It’s that most wonderful time of the year: “Best of” Book List time! I like to give myself a gold star if I have read a bunch of the books, and if I see some I want to read, I can order them at the library. This time of year, they show up right away because all the cool people have already read them. Then I get a little stressed about by growing pile of library books, and the only way to destress is to read. It’s a cycle.
Here are some of the lists I have perused:
BuzzFeed: (link) I have read 4.25 of these books.
Goodreads (link) 4 books
New York Times (link) 9.75 (in the middle of two books on the list.) This one is gold star worthy for sure.
It’s been a whole since my last book club post so I have a lot to cover.
I finished The Boys In the Boat, and I am so glad because it was so good. I loved to learn about the history of time and the adversity that some of the athletes had to overcome. Thanks for the suggestion, Dad. Another reader recommendation was “mysteries by Tana French.” I checked out The Secret Place, and renewed it two times without cracking it open. At game time, it was read or return, and I just couldnt return it without giving it a go. I don’t know why I resisted, it was so good. I didn’t have my usual problem of guessing the solution and reading the last chapter to find out if I was right. I just let it unfold and it was very enjoyable. There was even a touch of the supernatural, which I love, but it was light enough that you could gloss over it, if you aren’t into that sort of thing. (Thanks Aunt Linda!) I read The Year of Magical Thinking, which was very well written but so sad. Next was Kitchens of the Great Midwest, which may be my favorite book of the year. It’s one person’s life, and each chapter focuses on a person that comes into contact with her. I was sad when each chapter moved on to focus on someone else, and so happy if/when they popped up later. So good. And I loved the recipes and the focus on food. I finished Between The World And Me just after it was announced as the National Book Award, so that was very timely. Every white person in America should read it for a different perspective. I had been stalking Fates and Furies ever since I heard Richard Russo recommend it on NPR but my library didn’t even have a copy. I put the digital and hard copy on hold at the Erie library and started the digital copy as soon as I could. Just as my one week digital loan expired, the hard copy came in. I was trying to motivate myself to go to Erie when I saw it on the “lucky day” shelf at my local library. The universe wanted me to read it. Fates and Furies is on all the year end lists, and I thought it was very interesting. I could not put it down… but the characters were jerks. Mutlifaceted jerks, but still. You should read it. It was very well done. Then I started The Sellout, but it was a digital loan and I wasn’t super into it, so I have to circle back to it. The First Bad Man was next on my list… and I loved it. I feel weird recommending books that have super bizarre sex in it, but whatever. It was so weird and funny. Now I am in the middle of The Outline, which is very well written, but I feel very depressed while I read it. Once I put it down, it’s hard to start again, but once you get started, you are sucked in. In and down. I don’t like to admit to reading self help books, but I am also reading Big Magic on the side, about the creative process/life. and I love it. It is really speaking to me. Elizabeth Gilbert was a 50/50 for me. Loved The Signature of All Things, hated Eat Pray Love. But it was on the Lucky Day shelf, and I feel the need to have read all the books on there.
Next on the list – finish The Outline and The Sellout and Big Magic. The unread stack contains The Museum of Extraordinary Things and Dragonfish.
At the end of the year, maybe I will do my own best of list. What is the best book you have read this year?
** I like to pose Lucy with a stack of books, but that’s way too hard with digital books ands books that have been returned to the library, so click the link (each book in Blue links to Amazon) if you want to know more about the book. And enjoy this picture of Lucy frolicking.
Glad you enjoyed Boys in the Boat. That was my book of the year.
I have about 20 pages to go in Kitchens of the great Midwest. At first I was annoyed at the jumping around. You got invested in a character then they disappeared. Then I got a little lost . But now I am delaying the finish, because I dont want the story to end. Interesting characters, great writing! Reminds me a little of Olive Kitteredge???
You get a sense of how it’s going to go in the first chapter when you already have so much invested in Lars. I think Pat Prader was my favorite character. “Who doesn’t love bars?!”