Tuesday, December 23, 2014

13 Best of 2014 & Best of the Backlist


Top Favorites of 2014, In No Particular Order
  • Time Present & Time Past, by Deirdre Madden (Europa Editions) A superb family story and meditation on how history influences the present day.
  • World of Trouble, by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books) A nonstop crime novel and a moving, suspenseful and a beautiful end to a great series.
  • Cemetery of Swallows, by Mallock (Europa Editions) Another crime novel, this one mixing reincarnation and horror.  A hot mess I couldn't put down or forget.
  • On Leave, by Daniel Anselme (FSG) An unusual book about a seldom-treated topic, the French war in Algeria, from the perspective of soldiers on leave.
  • Carsick, by John Waters (FSG) Hilarious. It's John Waters-what more do you need?
  • Pushkin Hills, by Sergei Dovlatov (Faber & Faber) Pointillist perfection, the story of a writer working in a tourist trap, dealing with his life.
  • The Unknown Bridesmaid, by Margaret Forster (Europa Editions) Painful and psychologically astute portrayal of a woman who never believed anyone loved her.
  • Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood (Random House) Devastating, funny and horrifying collection of stories from the master herself.
  • Widow Basquiat, by Jennifer Clement (Random House) A cool, fascinating, tragic and hopeful read, a biography of Suzanne Mallouk, muse and lover of Jean-Michel Basquiat and fascinating woman in and of herself.
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (Random House) Tough but wonderful story of World War 2 and trauma.
  • Not My Father's Son, by Alan Cumming. (Canongate) Not your typical celeb-bio, Cumming's book will make you cry from sadness and joy.
  • The Fall, by Diogo Mainardi (Other Press) Beautiful, redemptive story of a father's love.
  • Augustus, by John Williams (NYRB) It just doesn't get much better than this epistolary novel of the Roman emperor who brought two centuries of peace to the empire.

Marie's Best of the Backlist 

  • Equilateral, by Ken Kalfus (Bloomsbury USA). Strange, entrancing literary science fiction.
  • Heavenly Bodies, by Paul Koudonaris (Thames & Hudson) Fascinating religious history about strange and beautiful artifacts.
  • Seven Houses in France, by Bernardo Atxaga (Graywolf) Black, black comedy about imperialism and race.
  • The Bell, by Iris Murdoch (Penguin Classics) Iris Murdoch is always a treat to be savored.
And my favorite book of 2015 (so far)

The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute, by Zac Bissonnette (Portfolio) Unputdownable business and social history.

1 comment:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I have the audio of Stone Mattress and hope to try it this week. Glad u loved it.

Haven't read the others on your list. Have a great New Year Marie.