Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Faves of 2015

Let me begin by saying -- Happy [Belated] New Year to one and all.
I have not written a blog for a real long time -- but this does not mean I have given up on books. In the year of 2015 I managed to read 58 books. For most of you, this is a small number, but for me it's pretty damn good. Because truly, I am a rather slow and methodical reader. If I was a dinosaur, I would probably be given the Latin nomenclature of Slowus Turnpageius.
But a couple of books really got me flipping the page last year. I've got to admit, it was really difficult to pick a top five, but here they are:

1. Purity, by Jonathan Franzen.
2. Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates.
3. Riven Rock, by T.C. Boyle.
4. The Book of Daniel, by E.L. Doctorow.
5. A Tale For The Time Being, by Ruth Ozecki.

All of these books just had me riveted to the page. Please forgive me for not offering an extensive review of each one, but I am currently knee-deep in another real gem, and I want to get back to it here before Monday arrives and my alarm clock [which is so obviously set by Satan himself every Sunday night] jolts me into my back-breaking reality of… reality before dawn.
Now that I think of it I have to include one more book -- Native Son, by Richard Wright.
I'm really surprised at the plethora of negative reviews with the new Franzen book.
I read it with my girlfriend on the beach this summer [pictured above] and we both thought the book was flawlessly good. Why are so many reviewers panning the thing into the sand? 

Where is all the Franzen-hate coming from? I think he is, to borrow a phrase of another of my fave-authors, Martin Amis -- "simply brill".
I also read a lot of great non-fiction as well. Dead Wake, by Erik Larson. Voices In The Ocean, by Susan Casey. Zealot, by Reza Aslan
. How Jesus Became Christian, by Barrie Wilson. And perhaps the best, and most important of all -- Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Happy reading in 2016, to everyone!