Last year instead of sharing my favorite reads, I shared my most memorable ones and I am doing the same thing for this past year. It’s odd, but sometimes the books that I loved reading are not the ones that stay with me for the long haul. Who can explain or know what has staying power , will shape thought, and etch memory?
I was increasingly picky about the books I read last year, so this was a really difficult list to attempt. So much so, that I thought about not sharing it at all. But finally, in February, I am satisfied enough with this incarnation to hit publish, knowing that as soon as I do, I will remember something that absolutely should not have escaped making this list. Such is life.
- The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters – I read this book and immediately wanted to start again. Creepy and imminently discussable, people come away from this one with wildly different theories and opinions.
- Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston – This woman has such an ear for dialect, and talent for getting to the heart of things. Short stories can be hit or miss with me, but almost all of these connected. I listened on audio and the narrator did an excellent job. A collection I will return to for sure.
- Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt – Such a savory read. Historical fiction about the trials of witches living during a time of religious uncertainty in England. I picked up another of Sharratt’s books, The Vanishing Point, and I see it has the same rich writing and depth of character. Love.
- Perfect Peace, by Daniel Black – The premise alone makes this book extremely hard to forget, and only too large a cast of characters inhibited its promise. A mother who has born many sons decides that she has had enough, and that her next child will be a girl no matter what. When her next child is biologically born a boy she hides it from everyone. Wow.
- Come Sunday, by Isla Morley – This powerful story of a mother’s grief and her troubles in exorcising the demons that have for years haunted the relationship with her own mother continues to stay with me. It’s one of my top recommendations for those who don’t mind a tough read.
- Bayou, by Jeremy Love – I haven’t reviewed Bayou, partly because I don’t even know if I have the capacity to even understand it, but as best I can tell it follows a girl who goes down a rabbit hole to save her father and encounters an alternate Reconstruction Era South populated by humans and animals. It is stunning.
- Words by Heart, by Ouida Sebestyen – One of my favorite books from adolescence, and now since I have re-read it again, adulthood. I am making Ms. Devourer of Books read this one next year.
- The Color Purple, by Alice Walker & To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee – I waited a criminal amount of time to read these incomparables of literature. Such a shame, but I am glad that I remedied the problem.