These are some of the books I loved in 2014 and why:
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande for writing the most thought provoking and the most important book I’ve read in years.
Let Me Be Frank with You: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford for his masterful writing about American life.
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham for entertaining me with her wit and wisdom—had to listen to it to hear the mischief in her voice.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande for showing me the importance and magic of the humble checklist.
Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast for making me see that all those maddening idiosyncrasies my parents had were actually what made them so lovable and now, so missed.
Bark by Lorrie Moore—no one does quirky better or more realistically.
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin for inspiring me with the good people of New Jersey who made sure that no more children would die in their community as the result of chemical pollution.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion for taking me back to the sixties.
Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides for a coming-of-age story unlike anything I’ve ever read.
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review edited by Pamela Paul. Otherwise I never would have known which authors, dead or alive, Jeffrey Eugenides would invite to his dinner party. Go first to page 85 for a very funny conversation among Kafka, Kundera and Joyce. Shakespeare was busy that night.
Hope your 2015 is filled with books you love!