Here are some of the books I loved in 2013 and why:
Local Souls by Allan Gurganus—for putting the hearts and minds of real human beings on the page. It was worth the ten years I waited for another by Gurganus. As of today, it’s on my Top Ten Books of a Lifetime.
Enon by Paul Harding—for so poignantly expressing what’s it’s like to lose a 13-year-old daughter in a fatal car accident and how a father goes about finding his way back. Beautifully written, almost to the point of distraction, especially when he seeks solace in nature. Tinkers is on hold for me at our library and I plan on picking it up tonight and staying up late.
Baldwin: Early Novels and Stories by James Baldwin—I first read one of the novels, Another Country, about 40 years ago and oddly, always remembered the main character’s name, Rufus, and the way Baldwin described the summer sun coming up in Manhattan. It was every bit as good rereading it this year.
The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese—My love of tennis and past reads of Verghese prompted me to pick up this book. I never saw tennis quite this way, but then who other than Verghese possibly could. And, too, he covers friendship, relationships, loneliness, and more in his inimitable style.
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris—I’d rather listen to him talk then read his work; nonetheless he’s one of the best comedic writers around.
The Most of Nora Ephron by Norah Ephron—557 pages of wit, grace and brilliance!
Sister Mother Husband Dog by Delia Ephron—“We borrowed lines from each other the way other sisters borrow dresses.” Yeah, Delia’s that good. Share her memories of her sister, Nora, who died of lymphoma last year and other aspects of Delia’s life in this special book.
The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida—for making me wiser and a little sadder. Bless this wonderful child and may he continue finding joy every day of his life.
Francis & Bernard by Carlene Bauer—for her imaginative “supposings” about the lives of two great writers: Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell.
A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion—because no year would be complete without a re-read of at least one book by my all-time favorite author.