Because most of the books I read are fiction, written for an adult audience, this post is a bit long. This year I've read some great novels, some very good ones, and some--well the typing was nice.
Here's a list of some of the great and very good ones from this year:
THE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry - set in Ireland, it's a story about Roseanne McNulty, a woman turning 100 in a mental hospital, and Dr. Greene, who has been called in to evaluate her. A lovely written and deeply moving novel about the destructive power of well intentioned people to destroy lives and the redemptive power of truth to heal, no matter how long it takes. (Nominated for this year's Mann Booker Prize.)
ANCIENT HIGHWAY by Bret Lott - a beautifully written novel spanning three generations; it’s a story about family, failed dreams, hope and healing.
THE FIFTH FLOOR by Michael Harvey- a mystery set in Chicago with a failed hero worth rooting for; a story about worst and the best of the human condition --- power, greed, corruption and hate; loyalty, sacrifice, courage and love. Chicago politics --- now where have I heard that lately?
THIS ONE IS MINE by Maria Semple - a debut novel that is at times wickedly funny, tart and bitter, sweet and wise --- and always entertaining. (Laugh-out-loud funny and quietly weep-to-yourself sad).
THE GHOST WAR by Alex Berenson - a well crafted thriller about events that bring two super powers to the brink of war. It’s a story of ambition, betrayal, sacrifice, redemption and the remarkable power of faith to transform and save lives.
THE SEVEN SINS: THE TYRANT ASCENDING by Jon Land - a fast-paced thriller with a flawed, yet fascinating, character whose daredevil personality and single-minded ambition thrust him into a high-stakes world of greed, betrayal, revenge and murder.
THE HERETIC’S DAUGHTER by Kathleen Kent - a debut historical fiction written by a descendent of the Salem Witch Trials --- strong storytelling, vivid use of descriptive language and a haunting voice.
How about everyone else--anyone have a favorite to add to the list?