The OF Blog: New poll question and a few updates

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New poll question and a few updates

Been a while since I updated the poll, so I added one tonight about Thomas Ligotti, in large part because I'm re-reading two collections of his, My Work Is Not Done and Teatro Grottesco.  Both of these I would recommend to those who like reading darker, unsettling fictions in the month or so leading up to Halloween, as well as to those who just want to read something atmospheric and well-constructed.

I'm also preserving the results of the late August poll on whether or not 2011 has been a good year for debuts.  Here are the results:

  11 (28%)
  6 (15%)
I'm woefully unread, so uncertain
  16 (41%)
I'm still waiting for Squirrelpunk!
  6 (15%)

Personally, having now passed twenty debuts sampled or read in full, I believe 2011 has seen quite a few good to great debuts, albeit most of them lying outside the core SF/F-marketed area that some readers of this blog may favor.  Still more to go in the final three months, as I'm now reading books #380, #381, and #382 story-by-story (the other is a 2011 translation of a collection of Catalan writer Mercé Rodoreda's fictions.  These are excellent - and one appears in The Weird, coming out next month.

Hopefully soon I'll get back to writing formal reviews.  There are two main reasons why I have not done much at all over the past two months.  One is the beginning of football season and I especially love following SEC college football.  The other is due to being exhausted from work stress.  Hopefully, my work situation will resolve itself in a favorable fashion in the next month or so, but uncertainty is never my friend.  Regardless, I do need to try harder at that, since there are several books that are deserving of a closer examination (although I suppose I could try to outsource these to Canadian bloggers, who doubtless could cover their cover arts better than I could ;)). 

However, I can recommend a few books even if it might be a while before I get around to reviewing them (if at all, that is).  Here are the best books that I've read in September, not all of which are 2011 releases:

Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers

Justin Torres, We the Animals

Javier Marías, Your Face Tomorrow  trilogy

Gonçalo M. Tavares, Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique

Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

Alexander Maksik, You Deserve Nothing

Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York

Amy Waldman, The Submission

Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues (not available yet in the US; Booker Prize shortlisted novel)

Well, there's one other, but that one I'm waiting until October to discuss, since it's not available yet.  Each of the others are (and all of them I bought with my own money, lest any worry about me being swayed by review copies).  Let me know if you've heard of or read any of these and what you thought of the ones you've read, okay?

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