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December 15, 2007

44 Down, 8 To Go (52 Books, 52 Weeks) ("McSweeney's #24")

With a bit of a lull in my reading for the Book Notes series, I have been catching up on my 52 Books, 52 Weeks books (and am actually almost finished, with only one recent huge book by Thomas Pynchon left). Look for a batch of reviews this week as I wrap up the 2007 edition and get ready to start all over again in January...

The 24th edition of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern is one of the best in the series' recent history. Bound beautifully in a "z-binding," it is essentially two books. One volume contains the short fiction McSweeney's is famous for, and with contributions by both George Saunders and Jonathan Ames, held me rapt from the first story to the last. As good as the stories are, though, the real reason to buy this book is the second volume, dedicated to author Donald Barthelme. Filled with reminiscences from friends and fellow authors, as well as a couple of Barthelme's unpublished (and underpublished) works, this collection humanizes the author and celebrates his life in a way I think he would appreciate.

For two weeks, enter the coupon code "LHB001" at Atomic Books and receive 15% off this title.

My next book is Adrian Tomine's graphic novel, Shortcomings.

also at Largehearted Boy:

52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)


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