Book Notes, 2014


  1. Old School by Tobias Wolff ★ — In [an interview][pr] soon after finishing Old School, Wolff suggests Robert Frost — who appears in the novel — ‘didn’t fully understand his own poem’, or pretended not to. The theme of a writer’s intention comes up both in Frost’s reading of George’s story as a dig at him and Susan’s reading of the narrator’s work as a trick on Hemingway, both unintended. Authentic or fake? Fiction or memoir? The writer is morally required to set down the truth, but cannot.

    A more truthful dust-jacket sketch would say that the author, after much floundering, went to college and worked like the drones hed once despised, kept reasonable hours, learned to be alone in a room, learned to throw stuff out, learned to keep gnawing at the same bone until it cracked.

  2. Runaway by Alice Munro

  3. Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

  4. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

  5. Stoner by John Williams

  6. You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers

  7. Joyland by Stephen King

  8. Adventures of Hergé by Jose-Louis Bocquet et al.

  9. Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air by David J. C. MacKay ★

  10. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut ★

  11. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

  12. I Am Zlatan by Zlatan Ibrahimović

  13. Advanced Marathoning by Peter Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas

  14. Revolutionaries by Jack Ravoke

  15. Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

  16. The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

  17. Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

  18. Feynman by Jim Ottaviani, Leland Myrick

  19. The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy