I am a fan of the absurdist/existentialist author Camus. This week, while perusing the backlists of several book bloggers, I came across several fascinating reviews and discussions of his book The Stranger or, alternatively, The Outsider. The reviews are at Sarah’s Books and The Mookse and The Gripes (whose review sparked a very long and informative discussion).
Is it true that the five best American books of the decade are: (1) Empire Falls by Richard Russo, (2) Blue Angel by Francine Prose, (3) Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick, (4) Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and (5) The Believers by Zoe Heller? A Commonplace Blog says so. Commenters have countered with several other choices. You can find a rival list here. Limiting the take to American books takes the fun out of it. That cannot be the reason nobody has mentioned Junot Diaz, can it?
And the disappointment that is the Not-The-Booker Shortlist. I’ll stick with the real thing.