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Non-Genre Books of the Year : The 2010 Edition

January 1, 2011

As I have a post about my genre books of the year due over at Strange Horizons, I thought I would produce a quite separate post lumping together the best of all the other reading I have done over the course of the year.  Given that my reading has been split between non-fiction, criticism and literary (or para-literary) fiction, it was always clear to me which books were going to appear on the list but I must admit that I am quite pleased with the 50/50 fiction/non-fiction split that emerged quite naturally as I pulled the list together.

What is perhaps most interesting and surprising about this list is that while some books grabbed my attention immediately and continued to exert a degree of influence over my thinking as time went by, a number of books initially impressed only to fade from view while others, initially rejected, started to make a lot more sense as time went by and I read other books that allowed me to make more sense of them.  As a number of the books I read and enjoyed this year were re-reads, I decided to limit myself only to the books that I read for the first time in 2o1o.

Seeing as I have written about and reviewed some of these books at length, I will not be adding anything more other than the books’ titles and links to any pieces I may have produced about them but if you have any questions along the lines of “why the hell did you choose that one?” then do please feel free to avail yourself of the comments function :-)

 

Darkness at Noon by KoestlerGardens by HarrisonThe Human Factor by GreeneHow Fiction Works by WoodHow to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by BayardWhatever Happened to Modernism? By JosipoviciThe Red and The Black by StendhalThe Brothers Karamazov by DostoevskyThe Shock Doctrine by KleinThe Honourable Schoolboy by Le Carre

 

  • A piece on James Wood and the challenge of genre innovation.
  • A piece on Josipovici’s attitude to realism.
  • A piece that draws heavily upon Harrison exploration of gardening as a spiritual metaphor.
  • A piece on Klein’s economic history and zombies.
  • A piece on Stendhal’s social criticism.
  • A piece on Bayard and (not) reading between the lines.
  • A piece on Dostoevsky and the use of negative space in characterisation.

 

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  1. Films of the Year : The 2010 Edition « Ruthless Culture

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