Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 2000 - 2009
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Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Another book of short stories. These all have an Indian connection. Not bad.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavilier and Clay by Michal Chabon
Another Oprah book club entry. Probably never would have read this if it was not on the list and just sitting around the house (my girlfriend bought it). A straightforward read, but not my cup of tea.

Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Well written, good story. Pretty much a straight forward narrative about folks going thru the usual tribulations and strife. After recently reading several 'trying-to-be-different' books, this was restful to just read a well told tale. Recomended.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
Interesting book. I liked it. It was another story about family dynamics with a undertone of a intersex protagonist. The influence of modern film and TV is apparent here. It starts in the present day, and tels the story in a series of flashbacks mixed with slices of present time. I think by now we are all comfortable with non-linear narrative, and a writer needs to do something quite different to 'be different'. Hence the odd narrative methods like the next book on the list. FYI, this book would make my top 20 list, but maybe not the top 10.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
This is a "slavery" story. It is set in Virginia just post civil war. It has some interesting themes, black people owning slaves, and how black America worked in this confusing time. The one thing that stood out for me about the book was the tidal wave of names. I had a hard time keeping track of the charaters. And this was compounded by two main protagonists having the same name, Henry. This could be a compelling book if you can get with Jones writing style, otherwise you may have a hard time.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Read this one out of order. This is told as sort-of a written soliloquy. It is a long letter by an elderly pastor to his son. There are no chapter breaks and sometimes the sentences do run on. Also little dialog. Kinda interesting peek into a family dynasty of ministers, but didn't do much for me. Robinson was shortlisted in 1982 (over 20 years before), so it pays to keep trying. Portland tie-in: Nigel Jaquiss of the Willamette Week wins the Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting this year.

March by Geraldine Brooks

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Post apocalyptic. About a man and a boy traveling somewhere. Some things never seem to be explicitly stated. Also not a particularly happy book for those of you who like your reading light. I read this one after No Country for Old Men (after seeing the movie). I like No Country better.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Another long titled book. I suspect that book titles go thru fads just like writing styles, cover art, etc. This book was interesting in its mix of fiction and reality. It is written in a strange first person narrative. As with most modern books, there is swearing, sex, violence. This book is probably the closest to trying to be (modern) television as any book on the list. Blehhhh.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
A set of linked short stories about a small town on the Maine coast. Disjointed in places, but not bad. Only a couple of the stories are written from the title characters POV.

  Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 2000 - 2009
Pulitzers Bookshelf Go Home