FAVORITE BOOKS READ IN 2013
FICTION: (In no particular order)
1. The Round House – Louise Erdrich
A winner of the National Book Award, this story set on a present-day Indian reservation is as good and painful a story as I've found in a long time. I think it is the best of all I've read of her books.
2. The Testament of Mary - Colm Toibin
Jesus's mother, Mary, reflects on the events surrounding the crucifixion of her son, who she knows is not the son of God.
3. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
A book of twists and turns that will keep you glued to your seat until you've read the last page.
4. Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
1972's amazing book of discovery - personal, historical, and geographical. It is a lovely, lovely read.
5. The Good Lord Bird - James McBride
Has Old John Brown ever been so deliciously portrayed? You'll laugh, cry, gasp, and re-read.
NON-FICTION: (In no particular order)
1. The Man in the Sharkskin Suit - Lucette Lagnado
What happens to an Egyptian Jewish family when the nation of Israel is born.
2. 1940: FDR, Wilkie, Lindbergh, Hitler - the Election Amid the Storm - Susan Dunn.
I was too little to know this when it was happening, but reading it was a real eye-opener and, surprisingly, a very interesting book for those of us (moi!) who are not political or a historian.
3. Blood and Thunder - Epic Story of Kit Carson - Hampton Sides
Kit Carson's role in the conquest of the Navajo during and after the civil war. But more than that, it's the conquest of the whole west - extending way out here to California -- in places I've walked all of my life.
4. Crossing Cairo - Ruth Sohn
Review from my blog: I heard her talk about this book at a book fair and knew that I had to read it. What I appreciated is her ability to see events, people, culture, and locations through the eyes of an expat, a mother, a rabbi, a female and a scholar -- and still have every last word be interesting! Most importantly, I think, is that it has set me to thinking about how I interpret news from the middle east, especially that which comes via TV.
5. Deadly Indifference - Michael Brown
Under-Secretary of Homeland Security (under Bush) lucidly explains (and not with excuses) what turned out to be a very inadequate federal response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and a good description of just what FEMA is and isn't.