Here they are, my favorite books of the year from the side of the company I sell. Certainly there are books on Gianna’s side that I loved (Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, for example), but she stuck to her side, I’ll stick to mine. If we were on The Brady Bunch, we’d stick a stripe of masking tape down the middle of our bedroom. Without further ado:
|This cat is not a tiger.|
|Jennifer Egan signs books|
at Texas Book Festival.
6. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. The quirkiest novel I read this year is also one of the best. An adult fairy tale of sorts, this coming of age novel pushes the boundaries for family dysfunction and the angst and turmoil associated with being different. On her birthday, nine year-old Rose Edelstein discovers that she can taste the emotions of the people who prepare the food she eats, from her mother’s sadness to her outcast brother’s rage. Her brother, too, develops his own special gift. The empathy of children and the isolation of adolescence have never been told quite like this magical, haunting story.
7. How to Live by Sarah Bakewell. Already named to several best lists in Bakewell’s native United Kingdom, this philosophical meandering into the life and works of Montaigne takes a novel and accessible approach to the man who invented the concept of the essay. By asking the simple question “How to live?” and then answering it in a variety of ways pulling from Montaigne’s life and writing, Bakewell portrays a human, personable, flawed, funny, honest man who was at peace with the contradictions in his life. Four hundred years after he lived, Montaigne is made fresh, vibrant, and relevant to modern life in this enlightening book.
8. The Wave by Susan Casey. Waves are arguably the most destructive force on the planet, swallowing huge tanker ships and washing over oil rigs when the monsters really get to rolling. Half of Susan Casey’s book is a scientific exploration of the destructive power of monster waves, and the other half is a love letter to the thrilling world of big wave surfing and the (crazy?) surfers attempting to cruise upon the tops of 100 foot water walls. The Wave is fine adventure writing.
|Anne Hathaway |
and Jim Sturgess