|Emma Stone loves book lists almost as much as I do!|
One list that generates a lot of buzz is the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the year. This year we've had the added entertainment of author Ayelet Waldman kveching on social media about the non-inclusion of her book on the list. Why is it that we never get tired of other people's bad behavior? Anyway, you can read all about Ayelet Waldman here at The Slate.
I usually list the full top 100 titles, but as I read very little nonfiction this year, I'm going to concentrate on the Top 50 Fiction & Poetry titles. I haven't read as proportionately as many this year as I did last year. And you know what? I'm okay with that. Here they are, in alphabetical order by title. I'm gonna bold all of the titles that I read (or tried to read) and put the dust jacket images in of the ones I actually finished.
here. Not only that, but I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with the author when he visited our store in March.
2. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Started this one but never finished it, through no fault of its own.
4. American Innovations by Rivka Galchen. Also started this one, but when I DNF'd it, it was definitely the book's fault.
5. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel.
6. The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborn. I mean, I don't think I've even heard of this one. #booksellerfail
7. Bark by Lorrie Moore. I went to a book reading in Nashville and heard her read one story. Does that count? I'm gonna count it.
8. The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt.
and reviewed this one, but got to spend an afternoon in the author's company while he was signing books for my store. #ilovemyjob
10. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. I'm currently reading this one right now.
11. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez.
13. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. Tried reading this one, and while what I read was excellent, it was making me work a bit harder than I was willing to work at the time. #lazyreaders
14. Can't and Won't by Lydia Davis.
15. The Cold Song by Linn Ullman.
18. The Dog by Joseph O'Neill.
19. Euphoria by Lily King. This is the book I most wish that I had read this year.
20. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.
21. F. by Daniel Kehlmann.
22. Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck. (And yet, she pronounces her last name like "Glick." Don't ask me why.)
23. Family Life by Akhil Sharma.
25. A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride.
26. I Pity the Poor Immigrant by Zachary Lazar. Damn, I've never heard of this one, either. #booksellerfail
28. Lena Finkle's Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich.
29. Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford.
31. Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Francine Prose. I read almost half of this one.
32. The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman.
33. The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami.
34. Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood.
35. My Struggle Book 3 by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I'm sorry, but I've been rolling my eyes at his books all year long.
36. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan.
37. Nora Webster by Colm Toibín.
38. Panic in a Suitcase by Yelena Akhtiorskaya.
40. The Poetry of Derek Walcott. Bet you can already guess who wrote this.
41. Redeployment by Phil Klay. Didn't finish this one. I admired the writing and the content, but the book was ultimately not for me. It did go on to win the National Book Award for fiction this year.
43. A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman.
44. Song of the Shank by Jeffery Renard Allen. Didn't read this one, but I wanted to. It somehow always pleases me when paperback originals make it on to lists like this.
45. 10:04 by Ben Lerner
47. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante. This book is making just about everybody's Top Ten list this year. I've never read any of the books in this trilogy but this book's critical attention just may have clinched it for me.
48. The Wall Creeper by Nell Zink. Zounds! Yet another book I have no recollection of ever seeing. #booksellerfail
49. We Are Not Ourselves my Matthew Thomas. I gave this book the ol' college try, but at the time, it couldn't hold my attention AT ALL.
50. When Mystical Creatures Attack by Kathleen Founds. This just might be the ultimate demonstration that you cannot judge a book solely by its cover. I remember when my sales rep was pitching this book to me, and I couldn't get beyond this cover graphic. I mean, look at it. It does not look like something that goes with a university press publication.
So...eleven out of 50 books read completely, with an additional eight of them attempted but left in varying stages of incompletion. That's actually a little better than I thought it would be. Last year I'd read fourteen of the 50 fiction/poetry titles.
Frankly, there are some titles that I'm really surprised aren't listed here. James Scott's The Kept, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, and Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again At a Decent Hour, and above all, Ruby by Cynthia Bond.
What about y'all? What is on this list that you loved? What books are you outraged over their exclusion from this list?