I’m jumping on the bandwagon and am publishing a list of my favorite books I read this year. (Hyperlinks are to blog posts that I wrote about the book.)
- To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
- The Art of Eating MFK Fisher
- I’m a Stranger Here Myself Bill Bryson
- Mrs. Bridge Evan S. Connell
- The World From Beginnings to 4000 BCE Ian Tattersall
- The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne Brian Moore
- Tess of the D’Ubervilles Thomas Hardy
- Beowulf Seamus Hinley’s translation (bonus points for beautiful printing)
- S. John Updike
- The Serpent and the Rainbow Wade Davis
I was originally just going to publish the list but the compiling of it was such a bizarre experience that I feel compelled to write about it.
As I watched books that I loved getting bumped off the list (particularly The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart) I realized that the books that were remaining were not the books that I had most loved reading. While most of them were such fun to read the books that remained were the ones that had the greatest emotional response from me as I looked across my Shelfari account. Some of them reminded me of the burst of excited intellectual energy that I got as I read them (The World from Beginning…, The Serpent and…) while others brought back the painful stories that carried a sorrow that was still as fresh (The Lonely Passion…, Mrs. Bridge, Tess…). Of course there were the stories that I still think of daily (To the Lighthouse, The Art of…, I’m a Stranger, Mrs. Bridge.)
As I was compiling this years list I was struck by one thought: Damn, this was one good year for books.