It's harder to do the book list this year as I've been e-reading library books and they leave in a puff of smoke once I'm done reading them.
Meaning...I do a good job of falling headfirst into them while I have them, but they leave behind no physical trace. They are vapour.
I'm trying to remember some of my most memorable this year, and some of them have been mentioned in this blog, but here goes.... (random order).
PS: I've been working on this post for two weeks. It's hard on the iPad. Also, I keep thinking of more books...
1. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" Maria Semple. Easily one of my favourites this year. Done in email/letter format, a format I normally don't care for (it has to be masterful--this one is). I can't tell you too much without giving it away, but it started as a New Yorker piece and wove on from there.
2. "Rules of Civility" Amor Towles. Just read this. It's unforgettable. New York in the thirties. The female protagonist is brilliant. One thing from the book has stayed with me since I read it. She quotes her father on his theory of life. "When you get up in the morning, do you want that cup of coffee?" That's it. I find, pretty much every morning, I want that coffee. I think it's an amazing way to look at life.
3. "Gone, Girl" Gillian Flynn. A tale. Woven. Threaded. Webbed.
4. "Horns" Joe Hill. Stephen King's son. Need I say more?
5. "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis (one of New York Times Notable book of the year). Oprah's bookclub. Intriguing.
6. "The Dinner" Herman Koch (also a NY Times notable). Didn't live up to the hype for me, but I got through it.
7. "We Need to Talk About Kevin" Lionel Shriver. Closely related in topic to The Dinner but a superior book in my opinion.
8. "Tiny Beautiful Things" Cheryl Strayed. The collected advice columns of the Rumpus' "Dear Sugar"
9. "I Love You But I'm Leaving You Anyway" Tracy McMillan. Could not put this one down. Part memoir the one line that stayed with me as she described herself as a child "I was Pippi Longstocking without the monkey."
10.. "A House in the Sky" Amanda Lindhout. Memoir of captivity at the hands of Somali terrorists. Tough to read.
11. "Save Yourself" Kelly Braffet. Stephen King's daughter-in-law. A serious talent.
12. "The White Album" Joan Didion. Collected essays. Cultural review. Sparsely styled, one of the hallmarks of Didion. Loved it.
13. "Seven American Deaths and Disasters" Kenneth Goldsmith. Amazing read, especially the chapter on the shooting of John Lennon.
14. "The Long Good-bye" Meghan O'Rourke. Memoir. A parent's death from cancer. Tough for me to read, but very memorable writing.
15. "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" Allan Stillitoe. Working class England, spare style here, too, and incredible dialogue.
16. "Born to Run" Christopher McDougall. About ultra-running. Amazing.
I'll stop here and I will create a follow-up soon--just thinking of more titles.
Enjoy! Every book on this list is eminently read-able and will stay with you.