The list author says: "While, of course, no one wins the Nobel Prize for Literature with a single book, I'm building a list with a selection from each author that has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. One could argue the relevance of the award, whether in fact the best authors are chosen, the anti-American stance of the people giving the award or even whether I've chosen the best example of their work. But you could not argue that this is a list of some very interesting writers."
This book grabbed me by the throat from the first paragraph and never let go with beautiful chewy language. Based on a large historical event with the basic truth that history is at best a summation of conflicting personal experience."
It's a beautiful poetical meditation about the inner-life of the people of the Maghreb. The main character that you spend the most time with is an uneducated orphan that creates explanations for what happens around her out of superstitions, stories told by the fire, and dreams. Seen through her eyes, there's a lot of magic and wonder in the desert."
This book is an architectural marvel. The plot, the background history, the characters, the writing style, are so tightly woven and one supports and depends on the other. There are layers and layers to this story."
When I was headed for Africa for the first time, I read books like "The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence" to understand the effects of modernization on the continent, the rise and (sometimes) fall of the big man. V.S. Naipaul has taken all that history and distilled it into a very intimate and personal story."
Günter Grass is more widely known for "The Tin Drum" but this book, "My Century" is a charming way to read history. 2-3 page chapter for each year centered on a different historical event or figure. Writers are featured prominently. Did have to read it next to the computer so I could look up the references to German history."
An allegory in a rather breathless style where entire conversations are recorded in a single paragraph held together by commas and the narrator occasionally has qualms that he's telling the wrong story."