This year I read 39 books. Most were historical fiction, foreign fiction, or a combination of both. I also read a few works of non-fiction, ranging from biography, U.S. civil rights, financial history (2008 crash) and literary history (Shakespeare). Foreign literature included the following countries (England excluded): Australia; Canada; Chile; Estonia-Finland;France; Germany; India; Ireland; Italy; Kuwait; Mexico; Palestinian; Philippines; South Africa; Turkey; Zimbabwe. I struggled to read one literary classic Moby Dick- which accounted for no reviews in October.

As my favorites are different genres and invite no comparison, I will list them as highly recommended. My reviews of all 39 books are listed by month of review.

Highly Recommended.

The Road– by Cormac McCarthy. A classic of dystopian fiction. It is a writing lesson. A superb use of spare language.

The Night Circus– by Erin Morgenstern. A fantasy that absolutely delights. Outside of Neil Gaimen I have not read this genre. If there are more works like these I would definitely revise my reading habits.

My Name is Lucy Barton– by Elizabeth Strout. An accomplished writer of characters, this Booker Long-Listed novel is facially about a daughter-mother relationship, with serious undercurrents. For writers who want to learn understatement is impactful.

Authors I am an increasing fan of:

Nadeem Aslam

Kamila Shamsie

 

Great Debut Novel:

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala.

 

Disappointments:

The Ancient Minstrel by Jim Harrison.

Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra

Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

2017:

I hesitate to make TBR resolutions as I am always finding and reading something not on my list. I likely will try another classic I have not read: Don Quixote; Crime & Punishment; or 100 Years of Solitude. I have been gifted The Christmas Tree Kid, which are Brooklyn, NY short stories by my neighbor Pete Hamill. I do want to read another novel by Peter Mattheissen, Margaret Atwood and perhaps short stories by Lydia Davis. As always, way too much to choose from and more keep coming.

Enjoy a peaceful New Year!

January

Purge by Sofi Oksanen. Foreign Literature (Finish-Estonian). Historical Fiction

Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh. Foreign Literature (India). Historical Fiction

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. Non-Fiction

The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams. American Literature.

February

Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Burch.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Dystopian Fiction. American Literature.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Fantasy. American Literature.

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli. Foreign Literature (Mexico).

After the Music Stiopped by Alan Blinder. Non-Fiction.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Historical Fiction

March

Tremor of Intent by Anthony Burgess. Spy Novel. British Literature.

Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra. Foreign Literature (Chile).

Falling Man by Don DelLillo. American Literature

April

Dictator by Robert Harris, Historical Fiction.

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie, Foreign Literature (Pakistan).

Olivier & Parrot in America by Peter Carey, Historical Fiction.

The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi, Foreign Literature (Kuwait/Philipines)

May

The Blue Between Sky and Water  by Susan Abulhawa, Foreign Literature (Palestinian)

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis, Foreign Literature (Canadian)

The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro, Non-Fiction.

June

The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison, Historical Fiction.

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, Foreign Literature (Turkey).

The Ancient Minstrel by Jim Harrison.

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker, Historical Fiction.

July

The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut, Foreign Literature (South Africa).

Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano, Foreign Literature (French).

August

Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam, Foreign Literature (Pakistan)

The Noise of Time Julian Barnes.

Noonday by Pat Barker, Historical Fiction.

The Collected Short Stories by Dermot Healy, Foreign Literature (Irish)

September

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Biography.

The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician by Tendai Huchu, Foreign Literature  (Zimbabwe)

October

none

November

Springtime a Ghost Story by Michelle de Kretser, Foreign Literature (Australia)

Distant Light by Antonio Moresco, Foreign Literature (Italy)

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler. Foreign Literature (Germany)

A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli, Historical Fiction.

Lunatics, Lovers & Poets by -a short story anthology

December

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

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