Thursday, January 15, 2015

Liz's Top Twenty of 2014, Day 1

I just received the latest edition of the Penguin Random House Code of Conduct, so now seems like the ideal time to post a new piece to the blog. (Better now than after I look up the guidelines for social media, right? 2015: The Year of Willful Ignorance.) Also, Gianna seems determined to steal as many of my picks as possible before I have the chance to claim them as my own. Do you all understand the incredible burden I carry in trying to work with that woman? She's the Kim Jong Un of the blog-iverse! (Hack us North Korea! We crave the attention! ...I wonder if taunting dictatorships is in the PRH Code of Conduct? I may never know.)

Gianna is dividing up her picks into fiction and non-fiction. Unlike Gianna, my reading leaning heavily to the fiction side in 2014. I'll give you twenty picks, but it might be a stretch to come up with ten non-fiction ones unless you're okay with me vouching for books I haven't read.
This is the paperback
cover. It goes on sale
 2/3/15. The hardcover
is available now.


The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin. I wrote about this book almost a full year ago here. In fact, it was the first book I reviewed in 2014, but even a year later it's still in my head. The short version: the Mary Celeste was considered cursed because her captains kept dying on board, but that didn't stop Captain Benjamin Briggs from setting sail aboard her with his wife and child. Then the ship turned up floating in the Atlantic, no humans aboard, and became the ship of legend. Valerie Martin uses the history of the Mary Celeste, the captain and his family, and that era's fascination with mysticism to craft a great novel. Seances! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! Ghost ships! Why haven't you read this book yet? WHY???


I think Colson chose the
King of Hearts as a sign
of our love. 
The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead. OF COURSE I am picking Colson Whitehead. I hope that in choosing him, he will realize that my love should be requited and in turn choose me. Call me Colson! Why fight fate!? (Is aggressively pursuing an author a violation of the PRH Code of Conduct? Someone needs to look that up for me.) My literary hubby is a genius of dry wit and that's one of the reasons we are so perfect for each other. It's also one of the reasons that The Noble Hustle is so entertaining. I wrote about this book here, but in the event you're link-shy or perhaps worried that by clicking on the link you are going to be called to testify in my upcoming stalking case, allow me to summarize. This book is a chronicle of Whitehead's time preparing for and competing in the World Series of Poker. He undergoes rigorous training (learning how to sit for hours on end), finds sponsors (a Brooklyn bookstore), and studies the history of the game. It's also a chronicle of his funk after getting divorced since the two events overlap in his life. The book is both funny and thoughtful, and it's a book that embraces a philosophy I can support: it's all crap, so we might as well just play games until bedtime.

No comments:

Post a Comment