Okay, the Harry Potter folks made me throw down the gauntlet. I'm ready. Most of today's novels are lousy. For me, there are fewer and fewer novels worth reading or even challenging to the mind. During the past 3-5 years, there are only a handful of good American and British novels. William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day Cormac McCarthy's The Road Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men William Vollmann's Europe Central Ian McEwan's Saturday Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections Richard Ford's The Lay of the Land Ann Beattie's The Doctor's House Tom Wolfe's I am Charlotte Simmons And that's about it for me. Okay, and Harry Potter is way overrated. I will start my future kids on James Joyce's Dubliners and Samuel Beckett.