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Toothpaste
06-20-2009, 11:15 PM
With a distinctly Canadian bent, three book reporters for the Toronto Star have chosen what they consider the ten most important books of the decade. At least in western culture. And while definitely not limited to Canadian fiction, there is a Canadian flavour to some of the choices.

After the article each reporter lists his favourite books of the last decade.

In all interesting to read: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/article/653178

What you do guys think?

CheshireCat
06-21-2009, 12:31 AM
I think everybody's got an opinion.

:Shrug:

rugcat
06-21-2009, 12:42 AM
I think everybody's got an opinion.
That was exactly my reaction.

dgrintalis
06-21-2009, 12:54 AM
Agreed. Books which impact one person may have little to no influence on another.

scarletpeaches
06-21-2009, 12:56 AM
What? No Alex and the Wigpowder Treasure?!

KTC
06-21-2009, 12:59 AM
I like what Dan Smith says about the McSweeney's stable of writers.

blacbird
06-21-2009, 01:14 AM
The most important book of the decade was the one GWBush was reading to those children when he was informed of the 9/11 attacks.

caw

benbradley
06-21-2009, 01:41 AM
With a distinctly Canadian bent, three book reporters for the Toronto Star have chosen what they consider the ten most important books of the decade. At least in western culture. And while definitely not limited to Canadian fiction, there is a Canadian flavour to some of the choices.

After the article each reporter lists his favourite books of the last decade.

In all interesting to read: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/article/653178

What you do guys think?
Other than you have a funny spelling of favorite? :D

I've read Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" and "Blink," and while these are very interesting, I think he somewhat overstates his case in both books. Especially the example in Blink of experts instantly identifying a statue as a fake (made 500 years ago pretending to be from a period hundreds of years older), it's not really such a dramatic thing as is presented in the book. I'm familiar with experts in a field being able to immediately to detect details that those outside might never see or hear.

In "The Tipping Point" he talks about Hush Puppies shoes, and their resurgence in popularity when a few select, influential "cool" youths started wearing them. Here are a couple reviews:
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/122/is-the-tipping-point-toast.html
http://www.techsoc.com/tipping.htm
I found it "interesting" and it certainly made for a popular followup to "Blink" but if he really wants to impress me, he could have someone show him a few dozen products in various situations and be able to tell which ones will become popular.

I read "The God Delusion" though I got bored toward the middle with all the Bible quotes and how followers don't do the prescribed things, bla bla bla. On the other hand, that's why there are so many variations on Christianity (and especially Protestant denominations, thanks mostly to Gutenberg and Luther, empowering people to own their own Bibles), people disagree on the interpretations of that tome, and make their own groups around agreed-on interpretations. But overall, I think Dawkins makes a good argument (though for full disclusure, I'm already a member of the choir here... ahem), though it's sure to annoy believers.

I've got "Life of Pi" and the Dan Brown books sitting in my "to read someday" pile. I did read the first 20-40 pages of "Digital Fortress" and I suspect that's all the Dan Brown I need to read.

So why no Ray Kurzweil books? Is he not Canadian? ;)

scope
06-21-2009, 02:03 AM
To obtain conformity of opinion on subjects like this probably impossible.

Frankly, there are many books listed which I never heard of, and others I've never read.
I did read "The Tipping Point" and "The Life of Pi". I thought they were good, but no way would they be on my list. I was delighted to see that one of the reviewers mentioned "The Road", one of my all time favorites.

Toothpaste
06-21-2009, 02:05 AM
I think everybody's got an opinion.

:Shrug:



Well yes obviously, :) . I just thought the reasoning behind some of the choices was interesting, as was the fact that many of their choices weren't about quality necessarily, but rather impact on the publishing scene. Which feeds into some of the debates we've had here in the past about good writing vs good books.

Toothpaste
06-21-2009, 02:06 AM
What? No Alex and the Wigpowder Treasure?!

I know! Scandalous!

ccv707
06-21-2009, 02:19 AM
What about Atonement and American Gods...? The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay??? Never Let Me Go???? Of course, this is supposed to be a list of "important" books, not necessarily the "best."

Ugh, I love top ten lists but I hate them all the same.

Travis J. Smith
06-21-2009, 04:19 AM
I set my expectations based on their disclaimer that these were based on impact, not on quality.

But, maybe I'm off base with this, if I am familiar with two books out of the list (The DaVinci Code and Life of Pi), the rest barely ringing a bell if that, and only one was a genuinely impactful work (The DaVinci Code made an impact worldwide, not just in the literary world) in my opinion, then what does that say about this list? Not much, to be honest. I mean, I'm an avid reader and writer, so you'd think I'd have my bases covered well enough for me to recognize the impact of these books, but that's really not the case.

However, seeing The Road mentioned after the list was refreshing. Dare I say that it had more impact than most books on this list? Its impact on the literary world alone makes it worthy of being on this list, I think.

DWSTXS
06-21-2009, 04:56 AM
The Cat in the Hat

maxmordon
06-21-2009, 05:05 AM
It's quite soon to still see which of these books have relevance in the future, remember Citizen Kane didn't got the right appreciation until 30 years or so to have been made and how 10 years ago we all said how American Beauty redefined American cinema, only to be forgotten in time... Same thing happens with books... Tom Swift's Schooldays, anyone?

Ken
06-21-2009, 05:09 AM
The most important book of the decade was the one GWBush was reading to those children when he was informed of the 9/11 attacks.

caw

:-D

TheRightEyedDeer
06-21-2009, 05:35 AM
The Star needs to hire a better proofreader:


The Da Vince Code (2003)