3. Grendel by John Gardner

I've always meant to read this book, and now that I have I'm already sad that it's over. I started it last night, and finished it today. I'm reading it for two reasons. First, I always loved Beowulf. It's one of those books that really grabbed my attention when I was in school, precisely becasue it';s so old and mysterious. Yanked from the  mists of time. Second, I wanted to make sure I read it before the movie came out. I didn't want a CGI Grendel stuck in my head when I read the book. 

In any case, I started and finished this last night. It's a phenominal read. Give it a shot. 

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1. What is the What


As you can see from previous years, I'm typically a fairly active reader. So I can't believe that in all of 2007, now more than halfway finished, I've only managed to complete one title, and it took me four months or so to do it. Having said that, What is the What is a great and moving book. It didn't break my heart--although maybe it should have and that could be more of a reflection on me than anything else--but it did take me to a world I had never before been able to imagine, and managed to turn voiceless "refugees" and "war victims" into full-throated human beings, into my contemporaries. The ending, as all of Eggers' endings, is a smash to the face. It's definitely worth the purchase, even if all the proceeds didn't go to the Lost Boys of Sudan, which they do.

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