Books of 2016



My favorite books published in 2016:

1.  News of the World.  Paulette Jiles's short and beautiful Western was deeply moving and it is one of those rare books of which I can honestly say that every single sentence is a gem.  Absolutely the novel of the year for me.


2.  Mothering Sunday.  Graham Swift wrote this elegant and stunning 192 page novel.  Its shortness emphasizes just how masterful it is because in just a few pages Swift creates an entire world and gives us big themes like class, the power of storytelling, and loss, all delivered in prose that is erotic, economical, and powerful.

3.  Raymie Nightingale.  Kate DiCamillo wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Because of Winn Dixie, but this one is almost as good.  A look at the definitions of friendship, family (chosen and blood), and the desire to be a good person.  I absolutely loved it.




4.  Miss Jane.  Full disclosure here:  the author, Brad Watson, was one of my mentors when I was studying for my MFA.  But that doesn't change the fact that this is absolutely one of the best novels of the year.  Watson creates one of the most memorable characters I've ever read and looks at the many different kinds of love there are in the world.  This novel is a masterpiece and I wish everyone would read it.

5.  The Wonder.  Emma Donoghue completely immerses us in a specific place (rural Ireland) and time (the mid-1800s) with two compelling and complex lead characters in this novel about a young girl who refuses to eat and may or may not be a saint.  It's a fascinating look at belief, religion, fanaticism, class, and much more in one of the best novels of the year.  I was disappointed by the ending, which didn't feel quite right to me, but this was probably the book that was the biggest page-turner of the year for me.


6.  The Shepherd's Life-James Rebanks.  This nonfiction look at a sheep-farmer's life in Northern England is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read, with stunning sense of place.  It's a lament for a dying way of life and for all ways of life that have gone.  Highly recommended for anyone who loves to read about nature, land, tradition.

7.  Some Writer! Melissa Sweet uses drawings, text, and much more to give us the story of E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and other books.  It's a magical look at one of the all-time best and most fascinating writers.

8.  Upstream.  This collection of essays by Mary Oliver was the perfect balm for me in the days following the horrifying results of the election.  Meditations on nature and the fact that everything that is is holy.

9. My Father the Pornographer.  Chris Offutt is at his best in this moving look at the relationships between fathers and sons and the nature of being creative.

10.  Maxgate.  This novel by Damien Wilkins came out overseas in 2013 but was only released in America this year.  I'm obsessed with Thomas Hardy so naturally I was drawn to this novel about his deathbed days at his beloved manor, Maxgate, from the point of view of one of his servants.  It's a mesmerizing book for anyone who loves Hardy and is especially smart by telling the story through the eyes of a working class woman, Hardy's favorite subjects.

11.  My Name Is Lucy Barton.  Elizabeth Strout is one of my favorite writers and while this is my least favorite of her books (besides The Burgess Boys, which didn't land right for me) it is still a remarkable novel and I've been haunted by it ever since reading it, especially the scene where the young Lucy is trapped in a truck with a snake.  Prose that completely creates a mood.

12.  Spill Simmer Falter Wither-Sara Baume.  The tale of an old man and his dog on the run in Ireland is another one that has really stuck with me although the ending fell a little flat for me.  But the voice is remarkable.


The books listed above were all published in 2016 but I read many other books this year that have been around for awhile (or were published this year but just didn't make my favorites list for one reason or another).  Here's a list of all the books I read this year.  It's not a massive list as I'm a slow reader who savors every word and this of course doesn't include the dozens of manuscripts and student papers I read this year.

Grace Notes, Lamb, and The Anatomy School, all by Bernard MacLaverty, one of my favorite novelists who also wrote Cal, which I read several years ago.  After loving Cal so much I wanted to read as much of his work as I could and this year read three of his novels, with Grace Notes being my favorite of the bunch.  MacLaverty is a master at putting the reader completely in the world he's created and populated with some of the most memorable and likable characters I've ever encountered, all living in Ireland and Scotland during the Troubles.

The Light Between Oceans-M.L. Stedman.  This novel is a bit more blatantly romantic than books I usually read but the author has said that it was inspired by Thomas Hardy, so I had to read it.  The plot is definitely Hardy-worthy, if a bit too melodramatic for my taste.  But it's a beautiful book and made an even more beautiful movie starring Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender.

Train Dreams-Denis Johnson.  One of the best books I've ever read.

On Elizabeth Strout-Colm Toibin

Hide-Matthew Griffin

The War That Saved My Life-Kimberly Brusker Bradley.  I absolutely loved this book; further proof that YA fiction is some of the best writing around.

The Return of the Native-Thomas Hardy.  I read this while touring Hardy Country during my honeymoon so it holds an extra special place in my heart.

The Loney-Andrew Michael Hurley.  This book was a sensation in England and I read it while over there this spring.  Nothing like a well-written horror story.  And while the plot ultimately fizzled out for me I still think about the mesmerizing prose and the landscape created by the author.

H is for Hawk.  Helen MacDonald's look at grief and hawk-rearing is a must-read for any serious lover of literature.  A masterpiece.

Nathan Coulter-Wendell Berry

Hillbillyland-J.W. Williamson

Fanny Says-Nikole Brown.  A wonderful collection of poetry.

Before the Fall-Noah Hawley created one of my all-time favorite television series, "Fargo", so I had high hopes for this novel.  It's an enjoyable page-turner but ultimately became a bit too unbelievable and hokey for me to absolutely love it.

The Call of the Wild-Jack London

A Spool of Blue Thread-Anne Tyler.  Definitely in the top three best books I read this year.  Tyler's best work, I think.  I'll never forget it.

A Monster Calls-Patrick Ness.  A beautiful book about grief.

A Room With a View-E.M. Forster's masterful novel about being a traveller instead of being a tourist and the way travel can change us for the better.

The Past-Tessa Hadley-I've just started this and am absolutely loving it so far but am not far enough in to give a good review.




Comments

For me it was a tie between News of the World (I'm now reading the prequel, The Color of Lightning) and To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey. Both have poignant explorations of women who survive great loss and go on to thrive.
Silas House said…
I really liked The Snow Child so I've been thinking about reading the new Ivey. Thanks for the recommendation.
Judy DaPolito said…
I'm late to the post, but I'm grateful for your list. Some of the titles, like H Is for Hawk, were ones I'd already planned to read, but you've mentioned others I might not otherwise have come across. And I'll add more praise for To the Bright Edge of the World. It's a very different story than The Snow Child, but the sense of the natural world is just as powerful. I can't wait to see what Ivey chooses to write about next.
Catherine said…
So many wonderful selections! Thank you! Top on my list is James Rebanks book. I loved the Lake District when I visited long ago and could easily move there (if we could afford a house in England!). I'm also a Hardy fan so that novel looks especially interesting. Did you happen to see this op-ed recently by Rebanks? First of all I'm sorry to have missed his American book tour. I'm also wondering what your thoughts are about it? I found it spot on but I am also sensitive about how native born Appalachians and Kentuckians might perceive outsiders looking in.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/opinion/an-english-sheep-farmers-view-of-rural-america.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0
bella alice said…
oh, Great!!!Your article is very good.
Read more: Trang chuyên kết quả soi cau mien bac siêu nhanh, siêu chuẩn 100%. Để có thông tin mới nhất trong ngày mời bạn truy cập tại tin tuc cập nhật liên tục 24/24h
Thuỷ Phong said…
Thank you for sharing.
See more: qua cau phong thuy
trang suc phong thuy
vong deo tay phong thuy

See fortune teller 2017 see fortune telling here
xem boi 2017
tu vi hang ngay 2017
Bóng Đá 24h said…
Margin information: More seamlessly kqbd truc tuyen updated by live score the latest channel of the day
Thank you for watching :D
Nguyễn Linh said…
Ngoài việc xem được trực tiếp kết quả xổ số : tại website của chúng tôi các bạn có thể xem lại được kết quả xổ số miền bắc , xsmn , xổ số miền trung trong nhiều lần mở thưởng trước.
Chỉ với 10000 đồng bạn có thể biến mọi ước mơ của mình trở thành hiện thực nếu như bạn sở hữu chiếc vé xstd may mắn trúng giải đặc biệt. Chúc các bạn may mắn!
Hồng Vân said…
Raymie Nightingale. Kate DiCamillo wrote one of my all-time favorite books
Read more: Phân tích soi cầu kết quả so xo 3 miền hôm nay – thống kê VIP XSMT – ket qua xo so mien nam – XSTD hom nay chính xác nhất 100%. xstn
Thùy Vân said…
Tu vi nam 2017 cho 12 con giap
coi tu vi nam 2017 chuan xac
Tu vi 2017 chi tiet
Ty huu phong thuy dep
linh nguyen said…
Máy li tâm, loại máy này dùng để kiểm tra các mẫu vật hoặc để quay li tâm các ống nghiệm mẫu.Loại máy ly tâm eba 200 được xem như cánh tay phải đắc lực của các nhà nghiên cứu phòng thí nghiệm, ngoài để kiểm tra, li tâm các vật mẫu tùy thuộc vào công suất và những thông số kĩ thuật loại máy này còn dùng nuôi cấy mô, phân tầng các lớp chất lỏng,…
Đặc biết trong quá trình nghiên cứu và phân tích máu. Bới như các bạn cũng đã biết. Máu không chỉ có máu nguyên chất mà còn có thêm nhiều hợp chất khác cùng hòa trộn trong máu. Bởi vậy khi sử dụng máy ly tâm hettich . Máu nguyên chất sẽ được phân tách ra tới cấp độ phân tử và rất dễ dàng để nghiên cứu.
Ngoài ra các bạn cũng có thể tham khảo thêm các thiết bị khoa học khác tại :
http://thietbikhoahoc.top
Unknown said…
Thank you for sharing. Great article. You can see more horoscope website here.
Cùng xem xem boi 2017 chính xác nhất tại đây.
Hoặc có thể theo dõi thêm tu vi hang ngay những bài tử vi vui cho bạn mỗi ngày.
Đặc biệt đá phong thủy mang lại may mắn sự thịnh vượng cho gia đình bạn.
Đặt những vat pham phong thuy lên bàn làm việc hoặc phòng khách mang tài lộc cho chủ nhân.
An Di said…
Bài viết nhiều thông tin đáng chú ý
Đón xem vn bong da mới nhất mỗi ngày

ngoc minh said…
Phân tích soi cầu kết quả xổ số 3 miền hôm nay – thống kê VIP XSMT – XSMNXSMT hom nay chính xác nhất 100%. truc tiep xo so
linh nguyen said…
Với mong muốn giảm thiểu tỷ lệ người bệnh bị đột quỵ hoặc bị tai nạn té ngã mà người nhà không biết với mục đích chính nhằm giúp cho sức khỏe và đời sống của người bị đột quỵ trở lên dễ dàng hơn, một học sinh lớp 8 ở TP Cần Thơ đã sáng chế bộ sản phẩm giám sát bệnh nhân với tên gọi SmartCare. Sản phẩm này đã đạt giải Khuyến khích cuộc thi Khoa học Kỹ thuật toàn quốc vào tháng 3 năm nay.

An Khánh cho biết, ban đầu ý tưởng đưa ra sản phẩm đơn thuần là một chiếc máy phát hiện bệnh nhân có bị té ngã hay không rồi phát thông báo cho mọi người xung quanh biết cũng như sẽ phát SMS cho người thân của bệnh nhân.

Nhưng quá trình làm, một vấn đề phát sinh là người bệnh nhân kia đang ngồi rồi bỗng nhiên đột quỵ (không có tai nạn té ngã) thì sao? Từ tình huống phát sinh sản phẩm đã tích hợp thêm thiết bị phát hiện đột quỵ vào thành một bộ sản phẩm.
Nguồn : http://baotintuc247.com/soc-hoc-sinh-lop-8-sang-che-thanh-cong-san-pham-giam-sat-benh-nhan/
www.m88co.com said…
Hướng dẫn tham gia cá cược m88 nhà cái bóng đá, game đánh bài uy tín. Hướng dẫn người chơi tham gia cách dang ky m88 nhận khuyến mãi hấp dẫn ngay trong tháng 7

Popular posts from this blog

Addendum-Favorite Music of 2013

Favorite Movies of 2016