Reading in the New Year


Rumpus Books asked dozens of writers what they’ll be reading on New Year’s Day, 2009. Here’s what they said:

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Preeta Samarasan

THE WHITE TIGER, by Aravind Adiga – Ayelet Waldman

THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, by Chris Adrian – Robin Romm

THE HAKAWATI, by Rabih Alameddine – Aaron Shurin

BRICK LANE, by Monica Ali – Syda Day

HOUSE OF MEETINGS, by Martin Amis – Keith Scribner

THE WASTED VIGIL, by Nadeem Aslam – Tom Barbash

THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG, by Muriel Barbery – Nora Pierce

THE LEMON TABLE, by Julian Barnes – Michelle Richmond

NOTES FROM NO MAN’S LAND, by Eula Biss – Nick Flynn

2666, by Roberto Bolaño – Lucy Corin

The SAVAGE DETECTIVES, by Roberto Bolaño – Antonino D’Ambrosio


THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS, by John Buchan – Geoffrey Brock

OSCAR AND LUCINDA, by Peter Carey – Hannah Tinti

NIGHT OF THE GUN, by David Carr – Kaui Hart Hemmings

I’M THE ONE THAT I WANT, by Margaret Cho – Stephen Elliott

THE FOREIGN STUDENT, by Susan Choi – Katharine Noel


SALVATION ON SAND MOUNTAIN, by Dennis Covington – Melanie Rae Thon

A  NEW HANDBOOK ON HANGING, by Charles Duff – Jim Shepard

THE BLUE FLOWER, by Penelope Fitzgerald – Andrew Winer

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH CHE GUEVARA, by Ben Fountain – Catherine Brady

DON’T CRY, by Mary Gaitskill (forthcoming) – Pam Houston

THE SHINING PATH, by Gustavo Gorriti – Andrew Altschul

THE QUIET AMERICAN, by Graham Greene – Alexander Parsons

THE ENGLISH MAJOR, by Jim Harrison – Don Waters

THE ELEMENTARY PARTICLES, by Michel Houellebecq – Eric Puchner

LOST IN THE CITY, by Edward P. Jones – Emily Mitchell

IN SEARCH OF MEMORY, by Eric Kandel – Glasgow Phillips

ONE MORE YEAR, by Sana Krasikov – Ellen Litman

THE ISRAEL-ARAB READER, by Walter Laqueur – Anthony Swofford

THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK, by Doris Lessing – Margot Livesey

DANGEROUS LAUGHTER, by Stephen Millhauser – Peter Rock

WATCHMEN, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons – Tobias Wolff

DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, by Barack Obama – Lydia Davis

NETHERLAND, by Joseph O’Neill – Elisa Albert

UNDERGROUND AMERICA, edited by Peter Orner – Edward Schwarzschild

HOMAGE TO CATALONIA, by George Orwell – Mark Sundeen

CURFEWED NIGHT, by Basharat Peer – Karan Mahajan

GILEAD, by Marilynne Robinson – Rebecca Black

SATANIC VERSES, by Salman Rushdie – Rabih Alameddine

PICNIC GROUNDS, by Oz Shelach – Daniel Alarcon

MEMORIES OF MADNESS: STORIES OF 1947, by Khushwant Singh – Shawna Yang Ryan

A RUSSIAN JOURNAL, by John Steinbeck – Jeff Parker

THE AGE OF SHIVA, by Manil Suri – Samina Ali

IF THE WORLD BECOMES SO BRIGHT, by Keith Taylor – Rick Hilles

MOTHERS AND SONS, by Colm Toibin – Stacey D’Erasmo

TOWARD AMNESIA, by Sarah Van Arsdale – Nancy Reisman

CONSIDER THE LOBSTER, by David Foster Wallace – Daniel Orozco

ALONE OF ALL HER SEX, by Marina Warner – Colm Toibin

THE COMPLETE CALVIN & HOBBES, by Bill Watterson – Mike Edison


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Andrew Altschul was the founding Books Editor at The Rumpus. He is an O. Henry Prize-winning short story writer and the author of the novels Deus Ex Machina and Lady Lazarus. Currently, he directs the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose State University. More from this author →