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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Reading Re-Cap: 2019

Decided the headings I invented in 2018 for this newest series did not need altering. But feel free to change any that don't work for you when you re-cap your reading year to share with others. And yes, I know there are still nine reading days left. So I reserve the right to replace any selection here should anything I finish over what remains of 2019 usurp any book noted, given these headings.

Novel most likely to be recommended to casual readers: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (2017) by Gail Honeyman. My choice of the adjective "casual" is purposeful not snarky. I liked this popular novel because aside from being accessible and funny, it's also well written and wise.

Novel most likely to be recommended to discerning readers: The Sellout (2015) by Paul Beatty. No novel I finished in 2019 even approximates the wallop this provocative powerhouse delivered. Even during passages when I was unsure what the author was getting at, his incendiary prose scorched me.

Novel and non-fiction book that most deepened my experience of living: There There (2018) by Tommy Orange and Black Man In A White Coat (2015) by Damon Tweedy.

Most worthwhile re-read: Poisonwood Bible (1998) by Barbara Kingsolver.

Most intriguing: The Gatekeepers (2017) by Chris Whipple. Probably because most of the names were familiar to me, this book - about the impact a Chief of Staff can have on a President - was fascinating end-to-end. And I'm not a political junkie.

Most personally useful:  Asked to select just one book I would not want to have missed reading this past year, Sapiens (2015) by Yuval Noah Harari - subtitled A Brief History of Humankind - would be the hands-down winner.

I hope you'll share your 2019 selections - regardless of publication date - with me and others. If need be, add anything you finish over the next ten days. I might.

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