- On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, both out of desperation.
- Pillars of the Earth out of boredom (still jobless) and a broken ankle.
- Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett. Because it is stunningly beautiful and because I re-read it every year.
The best books I read this year (although they weren’t necessarily published this year:
- Border Songs by Jim Lynch. So so so gorgeous.
- American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. Loved it. Recommended it to everyone under the sun.
- Lit by Mary Karr. One of the memoirs that didn’t suck.
- The Possessed by Elif Batuman. Just smarty smart smart. And hilarious.
- The Wave by Susan Casey. Super interesting. Super well researched and written.
- And Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. Funny. Heartbreaking.
- Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace. I can’t believe I only got to it this year. So good.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible by Jonathan Goldstein. So incredible. I was just buzzing for days after reading it.
Decent books I read this year:
- Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in that House – Meghan Daum. Interesting but stressful.
- Zoe Whittall’s book that I can’t remember the name of it. I reviewed it somewhere on this blog.
- The Night of the Gun by David Carr. Addiction memoir, but still good.
- Girl with the Hornets Nests Whatever by Stieg Larsson. Not a bad little trilogy, not bad at all. And by little, I mean several thousand pages in all.
Sucky-ish books I read this year, but still finished for some strange reason:
- And the Heart Says Whatever by Emily Gould. Self-indulgent and weenie and yet oddly compelling.
- Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. See above.
- Cleaving by Julie Powell. See above.
*Note the above are all memoirs written by a certain class of white woman. Not saying that women don’t write good memoirs (see Mary Karr, Elif Batuman and Ann Patchett). But still. Let’s say sixty percent of memoirs, written by both men and women should just be ignored.