I do enjoy a good book, whether reading it the old fashioned way or listening to an audio version while driving or flying across the planet. In no particular order, here are the ten best books I read this year:
The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution, by Peter Hessler
What can I say? It’s by Peter Hessler, truly one of the greatest writers of our time. I’ve long loved his books about China. In this one, he works his magic on Egypt.
Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel, by Fredrik Backman
If you read Backman’s book My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, you’ll recognize the character Britt-Marie. In this book she takes here quirky personality to a small community and unexpectedly finds a place to belong.
This one was difficult to read. In fact, there were times I found myself seething. But it’s a story that needs to be told.
In July of 1976, a powerful earthquake hit China, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Later that year, Chairman Mao would die. This book is a fascinating look at how those 2 events shook (literally) the nation.
When F.D.R. died in 1945, Harry Truman became president. This book tells the story of his first four months in office. Fascinating!
China Dolls: A Novel, by Lisa See
Any book by Lisa See lands on a list of favorite books (at least in my mind). This is the story of three Chinese-American dancers in the 1940s. It has one of the most amazing last lines of any book I’ve read.
Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover
Tara tells her story of growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon family in Idaho, and how she defied her parents to get an education. Again, an amazing story.
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, by Simon Winchester
The effects of this eruption were felt around the world in terms of climate and economics. Yet, most of us have never heard of it. This book will fix that!
Again, what can I say? It’s Simon Winchester, the only writer who can make the story of the Oxford English Dictionary a page-turner!
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathanial Philbrick
A gripping story of the Essex and how some of its crew survived following the destruction of their ship by a whale.