Year’s Best Books

Year's Best Books

My favorite end-of-the-year activity is compiling my annual list of the best books I read during the year. Making this list is both pleasurable and painful: pleasurable because it allows me to revisit and remember each book; painful because I have to cut some books I really enjoyed to get the list down to the 10 I liked best. 

Before 2005—the year when I returned to school full time—compiling the list was often a formidable task. Some years I even cheated and added five more titles categorized as “honorable mention” because I just couldn’t whittle the list of all the books I had read down to a mere 10 titles. But in the years between 2005 and 2011, coming up with the list was a lot easier because I no longer had much time for pleasure reading. You’ll also notice that there are few reviews, even for my favorite books, during those years.

Note that the year’s date refers to the year I read the books, not the year they were published. 

What’s on your list?

If you haven’t made a list, give it a try. It’s not as easy as you think. Sometimes deleting a title feels like giving away one of your children. But this task makes you think more consciously about exactly what makes a book a “good book” to you.

What Happened to 2013?

I have no idea. Either I, for some unimaginable reason, did not generate my list for the year, or I made the list but the internet ate it.

fancy scroll

1996

1997

1998

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2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

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2017

2018