I'm a list girl. I have a list for everything. It is my organizational skills at work. So, no surprises that I love the end of year lists that appear everywhere. Best books, best music, best videos, etc. I have decided to compile my own book list. My favorites of 2005. I'm a voracious reader, so god knows, I've probably forgot a few that might have hit the list, but I hope not. It would be fantastic if Amazon just compiled the list of everything I bought this year like my American Express card does, but perhaps next year's programmers will come up with that one. So, here is my list, attempted in order. (note some of these books might have come out in previous years but I read them this year)
A Million Little Pieces, James Frey. Excellent. Couldn't put it down. Must read. His second book, My Friend Leonard, is not as good but it was worth completing the read.
The Company You Keep, Neil Gordon. Well written, great character development, interesting story with great twists and turns and insight. One of my top favorites of the year.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer. I have always enjoyed books that are written through a child's eye. I literally weeped when I finished this book. Perhaps it hit closer to home than I realized, but this is an A+.
Saturday, Ian McEwan. First of all, Ian McEwan must have words flowing from his brain. I have read a few of his books. This one is brilliant. Post 9/11 fears bubbling to the surface. Smart.
The History of Love, Nicole Krauss Really enjoyed this book. Well written, interesting original characters. I also enjoyed reading this because she is married to Jonathan Saer Foer and although their writing is different, the story line is similar. My guess is they work off each other, so it is insightful to read.
The Ha Ha King, Dave King First novel. Written through the eyes of a man who can no longer communicate from a war injury in Vietnam. His relationship with the son of a girlfriend of his past. It reminded me of one of the best anti-war novels ever written, Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. If you never read that book, it is something everyone should read.
The Icarus Girl, A Novel, Helen Oyeyemi Impressive first novel. Young 8 year olds imagination runs wild, or does it? My guess is we will continue to see more novels from this young writer.
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion. Her ramblings about the grief she is going through are insightful and powerful. As we enter an age where the first baby boomers are dying and leaving behind spouses, lovers or partners for another 20/30 years, it gives us all a reason to step back and think. We all die but no one ever talks or writes about the grief. Bravo.
About the Author, John Colapinto. This came out a while ago, but my brother recommended it. Wow! Great thriller. Taking over someones identity. Really good!
Hypocrite in a White Puffy Dress, Susan Jane Gilman. Hilarious look at growing up in NYC in the 70's. I roared.
Dry, Augusten Burroughs. This was good to read after A Million Little Pieces. Augusten Burroughs is a true laugh out loud. His first book, Running with Scissors is also a good read. It is truly amazing the guy can walk and talk at the same time.
I am sure there were more, but these were the most memorable, to me.