Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Top 10 From 2007

This is a list of the ten books that I liked best this year.

Plainsong by Kent Haruf. This books is a good winter-weather read. Haruf's language is as crude and spare as the rural Eastern Colorado landscape he describes.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. What a gem! For more details on this epic see Lisa's lovely post.

Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf. 'Nough said.

From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman. This history is fascinating because it is part political non-fiction, part history and also a bit of an autobiography of a true giant of Journalism. The scope of this history feels overwhelming but the personal narrative helped to keep me drawn in and it gave me a deeper sense of urgency on this important issue. Seymour Hersh is quoted on the cover saying something like "If you only read one book on the Middle East this should be it." Well, it couldn't be enough but it's as good start.

Suite Francaise
by Irene Nemirovsky. This book is so wonderful I'll devote an entire post to it later.

American Pastoral
by Philip Roth who has got to be one of the most captivating authors ever. Lisa wrote a very excellent review of this book as well.

The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster. This is such a strange and fascinating memoir by an author I love. If you've read several of his novels, reading this memoir is like putting together a Paul Auster puzzle. For me, this book, which is a collection of journal entries and third-person memoir, was like peeping into a great mind's memory and finding the intimate details of novels that I love.

Shipping News by Annie Proulx. This is an incrediblely well told story in a stark, tragic setting. Proulx seems to be able to get right to the heart of a matter without sacrificing any affection for her characters.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. This is, of course, a classic. I haven't liked a lot of Ernest Hemingway but I did love this.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I think this novel is magnificent. Nicole Krauss has written such interesting characters so candidly and with a genuine tenderness. When I read this I couldn't wait to get back to it if I had to put it down.