I love the whole idea of Iceland's "book flood" on Christmas Eve, Jólabókaflóð, where everybody stays in and hunkers down with books and chocolate. Is it enough to get me to move to Iceland? Hmmm. I also love the articles on Best Books of 2022 that crop up this time of year, as well as people's blog posts on their reading. I don't have a best books list, as I wouldn't presume to judge these books, but I did cull from my year's reading 10 books that stood out for me for various reasons.
In Love, by Amy Bloom, is on my list and on this cover of BookPage. Subtitled A Memoir of Love and Loss, this is her account of her husband's accompanied suicide in Switzerland. It hits home for many reasons.
I read several memoirs this year, and another that stood out was Shy, by Mary Rodgers. Funny, theatre-related, and enlightening, with a background family connection.
On Tyranny, the graphic novel version by Timothy Snyder and Nora Krug, a Christmas gift, was exactly what I needed to be reading last January, and I recommended it to my sister, along with passports and magazine subscriptions (Snyder's advice, which I am also following, not with a passport but with a Real ID).
My book group read and loved The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.
I read and loved Horse, by Geraldine Brooks.
And also Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey by Kathleen Rooney.
A book I'd often heard about but never read, I finally read and loved: Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. Wow!
King Dork by Frank Portman led me to Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. More wow! I was struck by how the unlikable main character is moved to tears by music.
I re-read and loved all over again The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and recommend it any time it seems appopriate. The Devil comes to Moscow + Yeshua and Pontius Pilate converse.
I also re-read Heidi by Johanna Spyri and wept as my childhood rolled over me.
Wait! Is that already 10? er, 11? (See math-challenged Friday in the blog.) But what about my favorite of all, the non-fiction The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson?