Favorite Reads of 2016: My Struggle Volume 5 by Karl Ove Knausgaard


I’m sharing some of my favorite reads of 2016. See them all here.

I admit, Knausgaard was losing me. Volumes 3 and 4 of My Struggle have things to recommend them, but on the whole they just didn’t have the megawattage that made Vols 1 and 2 such a revelation. Fearing the worst, I picked up My Struggle Volume 5 with a dutiful heart (once you’re 2,000 pages in, that’s no time to cut your losses), and it turned out to be really, really good. You can read my full explanation of why this book works here.

I’m actually really, really looking forward to Volume 6, which, apparently (god does Don Bartlett deserve a rest) isn’t going to hit in 2017 but rather 2018!

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The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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