What To Read Awards: C. Max Magee

By C. Max Magee
December 23, 2012 8:55PM (UTC)
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C. Max Magee is creator of the Millions, an online literary magazine. 

The Millions' top 10:

"This Is How You Lose Her" by Junot Díaz
"A Naked Singularity" by Sergio de la Pava
"Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace" by D.T. Max
"NW" by Zadie Smith
"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
"The Patrick Melrose Novels" by Edward St. Aubyn
"Bring Up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel
"How to Sharpen Pencils" by David Rees
"The Flame Alphabet" by Ben Marcus
"How Should a Person Be?" by Sheila Heti


1. Explain why your No. 1 book was your favorite title of the year: From our review: Diaz is honest enough to admit in this collection, getting older isn’t necessarily all mellowing out and seeing the error in your youthful ways. Sometimes, it seems, you can spend your whole life clowning, turning all that rage into jokes designed to make the very people who anger you most laugh the hardest, and then one day that stops working. You’ve done it – you’re a success, a big-deal professor read by millions, and still you’re pissed off."

2. What was the strongest debut book of 2012? "The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers.

3. What book sits outside your list, but has either been overlooked or deserves more attention? "City of Bohane" by Kevin Barry.


4. Was there one book, either on your list or off your list, fiction or nonfiction, that seems to best encapsulate America in 2012? "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain.

5. What was the single most memorable character from a 2012 book? Thomas Cromwell, "Bring Up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel.

6. What is the book from 2012, either from your list or not, fiction or nonfiction, that is most likely to join the canon, or still be discussed 20 years from now? "The Patrick Melrose Novels" by Edward St. Aubyn.


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