As you likely know if you have been following all these years, I track my reading year from July to July. Nothing fancy, just keep a little tally in my notebook of all the books I read. This year I read 80 books, and today I will share with you some of my favorites, once again, for Reading Wednesday Year In Review.
Over the past year I have written 52 book reviews, pulling into reviews my favorites of the 80 books. Sixty of the 80 were read on my kindle, five were traditional books, while 13 were audible books we listened to on road trips. Some of my top books of the year were on Audible…a fantastic way to enjoy a book while driving.
My Top Fifteen
So today I will share with you my top 15 of my Reading Wedensday Year in Review, beginning with my top five in order;
- Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doer – This remarkable book is either loved or hated, but for me, it was one of the most beautifully written, uniquely plotted, and astonishingly creative books of the past several years. I admit, if you can’t spend the time really digging deep to understand the complicated plot, (which jumps from medieval times to the distant future) you might not like it. It is not for the faint of heart. But it took my breath away and it is my favorite book of this year. This is a story of how life goes on.
- Trust by Hernan Diaz – Like Cuckoo Land, Diaz is brilliant in plot development of Trust taking multiple complicated storylines and weaving them beautifully into a book I could not put down. The story of early 19th century Wall Street is written in several different styles, and it adds to the fun and intrigue of this great book. This is a story of things aren’t always what they seem.
- Project Hail Mary by Anthony Weir – to be honest I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. Generally I’m not a Science Fiction reader, but Weir’s story of a space mission to save the Earth had me falling in love with the characters (both human and not) and enjoying every aspect of this fun and exciting adventure story. This is a story of friendship and heroes.
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabelle Wilkerson – last year one of my top books was Caste by Isabelle Wilkerson. When I learned she had an earlier book, I really wanted to read it. In this story Wilkerson’s vast research and interviews bring to life in the pages what it was like for the black population in the American South in the years after the Civil War. She follows a handful of real people as they make the life changing decision to leave the racially toxic southern states for points north and west. It’s a brilliant book that every American should read. This is a story of America’s racial tension then and now.
- Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – Mandel’s Station Eleven was one of my favorite reads of 2018, and once again she captivated me with Sea of Tranquility. It’s another story of alternate realities, looking both forward and back and ultimately leaving the reader wondering about their own daily reality. Is what we do and see each day real? Or is it all an illusion. This is a story about time and place and the human experience.
And Ten More I Loved
In no particular order, these ten more I recommend very highly;
1. The Bonesetters Daughter by Amy Tan – This is a story of family and how cultural misunderstanding can lead to a life of sorrow. Sweet.
2. The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton – This is a story of what some people will do for fame. Intense.
3. So Brave Young and Handsome by Leif Enger – This is story about the early 1900’s in the United States and coming to terms with aging and choices we have made. Sentimental.
4. The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn – This is a story of WWII and brave females who changed the course of the war. Exciting.
5. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz – This is a story about writers, plots and psychotic people in our midst. Jaw Dropping.
And these too…
6. Playing With Myself by Randy Rainbow – This book is about more than a comedian and satirist – it’s about growing up, coming out and love that binds through thick and thin. Heartfelt.
7. The Candy House by Jennifer Eagan – This book is about a near future life where the internet rules our thoughts and memories. Creepy.
8. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrel – This book is about the power men (husbands, fathers, lovers) had to make women disappear in the early 20th century. Horrifying.
9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – This book is a classic American novel about a young girl coming of age in tenement in Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. Wonderful.
10. The Maid by Nita Prose – This is a book about a quirky and lonely young women who finds adventure as a maid in a swanky hotel. Hilarious.
Go Read a Book and Explore a New World
Thanks for reading my Reading Wednesday Year in Review. I always welcome book suggestions, and I hope some of these make their way onto your reading list. Reading, like travel, is a door to understanding the world. Go read a book.
See all our book reviews from the past year on our Reading Wednesday list here.
Some more suggestions for you here from Goodreads.
Next Wednesday we will be back to our weekly book reviews.
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