Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best Books of the Year 2016

Here is a list of my favorites of 2016.You will see some of these on other "best of" lists but some of them are unique to my life situation. Have you read any of these?

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. This was by far the best mystery I read all year.  I read it pre-publication but it showed up on most of the "best of" lists for the year.
My Brilliant Friend by the mysterious Elena Ferrante. The first book I read in the new year, given to me by a friend. What a furor this series has caused. Well worth reading.
Zero K by Don DeLillo was the first DeLillo book I have read. It is a meditation on death written in DeLillo's signature bleak language.
A Covenant with Death   by Stephen Becker. This was a reissue of a novel from the 1960s, and it is a meditation on the nature of justice and of capital punishment.
The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton. This is a lovely coming of age story not billed as YA, but certainly appropriate for teenagers. Just about my favorite book of the year.
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick tackles teenage anxiety in literary fashion. 

Historical Fiction
Last Days of Night by Graham Moore tells the story of the feud between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Nickola Tesla and a host of other characters enrich an exciting conflict.

The Journey  by Francesca Sanna is much more than a children's book. It's timeliness regarding the plight of the refugees has influenced my thought every day.
Slade House   by David Mitchell is not an important book but it is a great diversion. Totally fun.
Between the World and Me by Ta'Nehisi Coates is one of the most important books of the year. An explanation of how to live as a Black man.
The Nordic Theory of Everything  by Anu Partanen. I read this in preparation for my June trip to Norway. A fun read.

My life on the Road by Gloria Steinem is the iconic woman's memoir. Important to the political discussions of this year.
You'll Grow Out of It  by Jessi Klein is a memoir in essay/ storytelling style. Totally fun read.

Most Hated
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up  by Marie Kondo. Frankly, I hated every moment of this smug look at my clutter. Unlike what many of Kondo's advocates told me, it did not change my life.

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