Friday, January 01, 2016

Thoughts on 2015 reading

I read 205 books in 2015.  Like the four-minute mile, it was such a preposterous and unattainable achievement that it was not a goal when the year began. My previous high was 175 books in 2014. Reading 160 to 170 books this past year seemed most likely.

But there it is. Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier and I exceeded 200 books. Clearly, such elusive barriers are within reach.

On to the books . . .

This year I’m going to divide my reading recommendations into two categories: books issued in 2015 and books published prior to 2015.

Here’s the 2015 list:

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
The Turner House, Angela Flournoy
The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman
Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
A God In Ruins, Kate Atkinson
Even Dogs In The Wild, Ian Rankin
The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi
March Book Two, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
DC: The New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke
Descender, Jeff Lemire/Dustin Nguyen
Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf
What Pet Should I Get?, Dr. Seuss
The Wright Brothers, David McCullough
So Many Roads, The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead, David Browne
The Pine Tar Game, Filip Bondy

Seventeen books, and you will notice that genre fiction — notably, mystery and sci fi — is well represented. I am no longer making a distinction between literary fiction and genre fiction. If I like a book, I like it.

There’s one children’s book (the incomparable Dr. Seuss), three graphic novels (isn’t time you tried one?) and three works of non-fiction.

The best book? A Little Life. Yanagihara is a writer of great skill and intelligence. This book is almost painful to read, but incredibly rewarding. Second best, McCullough’s The Wright Brothers, which I found inspirational and exceptionally well-told.

Pre-2015 books:

Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Hullabaloo at the Guava Orchard, Kiran Desai
Shelf Life, ed. Greg Ketter
The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Benjamin Wallace
Blondie, The Bumstead Family History, Dean Young & Melena Ryzik
A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Books Comics, ed. Michael Barrier and Martin Williams
Sundays with Walt and Skeezix, Frank King

My interest in what I call the graphic arts has grown exponentially in recent years. The list above includes three “histories” that are liberal in their presentation of early comic strips or comic books. I had forgotten just how funny Blondie could be and Frank King was an artistic genius. The Smithsonian collection ranges from selections of Little Lulu to the Spirit.

Shelf Life is the only story collection to make either list.  The initial story in the collection, by Gene Wolfe, is reason enough to read the entire book. Fun Home is a powerful graphic memoir and Hullabloo at the Guava Orchard is quirky and comic. 

One final book I want to call attention to is The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon by Rebecca Villarreal. I work with Villarreal. She is a talented and creative force. One of her photographs hangs in my home office.  Young readers will delight in the adventures of Selma Calderon. Selma is amazing. Villarreal is too..  

“Classic” Reading

At the beginning of each month, I try to read a book that I define as a “classic.” It may be a book that I have read before — Cather’s My Antonia, for example — or it may constitute a book that I think I should read — such as Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. I always start the year with something by Charles Dickens. 

I have adopted this plan for three reasons. It ensures that each month I read something of quality. It allows me the pleasure of re-visiting books I hold dear, and it provides the impetus to broaden my reading and dip into those works of literature I might have missed while growing up on a diet of sci fi and comics.

While I can recommend — without hesitation — every book listed below, I want to single out two books. First, Laurie Colwin’s Goodbye Without Leaving.  Colwin is a delightful writer and I plan to read something she’s written once each year. If I were to recommend one book from my list of  “classics” it would be Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. Warm, insightful, closely observed and humorous, Mrs. Palfrey is superb.

January – The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens
February – Fifty-Two Pickup, Elmore Leonard
      Swag, Elmore Leonard
      Unknown Man No. 89, Elmore Leonard
                  The Switch, Elmore Leonard
March –  *One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
April – Deliverance, James Dickey
May – *My Antonia, Willa Cather
June – *Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Anne Tyler
July – Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Elizabeth Taylor
August – *Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy
September - The Quiet American, Graham Greene
October - (Missed this month due to family vacation. It happens.)
November - *Goodbye Without Leaving, Laurie Colwin
December - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Sherman
        Alexie, illustrations by Ellen Forney

* Re-read

And a few authors who never seem to disappoint

Finally, here’s a list of authors whose books I can recommend without reservation. I seem to have cultivated a taste for a steady diet of historical fiction and mystery/thrillers. No apologies. First and foremost, one should read for pleasure.  Through the years these authors have produced books that have been a steady, reliable source of enjoyment.

Bernard Cornwell, Alan Bradley, T. Jefferson Parker, Laura Lippman, C.J. Box, Julia Keller, Craig Johnson, Patrick O’Brian, Louise Penny, Peter May, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Steve Hamilton, Neil Gaiman, Paul Auster. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Complete 2015 Reading List -- 205 Books

1.  The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens
2.  Too Late American Boyhood Blues, Frederick Busch
3.  In the Approaches, Nicola Barker
4.  Funny Girl, Nick Hornby
5.  Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Bragg
6.  Skink No Surrender, Carl Hiaasen
7.  The Doubt Factory, Paolo Bacigalupi
8.  The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
9.  Inside the Park, Willie Wilson & Kent Pulliam
10. Smoke and Mirrors, Neil Gaiman
11. The First Bad Man, Miranda July
12. Born in the U.S.A., Geoffrey Himes
13. The Martini Shot, George Pelecanos
14. The Cold Dish, Craig Johnson
15. March Book Two, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
16. What It Means To Be A Jayhawk, Jeff Bollig & Doug Vance

17. Fifty-Two Pickup, Elmore Leonard 
18. Swag, Elmore Leonard 
19. Study War No More, ed. Joe Haldeman
20. Unknown Man No. 89, Elmore Leonard
21. The Switch, Elmore Leonard
22. The Empty Throne, Bernard Cornwell
23. One Man’s Dream, Frank White and Bill Althaus
24. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, Alan Bradley
25. George W. Bush, James Mann
26. Fear the Darkness, Becky Masterman
27. The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy
28. Tales from the Kansas City Royals Dugout, Denny Matthews
29. A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler
30. The Whites, Richard Price
31. The Big Seven, Jim Harrison
32. Family Furnishings, Alice Munro

33. *One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
34. Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman
35. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, Christopher Scotton
36. Private Life, Jane Smiley
37. *California Girl, T. Jefferson Parker
38. Pacific Beat, T. Jefferson Parker
39. Acts of Nature, Jonathon King
40. World Gone By, Dennis Lehane
41. DC: The New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke
42. Ask Not, Max Allan Collins
43. Downtown, Ed McBain
44. The Beat Goes On, Ian Rankin
45. Old Twentieth, Joe Haldeman
46. The Essential Sheehan, George Sheehan
47. The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
48. “H” is for Homicide, Sue Grafton
49. True Detective, Max Allan Collins

50. Deliverance, James Dickey
51. Storm Runners, T. Jefferson Parker
52. The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
53. Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Deborah Eisenberg
54. Hush, Hush, Laura Lippman
55. Amnesia, Peter Carey
56. Endangered, C.J. Box
57. So We Read On, Maureen Corrigan
58. The House of Wolfe, James Carlos Blake
59. Branch Rickey, Jimmy Breslin
60. Angels & Visitations, Neil Gaiman
61. Bravo, Greg Rucka
62. Marsbound, Joe Haldeman
63. Starbound, Joe Haldeman
64. Earthbound, Joe Haldeman
65. Lucky Alan and Other Stories, Jonathan Lethem
66. Death Without Company, Craig Johnson
67. Bitter River, Julia Keller

68. *My Antonia, Willa Cather
69. Under the 82nd Airborne, Deborah Eisenberg
70. I Refuse, Per Petterson
71. Pastoralia, George Saunders
72. The Harder They Come, T.C. Boyle
73. Summer of the Dead, Julia Keller
74. The Making of Zombie War, Aleksandar Hemon
75. The Fallen Man, Tony Hillerman
76. The Kingdom and the Power, Gay Talese
77. The Last Bookaneer, Matthew Pearl
78. Little Saigon, T. Jefferson Parker
79. God Help the Child, Toni Morrison
80. Voices in the Night, Steven Millhauser
81. The Hanging Valley, Peter Robinson
82. Reading Between the Wines, Terry Theise
83. A God In Ruins, Kate Atkinson
84. Red Light, T. Jefferson Parker
85. Book Scouting, Barbara L. Johnson
86. All Around Atlantis, Deborah Eisenberg

87. *Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Anne Tyler
88. The Wright Brothers, David McCullough
89. Silent Joe, T. Jefferson Parker
90. Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf
91. Kindness Goes Unpunished, Craig Johnson
92. Mislaid, Nell Zink
93. Waterloo, Bernard Cornwell
94. Cold Pursuit, T. Jefferson Parker
95. Early Warning, Jane Smiley
96. The Best American Mystery Stories 2002, ed. James Ellroy
97. Charm City, Laura Lippman
98. The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi
99. Closing Time, Jim Fusilli
100. Twilight of the Superheroes, Deborah Eisenberg
101. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
102. An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
103. Baseball Maverick, Steve Kettmann

104. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Elizabeth Taylor
105. And Sometimes I Wonder About You, Walter Mosley
106. The Shape Shifter, Tony Hillerman
107. Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
108. Devil May Care, Sebastian Faulks
109. So Many Roads, The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead, David Browne
110. McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, ed. Michael Chabon
111. The Human Body, Paolo Giordano
112. More Than A Season, Dayton Moore/Matt Fulks
113. Rumpelstiltskin, Ed McBain
114. The Pine Tar Game, Filip Bondy
115. Death and Mr. Pickwick, Stephen Jarvis
116. Vanishing Game, Roger Hobbs
117. Pirates of the Levant, Arturo Perez-Reverte

118. Powersat, Ben Bova
119. *Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy
120. The Commodore, Patrick O’Brian
121. Loitering, Charles D’Ambrosio
122. Badlands, C.J. Box
123. The Draco Tavern, Larry Niven
124. The Redeemers, Ace Atkins
125. Privateers, Ben Bova
126. The Second Life of Nick Mason, Steve Hamilton
127. The Tokyo-Montana Express, Richard Brautigan
128. What Pet Should I Get?, Dr. Seuss
129. The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Benjamin Wallace
130. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
131. Zot!, Scott McCloud
132. Fat Ollie’s Book, Ed McBain
133. Charlie Martz and Other Stories, Elmore Leonard
134. The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O’Brian
135. Prince of Stories, The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, Hank Wagner, Christopher
        Golden and Stephen Bissette
136. Will Eisner’s Shop Talk, Will Eisner
137. Last Ragged Breath, Julia Keller

138. The Quiet American, Graham Greene
139. Last Bus to Wisdom, Ivan Doig
140. Conqueror’s Moon, Julian May
141. Intangiball, Lonnie Wheeler
142. The Nature of the Beast, Louise Penny
143. A God Against the Gods, Allen Drury
144. Make Me, Lee Child
145. Empire Builders, Ben Bova
146. Three Moments of an Explosion, China Mieville
147. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
148. Did You Ever Have A Family, Bill Clegg
149. The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman

150. Desert God, Wilbur Smith
151. The Turner House, Angela Flournoy
152. In the Studio, Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists, Todd Hignite
153. The Evening Star, Larry McMurtry
154. The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon, Rebecca Villarreal
155. The Unknown Shore, Patrick O’Brian
156. Creationists, Selected Essays, 1993-2006, E.L. Doctorow
157. Entry Island, Peter May
158. Quarry, Max Allan Collins
159. The Gun at Last Light, Rick Atkinson
160. The Great Comic Book Heroes, Jules Feiffer
161. M Train, Patti Smith
162. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, Salman Rushdie
163. The Hundred Days, Patrick O’Brian
164. Fortune Smiles, Adam Johnson
165. Thirteen Ways of Looking, Colum McCann
166. One Crazy Summer, Rita Williams-Garcia

167. *Goodbye Without Leaving, Laurie Colwin
168. Report From the Interior, Paul Auster
169. Purity, Jonathan Franzen
170. The Sunset Limited, Cormac McCarthy
171. The Art of Scouting, Art Stewart w/Sam Mellinger
172. The Crossing, Michael Connelly
173. Hullabaloo at the Guava Orchard, Kiran Desai
174. A Cure For Suicide, Jesse Ball
175. The Sandman Overture, Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III
176. The Undertaking, Audrey Magee
177. Slade House, David Mitchell
178. Mars, Ben Bova
179. The Promise, Robert Crais
180. The Best American Comics 2007, ed. Chris Ware
181. The Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood
182. The Angel on the Roof, Russell Banks
183. The American Ambassador, Ward Just
184. Blondie, The Bumstead Family History, Dean Young & Melena Ryzik
185. The Bangkok Asset, John Burdett
186. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Sherman Alexie, illustrations
        Ellen Forney

187. The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson
188. Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power, Jon Meacham
189. Streets of Laredo, Larry McMurtry
190. Even Dogs In The Wild, Ian Rankin
191. Amazing Fantastic Incredible, Stan Lee
192. The First Quarry, Max Allan Collins
193. Golden Age, Jane Smiley
194. Fieldhouse, Scott Novosel and Sam Sharpe
195. Shelf Life, ed. Greg Ketter
196. In the Country of Last Things, Paul Auster
197. At the Hang-Up, Ted Owens
198. A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
199. Descender, Jeff Lemire/Dustin Nguyen
200. No Cure For Love, Peter Robinson
201. John le Carre, The Biography, Adam Sisman
202. Bleeding Kansas, Sara Paretsky
203. A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Books Comics, ed. Michael Barrier
        and Martin Williams
204. Freeman’s, ed. John Freeman
205. Sundays with Walt and Skeezix, Frank King

* Re-read

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Reading List and Best Books of the Year

Best Books of the Year


  • All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  • Lila, Marilynne Robinson
  • The Children Act, Ian McEwan
  • 10:04, Ben Lerner
  • Nora Webster, Colm Toibin
  • Redeployment, Phil Kay
  • The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Secret Place, Tana French
  • The Drop, Dennis Lehane
  • Fourth of July Creek, Smith Henderson


  • In the Kingdom of Ice, Hampton Sides
  • The Most Dangerous Book, Kevin Birmingham
  • How About Never Is Never Good For You? Bob Mankoff

Graphic Novels

  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast
  • March (Book One), John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  • The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell
  • Bone, Jeff Smith
  • The Graveyard Book, Vols. 1 & 2, adapted by P. Craig Russell from the novel by Neil  Gaiman
  • The Shadow Hero, Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew

A few thoughts on the “best” books:

There is no particular order to the best fiction of 2014. If, however, I were to pare the list from 10 to two, I would recommend All the Light We Cannot See and Lila.

Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings has been overlooked in the year-end rush to compile “bests” lists. Her fictional history of the Grimke sisters is powerful and moving.

Ben Lerner grew up in Topeka. He went to high school with my daughter. I judged the kid in forensics. I’ve said all that to explain my pride in Mr. Lerner, who is going to put Kansas on the literary map. He is brilliant, and his second novel, 10:04, is receiving praise from such disparate sources as NPR, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

The Drop and The Secret Place are thrillers/mysteries. I thoroughly enjoy the genre and these writers.

The Most Dangerous Book is a riveting account of efforts to bring James Joyce's Ulysses to publication.

Roz Chast’s graphic memoir could have been listed among the non-fiction. I chose to put it with the “graphic novels” to demonstrate the range and quality of books now being published under that broad and unwieldy designation.

For the same reason, I listed March (Book One) and Bone. Both were issued prior to 2014. Normally, I would not include books not published in the calendar year on my “best of” list. (March is also a work of non-fiction.)

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains isn’t strictly a graphic novel, but I had to put it somewhere. It’s another in a long line of brilliant efforts from Neil Gaiman.

The Shadow Hero is the only graphic novel on the list featuring a super-hero. Again, it is not my customary practice to include such books on this list, but Yang and Liew warrant a broader audience for this comic book. It’s fun with purpose.

Scattered throughout the list are several books (Aqualung and Harvest, among them) from the 33 1/3 series. The series is ideal for the music lover. The books vary greater in how they approach each album, but are equally rewarding.

Reading Results

I read a record 175 books in 2014. That’s roughly a book every 2.08 days or every 50 hours. My previous personal high was 161 in both 2009 and 2013.

Typically, I am read a portion of three books each day; a story collection, a novel and a work of non-fiction.  I read one short story each morning, which allows me to complete several story collection or anthologies in the course of a year. Novels take from two to four days depending upon the length of the book or the complexity of the writing. (I can vanquish a good thriller in one day.) I usually limit myself to a single chapter of non-fiction.

My daily goal is a minimum of 100 pages in the novel. The story collection and non-fiction do not count toward that goal.

Rarely, a day goes by that I don’t read a graphic novel. Some are listed here, most are not. (See best of.)

Reading the Classics

I introduced a tiny, but significant, framework to my reading this past year. At the beginning of each month I read or re-read a book considered a literary classic.

In 2014 I started with Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Amazingly, for someone who considers himself a Dickensian devotee, I had never read Great Expectations, which easily ranks among Dickens’ finest novels.

Dickens will launch my 2015 reading too. I know of no finer writer.

The classics, by month, were:

January – Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
February – Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
March – The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
April – A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
May – The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
June – Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
July – Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
August – Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
September – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
October – Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
November – The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
December – Lord of the Flies, William Golding

The books I enjoyed most were by Dickens, Cather, Tolkien, Vonnegut and Chabon.

Death Comes for the Archbishop isn’t my favorite book by Cather – that’s My Antonia – but it’s close; it is so finely written, elegant, and true. I first read The Hobbit as a high school freshman and have returned to it through the years, and will again in the future.

Kavalier & Clay is a raucous tribute to the men who launched the comic book industry. Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five is a high-wire act, using the fantastic to lay bare the horrors of war. I liked the movie; love the book.

Here's a list of all the books I read in 2014 month by month:

1.         Jar of Fools, Jason Lutes.
2.         Great Expectations, Charles Dickens.

3.         Stalin’s Ghost, Martin Cruz Smith.
4.         Blue Heaven, C.J. Box.
5.         Iron Council, China Mieville.
6.         The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker, Stanley Crouch.
7.         The Astral, Kate Christensen.
8.         The Silver Dream, Neil Gaiman, Michael and MalloryReaves.
9.         Ten Years in the Tub, Nick Hornby.
10.       Below Zero, C.J. Box.
11.       The Yankee Years, Joe Torre & Tom Verducci.
12.       Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling.
13.       The Rapture of the Nerds, Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross.

14.       Kings of the Road, Cameron Stracher.
15.       Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather.
16.       Andrew’s Brain, E.L. Doctorow.

17.       This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett.
18.       The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd.
19.       March (Book One), John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell.
20.       The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, Alan Bradley.
21.       The Pagan Lord, Bernard Cornwell.
22.       Catch and Release, Lawrence Block.
23.       A Compendium of Collective Nouns, Woop Studios.
24.       Orfeo, Richard Powers.
25.       Tom’s Town, William M. Reddig.
26.       The Kept, James Scott
27.       This Dark Road to Mercy, Wiley Cash.
28.       The Free, Willy Vlautin.
29.       Granta #124 Travel.

30.       The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck.
31.       Super Boys, Brad Ricca.
32.       The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan.

33.       After I’m Gone, Laura Lippman.
34.       A Land More Kind Than Home, Wiley Cash.
35.       One Summer, America, 1927, Bill Bryson.
36.       The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy.
37.       Redeployment, Phil Kay.
38.       Nowhere to Run, C.J. Box.
39.       Chomp, Carl Hiaasen.
40.       The News: A User’s Manual, Alain de Botton.
41.       Relentless, From Redshirt to the Rock of the Jayhawks,Travis Releford  w/Matt Fulks.
42.       The Final Country, James Crumley.
43.       The Renegades, T. Jefferson Parker.
44.       Tracks on a Page, Louise Erdrich, Her Life and Works, Frances Washburn.

45.       A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway.
46.       The Best of McSweeney’s, edited by Dave Eggers and Jordan Bass.

47.       The Lion Seeker, Kenneth Bonert.
48.       Life is a Wheel: A Passage Across America by Bicycle, Bruce Weber.
49.       Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, C.J. Box.
50.       Scratch Monkey, Charles Stross.
51.       All Our Names, Dinaw Mengestu.
52.       Fortunately, The Milk, Neil Gaiman. 
53.       Game Six, Mark Frost.
54.       The Best American Short Stories 2005, ed. Michael Chabon.
55.       The Wounded and the Slain, David Goodis.

56.       The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien.
57.       B.B. King’s Lucille and the Loves Before Her, Eric Dahl.
58.       The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt.

59.       How About Never Is Never Good For You? Bob Mankoff.
60.       A Permanent Member of the Family, Russell Banks.
61.       Cold Wind, C.J. Box.
62.       Dusty in Memphis, Warren Zanes.
63.       Congratulations, by the way, George Saunders.
64.       Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling.
65.       American Romantic, Ward Just.
66.       In Paradise, Peter Matthiessen.
67.       Toast, Charles Stross.
68.       Flyover Lives, Diane Johnson.
69.       All Clear, Connie Willis.
70.       Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz Chast.
71.       Force of Nature, C.J. Box.

72.       Granta #125, After the War.
73.       Brighton Rock, Graham Greene.
74.       A Long and Happy Life, Reynolds Price.
75.       The Contract With God Trilogy, Will Eisner.

76.       All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.
77.       Wake, Anna Hope.
78.       Hyde, Daniel Levine.
79.       The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Lois Stevenson.
80.       Aqualung, Allan Moore.
81.       Breaking Point, C.J. Box.
82.       The Painter, Peter Heller.
83.       The SFWA Grand Masters, Vol. 3, edited by Frederik Pohl.
84.       The Dragon Masters, Jack Vance.
85.       The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics, ed. by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly.
86.       Midnight in Europe, Alan Furst.

87.       Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury.
88.       The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, Neil Gaiman; illustrations,
Eddie Campbell.

89.       Thunderstruck, Elizabeth McCracken.
90.       Stone Cold, C.J. Box.
91.       Lion Heart, Justin Cartwright.
92.       Updike, Adam Begley.
93.       The Noble Hustle, Colson Whitehead.
94.       We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas.
95.       Back of Beyond, C.J. Box.
96.       Adventures in the Dream Trade, Neil Gaiman.
97.       The Jaguar, T. Jefferson Parker.
98.       The Snow Queen, Michael Cunningham.
99.       Fourth of July Creek, Smith Henderson.

100.     Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut.
101.     The Zhivago Affair, Peter Finn and Petra Couvee.
102.     The Raw and the Cooked, Jim Harrison.
103.     Harvest, Sam Inglis.
104.     Woke Up This Mornin’, Poetry of the Blues, ed. A.X. Nicholas.
105.     The Great Glass Sea, Josh Weil.
106.     Deadly Beloved, Max Allan Collins.
107.     Was, Geoff Ryman.
108.     Iron River, T. Jefferson Parker.
109.     The Highway, C.J. Box.
110.     Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett.
111.     Eye of Vengeance, Jonathon King.
112.     The 50 Greatest Cartoons, ed. Jerry Beck.
113.     Unmanned, Dan Fesperman.
114.     Equoid, Charles Stross.
115.     About Town, The New Yorker and the World It Made, Ben Yagoda.
116.     Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Paolo Bacigalupi.
117.     The Fallen, T. Jefferson Parker.
118.     Wolves Eat Dog, Martin Cruz Smith. 36
119.     Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, Jon Scieszka.

120.     Binocular Vision, Edith Pearlman.
121.     In the Kingdom of Ice, Hampton Sides.

122.     The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon.
123.     American Recordings, Tony Tost.
124.     The Long Way Home, Louise Penny.
125.     Bone, Jeff Smith.
126.     The Secret Place, Tana French.
127.     Bill Self: At Home In The Phog, Bill Self with John Rohde.
128.     Kill My Mother, Jules Feiffer.
129.     Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel.
130.     The Famous and the Dead, T. Jefferson Parker.
131.     The Best American Mystery Stories 2005, ed. Joyce Carol Oates and Otto Penzler.

132.     Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky.
133.     The UnAmericans, Molly Antopol.

134.     Wolf in White Van, John Darnielle.
135.     Personal, Lee Child.
136.     Men of Tomorrow, Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book,
Gerard Jones.
137.     Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link.
138.     An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine.
139.     The Drop, Dennis Lehane.
140.     Highway 61 Revisited, Mark Polizzotti.
141.     Lila, Marilynne Robinson.
142.     Abattoir Blues, Peter Robinson.
143.     The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel.
144.     The Art of Neil Gaiman, Hayley Campbell.
145.     Some Luck, Jane Smiley.

146.     Shots Fired, C.J. Box.
147.     The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton.
148.     The Peripheral, William Gibson.
149.     The Children Act, Ian McEwan.
150.     Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood.
151.     The Burning Room, Michael Connelly.
152.     The Most Dangerous Book, Kevin Birmingham.
153.     My Dog Skip, Willie Morris.
154.     Wait For Signs, Craig Johnson.
155.     Old Books, Rare Friends, Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern.
156.     The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell.
157.     Mort Walker’s Private Scrapbook, Mort Walker.
158.     100 Things Royals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, Matt Fulks.
159.     The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan.
160.     The Laughing Monsters, Denis Johnson.

161.     Lord of the Flies, William Golding.
162.     Let Me Be Frank With You, Richard Ford.

163.     Full Measure, T. Jefferson Parker.
164.     The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore.
165.     10:04, Ben Lerner.
166.     The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters.
167.     The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014.
168.     All My Puny Sorrows, Miriam Toews.
169.     Rose Gold, Walter Mosley.
170.     Nora Webster, Colm Toibin.
171.     Deep Down Dark, Hector Tobar.
172.     The Lewis Man, Peter May.
173.     The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison.
174.     Revival, Stephen King.
175.     A Map of Betrayal, Ha Jin.