Anna Funder

Underdog Literature, January 2012: 15 fresh or amazing, off-the-wall titles

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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: MATTHEW NORMAN, ‚Domestic Violets‘, 352 pages, 2011.

02: PIERS BRENDON, „The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s“, 848 pages, 2000. [History]

03: JEANETTE WINTERSON, „Why be happy when you could be normal?“, 256 pages, 2011. [Memoir]

04: JORDAN ROSENFELD, „Make a Scene: Crafting a powerful Story one Scene at a Time“, 272 pages, 2007. [Creative Writing]

05: CAROLE MASO, „The Art Lover“, 176 pages, 1990.

06: JANE GARDAM, „Old Filth“, 289 pages, 2004.

07: BRIAN FARREY, ‚With or without you‘, 368 pages, 2011. [Young Adult]

08: ANDREW SMITH, ‚Stick‘, 292 pages, 2011. [Young Adult]

09: SUZETTE MAYR, ‚Monoceros‘, 280 pages, 2011.

10: ALEXANDER MAKSIK, „You deserve nothing“, 323 pages, 2011.

11: CAROLINE PRESTON, „The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt“, 240 pages, 2011.

12: ANNA FUNDER, „All that I am“, 370 pages, 2011.

13: MICHAEL LESY, „Wisconsin Death Trip“, 261 pages, 1973. [Art / Photography.]

14: ALAN FLETCHER, „The Art of Looking Sideways“, 534 pages, 2001. [Art / Design / Neurology / Cultural Studies.]

15: EDEN ROBINSON, „Monkey Beach“, 384 pages, 1999.

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: MARILYN FRENCH, „The Women’s Room“, 544 pages, 1977.

02: HANS FALLADA, „Wer einmal aus dem Blechnapf frißt“, [German pre-WW2 classic], 584 pages, 1934.

03: TUCKER SHAW, „Everything I ate: A Year in the History of my Mouth“, 496 pages, 2005.

04: NAOMI KLEIN, „The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism“, 588 pages, 2007.

05: DOUGLAS KENNEDY, „The Pursuit of Happiness“, 656 pages, 2001.

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

1: 4 of 5 stars: W.G. SEBALD, „Die Ausgewanderten“ [US: „The Emigrants“], 354 pages, 1996.

2: 4 of 5 stars: JERRY SPINELLI, „Milkweed“, YA Holocaust Novel, 208 pages, 2003.

3: 4 of 5 stars: ELIZABETH McCRACKEN, „An exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination“, Memoir, 192 pages, 2008.

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Underdog Literature, December 2011: 15 fresh or brilliant, off-the-wall titles

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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: WALTER ABISH, ‚How German is it? Wie Deutsch ist es?‘, 252 pages, 1980.

02: ANNA FUNDER, ‚Stasiland: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall‘, 304 pages, 2000. [Journalism from a young Australian author]

03: ELENA FERRANTE, ‚Days of Abandonment‘ / ‚Tage des Verlassenwerdens‘, 254 pages, 2002.

04: HEIMITO VON DODERER, ‚The Demons‘ / ‚Die Dämonen‘, 1340 pages, 1965. [Austrian]

05: CLARICE LISPECTOR, ‚Near to the wild Heart‘, 192 pages, 1943. [existentialist, lyrical short novel by a 17-year-old Brazilian author.]

06: LAUREN BINET, ‚HHhH‘, 374 pages, 2009.

07: JOY WILLIAMS, ‚The Changeling‘, 256 pages, 1978.

08: ELIZABETH VON ARNIM, ‚The enchanted April‘, 247 pages, 1922.

09: PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR, ‚A Time of Gifts‘, 321 pages, 1977. [Travelogue]

10: WILLIAM GADDIS, ‚JR‘, 752 pages, 1975.

11: ALBERT COHEN: ‚Her Lover‘ / ‚Belle du Seigneur‘, 992 pages, 1968.

12: MIKLÓS BANFFY, ‚They were counted‘, 600 pages, 1934.

13: RUSSELL BANKS, ‚Affliction‘, 368 pages, 1989.

14: RAY FAWKES, ‚One Soul‘, 176 pages, 2011. [Comic]

15: UMBERTO ECO, ‚The Infitiny of Lists‘ / ‚Die unendliche Liste‘, 408 pages, 2009. [Cultural History]

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: LAWRENCE DURRELL: ‚The Alexandria Quartet‘, 884 pages, 1957.

02: FREDERICK REIKEN, ‚Day for Night‘, 336 pages, 2010.

03: JANICE GALLOWAY, ‚The Trick is to keep breathing‘, 236 pages, 1989.

04: MICHAEL A. FITZGERALD, ‚Radiant Days‘, 256 pages, 2007.

05: VESTAL McINTYRE, ‚Lake Overturn‘, 448 pages, 2009.

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

1: 5 of 5 stars: EVAN S. CONNELL, ‚Mrs. Bridge‘, 246 pages, 1959.

2: 4 of 5 stars: SARAH GLIDDEN, ‚How to understand Israel in 60 Days or less‘, 208 pages, 2007 [Graphic Novel / Travelogue].

3: 4 of 5 stars: FRIGYES KARINTHI, ‚A Journey round my Skull‘, 312 pages, 1938 [Essay / Autobiography].

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