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Since it's been about a week, I tried to tally up how many times each book has been mentioned so far. If anyone wants to continue discussion or lobby for one of the other selections, go to it; otherwise, in the next few days I'll post an official poll with these top five selections:

Wise Blood (10 mentions)

Silence (7)

The Kite Runner (6)

The Violent Bear it Away (3)

I Am Charlotte Simmons (3)

Others that have been mentioned:

Oscar & Lucinda was mentioned twice; Rope Burns, The Dispossessed, American Jesus, The Pacific and Jayber Crow once each.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Good effort, Alan. Vote early and often! (you sure you weren't raised in Chicago?)

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Hey now, no padding the votes!

Though I'd select for Kite Runner as well. smile.gif

Subtlety is underrated
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  • 2 years later...
I pushed for the Eggers book last time -- and ended up not caring for it -- so I encourage others to lobby hard for their own choices this time around.

I wanted to come into this thread and report that I've just started Eggers' "What Is the What," a fictionalized account of a real "lost boy" from Sudan. It's received some strong reviews (here's one from "Books & Culture") -- strong enough to overcome my aversion to Eggers' work based on "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius."

And so, although I'm only one chapter into it, I'm delighted to report that this novel looks to be very, very promising. For the first time in a long time, I'm consciously thinking about when I'll be setting aside time to read a hardback book, rather than listening to the book in the car, or shelving it among other half-read titles that I plan to get to "some day."

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 1 month later...

It deserves its own thread, but since no one else is reading it, I'll just stick this here.

"What Is the What" is outstanding. I couldn't have imagined a work of this depth and maturity from the guy who wroten "A Heartbreaking Work...," but there it is. It's beautiful.

I've now got "God Grew Tired of Us" on hold (the book, not the movie).

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 3 months later...
It deserves its own thread, but since no one else is reading it, I'll just stick this here.

"What Is the What" is outstanding. I couldn't have imagined a work of this depth and maturity from the guy who wroten "A Heartbreaking Work...," but there it is. It's beautiful.

Still deserves its own thread, but I'll post here once more, after discovering that What Is the What has just been released in paperback:

"beautifully written and explores all the deepest aspects of human life," wrote USA TODAY's Deirdre Donahue.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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