Saturday, December 11, 2004

It's Time! Select your Best Read of 2004

Last year I asked readers to join me in selecting their Best Read of 2003 in several categories. This year I'm going to ask everyone to choose the best book they read in 2004, but if you can't remember back to February or March, select any really satisfying book you read recently. In other words, if you visit this blog, do weigh in, regardless of your memory for the books of the past year! I'd love to hear about the book or books you loved reading!

Just enter your title and the author (if you remember it) and add any comments you'd like to make in the "Comments" area. If you'd prefer not to comment, just list a book title and its author.

The best piece of literature I read during the past year was, without any doubt or hesitation, Mrs. Sartoris by Elke Schmitter. I raved about it at some point this summer, so longtime readers of this blog may recall the title. It was shortlisted for the International Foreign Fiction Prize and received considerable attention as a work translated from German into English. The plot is so tightly constructed--it's a brilliant piece of writing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey - carolyn ( here

best book of 2004?
hands down Philip Roth "The Plot Against America"

other best books that were not necessarily published in 2004?
"Houdini Girl" by Martin Bedford
"Something Rising (Light and Swift)" by Haven Kimmel
"Any Human Heart" by William Boyd

9:58 AM  
Blogger carol o said...

Hard to pick just one..

Fiction: You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon
Non-fiction: The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto

8:13 PM  
Blogger sfp said...

David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is my overall favorite, although Any Human Heart is definitely in my top ten. I'm reading Island at the Center of the World right now--very slowly--so it may turn out to be one of my top reads in 2005.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

I keep a running list in the front of my journal of books I have *finished* (I usually have more than one going at a time, and some I have to just give up on!).

Picking one book was a great challenge, and I hope I'm not wimping out by picking something "old." I finally got around to reading two of Anchee Min's books this year, back to back: "Red Azalea" and "Becoming Madame Mao." Both books quickly enlightened me in regards to 20th-century Chinese history (a country I know little about to begin with) and gave me great respect for a non-native speaker writing in English. Min has a distinct and striking voice, and she really made an impact on me this year.

Speaking of a striking individual voice, while I planned on hating "Please Don't Kill the Freshman," by "Zoe Trope" (I am generally annoyed by teenage angst and completely lost by hip terminology), as it went on I found it to be a fascinating insight into the mind of a writer. Even if she is barely out of high school.

11:28 PM  

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