Thursday, January 03, 2008

beST BOOKS of 2007

and the beST books of 2007 are:

The Traveler's Tree: Bruno Bontempelli ('94)

(not to be confused with Patrick Fermor's book of the same name... both are fascinating journeys into the tropical past... this riveting tale of 18th century seafaring is a great read)

Two Years in the French West Indies: Lafcadio Hearn (1890)

(a great writer and a fascinating man, better known for his books about Japan... this book is one long Caribbean moment preserved in amber)

The Omnivore's Dilemma: Michael Pollan ('06)

(a timely book that wrestles with the serious food issues of our day... industrial vs. organic, global vs. local, carnivore vs. vegetarian, the domination of corn)

Tree: Colin Tudge ('05)

(a book about the size and thickness of Omnivore's Dilemma, but focusing on trees... a heaping pile of factoids... with a side helping of science)

Nadja: Andre Breton ('28)

(a journey into the mind of the ambassador of surrealism as he journeys into the mind of a disturbed young woman... great illustrations and that 80 years ago in Europe feeling)

The Mezzanine: Nicholson Baker ('86)

(an annoyingly fascinating literary experiment... if you can refrain from throwing the book across the room, Baker extracts a spirit of joy out of a painstaking succession of mundane details)

Max and the Cats: Moacyr Scliar ('81)

(an obscure story that was clearly the inspiration for The Life of Pi, last year's beST book)


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