I read 13 books this year, which is on-pace with what I did last year. There were a handful of books I couldn’t finish including “The Perfect Nanny” which took France’s top literary prize. Not sure how that happened!
Speaking of which, we watched the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” at the Curran theater in San Francisco and I am still scratching my head as to how it swept the Tony Awards.
I won’t list all the books I read, but instead will tell you my favorites, and good enough to take some time away from your social media feeds and delve into.
2015 winner of the Kirkus Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award, A Little Life had me crying and cheering for its profound story-telling and characterization of four friends as they embark on their professional lives in NYC. I have not read something of this literary caliber in quite some time. What do I know about literature? I majored in English from the top English department in the country. Word. That said, this book is not some young adult book that you devour in a night. It’s lengthy and chilling. Hands-down, one of my favorites of all time.
Hopefully most of you have already read this and will agree with me, but Trevor Noah’s autobiography about growing up as a half-black, half-white child under apartheid in South Africa was such a joy to read. I want to befriend his amazing mother! Excellent audiobook read by the author.
Not sure how I happened upon this book while browsing Amazon, but this collection of essays from the 1950s is just as relevant (if not more so) today than it was then. Maybe you recognize the last name Lindbergh. I googled the author and was shocked to see that the writer was the wife of the aviator Charles Lindbergh and their first son was kidnapped in 1932. This book was a bestseller of its time (looks like it continues to be), and she was clearly accomplished in her own right. The essays are introspective and remind me a lot of Virginia Woolf’s writing style…if you like her work, which I do.
This was a book club choice which we all enjoyed. Barack Obama also recommended it. It’s the story of a young Black man wrongfully accused of rape and the impact of his imprisonment on his marriage. The audiobook was incredible.
This is similar material to An American Marriage, but modern time and through the eyes of a Black teenager who witnesses a police officer fatally shoot her unarmed friend. This was Audible’s 2017 Audiobook of the Year. While these books are fiction, they provide accounts of the discrimination and social injustice that Blacks face and fear every day.
A very well-written autobiography by Steve Jobs’s daughter Lisa who describes her childhood growing up in Silicon Valley and bouncing between poverty and wealth, suffering under the volatile temperament of her father, and the enduring love of her mother.
I keep a list of my all-time favorites here.
First book for 2019 is the audio version of Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Also on my list: Tara Westover’s Educated and Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers.
What am I missing? What were some recent favorites that you’ve read?