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Colleen Gordon
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Books I Read in 2003

January, 2003
Troublemakers John McNally
Stories. Good stuff.
The Ghost Writer Philip Roth
Grass Roof, Tin Roof Dao Strom
Excellent first novel.
Dangling Man Saul Bellow
Very good first novel. Ennui in Chicago's 1940's.
The Great American Novel Philip Roth
Funny, witty, clever, satirical baseball.

February, 2003
Recovery John Berryman
Wonderful forward by Saul Bellow and inspiring, educational introduction by Philip Levine. Wanderings of a mind wounded by chronic alcoholism.
Perfume, the Story of a Murderer Patrick Suskind
Intriquing, imaginative, violent olfactory experience on the edge of the bizarre.
Mr. Palomar Italo Calvino
Interesting insights into the nature of looking, seeing and trying to understand.
After the Plague - and other stories T. C. Boyle
Hypermodern, relentlessly gripping, top-shelf Boyle. Some of the best by the best!
Soldiers' Pay William Faulkner
Memorable characters deal with WWI traumas in Faulkner's first novel (1925).
Sabbath's Theater Philip Roth
Sex and death well done a la Roth's Mickey Sabbath.

March, 2003
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 20 eds. Carol L. Lake, Joel O. Johnson, and Thomas M. McLoughlin
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
Big Bend Bill Roorbach
Good stories.
The Loved One Evelyn Waugh
Unless Carol Shields
Superb! Does more than one can reasonably expect!
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold

April, 2003
That Old Ace in the Hole Annie Proulx
Superior story-telling. Proulx is the Faulkner of the panhandle country
Interesting Women Andrea Lee
Stories delicious and unstoppable, some kissing brilliance.
A History of God, The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Karen Armstrong
Excellent result of in-depth study and analysis, thoroughly referenced, and complete with glossary, index and further reading list.

June, 2003
Writers on Writing eds. Robert Pack and Jay Parini
Wonderful trips into the heads of serious good writers that let us learn about the why's and how's of writing. Inspirational and useful.
Duluth Gore Vidal
Quite funny satire of almost everything seventies.
Complications, A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Atul Gawande
Very interesting collection of essays and true stories exploring the human side of the art medicine.

July, 2003
Libra Don DeLillo
Gripping fictional fleshing out of facts around the assassination of JFK.
Life of Pi Yann Martel
Good story, very well told.

August, 2003
The Iowa Review, Volume Thirty-Three Number One, Spring 2003 ed. David Hamilton
Interesting collection of a variety of forms of original new writing.
Ben Singkol, A Novel F. Sionil Jose

September, 2003
Think of England Alice Elliot Dark
Very readable and moving tale.
Winter Range Claire Davis
Excellent, eloquent story-telling in her first novel.
Players Don DeLillo
Striking, stark, spooky urban anomie.
The Victim Saul Bellow
The Age of Grief Jame Smiley
My Life as a Man Philip Roth
Excellent. Intriguing, delightful, original, unstoppable, highest-level character development.

October, 2003
The Names Don DeLillo
Well-written, intriguing, intersecting stories in a story.
Reading Myself and Others Philip Roth
Fun reading Roth's thoughts on his own work (up to the mid 70's), on the reactions of others to his works and on the writing of Kafka, Bellow, Malamud and others.
July, July Tim O'Brien
Very good. Sensitive, thoughtful, nostalgic study looking at the "then-and-now" of selected members of a class of 1969 at their 30-year reunion.

November, 2003
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert (translated by Francis Steegmuller)
A delicious classic.
The South Beach Diet Arthur Agatston
Description and recipes of this cardiologist-modified Atkins diet.
Buddenbrooks Thomas Mann (translated by John E. Woods)
Very well told epic tale of a 19th century German family.

December, 2003
Tone Deaf and All Thumbs? An Invitation to Music-Making Frank R. Wilson
Interesting, inspirational insights from a neurophysiologist.
Stories Anton Chekhov (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
Thirty wonderful, sensitive, insightful, moving stories by a great master.
Seek My Face John Updike
Awesome. Updike, more than ever, in this latest (2002) novel, naturally and apparently effortlessly, shows how wonderfully engaging our English language can be in the communication of even the finest details that build this elegant, simple characterization into a moving masterpiece.

Greg Gordon MD, CFII