I love reading other people’s book lists. As the title of this post suggests, they offer insight into the reader’s psyche, their likes, their interests, their gross infections.
Here, then, are the books I read in 2014, with occasional commentary. Take as recommended.
Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich – Stephen Leacock
Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin Rich, dense, magical pleasure
The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
The Circle – Dave Eggers Obvious, heavy-handed satire, a disappointment after A Hologram for the King
The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
Hell Going – Lynn Coady Short stories
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
The Broom of the System – David Foster Wallace Hard sledding
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler Wonderfully crafted, very human story
The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster To be re-read
Levels of Life – Julian Barnes
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine – Teddy Wayne
The Lay of the Land – Richard Ford Frank Bascombe book #3 and maybe my favourite of the trilogy
Assassination Nation – Sarah Vowell Non-fiction about dead presidents. Funny and insightful.
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Back Roads – Tawni O’Dell
Travelling Sprinkler – Nicholson Baker A delight
Best American Short Stories 2012 – Tom Perrotta, ed. At my bedside, ongoing
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter – Mario Vargas Llosa (unfinished) Too tedious to finish
True Grit – Charles Portis Having never seen either film version, this was a comic treat
A Room with a View – E.M. Forster
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern Meh…
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
This is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper Pleasant enough but felt like a movie-in-waiting, which it was
The Children Act – Ian McEwan
Under the Volcano – Malcolm Lowry
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – Hillary Mantel More short stories
A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki Philosophical without being pretentious. A moving tale.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Col. Chris Hadfield
Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut
Books, Movies, Rhythm, Blues: 20 Years of Writing about Film, Music and Books – Nick Hornby
Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth Still shocking and profane after all these years.
What were your favourite reads of 2014?