I read so many wonderful books this year, including new-for-me authors like Cao Xue, Tan Twan Eng, and Vanessa Onwuemezi as well as old favorites like Italo Calvino (The Castle of Crossed Destinies). I read books that I enjoyed and others that showed me something new, and some that did both. This list includes those that did both, but I understand that other readers might find some of my entries hard to love.
The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li: Something about Li’s voice tends to grab me and not let go. This book has smart things to say about the harrowing intimacies of girls’ friendships and the absurdities of fame.
This Other Eden by Paul Harding: Harding writes gorgeous prose, including a boatload of muscular, one-syllable verbs: birl, shim, reeve. While some readers may not appreciate the perspective shift in the middle section nor the sense of glimpsing history down a long, dark tunnel, I loved it.