Recommended Reading: Lost Canyon

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This week I’m recommending Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr. This was the latest in my kick of reading fiction set in the Southwest. Indeed, I only picked it up because I thought it was set in Nevada (it’s actually set in the Sierra Nevada mountains). I could definitely keep on with this theme until I run out of selections. Sense of place is really important in Southwestern fiction, and I am loving that aspect of these reads. Read my full review at my blog Books Worth Reading.

Recommended Reading: Daughter of Fortune

Recommended this week: Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, a completely engaging story of a woman’s adventure of self-discovery during the Gold Rush period. Read my full review on my blog, Books Worth Reading.

Recommended Reading: The Water Knife

 

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This week I’m recommending The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s a thriller wrapped up in a dystopia, a realistic and frightening vision of the havoc climate change might wreak on the American Southwest. Read my full review on my blog, Books Worth Reading.

Recommended reading: The Expendable Man

This week I’m recommending The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes, a crime noir classic recently reissued by New York Review Books. See my full review on Books Worth Reading.

Popular Books Read and Unread in 2015

I like to track my reading in multiple ways, for which I use the various OCD tracking tools on LibraryThing. One way is to track what I read during the year as compared to what others were reading during the same period (here’s the list). It interests me to see what trends emerge.

Here are the most popular books I read last year that multiple others also read:

I can recommend all of these!

Now here’s a selection of what everyone else was reading that I chose not to read, and why:

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: So many people were reading this and talking about it, that I was sure it would be a letdown. Let’s just say that I’ve been burned by uber-popular thrillers in the past.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which won the Pulitzer and all, yadda yadda yadda. Let’s just say that I couldn’t bear taking on yet another World War II book at this time.
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simpson, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: As we all know, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers (or titles), but these seem way too cutesy for my tastes.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey: I actually picked this one up and read the first few pages, but I am sooooo tired of zombies. Burned out big time.

Feel free to try to convince me I made a mistake passing any of these up in the comments.

Top Five Reads of the Year

Here are my five favorite reads of the year, a nice mix of old classics and new discoveries. Please post your favorite reads of the year in the comments. (These are books read during the past year and enjoyed, but not necessarily published in 2015.)

  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (my essay on a kinder, gentler apocalypse)
  2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  4. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  5. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Note: I don’t include rereads in my top 5 list. If I did, I would have to add The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castleand Frankenstein to this list.

Recommended Reading: The Bloody Chamber

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I’m recommending a hidden classic this week: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. Penguin has some beautiful editions. Check out my review at my blog Books Worth Reading.