The list begins with George Elliot’s Middle March and ends with Derek Walcott’s Omeros. I switch things around a bit. I slip a little bit of Aristotle between Lord of The Rings and The Forest of a Thousand Demons. I move Derek up by a few books and place it next to Wole Soyinka’s Ake. Nothing wrong with ending on a light note with Sherlock Holmes. But then I decide that Dickens should get the last word. After all he’s the effing master. The list will stay imaginary. But I am going to read each and every book. Wow, I can’t even convince myself. But there is Middle March sitting on the shelf. The pale white face of the woman on the binding is washed out to a ghostly grey. As I stand up to get the book, I see for the first time a copy of Sara Levine‘s Short Dark Oracle. Held up in my couch, stuffing my face with chips and candy, I am reading Sarah’s book. It’s a book of nervous stories or stories of unease. The stories are dark, just as the title promises but I kinda am still taken by surprise. Maybe it’s the language. It’s like Seinfeld without the ha-ha-ha. A voice so aloof, so effortless, so undramatic that can somehow still powerfully convey the secrets of that fucked-up-ness that exists only in the ordinary world of the everyday.