- The Morning News's Tournament of the Books is starting back up again. This year features heavyweights such as Bolano and Marilyn Robinson plus new faces like Mark Sarvas and Keith Lee Morris. Should be good.

- New Super-Fun-Pak Comics.

- New issue of Elimae is out and has a very short story by James Yeh.
(p.s. two poems of mine in the previous elimae issue.)

- Some rad photographs by Jean-Yves Lemoigne.


Odds and ends

- The Millions compiles a nice list of upcoming books. Old favorites like Vollman, Pynchon, Roth, Smith and Lethem plus newcomers like Clancy Martin and Wells Tower? 2k9 seems to be shaping up pretty nicely.

- The Onion gives us the scoop on the hot new Macbook Wheel.

- HTMLGIANT unearths a David Foster Wallace syllabus.

- Finally, in clever viral marketing news: if you de-friend 10 people on facebook, Burger King will give you a free whopper.


Fresh from the oven

I have a new piece up at Yankee Pot Roast today: Now That Ridley Scott Is Attached to Adapt the Board Game Monopoly, Other Directors Follow Suit

It is hilariously illustrated by Josh Abraham (who hopefully doesn't mind me hotlinking a sample):

Wes Anderson’s Operation staring Bill Murray as Cavity Sam.

If you don't get the title of the piece, check out this article.

Two previous bits of mine at YPR:
1.Suggested Emcee Names for People with Disorders Which Might Make It Difficult to Actually Rap
2. One-Line Listicles


Boring personal reading habits 2k8 summary edition

Unlike James, I'm not going to review every book I finished in 2008. Face it, you weren't going to read all that anyway. As explained here, I made a New Year's resolution to finish 50 books in 2008. I say finish because I counted any book I started in another year but finished now (such as Infinite Jest, which I started way back in 2005 I think) and excluded any book I started this year but have not completed (The True History of the Kelly Gang, Yonder Stands Your Orphan, etc.)

Blah blah.

Okay, my final tally for 2008? duh duh duh duh.... 64 books.

The list (in chronological order):

* Books I've read before.

1) The Aspern Papers – Henry James
2) How the Water Feels to the Fishes – Dave Eggers
3) Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape – Sarah Manguso
4) The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
5) The Art of the Possible – Kenneth Koch
6) Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon*
7) American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
8) Erasure – Percival Everett
9) Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Marquez
10) Venus Drive – Sam Lipsyte
11) Minor Robberies – Deb Olin Unferth
12) A Fan’s Notes – Frederick Exley
13) Captain Maximus – Barry Hannah
14) The Angle of Yaw – Ben Lerner
15) The Voice at 3:00 AM – Charles Simic
16) All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
17) Chord of Light – Zbigniew Herbert
18) Stars of the New Curfew – Ben Okri
19) Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
20) Men and Cartoons – Jonathan Lethem
21) Ant Farm – Simon Rich
22) 60 Poems – Charles Simic
23) In Persuasion Nation – George Saunders
24) Paradise – Donald Barthelme
25) Partial List of People to Bleach – Gary Lutz
26) McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern #24
27) The Nimrod Flipout – Etgar Keret
28) The Elements of Style – Strunk and White*
29) The World Doesn’t End – Charles Simic*
30) I Killed Adolf Hitler – Jason
31) Rock Springs – Richard Ford
32) What I’d Say to the Martians – Jack Handey
33) The Wavering Knife – Brian Evenson
34) Ghost Town – Robert Coover
35) Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
36) Knightfall - Dixon et al*
37) i hate to see that evening sun go down – William Gay
38) Home Land – Sam Lipsyte
39) Ultramarine – Raymond Carver
40) The 13 Clocks – James Thurber
41) Flash Fiction Forward – ed. James Thomas & Robert Shapard
42) The Drowned River – Thomas Lux
43) Flash Fiction – ed. James Thomas et al
44) My Custom Van – Michael Ian Black
45) I Pass Like Knight – Jonathan Ames
46) Eternal Enemies – Adam Zagajewski
47) Der Struwwelmaakies – Tony Millionare
48) Emergence – Steven Johnson
49) The Dog of the Marriage – Amy Hempel
50) Coming Through Slaughter – Michael Ondaatje
51) Ray – Barry Hannah
52) Practice, Restraint – Laura Sims
53) CivilWarLand in Bad Decline – George Saunders
54) Novels in Three Lines – Felix Feneon
55) The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolano
56) Best American Poetry 2008 – ed. Charles Wright
57) McSweeney’s #20
58) The Tunnel – Ernesto Sabato
59) The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin
60) Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
61) No one belongs here more than you – Miranda July
62) A Murder of Quality – John Le Carre
63) Batman Year One – Frank Miller
64) Last Evenings on Earth – Roberto Bolano

23 Story Collections
20 Novels
10 Poetry books
6 Comics/Graphic Novels
3 Humor books
2 Non-fiction books

5 anthologies
9 books in translation (excluding anthologies)

Authors read more than once? Barry Hannah, Roberto Bolano, Sam Lipsyte, Charles Simic and George Saunders.

Top 10 Favorites (no order):

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
A Fan’s Notes by Frederick Exley
Rock Springs by Richard Ford
The World Doesn't End by Charles Simic
Ghost Town by Robert Coover
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Homeland by Sam Lipsyte
What I'd Say to the Martians by Jack Handey
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano

11 Honorable mentions:

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by G. G. Marquez
Minor Robberies by Deb Olin Unferth
Ray by Barry Hannah
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason
Venus Drive by Sam Lipsyte
Stars of the New Curfew by Ben Okri
Ant Farm by Simon Rich
Novels in Three Lines by Felix Feneon
I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down by William Gay
Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski