilles review of Jackie Brown.)
- The Yellow Birds. I’m not normally a war reader; however, veteran Kevin Powers has written a book that merges his experience in the war with his poetic prowess.