Posts Tagged ‘Best of’

Everyone is totting and tallying and ranking up the past decade, and even though this blog has been dormant for a while, I felt like now was a good time to take stock and join in the fun. My decade started with a move, and that theme continued with a total of 15 moves in the last 10 years, some across town, some across country, and even a couple across the sea. I am pleased to say that I finally have almost all of my books unpacked again for the first time in at least 6 years. And in reviewing my shelves, I do have a list of books that I would love more people to discover (and hopefully love as much as I do). I make a conscious effort to avoid a lot of “what’s hot” (because those books don’t need more attention, and if they are actually good, I will get to them eventually – as I did with Spinster and The Empathy Exams, several years after they were published). I have made separate lists for fiction, short stories, kids books, and nonfiction. My lists contain books that I read this decade, but there are a few that might not have been published this decade.  Because of all the moving and my overwhelming workloads, you’ll may notice some major titles missing. I’ll try to get to them in the next decade. I’ve picked the books that have stuck with me the most over the last 10 years. Here we go:

Fiction (in no particular order)

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead – Barbara Comyns (Dorothy)

The Tenants of Moonbloom – Edward Lewis Wallant (NYRB)

The Dig – Cynan Jones (Coffee House Press)

Varamo – César Aira, trans. Chris Andrews (New Directions)

Oreo – Fran Ross (New Directions)

Train Dreams – Denis Johnson (Picador)

No One Writes Back  – Jang Eun-Jin, trans. Jung Yewon (Dalkey Archive Press)

Grief is the Thing with Feathers – Max Porter (Faber & Faber)

A Far Cry From Kensington – Muriel Spark (Virago)

Mr Gwyn – Alessandro Baricco, trans. Ann Goldstein (McSweeney’s)

Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata, trans. Ginny Tapley Takemori (Grove)

The Adjustment League – Mike Barnes (Biblioasis)

Gold – Dan Rhodes (Canongate)

Life Embitters – Josep Pla, trans. Peter Bush (Archipelago)

Uprooted – Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

Annihilation – Jeff Vandermeer (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

Spilt Milk – Chico Buarque, trans. Alison Entrekin (Grove)

The Faster I Walk the Smaller I Am – Kjersti Skomsvold, trans. Kerri A. Pierce (Dalkey Archive Press)

Angelmaker – Nick Harkaway (Alfred A. Knopf)

The Gallows Pole – Benjamin Myers (Bluemoose Books/Third Man Books)

The City of Bohane – Kevin Barry (Jonathan Cape/Vintage)

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson (Bond Street Books/Back Bay Books)

Eleven Prague Corpses – Kirill Kobrin, trans. Veronika Lakatova (Dalkey Archive Press)

The Palace of Dreams – Ismail Kadare, trans. Barbara Bray (Arcade)

The Logogryph: A Bibliography of Imaginary Books – Thomas Wharton (Gaspereau Press)

Short Story Collections (in no particular order)

The Redemption of Galen Pike – Carys Davies (Biblioasis)

The Man Who Walked Through Walls – Marcel Aymé, trans. Sophie Lewis (Pushkin Press)

Diving Belles – Lucy Wood (Bloomsbury)

Thunderstruck and Other Stories – Elizabeth McCracken (The Dial Press)

The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing – Melissa Bank (Penguin)

Lonesome You – Park Wan-Suh, trans. Elizabeth Haejin Yoon (Dalkey Archive Press)


careyKids Books/YA (in no particular order)

The Iremonger Trilogy (Heap House/Foulsham/Lungdon) – Edward Carey (Hot Key Books/Harry N. Abrams)

Dust – Arthur Slade (Harper Trophy)

Seer of Shadows – Avi (HarperCollins)

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (Alfred A. Knopf)

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green (Dutton Books)

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness (Candlewick Press)


Nonfiction (in no particular order)

Virginibus Puerisque & other essays – Robert Louis Stevenson (Chatto & Windus) (go browsing secondhand bookshops for this one. A cheap paperback won’t cut it.)

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men – Caroline Criado Perez (Harry N. Abrams)

Stet: An Editor’s Life – Diana Athill (Granta)

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own – Kate Bolick (Crown)

The Long-Winded Lady – Maeve Brennan (Stinging Fly Press)

A Small Place – Jamaica Kincaid (Plume/FSG)

The Odd Woman and the City – Vivian Gornick (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

Bookshops: A Reader’s History – Jorge Carrión, trans. Peter Bush (Biblioasis)

H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald (Jonathan Cape/Grove)

The Empathy Exams – Leslie Jamison (Graywolf Press)image1 (1)

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