LAT Best of Year Picks

Since I lambasted the NY Times’ lame Notables list earlier this week, might as well register an opinion of the just-published fav fiction list from West Coast rival LA Times.

Pretty good list. Far more range in terms of literary style, and somewhat larger pool of publishers (the LA Times actually knows that publishing goes out outside of New York! yes!). Also, there are a lot fewer “name” authors here, making me believe that when they do pop up it’s more because someone on staff actually liked the book and made a case for it, instead of just slapping it in there because no one could think of anything better.

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Took me time to read all the comments, but I enjoyed the article.

Poetry! They included poetry! I’m so so happy to see DA Powell on there. Well done LAT.

Lo siento, pero aunque la lista del L.A. tenga más eclecticismo dan por buena la basura de Ruiz Zafón. Nadie en su sano juicio diría que Ruiz Zafón escribe. O es escritor. O ha escrito una frase decente en su vida. Me parece un insulto, y uno gordísimo, a toda la literatura escrita en castellano.


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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