Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Favourite Readings: 2014
For me, 'best of' lists aren't so much quantitative—empirical evidence or absolute proof that authors X, Y, and Z wrote the definitive best literature of a given time period.
Instead, I use them to see what other writers or reviewers have read that I may have passed by or overlooked altogether. And, admittedly, to see how someone else's opinion about the same book can be so radically different than mine. And so wrongheaded, of course.
This year, for mine—I was asked to contribute my five favourite books of the year—I opted for gut feeling, and chose books that stayed with me for being emotionally impacting, intellectually stimulating, or aesthetically distinguished (and, I guess, any mixture of those three).
In no particular order, my choices were—
1. The Western Home: Stories for Home on the Range, by Catherine Cooper [review]
2. Orfeo, by Richard Powers [review]
3. Ellen in Pieces, by Caroline Adderson [review]
4. All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews [review]
5. The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell [review]
That 'choose just five' restriction also meant quite a few couldn't make it to my Top 5. Still, I enjoyed them in assorted ways and would be negligent if I didn't mention them here.
They include Hilary Mantel's The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher [review], Lorrie Moore's Bark [review], Sean Wilsey's essay collection, More Curious [review], Ian Weir's Will Starling [review], Mark Sampson's Sad Peninsula, C.P. Boyko's Novelists [review], Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote's Gender Failure [review], and Margaret Atwood's Stone Mattress (a book that I actually purchased and did not review).