I recently read two books I enjoyed: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, both by Khaled Hosseini.  I now know far more about Afghanistan than I did before, but I won’t be visiting anytime soon.

I also read The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, and thought it had merit until it went way past over-the-top towards the end.  (Yes, I’m catching up on the bestsellers I meant to read but missed.) 

More disappointing was Barrel Fever, by David Sedaris.  I usually find him very funny but that book is a must-put-down.  Then I started but put down Alice Sebold’s second novel, The Almost Moon, which has both poop and matricide in the first chapter.  And it doesn’t improve from there.  Most damning is the unforgivable sin of literature–it’s boring.

Hence, I’ve burned through the whole stack of library books that were supposed to get me through the end of the year.  What should I pick up tomorrow?  Recommend  me something, Xanga. 

Caveats:  No science fiction, no romance trash, no spies.  Literary fiction or mystery preferred.  Non-fiction seriously considered.  All suggestions appreciated, even if ultimately rejected.  Thank you.

After visiting the library today I came home with these Xangan-recommended titles and authors:
The Risk Pool, by Richard Russo
Mr. Timothy, by Louis Bayard
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
When We Were Romans, by Matthew Kneale

My selections were based mostly on what was available at my local branch of the county library system.  I’ll report back with reviews.

Please continue making recommendations.  I hope to fill 2009 with quality literary experiences.  Or at least avoid the slow death that is Seinfeld reruns.