Thursday, July 19, 2007

The 2007 List: Favorites from Previous Years' Lists

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother by James McBride

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller. "I also loved it and despite having read it about three years ago, it’s one of those books that stayed with me and I think about often."

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls This continues to get raves, so those of you who haven't read it should consider it. (71 weeks on the Washington Post non-fiction bestsellers list!)

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl about her years as a food critic for the New York Times.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. “I loved it and was sad when it ended.”

The Known World by Edward P. Jones. "Just fabulous. It jumps around a bit, but the language is accessible and the story is great."

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith. "Not perfect, but an interesting read with a good plot. If you happen to have read 'Howard’s End' (or seen the movie) it is interesting to think about the parallels between the two."

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. “I highly recommend it. Not only is it a discussion of literature, but also a window into some of the challenges to which women in the Mideast are subjected.” “I did enjoy ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran,’ despite having gotten through only the first 5 pages of the Nabokov book – I found it to be an interesting insight into the Iranian revolution and women’s roles there.”

Saturday by Ian McKewan. “Very good – not as good as Atonement but is an enjoyable read and quick, as it only covers a 24 hour period. The plot is a bit slow, especially at the outset, but picks up."

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. “Much more interesting than I thought it would be, not a classic beach read but my book group had such a great discussion about it. People might be more interested in it now given the attention that Mitt Romney’s candidacy is bringing to Mormonism.”

What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty. “I enjoyed it pretty well -- good for beach reading.”

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin. “Great detective read in the Agatha Christie tradition.” There is one of a series, by the way.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. “not a beach read. It’s about the Black Death, so maybe I don’t need to say more, but I found it very depressing – think the literary equivalent of a trip to the Holocaust Museum – so not beach compatible in my book.

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