lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2014

My favorite books of the year

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Sometime choosing a favorite book is like I suppose choosing a favorite kid would be. (And yet I don’t have kids, and I’m perfectly capable of choosing a favorite book, so maybe it isn’t like that). I read exactly 100 books this year, because that was my goal, and I’m big on goals and things like that (though I do have a few days to go so, who knows, maybe the round number will go up). Here are my Top 5 books of the year, and I swear, the order was harder than it was to wilt down the list to five.

South of the Border, West of the Sun, Haruki Murakami. The kind of love I have for Murakami defies explanations, so part of me thinks I shouldn’t even try, but I persevere, mostly to say that everyone should read him. There is something there for everyone. Most people I know who love Murakami have found something different to love about him. The language. The hidden messages. The subtleties. The directness. The evasiveness. I contradict myself, I know. That’s what Murakami does. That’s what he makes us do.   

This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz. I discovered this author by chance, and if you discover him because of this list, then I will have done you some good. Come back and tell me so, if you can. I have gone on to read another one of his books and to purchase one of his novels, which I have just started reading and I can unequivocally say I haven’t enjoyed a new (FOR ME) author as much as him in years. Sometimes I don’t like his characters. Most times, in fact. That’s probably what makes him such a great writer. Because those characters you don’t like, they’re real people. You recognize them. You know them. That’s precisely why you don’t like them.

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn. With all the hype surrounding this book, you’d think I would have read it before. But not, I’m contrary like this. I refused. I caved in just before the movie came out, mostly because I like to know things before I go see movies, and boy, am I glad I did. Reading the book is always a completely different experience than seeing a movie, and I’m glad I got all the twists and turns and the WTF and SERIOUSLY and, ARE YOU KIDDING ME’s are out of the way while reading a book. And whether I’m in the minority or not, as far as I’m concerned …the ending? Brilliant stuff.

Fear and Trembling, Amélie Nothomb. I love the title in Spanish much more, and I read the book in Spanish, but since we’re writing this in English, writing the title in Spanish did not make much sense. I contemplated leaving this book out of the list, since it seemed a little out of place, but the book has earned its spot. The author has earned its spot. There’s a certain sense of being out-of-place in the novel as well, that I could relate to. I guess, now that I think about it, we can all relate to it, one way or another.

Love Letters to the Dead, Ava Dellaria. I’m still not quite sure if this is a brilliant book or I read it in a sensitive time and it spoke to me, but the fact remains that it not only spoke to me it screamed, LOUDLY. And, what else do we ask of literature if not that?

                                          And, that’s me? What have you got? 

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