Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Wait...They Don't Love You Like I Love You
Okay. Here is the first of my end of the year posts. Last year I only read about 20 books, (in my defense, a couple of them were very, very long). This year, I should end-up reading at least 52 (the most I've read since I had children). I'm almost done with my 51st book. What I gained by nerding-out and reading so much was a LOT. I learned so much about so many things and the really well written books, have made me want to starting writing again. I have some ideas in my head, we'll see if anything ends up on paper...
I am as quirky about how I read books, as I am about everything else. I read every other book by a man and every other written by a woman. I also have about 6 months of books all lined-up in order and ready to go. Just by coincidence, I happened to be reading, "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" about POW's in a Japanese work camp on Veteran's Day and Native American author, Sherman Alexie's "War Dances" on Thanksgiving. Here is my best-of list of the books I read:
Best Non-Fiction: I'm giving a tie to "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running", by Haruki Murakami, and "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson. Second place goes to "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls.
Best Short Fiction Collection: "Bark", by Lorrie Moore. The best short story I read was "War Dances" by Sherman Alexie. It was incredible. You should read it....Especially if you have issues with your father.
Best Novella: Patrick Modiano's "Suspended Sentences"
Best Poem/Short Short Writing Piece: Sherman Alexie's "Ode to Mix Tapes".
Best Reread Children's Book: "Island of the Blue Dolphins", by Scott O'Dell. Second place goes to "The Call of the Wild/White Fang", by Jack London.
Best Classic Novel: 'The Wreath: Kristin Lavranstadder". Sigrid Unset.
Most Disappointing Classic Novel: "Wuthering Heights", Emily Bronte.
Best Western (not the hotel): "Son", by Philipp Meyer. It could have been about 100 pages shorter, but it was pretty engaging.
Best Horror Fiction: "The Haunting of Hill House", by the master, Shirley Jackson.
Best Sci-fi: "Oryx and Crake", by Margaret Atwood.
Best Overall Novels: This is a toss-up, in order of my mood on any given day - "Euphoria", Lily King, "The Good Lord Bird", James McBride, "Tigerman", Nick Harkaway, "Station Eleven", Emily St. John Mandel, "The Bone Clocks", David Mitchell. Any of these books are well worth your time.
Most Disappointing Novel: "The Flamethrowers", by Rachel Kushner. I know it won awards and was on lists and stuff, but it didn't do it for me...Whatever "it" is.