Gold: Waiting for the Barbarians (J.M. Coetzee) – So simple, so thought provoking…how does he do it? Certainly a book for our times. How do you prepare for the seemingly barbaric enemy? Institute a police state or try to build bridges? Maybe Trump knows the answer. The book had a nice touch of old guy pervy-ness too.
Silver: The Stranger (Albert Camus) – Congratulations…you almost won. People spend careers studying this little pamphlet. Unassuming, but unforgettable. You will be thinking about the story when you are on a Coney Island beach blanket, having a Zima in Telluride, taking a dump in a Orelousas Waffle House.…essentially on & off for the rest of your life.
Bronze: (tie) Appointment in Samarra (John O’ Hara) & The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz) If John O’Hara were a Gen X Dominican, he’s be Junot Diaz. Well…maybe not. O’Hara is fixated on social strata, while Diaz deals in the ethnic, but both write with such intelligence that even a buffoon recognizes that a master storyteller is on a roll in these two books.