I read 28 books on the year by 27 authors, including eight international writers, seven female writers, and seven works of nonfiction. A lot of historical fiction, in fact, three books that made the top 10 were based in World War II, another based in Vietnam, Russia, China, Tibet and Cuba.
Three classics: Old Man and the Sea, Post Office and Murder on the Orient Express.
15 book books, 13 digital books.
Just missing the list: ‘The Imperfectionists’ by Tom Rachman, ‘Moonlighting with Einstein’ by Joshua Foer, ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller, and ‘Everything I Never Told You’ by Celeste Ng.
10. The Guernsey Library and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The first of many books set in and around WWII on the list. This book is a love letter to the power of literature, storytelling, great funny characters, real life and survival. My Review.
9. Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safron Foer
Gut-wrenching story of a boy whose dad dies during the terror attack of 9/11. The boy is unusual. The story is a fable about dealing with grief and catastrophe. Also funny. My Review.
8. The Magician King, by Lev Grossman
The second book of the trilogy. I loved this book because of its ability to just go anywhere with the narrative. Talking dragon in a canal. Yes, delivers pertinent info in the adventure. My Review.
7. Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer
A true-life adventure about a couple of dudes from Austria who escape a UK prison camp during WWII and find themselves in Tibet, the forbidden city with a very young Dali Lama. My Review.
6. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, by Robert Olen Butler
Unbelievably great writing. A collection of short stories where all of the characters share their experiences as immigrants from Vietnam residing near New Orleans. My Review.
5. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
Grumpy old man with a heart of gold with a backstory. He cannot not do the right thing at least from his point-of-view. Funny book from Sweden. My Review.
4. City of Thieves, by David Benioff
Written by the Game of Thrones producer, I love this book’s lead characters and the intense and hilarious situations they find themselves in, set in Russia during WWII. My Review.
3. Sugar Salt Fat, by Michael Moss
Each year there’s a nonfiction book that sticks with me, that I tell everyone about and this year it was this book about the process food industry, its history, breakthroughs and motivations. My Review.
2. Pastoralia, by George Saunders
I loved this book because I felt like I found a kindred spirit in George Saunders. I connected with his offbeat sensibilities in this hilarious collection of short stories. My Review.
1. Norwegian at Night, By Derek B. Miller
I loved this book about an old guy trying to redeem himself from his past by helping a young boy in the Norwegian countryside, while reliving past moments and relationships and regret. My Review.
My Favorite Books … 2016
1. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
2. The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen, by Stephen R. Bown
3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain
4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
5. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin
6. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, by Jill Lepore
7. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
8. Native Son, by Richard Wright
9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
10. The Man with the Golden Arm, by Nelson Algren
My Favorite Books … 2015
1. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
2. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
3. My Autobiography, by Charles Chaplin
4. Everyman, by Philip Roth
5. The Black Count: Glory, Revolution and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, by Tom Reiss
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
7. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, by John le Carre
8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
9. The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro
10. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, by Tadeusz Borowski
My Favorite Books … 2014
1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
2. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
3. Jackson Pollack: An American Saga, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
4. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
5. The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century, by David Laskin
6. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
7. A Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
8. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
9. Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers
10. Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
My Favorite Books … 2013
1. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
2. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
3. Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem
4. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
5. All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
6. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
7. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
8. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
9. High Fidelity, by Nick Hornsby
10. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, by Seth Godin