I got a nice discount from eReader for taking a survey, so I grabbed a few books, and as I was filling my cart, I realized once again that I am not really suited for the job I currently hold (this being a recession, it's not clear that I will even hold that job past this semester). I teach English, and it's true, all four of the books I chose are written in English, but they are all non-fiction, and none of them deal specifically with literature.
The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead by David Shields is about our physical condition from birth to death. The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America is by Steven Johnson, who I have come to trust will write books I want to read, no matter the subject. Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood uses the five Best Picture Oscar nominees for 1967 as a starting point for a look at the beginning of the golden age of Hollywood films. And Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker is about marketing. Pretty much the only thing they have in common with each other is that they got good reviews from Salon.
That's not quite true. One other thing they have in common is that they probably wouldn't belong on a syllabus for an English class. And I'm an English teacher. And I never even bothered to see if there was any fiction that might catch my attention,