I like to mix it up in my top ten list, so I’ve chosen a little bit of everything for the adventurous reader to enjoy.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: Baseball, friendship, family, love – a great read.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly: I listened to the book on CD of this teen novel about a young woman, grieving over the death of her brother, who finds a diary from the French Revolution – so good!
The Free World by David Bezmozgis: A novel about the experience of Soviet Jews emigrating after the loosening of Soviet immigration policy – a fascinating look at religion, politics and the nature of freedom.
Faith by Jennifer Haigh: A book about an Irish Catholic family and their response when their brother, a priest, is accused of sexual abuse. Beautifully written and never judgmental, Haigh finds the humanity in her characters.
Castle Waiting – Vols. I & II by Linda Medley: A graphic novel about a group of misfit characters from fairytale land taking refuge in a castle and with each other. Irreverent, feminist, with detailed, black and white drawings.
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes: I really enjoyed this Arthur C. Clarke winner about a future South African underworld filled with animal toting criminals who possess special talents. Beukes’ writing style is edgy, energetic and exciting.
On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry: 89-year-old Irish immigrant Lily Bere tells the story of her life as she decides whether to end it. Beautiful, moving, amazing.
The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje: Imagine traveling as an 11-year-old on a ship from Asia to England – having adventures, meeting a great cast of characters, imagining life in a new country…this book captures that excitement, anticipation and fear with subtlety and beauty.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: Urged to read this by a colleague, I found myself thoroughly enjoying this look at the music industry and the individuals affected by it. Clever and intelligent with a little crazy thrown in.
True Grit by Charles Portis: This book was an unexpected surprise – a western told by an old woman about her 14-year-old self and her adventure catching the man that killed her daddy. Witty, suspenseful and not at all what I thought a Western would be.
Well, that wraps up another top 10 – see you in 2012!