Category Archives: Bibliogenealogies

Top 17 Books in 2017

Where did this excruciating, soul-sucking, mind-bending, reality-defying year go? As per tradition, here’s my “best of” list which, as you’ll note, mainly consists of distractions and fantasy and anything to give my battered brain a break.

Note*: these are not necessarily in order and not necessarily published this year, just read this year. By me. And possibly you. This is always a difficult task but my usual means of deciding which ones make the cut is asking myself “would I actually purchase a second copy and/or re-read this book and/or foist this book on others?” The winners among many fine entries are:

  1. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  2. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood  by Trevor Noah
  3. Assassin’s Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3) by Robin Hobb
  4. The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
  5. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  6. The Library at Mount Char  by Scott Hawkins
  7. Parable of the Sower  by Octavia Butler
  8. Underground Airlines  by Ben Winters
  9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  10. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
  11. Trust No Aunty by Maria Qamar
  12. Canada by Mike Myers
  13. An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
  14. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  15. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War  by Mary Roach
  16. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI  by David Grann
  17. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

*Other note: the year isn’t over!  I still have a few more books on my reading shelf so this may be updated so watch this space!

 

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Top 15 Books 2015

Until I have the time and energy to devote to reshaping my Top 100 list, I’ll take baby steps with the books I’ve read this year. Note: these are not necessarily in order and not necessarily published this year, just read this year. By me. And possibly you. This is always a difficult task but my usual means of deciding which ones make the cut is asking myself “would I actually purchase a second copy and/or re-read this book and/or foist this book on others?” The winners are:

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir
  3. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  4. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  6. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, #1) by Ryan North
  7. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
  8. Fool’s Quest (The Fitz and The Fool, #2) by Robin Hobb
  9. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  10. The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson
  11. Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) by Jim Butcher
  12. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  13. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  14. Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
  15. Back Story (Paperback) by David Mitchell

Top Ten Books That Make Me Hungry

  1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  3. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
  4. Relish by Lucy Knisley
  5. 97 Orchard : An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman
  6. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  7. Bake Sale by Sara Varon
  8. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin crazy, right? but the man does know how to describe food.
  9. Mr. Greedy by Roger Hargreaves
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Top Ten Books I Can Read More Than Once … And Have

Good go-to books to travel with:

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  3. The Stand by Stephen King
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman [also Marathon Man but if I had to pick one per author, this is it]
  6. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  7. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  8. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
  9. Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Top Ten Books That Made Me Smile

I guess this would fall under the “humor” section of the bookstore.  Awww, remember bookstores? Some jokes are meant to be heard/seen but these writers get around that.

  1. The Internet is a Playground by David Thorne
  2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  3. Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin
  4. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
  5. Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell
  6. Getting Even by Woody Allen
  7. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  8. Complete Works of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
  9. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  10. The Utterly Ultimate My Word by Frank Muir, Denis Norden

Honorable ‘made me smile but also made me sad’ mention to Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Top Ten Mystery Novels

“In these weeks of midwinter, there’s nothing more satisfying than curling up by the fire with a good novel — and in particular a good mystery novel, because they somehow seem to keep you the warmest. Plus, what with a new season of Sherlock starting this week, your appetite for more murders, clues, and suspicious persons might just be piqued.” Flavorwire came up with their top 50 mystery novels which reminded me of my top 100 books which I’m re-shaping into more bite-sized pieces.

 

  1. Marathon Man by William Goldman
  2. The Man With a Load of Mischief (extra credit for the full Richard Jury series) by Martha Grimes
  3. Right as Rain by George Pelecanos
  4. Murder Hurts (extra credit for the full Fiddler and Fiona series) by A.E. Maxwell
  5. Naked in Death (extra credit for the full In Death series) by J.D. Robb
  6. Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  7. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  9. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Top Ten Autobiographies

Autobiography? Memoir? Compilation of funny or interesting or heart-wrenching stuff that happened to them? Unless and until someone else comes up with a better list, this’ll have to do ya:

  1. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  2. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  3. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  4. My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  6. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  7. Love, InshAllah by Nura Maznavi andAyesha Mattu
  8. Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
  9. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  10. Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield