Some Light. Some Heavy
Here’s a list of books recommended by Michael Kinsley. Michael is a columnist for Bloomberg View and for many years was the Editor of The New Republic and a columnist for the Washington Post.
Michael Kinsley: There is only one novel that makes the cut for any of the other distinguished recommenders. That is Zuleika Dobson (1911), by Max Beerbohm, a parody of life at Oxford. I would only give it a B+ (although there is a very funny portrayal of an American Rhodes Scholar). Those who are willing to leave the heavy stuff to Bill and are looking for something shorter and more amusing might consider:
- The Dog of the South, by Charles Portis. A first-person account of one man’s attempt to reclaim his wife by following her trail of credit-card charges."It was cool up there and the landscape was not like the friendly earth I knew. This was the cool dry place that we hear so much about, the place where we are supposed to store things."
- Memento Mori, by Muriel Spark. A group of old people in London keep getting a mysterious phone call from someone saying, “Remember you must die.”
- Scoop (or anything else) by Evelyn Waugh. This great novel of journalism has absolutely nothing to say about the profession’s current trials.
Finally, I second Bill’s recommendation of Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, an unbelievably rich account of the life of the unbelievably poor people who live on a mountain of trash next to Mumbai’s glamorous new international airport.