Steve’s book gift guide will be here soon. Warning: his list this year is full of Puritan and Native American history books, because after doing lots of genealogy work, he found out his Puritan ancestors’ cousins were abducted by Indians and dragged off to Canada.
In the mean time, why don’t you all share your favorite books for the year? I’ll hyperlink your responses to Amazon. All genres are welcome.
Okay, let’s go.
Y81: “Twelve Rules for Life” and “The Three Body Problem.”
Wendy’s romance recs:
The Hollow of Fear, Sherry Thomas
The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
Lethal White, Robert Galbraith
Hate Notes, Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Duke of Shadows, Meredith Duran
Hard Knocks, Ruby Lang
Burn For Me, Ilona Andrews
SEAL Camp, Suzanne Brockmann
Wanna Bet? Talia Hibbert
Jane Doe, Victoria Helen Stone
Wendy’s husband’s recs:
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, Steven Pinker
At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Michael Pollan
John B. — Churchill: Walking With Destiny by Andrew Roberts.
- From Sandra
- How to Stop Time – Matt Haig – love the time-traveling story
- Beartown + Us Against You – both by Fredrik Backman – small-town, hockey, lots of interconnected people and their stories – I think growing up in a small town on the prairies drew me to these two books
- The Witch Elm – Tana French – A stand alone novel (not part of her Dublin series) that is the best one that I’ve read so far to tackle privilege. Great characters, writing and dialogue. A version of one of my fave genres – “getting the band back together” where you read about a group of friends and/or family over a number of years.
- An American Marriage – Tayari Jones – from last year but read it if you haven’t yet
- Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue – the Lehman Brothers crash in novel form from the perspective of a number of different people. A good companion novel to Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Sunil Yapa) from a few years ago about the WTO protests in Seattle.
- the Dry + Force of Nature – both by Jane Harper – I’ll read anything she writes – small town Oz detective
- From AF
- Lincoln in the Bardo (Saunders) – really interesting and weird. I liked it a lot.
- Born A Crime (Trevor Noah’s autobiography). Some South African history I didn’t know or had forgotten. He’s had quite a life.
- How It All Began (Penelope Lively) – intertwined stories, related people of different ages and backgrounds, well put-together. Not a rave but a pretty good read.
- I tried to push myself through Sing Unburied Sing but couldn’t do it – too depressing at a time when I wasn’t up for being depressed. It seemed like it would be worthwhile if I had. I did not like Beatty’s The Sellout but others did.
- I’ve now reread Anna Karenina twice to teach it for a grad-level humanities class and it holds up. Students, including an African American campus police detective who does not read novels, loved it too. Get the Volkhonsky and Pevear translation.
- For the same class, I poked around and found a good book on early women’s suffrage efforts called Untidy Origins. It’s fun because the author has to poke around in all sorts of obscure records to put together what happened with a small group of women who filed a petition with New York State. This year I’m using another new book, Jennifer Graber’s The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West. I haven’t read it yet but have really liked her other writings.
- I always get the newest Flavia de Luce and First Ladies Detective Agency books. I’m reading the current Flavia now and enjoying it. One of my friends is really into the Louise Penney series and I might start that sometime.
- From Doug
- The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine, as good as it is long
- The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, a novel about Russia that isn’t ginormous
- Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin, essays and insights (Interviewer: Would you prefer to win the Hugo or the National Book Award? UKL: The Nobel, of course.)
- Any Day Now by Terry Bisson, is awfully close to being the fourth perfect book
- The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair, great as an object that illustrates its thesis
- The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple, how the White House chief of staff position is essentially a solved problem in politics, with an added chapter on how the Trump people managed to screw it up in all of the known ways
- War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, definitely a late-1980s book and still awesome
- I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett, the last great Discworld book (even though Raising Steam works better than it should)
- Soviet Bus Stops (Volumes I and II) by Christopher Herwig, no really
- Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner is in fact one of the perfect books
- The 13 Clocks by James Thurber, fast and loopy and not like anything else
- From Amy P
- This is the most important book I’ve read in years: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40611244-how-not-to-hate-your-husband-after-kids. I think everybody who is getting married or having kids or thinking about it or knows anybody who is married or has kids needs to read that book. Not that it has all of the answers, but it’s important to know what the questions are.
- Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West
- Is It You, Me or Adult A.D.D. (Gina Pera has an excellent website at adhdrollercoaster.org)
- I’m currently reading Delivered from Distraction, which is the sequel to the ADHD classic Driven to Distraction.
- From Cranberry
- If You’re in My Office, It’s Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to Staying Together, by James Sexton