Nothing inspires me more than great literature and provocative prose, so here’s the most recent books to make it onto my very real 2013 holiday wish list. —Kim
1. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (NYRB)
Anything published by NYRB, obvs, but oh my: “…Dr. Johnson, Boswell reports, said it was the only book that he rose early in the morning to read with pleasure.”
2. My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
MLIM “…takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece—the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure—and brings them into our world.”
3. At Last by Edward St. Aubyn
The last of the of Patrick Melrose novels, I’m anxious to see how St. Aubyn concludes this disturbing, wonderfully written series.
4. The Looking Glass Brother by Peter von Ziegesar
"The Looking Glass Brother is a feast of memories from one of the last, great estates on Long Island’s Peacock Point. Summers were filled with the glistening water of the Long Island Sound, pristine beaches, croquet games, butlers in formal wear serving dinners and an endless stream of cocktails.”
5. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle
"No writer I know of comes close to even trying to articulate the weird magic of poetry as Ruefle does."
6. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
"Take a dollop of Alfred Hitchcock, a dollop of Patricia Highsmith, throw in some Great Gatsby flourishes, and the result is Rindell’s debut, a pitch-black comedy about a police stenographer accused of murder in 1920s Manhattan….”
7. All Souls by Javier Marias
One of my favorite novelists, Spain’s Marias sets this “darkly comic” novel at Oxford.
8. He Died with His Eyes Open (Factory 1) by Derek Raymond
“Murders are a dime a dozen in Margaret Thatcher’s London, and when it comes to the brutal killing of a middle-aged alcoholic found dumped outside of town, Scotland Yard has more important cases to deal with.”
9. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
Pynchon, that’s “part noir, part psychedelic romp.”
10. The Devil and the Detective by John Goldbach
“Imagine The Big Sleep via Fernando Pessoa, with a side of Buster Keaton.” Um, yes, please.