Art Garfunkel famously keeps track of the books he has read since 1968. As of writing this, the count is 1327 (he does not add a review). I thought I could do something similar but I am adding short reviews of books as I read them, and I rake my brain over what I read over the last decades. This is, evidently, a work-in-progress: there are 566 reviews so far. Titles marked with a * are particular favorites.

Barbara Kingsolver: Demon Copperhead *

I have had Barbara Kingsolver recommended to me several times, but never really got into her writing. This, however, grabs you (or me, at least) by the throat on the first page and never lets you go. In her chosen Dickensian tradition, it manages to be a grim coming-of-age story and a stark and angry exposé of the Oxy disaster hitting some of the most vulnerable communities in the USA. The designed disaster, that is (as nurse June says: ‘They did this to us’). Kingsolver loves her people and their region but does not hide any of the flaws and weaknesses. Almost as an aside: no, this is a pamphlet. It is literature of the highest order, with a language that is flowing and beautiful. It is a monumental achievement, and of course, it is a favorite.