Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Favorite Books read in 2019

In 2019 I finished 54 books, of which 10 were children/YA books, 2 were essays/reports, and 1 was a book of the Bible.  36 fiction, 18 nonfiction.

I rank two of these books as “excellent” – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and  Homegoing.  I think my reading experience of the latter suffered a bit from it being the second long family saga I read this year (the first was Pachinko) and I was not completely fond of that format, although it makes sense for the story that Homegoing tells.

A Man Called Ove was funny.  Beartown, by the same author, was horrible.

The best fiction I read (for the first time) in 2019
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman, © 2017.  

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.  © 2016.  (trigger warning – sexual assault)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, translated by Henning Koch.  © 2014.  

The Story of Arthur Truluv, by Elizabeth Berg.

The best non-fiction I read (for the first time) in 2019
Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, © roughly 1955, renewed in 1975 and 1983. 

The Line Becomes a River, by Francisco Cantu.  © 2018. 

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, by Barbara Brown Taylor.  © 2009.

Essay “Total Eclipse” by Annie Dillard, in the collection The Abundance.

In the OMG category
Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.  Washington, D.C.  March 2019
A.k.a. The Mueller Report

Books I re-read in 2019
The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, by Amy-Jill Levine.  © 2006.   

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood.   © 1985.

Least Favorite
Beartown, by Fredrik Backman, © 2016.  Translated by Neil Smith © 2017.  (originally published in Swedish in 2016 as Björnstad).