We have a nice list. We have a naughty list. As for everything in between, I still give them a hardy nod.
Asterisks denote rereads
Best of the Best of the Best:
I enjoyed this one on audio and it’s especially good. I’d put it up there with My Antonia narrated by Patrick Lawlor for favorite listening. It’s a wonderful story spanning three generations culminating in one young man who was born female. I look forward to listening again one day.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle—Shirley Jackson
I love it. I love it. I love. If Tim Burton tried to write a Lemony Snicket book, this would be the result.
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke—Suze Orman
Almost everyone I know in my generation is struggling with student loans, car payments, saving for retirement, and kissing goodbye any hope of ever being a home-owner (myself included). This is not a book of miracles, but gives advice in plain language on how to overcome debt and make investments. I highly recommend it to anyone who falls into one or several of the above categories.
How Democracies Die
Overwhelming. Everyone should read this book, but I fear its readership will play choir to the authors' preacher. We have so much work to do as a nation, and yet the examples of our peers are so very bleak.
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex—Mary Roach
This book is for everyone. Who doesn’t want to read about historical and modern experiments in sexual behavior? It borders on cringy too bizarre, all of it engrossing.
Archy’s Life of Mehitabel
I doubt you’ve heard of this one, but for being about a cricket and a cat, it’s oddly profound (and hilarious).
The Catcher in the Rye
I’m not sure why I enjoyed this one so much. Stream-of-consciousness stories usually don’t appeal to me. Maybe I just love a good anti-hero.
Other mentions include the Mistborn Trilogy, Silent Spring, Maus, The Disaster Artist, The Color Purple, and everything by David Sedaris.
Maybe it’s petty jealousy, but I have yet to fall in love with a dragon book. The late McCaffrey has oodles of fans. She doesn’t need me. But domestic abuse and bland protagonists aside, I thought it was boring. I’m sorry.
Wind in the Willows—Kenneth Graham
Again, maybe it’s petty jealousy at far more lucrative animal-authors. But it went on. And on. And on. And on…. in under 300 pages. If you want personified English wildlife, read Redwall.
The Circle-- Dave Eggers
Science fiction demands some degree of suspension of disbelief. But this takes place in the real world in the not-too-distant future, and yet our dumbass protagonist doesn’t question the total relinquishing of privacy. She just dances through the book happy to have a 24 hour twitter feed. The message is a good one, but the execution didn’t hit the mark.
A Tale of Two Cities—Charles Dickens
I don’t like Charlies Dickens. There. I said it.
Ready Player One
Putting this on the skip list might be a little harsh. It’s not the worst thing ever. Some of it’s clever. But it gives into bad-teen-romance bull-crap you can smell from a mile away. 1) Girl says she is hideous and you can never look at her---you know it’s going to end up being some barely visible birthmark. Spoiler: it is. 2) Girl tells guy to leave her alone. A life-threatening situation compels him to send her another message. Unnecessarily tacks on “P.S. I saw a picture of you in RL and you’re super hot.” Bite me.
What did you read? What did you love! Let me know!!
Happy New Year,