If fifteen hundred bloggers post year-end best-of lists, do you post one, too? Apparently, the answer is yes. But I’ll make this a fast one. Top ten books read this year:
10.) Imperium by Robert Harris. A historical novel set in ancient Rome told from the point of view of the slave of Cicero; a clever political thriller ensues as we follow Cicero’s rise to power.
9.) Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. Intelligent sci-fi told through the lens of gritty noir.
8.) Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge. I’m still shocked Stephen King didn’t write this, as this supernatural horror tale set in a nameless city in the Midwest during the 1960’s is reminiscent of “Stand By Me” era King.
7.) The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon.
6.) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Magical, absorbing, and above all, fun. For children and adults alike.
5.) Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.
4.) Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke. Quite possibly Burke’s best to date, as this ode to post-Katrina New Orleans deals with desperation and redemption. Burke’s writing style can only be described as ‘lyrical’.
3.) Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. Think “Office Space” for the literary set.
2.) Queenpin by Megan Abbott. Her writing is as sharp as a stiletto heel worn by the protagonist; shockingly fresh, inventive, and the seediest fun I’ve had in a novel this year.
1.) The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos. I almost cried at the end of this hardboiled novel about three cops who are drawn back together years later by the crime they couldn’t solve. And I never cry at novels.