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Log of Books I Have Read After 1994


Jump to end of list, to most recently read books.

1995

January
Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices Peter Drucker
The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
The Silent Cry Kenzaburo Oe
Rabbit Run John Updike
Principle-Centered Leadership Stephen Covey
Leadership and the One-Minute Manager Kenneth Blanchard et al
The Shipping News E. Annie Proulx
February
Sula Toni Morrison
A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain Robert Olen Butler
The Confessions of Nat Turner William Styron
Song of Solomon Toni Morrison
Thriving on Chaos, Handbook for a Management Revolution Tom Peters
March
The Shifting Sources of Power and Influence Charles Dwyer
April
Liberation Management, Necessary Disorganization for the Nanosecond Nineties Tom Peters
Understanding the Twelve Steps Terence T. Gorski
Heart Songs and Other Stories E. Annie Proulx
May
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
Creating New Hospital-Physician Collaboration T.S. Wirth and S. Allcorn
June
Postcards E. Annie Proulx
Keepers of the House Shirley Ann Grau
July
Advise and Consent Allen Drury
A Personal Matter Kenzaburo Oe
Pediatric Trauma, Second Edition Robert J. Touloukian (ed)
Rabbit Redux John Updike
August
Physicians in Managed Care, A Career Guide eds: Mark A. Bloomberg and Steven R. Mohlie
The Reivers William Faulkner
Another Roadside Attraction Tom Robbins
If The River Was Whiskey T. Coraghessan Boyle
September
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues Tom Robbins
Waiting to Exhale Terry McMillan
The Tom Peters Seminar, Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations Tom Peters
Small Ceremonies Carol Shields
If I Die in a Combat Zone Tim O'Brien
Herzog Saul Bellow
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 12 eds. Carol Lake, Linda Rice, Richard Sperry
October
The Best American Short Stories 1994 ed. Tobias Wolff
Jitterbug Perfume Tom Robbins
When the Legends Die Hal Borland
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids Kenzaburo Oe
November
Not the End of the World Rebecca Stowe
Couples John Updike
The Pearl John Steinbeck
Pablo Neruda: Selected Poems ed. Nathaniel Tarn
Portnoy's Complaint Philip Roth
All That She Can Be Carol Eagle and Carol Colman
Without a Hero T. Coraghessan Boyle
December
The Myth of the A.D.D. Child Thomas Armstrong
The End of Affluence: The Causes and Consequences of America's Economic Dilemma Jeffrey Madrick
If You Want to Write Brenda Ueland
Brazil John Updike

1996

January
Seize the Day Saul Bellow
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas Tom Robbins
Ben Franklin and the Chamber of Time Chris Heimerdinger
S. John Updike
February
Bird by Bird Anne Lamott
They Whisper Robert Olen Butler
Integrated Health Care: Reorganizing the Physician, Hospital and Health Plan Relationship Dean C. Coddington, Keith D. Moore and Elizabeth A Fischer
The Best American Short Stories 1995 ed. Jane Smiley
March
The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings Edgar Allen Poe
The Stone Diaries Carol Shields
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Anne Tyler
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 13 eds. Carol Lake, Linda Rice, Richard Sperry
Barn Blind Jane Smiley
April
In the Lake of the Woods Tim O'Brien
Six Hours One Friday Max Lucado
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson
Bech is Back John Updike
Roger's Version John Updike
May
In Contempt Christopher Darden
The Warren Buffet Way, Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor Robert Hagstrom
Fair-Weather Flying, Second Edition Richard Taylor
June
Using the Internet with Windows 95 Jerry Honeycutt
Leading Change James O'Toole
Guide to the Biennial Flight Review Jackie Spanitz
Independence Day Richard Ford
July
Still Life With Woodpecker Tom Robbins
The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind David Guterson
Fathering, Strengthening Connection With Your Children No Matter Where You Are Will Glennon
Descent of Man T. Coraghessan Boyle
So Big Edna Ferber
Greasy Lake and Other Stories T. Coraghessan Boyle
August
Operation Shylock, A Confession Philip Roth
The Neon Bible John Kennedy Toole
Using Netscape 2 for Windows 95 Peter Kent
September
Managing the Academic Medical Practice, the Two-Headed Eagle William Nicholas
HTML for Dummies Ed Tittel and Steve James
October
Flash Fiction eds. James Thomas, Denise Thomas and Tom Hazuka
The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure Richard E. Kowalski
The Road to Wellville T. Coraghessan Boyle
Story, Summer 1996 ed. Lois Rosenthal
November
HTML The Definitive Guide Chuck Musciano and Bill Kennedy

1997

January
International Anesthesiology Clinics Vol. 30 No. 4: The Pediatric Airway ed Lawrence M. Borland, M.D.
World Chess Championship 1995: Kasparov vs Anand Daniel King
The Granta Book of the American Short Story ed. Richard Ford
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway
February
The Best American Short Stories 1996 ed John Edgar Wideman
Iona Moon Melanie Rae Thon
Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution Robert C. Atkins
First, Body Melanie Rae Thon
March
The English Patient Michael Ondaatje
Girls in the Grass Melanie Rae Thon
Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops 1997 eds. John Kulka, Natalie Danford
April
Meteors in August Melanie Rae Thon
Skinny Legs and All Tom Robbins
Martin Dressler, The Tale of an American Dreamer Steven Millhauser
May
In the Beauty of the Lilies John Updike
July
Accordion Crimes E. Annie Proulx
August
The Afterlife John Updike
September
The Centaur John Updike
November
Love and Friendship Allison Lurie
December
Marry Me, a Romance John Updike

1998

January
The Wings of the Dove Henry James
The Giant's House, A Romance Elizabeth McCracken
Atticus Ron Hansen
March
A Month of Sundays John Updike
C++ An Introduction to Computing Joel Adams, Sanford Leestma, Larry Nyhoff
April
Story, Winter 1998 ed. Lois Rosenthal
Black Zodiac Charles Wright
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt
How I Learned to Drive Paula Vogel
May
American Pastoral Philip Roth
June
Story, Summer 1998 ed. Lois Rosenthal
The Best American Short Stories 1997 ed. E. Annie Proulx
July
Story, Spring 1998 ed. Lois Rosenthal
August
Beginning Object-Oriented Analysis and Design Jesse Liberty
Trust Me John Updike
September
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby
Will You Always Love Me? Joyce Carol Oates
October
The Tortilla Curtain T. Coraghessan Boyle
10 Minute Guide to Motivating People Marshall J. Cook
Micro Fiction, An Anthology of Really Short Stories ed. Jerome Stern
Two Novels, 17, J Kenzaburo Oe

1999

January
Birds of America Lorrie Moore
February
Anagrams Lorrie Moore
March
Toward the End of Time John Updike
Cold Mountain Charles Frazier
April
Tomcat in Love Tim O'Brien
May
Story, Spring 1999 ed. Lois Rosenthal
The PoorHouse Fair John Updike
Prize Stories, Best of 1998, The O. Henry Awards ed. Larry Dark
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Lorrie Moore
Going After Cacciato Tim O'Brien
June
Self-Help Lorrie Moore
Story, Summer 1999 ed. Lois Rosenthal
July
The Hours Michael Cunningham
Best American Short Stories 1998 eds. Garrison Keillor, Katrina Kenison
Like Life Lorrie Moore
Typical Padgett Powell
Edisto Padgett Powell
August
Aliens of Affection Padgett Powell
September
The Witches of Eastwick John Updike
Edisto Revisited Padgett Powell
October
Northern Lights Tim O'Brien
Cat and Mouse Gunter Grass
November
The Tin Drum Gunter Grass
December
Of the Farm John Updike
Story, Winter 2000 ed. Lois Rosenthal
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges Nathan Englander

2000

January
On the Road Jack Kerouac
The Mistress of Spices Chita Banerjee Divakaruni
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
The Nuclear Age Tim O'Brien
February
Arranged Marriage Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Best American Short Stories 1999 eds. Amy Tan, Katrina Kenison
Water Music T. Coraghessan Boyle
Blindness Jose Saramago
Waiting Ha Jin
March
Close Range, Wyoming Stories Annie Proulx
Teach Us To Outgrow Our Madness Kenzaburo Oe
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
April
Inside the Sky, A Meditation on Flight William Langewiesche
Riven Rock T. Coraghessan Boyle
In the Pond Ha Jin
May
Memories of the Ford Administration John Updike
June
Master and Commander Patrick O'Brian
The Pilot's Wife Anita Shreve
July
Post Captain Patrick O'Brian
September
The Best American Short Stories of the Century eds. John Updike and Katrina Kenison
In Our Age: America's Empire in the Philippines Stanley Karnow
October
Dusk (Po-on) F. Sionil Jose
Don Vicente (Tree and My Brother, My Executioner) F. Sionil Jose
November
The Sampsons (The Pretenders and Mass) F. Sionil Jose
White Noise Don DeLillo
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone J. K. Rowling

2001

January
The Other Shore Gao Xingjian
The Stories of J. F. Powers J. F. Powers
Baby Boomers, 50 Ain't Bad Gary Perkins
Culture Shock, A Guide to Customs and Etiquette, Philippines Alfredo & Grace Roces
Mao II Don DeLillo
Budding Prospects, A Pastoral T. Coraghessan Boyle
The Love of a Good Woman, Stories Alice Munro
February
Airman's Odyssey (Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight, and Flight to Arras) Antonio de Saint-Exupery
Tales of Ordinary Madness Charles Bukowski
Piano Lessons, Music, Love, & True Adventures Noah Adams
Prize Stories 1999 The O. Henry Awards ed. Larry Dark
Americana Don DeLillo
Anesthesiology Clinics of North America September 2000, Perioperative Medicine ed. Peter Rock
March
Prodigal Summer Barbara Kingsolver
The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy
Greenspan, the Man Behind the Money Justin Martin
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 18 eds. Carol Lake, Linda Rice, Richard Sperry
East of the Mountains David Guterson
The Body Artist Don DeLillo
On to Java, Second Edition Patrick Henry Winston and Sundar Narasimhan
April
House of Sand and Fog Andre Dubus III
A Friend of the Earth T. Coraghessan Boyle
Observatory Mansions Edward Carey
How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Michael J. Gelb
May
The O. Henry Awards Prize Stories 2000 ed. Larry Dark
Ermita, A Novel F. Sionil Jose
June
Baltasar and Blimunda Jose Saramago
Paradise Toni Morrison
Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates Tom Robbins
July
Problems and Other Stories John Updike
August
Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories John Uddike
GNS 530 Pilot's Guide & Reference Garmin
The Orange Fish Carol Shields
September
A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You Amy Bloom
The Human Stain Philip Roth
Ravelstein Saul Bellow
October
The Middle East, A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years Bernard Lewis
Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network Yonah Alexander and Michael Swetnam
November
ACLS Provider Manual ed. Richard O. Cummins, MD
From This Moment On, A Guide for Those Recently Diagnosed with Cancer Arlene Cotter
Righteous Victims, A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 Benny Morris
December
The Battle for God Karen Armstrong
At Any Cost, How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election Bill Sammon
The Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis
Licks of Love, Short Stories and a Sequel, Rabbit Remembered John Updike
The Best American Short Stories 2000 eds. E. L. Doctorow, Katrina Kenison
Soul Mountain Gao Xingjian

2002

January
The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkein
The Abolition of Man C.S. Lewis
The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkein
February
Call If You Need Me, The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose Raymond Carver
Consciousness, Memoirs John Updike
The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis
The Coast of Good Intentions Michael Byers
The Burning House Ann Beatie
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 19 eds. Carol L. Lake and Joel O. Johnson
The Humanity of God Karl Barth
The Two Towers J.R.R. Tolkein
The Return of the King J.R.R. Tolkein
March
International Anesthesiology Clinics, Health Economics and Pracice Management in Anesthesia eds. Alex Macario and Adrienne C. Lang
A Painted House John Grisham
Letting Go Philip Roth
'A!' His characters teach us truths about ourselves. Even our apparently personal choices may unpredictably effect the lives of others.
April
The Iowa Award, The Best Stories, 1991-2000 ed Frank Conroy
A very nice collection of 21 stories, including some real gems.
Best New American Voices 2001 eds. Charles Baxter, John Kulka, Natalie Danford
We have some very fine up-and-coming writers. Some of these stories just have to be read!
Perl, Weekend Crash Course
Overview of what can be done. More showing than teaching.
May
The God Stealer and Other Stories F. Sionil Jose
Fourteen stories of Filipinos, including some disenchanted expatriates. Published in 1968.
In the Gloaming Alice Elliott Dark
Some very well-written stories here. The title story may well become a classic.
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, The Finca Vigia Edition Ernest Hemingway
June
Gertrude and Claudius John Updike
Superb! Brilliantly conceived and masterfully executed 'foreplay' to (Shakespeare's) Hamlet.
Goodbye Columbus and Five Short Stories Philip Roth
Very nice work: insightful look into some fun and interesting characters.
Our Gang Philip Roth
Hilarious satire of politics in the days of President "Trick E. Dixon."
The Same Door John Updike
Sixteen wonderfully told stories of young people in the 1950's learning timeless lessons on the often clumsy climb toward maturity.
July
The Music School John Updike
Superb! Udpike in his peak! Some of the best stories ever written in English.
Bech: A Book John Updike
Wonderful introductory portrayal of writer Henry Beck.
Fish! Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen
August
When She Was Good Philip Roth
Compelling, tragic story, very well told.
The Best American Short Stories 2001 eds. Barbara Kingsolver, Katrina Kenison
The Dying Animal Philip Roth
Superb! Mesmerizing, erotic, intoxicating, compassionate top-shelf Roth.
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky
September
Underworld Don DeLillo
A masterpiece! Perhaps, the great American novel of the second half of the 20th century.
Bel Canto Ann Patchett
Entertaining story.
Empire Falls Richard Russo
Interesting page-turner.
October
The Adventures of Augie March Saul Bellow
Excellent. Peotic. Insightful. One of the great American novels of the first half of the 20th century.
Miguel Street V.S. Naipaul
Interesting glimpse into the lives of some residents of this slum street in the capital of Trinidad.
A Quiet Life Kenzaburo Oe
A superb, sublimely simple yet multi-layered masterpiece that teaches us, among other things, about Japan and its culture, religious philosophy, the handicapped, Oe and ourselves!
The Coup John Updike
Very good. Satirical tragi-comedy of race and politics in the 70's.
November
A Healing Family Kenzaburo Oe
Candid explanation of the impact on the author's family of his handicapped son, Hikari.
The O. Henry Prize Stories 2002 ed. Larry Dark
Some excellent stories among the twenty -- all good ones.
December
Nine Stories J.D. Salinger
Updike reports being influenced by Salinger's excellent stories.
Mystery and Manners Flannery O'Connor
O'Connor discusses elements of the art of fiction writing.
The Story and Its Writer, An Introduction to Short Fiction, Compact Fifth Edition ed. Ann Charters
Very nice collection of classic stories, remarks by the editor about the authors and by the latter about the writing art.
The Breast Philip Roth

2003

January
Troublemakers John McNally
Stories. Good stuff.
The Ghost Writer Philip Roth
Excellent.
Grass Roof, Tin Roof Dao Strom
Excellent first novel.
Dangling Man Saul Bellow
Very good first novel. Ennui in Chicago's 1940's.
The Great American Novel Philip Roth
Funny, witty, clever, satirical baseball.
February
Recovery John Berryman
Wonderful forward by Saul Bellow and inspiring, educational introduction by Philip Levine. Wanderings of a mind wounded by chronic alcoholism.
Perfume, the Story of a Murderer Patrick Suskind
Intriquing, imaginative, violent olfactory experience on the edge of the bizarre.
Mr. Palomar Italo Calvino
Interesting insights into the nature of looking, seeing and trying to understand.
After the Plague - and other stories T. C. Boyle
Hypermodern, relentlessly gripping, top-shelf Boyle. Some of the best by the best!
Soldiers' Pay William Faulkner
Memorable characters deal with WWI traumas in Faulkner's first novel (1925).
Sabbath's Theater Philip Roth
Sex and death well done a la Roth's Mickey Sabbath.
March
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 20 eds. Carol L. Lake, Joel O. Johnson, and Thomas M. McLoughlin
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
Big Bend Bill Roorbach
Good stories.
The Loved One Evelyn Waugh
Unless Carol Shields
Superb! Does more than one can reasonably expect!
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
April
That Old Ace in the Hole Annie Proulx
Superior story-telling. Proulx is the Faulkner of the panhandle country
Interesting Women Andrea Lee
Stories delicious and unstoppable, some kissing brilliance.
A History of God, The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Karen Armstrong
Excellent result of in-depth study and analysis, thoroughly referenced, and complete with glossary, index and further reading list.
June
Writers on Writing eds. Robert Pack and Jay Parini
Wonderful trips into the heads of serious good writers that let us learn about the why's and how's of writing. Inspirational and useful.
Duluth Gore Vidal
Quite funny satire of almost everything seventies.
Complications, A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Atul Gawande
Very interesting collection of essays and true stories exploring the human side of the art medicine.
July
Libra Don DeLillo
Gripping fictional fleshing out of facts around the assassination of JFK.
Life of Pi Yann Martel
Good story, very well told.
August
The Iowa Review, Volume Thirty-Three Number One, Spring 2003 ed. David Hamilton
Interesting collection of a variety of forms of original new writing.
Ben Singkol, A Novel F. Sionil Jose
September
Think of England Alice Elliot Dark
Very readable and moving tale.
Winter Range Claire Davis
Excellent, eloquent story-telling in her first novel.
Players Don DeLillo
Striking, stark, spooky urban anomie.
The Victim Saul Bellow
The Age of Grief Jame Smiley
My Life as a Man Philip Roth
Excellent. Intriguing, delightful, original, unstoppable, highest-level character development.
October
The Names Don DeLillo
Well-written, intriguing, intersecting stories in a story.
Reading Myself and Others Philip Roth
Fun reading Roth's thoughts on his own work (up to the mid 70's), on the reactions of others to his works and on the writing of Kafka, Bellow, Malamud and others.
July, July Tim O'Brien
Very good. Sensitive, thoughtful, nostalgic study looking at the "then-and-now" of selected members of a class of 1969 at their 30-year reunion.
November
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert (translated by Francis Steegmuller)
A delicious classic.
The South Beach Diet Arthur Agatston
Description and recipes of this cardiologist-modified Atkins diet.
Buddenbrooks Thomas Mann (translated by John E. Woods)
Very well told epic tale of a 19th century German family.
December
Tone Deaf and All Thumbs? An Invitation to Music-Making Frank R. Wilson
Interesting, inspirational insights from a neurophysiologist.
Stories Anton Chekhov (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
Thirty wonderful, sensitive, insightful, moving stories by a great master.
Seek My Face John Updike
Awesome. Updike, more than ever, in this latest (2002) novel, naturally and apparently effortlessly, shows how wonderfully engaging our English language can be in the communication of even the finest details that build this elegant, simple characterization into a moving masterpiece.

2004

January
The Eight Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive Susan Page
Good, clear, basic, useful information.
The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work John M. Gottman, Ph.D., and Nan Silver
Useful, basic, helpful ideas.
Advances in Anesthesia, Volume 21 eds. Carol L. Lake, Joel O. Johnson, and Thomas M. McLoughlin
The Best American Short Stories 2003 eds. Walter Mosley and Katrina Kenison
I liked especially those by Adam Haslett, Mary Yakuri Waters and Louise Erdrich.
February
The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri
Zuckerman Unbound Philip Roth
Continuing the outrageous, funny, compassionate tale of Nathan Z.
Ocean of Words Ha Jin
Interesting stories, very well told in this PEN/Hemingway award winner.
You Are Not a Stranger Here Adam Haslett
An impressive debut, these nine wonderfully sensitive, sad but hopeful stories.
Drop City T.C. Boyle
The master does it again with this irresistable, imaginative adventure. Sixties hippie communal group meets Alaskan wilds.
March
The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol Nikolai Gogol, trans by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Entertaining, imaginative, humorous creations.
Girl with a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier
The Anatomy Lesson Philip Roth
The continuing misadventures of Nathan Zuckerman.
The Prague Orgy Philip Roth
Zuckerman trilogy epilogue.
A Relative Stranger Charles Baxter
Some good stories.
Accidents in the Home Tessa Hadley
Her first novel (2002) is an entertaining page-turner spiced with moments of clear insightfullness.
April
The Feast of Love Charles Baxter
In this uniquely and cleverly constructed National Book Award Finalist (2000), several diverse voices take turns telling their compelling intertwined stories of more or less love. Very well done.
Apetites, Why Women Want Caroline Knapp
An autobiographical inside look and feel of anorexia nervosa.
Collected Stories Saul Bellow
True gems by arguably the greatest 20th century American story writer. Inspirational afterward.
May
Islam, A Short History Karen Armstrong
Fine, explanantory introduction to the origin and development of the Islamic sects.
The Laws of Evening Mary Yukari Waters
Very nice debut collection of stories from this prize-winning writer who uncovers subtle but powerful connections of love and awareness across generations of Japanese, many indelibly if unkowingly marked by WW II.
The Actual Saul Bellow
Entertaining novella by the master.
End Zone Don DeLillo
Funny, apparently unlikely characters engaged in college football.
June
Anorexia Nervosa, A Survival Guide for Families, Friends and Sufferers Janet Treasure
A laconic, down-to-earth, to-the-point explanation of anorexia nervosa including practical things to do to help.
The Body Betrayed, A Deeper Understanding of Women, Eating Disorders, and Treatment Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D.
The Secret Language of Eating Disorders Peggy Claude-Pierre
Unconditional love helps defeat the negative mindset of anorexia nervosa.
One Man's Bible Gao Xingjian
This important semi-autobiograpical novel by a Nobel Prize (Literature) winner lets us look inside Mao Zedong's China while listening to the author's thoughts on the essence of writing.
Villa Incognito Tom Robbins
Off-the-wall wild, imaginative, clever, funny.
July
The Tragedy of Zionism, How Its Revolutionary Past Haunts Israeli Democracy Bernard Avishai
Historical, careful, cogent argument that Israel's survival depends on its ability to adopt true democracy with a constitution and a bill of rights, and, especially, its ability to finally abandon the very Zionism that inspired its formation.
Surfer's Startup: A Beginner's Guide to Surfing, Second Edition Doug Werner
Hawaii James A. Michener
Engrossing epic of the birth, growth, struggles and survival of our 50th state.
Cosmopolis Don DeLillo
Thought-provoking, artistic, stark, suspenseful, violent, modern urban anomie.
August
Walking to Martha's Vineyard Franz Wright
Very fine verse. Thoughtful, spiritual, sad and hopeful.
The Known World Edward P. Jones
A very well told and morally intricate tale of slavery in Virginia in the mid-19th century, including a focus on freed slaves some of whom have become slave-owners themselves.
The Crazed Ha Jin
Well told.
September
I Married a Communist Philip Roth
Interesting character development inside of character development in this study of the intersection of McCarthyism-politics, literature and human nature.
Instrument Pilot FAA Written Exam, Seventh Edition Irvin N. Gleim, PhD., CFII
Very helpful.
October
Nonrequired Reading Wislawa Szymborska
How fun to get to know this Nobel prize winning poet (Literature, 1996) by reading sketches inspired by books she has read.
The Instrument Flight Manual, The Instrument Rating and Beyond, Sixth Edition William K. Kershner
2002 edition. Excellent.
Love Toni Morrison
Very artfully knit tale of love, hate, tragedy, love.
Aviation Instructor's Handbook, FAA-H-8083-9 Federal Aviation Administration
1999 edition. The essential basics, well-explained.
November
Crowded with Genius, The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind James Buchan
Interesting, entertaining historical/biographical portrait of Edinburgh and it's people in the latter 18th century as the source of the intellectual foundations for much of the modern world. Very well researched/referenced with extensive footnotes in a separate section.
December
Web Pages That Suck, Learning Good Design by Looking at Bad Design Vincent Flanders and Michael Willis
Helpful basic tips.

2005

January
JavaScript for the World Wide Web, 2nd edition Tom Negrino and Dori Smith
Good place to start learning what JavaScript can do.
The Plot Against America Philip Roth
Imaginative rewrite of American history circa WWII pointing us in the direction of a homefront Jewish pogrom, told from the viewpoint of school aged Philip and his New Jersey family.
March
Walk on Water, The Miracle of Saving Children's Lives Michael Ruhlman
An study of pediatric congenital heart surgery, especially as practiced by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation group led by Dr. Roger Mee.
April
The Hour of the Star Clarice Lispector
Translated (and with an enlightening afterword) by Giovanni Pontiero. Very interesting. Lispector tells a moving story and much about the creative process that shapes it.
May
Great Jones Street Don DeLillo
Rock-n-roll burn-out, drop-out, paranoid 60's psych-out via tuned-in master DeLillo.
Conversational Tagalog, A Functional-Situational Approach Teresita V. Ramos
Excellent way to begin learning Tagalog. Magaling na magaling ito.
The Confessions of Max Tivoli Andrew Sean Greer
Tragic and moving tale of Max who lived life backwards - from old age to youth.
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
20th century (1937) southern American (Florida) classic.
The Barracks Thief Tobias Wolff
Fine story. Very fine story-telling.
The Best American Short Stories 2004 eds. Lorrie Moore, Katrina Kenison
A wonderful collection of very fine gems.
June
Slander, Liberal Lies About the American Right Ann Coulter
Witty, sharp, well-referenced.
The Counterlife Philip Roth
Masterfully imaginative variations of stories within variations of stories.
The Diary of Anais Nin, Volume I, 1931-1934 Anais Nin
Interesting how and what Ms. Nin writes about herself and her associates; and interesting what she leaves out.
Lucky Girls Nell Freudenberger
Five good stories from bright new (2003) talent. Especially liked the well-constructed last long story.
July
War Trash Ha Jin
Very fine, moving, well-referenced look into the heart and soul of especially one Chinese prisoner of South Korea (and the U.S.) during the Korean War in the 1950's.
Living to Tell the Tale Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Fun read. Translated (Spanish) by Edith Grossman. Nobel prize winning story teller tells the tale of his family, his Columbia, the beginnings of his writing adventure.
In the Heart of the Country J. M. Coetzee
Outstanding piece of work. Takes the reader inside the mind and soul of sociopathic, murderous Miss Magda as she increasingly isolates herself and becomes a tragic hermit alone on her dying farm.
Waiting for the Barbarians J. M. Coetzee
Irresistable page-turner with resounding ring of truth.
August
Digital Fortress Dan Brown
Quick fun read.
My Name is Red Orhan Pamuk
Wonderful, deliciously rich offering: love story, double murder mystery, philosophy and theology of art and painting, in 16th-century Islamic Turkey. Translated (Turkish) by Erdag M. Guknar.
How to Breathe Under Water Julie Orringer
Nine very fine, sensitive stories of growing up.
September
Snow Orhan Pamuk
An important, timely (2004), serious and farcical, classic and modern, elegant masterpiece. Pamuk shows how the inspiration and creativity of art and media can expose the human fraility at the intersection of religion and politics in political Islam. Translated (Turkish) by Maureen Freely.
Disgrace J. M. Coetzee
Another irresistable page turner.
Life & Times of Michael K J. M. Coetzee
Masterful telling of an important story that no one else would tell or could tell so well.
The Inner Circle T. C. Boyle
Master Boyle plus Professor A. Kinsey of the infamous Kinsey Reports = sex in large doses. Can love survive?
October
The White Castle Orhan Pamuk
Fascinating brain teaser.
November
Mastering GPS Flying Phil Dixon and Sherwood Harris
Useful for learning and teaching.
December
How People Recover from Eating Disorders Linda Riebel and Jane Rachel Kaplan
Excellent resource based on thorough research and years of experience.

2006

January
Mastering Instrument Flying, Third Edition Henry Sollman and Sherwood Harris
Based on years of practical experience. Very fine, complete explanation of what it takes to effectively teach and learn all elements required to fly safely and competently under instrument flight rules.
All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy
Great story. Superior story telling. Hint of Hemingway.
Bad Dirt, Wyoming Stories 2 Annie Proulx
The definitive voice of comedy and tragedy among the people of rural Wyoming.
Flying IFR, Fourth Edition Richard L. Collins
Practical guidance based on study and lots of experience.
The Golden Cage, the Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa Hilde Bruch, M.D.
Very readable classic (1978) analysis by psychiatrist Bruch based on caring for many seriously ill patients. Includes interesting important remarks from several recovered patients looking back.
February
The Crossing Cormac McCarthy
Superior story telling.
May
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
Intriguing story. Entertaining read. I bet the movie will be better. (Addendum: Almost impossibly, the movie was worse than the book.)
Instrument Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-15, 2001 FAA
The definitive text for instrument students and instructors.
July
Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual, Second Edition Rod Machado
Excellent. Entertaining and educational.
August
Instrument Flying, Fourth Edition Richard L. Taylor
Practical perspective of an experienced aviation educator.
September
The Pilot's Manual 3, Instrument Flying, Fourth Edition Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc
Comprehensive text.
Instrument Procedures Handbook FAA-H-8261-1, 2004
Excellent review of NAS for instrument pilots. Lots of great illustrations.
Instrument Oral Exam Guide, Sixth Edition Michael D. Hayes
Good preparatory review.
October
Under the Red Flag Ha Jin
Very well-told stories of Red China's culturally reformed Fort Dismount.
Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson
Powerful, delicious, sensitive, moving masterpiece.
Villages John Updike
The inimitable, unstoppable Updike continues to deliver good stuff.
Gilead Marilynn Robinson
Remarkable, inspirational meditation. Updike should read this one.
No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy
A McCarthy masterpiece. Destined to be a classic. Never a dull anything. Plot, characterizations, narration, organization, thematic concepts/ideas - everything superior. ('R' for violence.)
The Professor of Desire Philip Roth
Entertaining.
Of Love and Other Demons Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Very fine.
November
Deception Philip Roth
Very clever. Exclusively dialog. Explores grey area connecting autobioghraphic fact and literary fiction.
Wild Ducks Flying Backward Tom Robbins
Eclectic bits of nonfiction.
The Orchard Keeper Cormac McCarthy
Wonderful first novel. A puzzle of poetic pieces that paint a picture of life and death in the whiskey business of prohibition-era rural Tennessee where one may hear the "rain mendicant-voiced, soft chanting in that dark gramarye that summons the earth to bridehood."
December
Eat the Document Dana Spiotta
Very good read.
The Black Book Orhan Pamuk
Gorgeous translation and informative afterward by Maureen Freely. Istanbul, Turkey, 1980's, missing persons, mystery, identity crises. "You become someone else when you read a story." "Because nothing is as surprising as life. Except for writing."

2007

January
Tooth and Claw T. C. Boyle
Masterful. Fourteen stories.
February
The Best American Short Stories 2006
Twenty fine stories. Especially liked those by Katherine Bell, David Bezmozgis, Mary Gaitskill, Yiyun Li, Kevin Moffett, and Maxine Swain.
March
The Inheritance of Loss Kiran Desai
Man Booker Prize winner 2006. Good look at the postcolonial Indian immigrant angst and powerlessness of several rather interesting characters.
May
Effective Java, Programming Language Guide Joshua Bloch
Superb. 57 clearly explained items certain to enhance your Java programs.
Crash Diet Jill McCorkle
Enjoyable read. Funny, wry stories of life and love.
Difficult Conversations, How to Discuss What Matters Most Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
Helpful, useful, clearly written.
The Road Cormac McCarthy
A merciless masterpiece. Powerful. Moving.
June
Simulation in Anesthesia Christopher J. Gallagher and S. Barry Issenberg
Super. Just the right place for anyone to learn everything about the theory and practice of simulation applied to anesthesia.
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers Yiyun Li
These ten delicious stories won the Frank O'Conner International Short Story award and the Hemingway/PEN award for distinguished first book of fiction. Keep up the good work.
August
Everyman Philip Roth
Who says you can't kill off your main character? The intriguing lead player in this drama - who amazingly remains unnamed - is dead before the novel begins - at his funeral. But somehow we still care. Well done, Mr. Roth.
The Rings of Saturn W.G. Sebald (translated from German by Michael Hulse)
Clothed as a walking tour of the eastern coast of England, a richly substantiated analysis of selected interesting, sometimes obscure, elements of English, European and world history. A fascinating history lesson.
September
Permanent Visitors Kevin Moffett
This collection of eight delicious stories by a gifted new writer won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, judged by George Saunders, and was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.
November
Talk Talk T.C. Boyle
Cinematic adventure in identity theft.
The Photograph Penelope Lively
Superior story telling.
Things Kept, Things Left Behind Jim Tomlinson
Wow! Tomlinson's must-read short story "Things Kept" is near perfection! Tomlinson has the gift.

2008

January
Desert Gothic Don Waters
    Good stories. Very interesting images of unique likable western American desert nomad types. Iowa short fiction winner.
February
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
    The five HitchHiker's Guide novels plus one short story tell the whole fun, imaginative story. From corny to often hilarious. Last two novels are the best. Don't Panic.
March
Terrorist John Updike
    Updike tells a good story. Unexpected ending to this one.
The Gathering Anne Enright
    Well constructed in original style. Shaky gal destabilized in dealing with death of brother.
March Geraldine Brooks
    Pullitzer Prize winning, very well imagined story of what happened to Mr. March, the father of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women when he was away from them and involved in and terribly changed by the Civil War.
May
Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, The One Essential Parenting Book, 8th Edition Benjamin Spock MD and Robert Needleman MD
    Very readable reference, full of good practical advice regarding all things parents need to know from breast-feeding to deciding about college.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution, Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night Elizabeth Pantley
    Very helpful, quieter but effective alternative to the "let-him-cry-it-out" technic.
The Happiest Baby on the Block Harvey Karp
    Practical, thoroughly explained, how-to comfort even the colicky young infant using the five S's: swaddling, side/stomach positioning, shushing, swinging, sucking.
The O'Henry Prize Stories 2007 eds. Charles D'Ambrosio, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lily Tuck
    Twenty very fine stories. Especially enjoyed those by William Trevor, Eddie Chuculate, Sana Krasikov, Jan Ellison, Andrew Altschul and Susan Straight.
June
The Immortal Game, A History of Chess David Shenk
    Very interesting examination of the historical significance of chess alternating with an analysis of Anderssen's immortal game of 1851.
August
The Baby Sleep Coach System, from A to Zzz in Seven Simple Steps Heather Pizzo, Psy.D.
    Best one. This method is actually doable and it works! Sweet dreams.
October
One Hundred Euphemsims for Mountain John Washington
    I think this talented new writer's first novel would be even more effective if he would more simply just tell the story.
The Grass is Singing Doris Lessing
    Powerful, depressing tale of poverty, insanity and murder in early racist South Africa. First novel by Nobel prize winner.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz
    Off-the-wall, irresistable story-telling.
November
The Great Man Kate Christensen
    Well done. There is real life after 70.
She's Come Undone Wally Lamb
    Ouch.
Duma Key Stephen King
    Very good story-telling. Creepy, wierd, scary story.
December
Greed Elfriede Jelinek translated from German by Martin Chalmers
    Tragic tale told in unique, present tense, conversational style by Nobel laureate.
Wandering Star J.M.G. Le Clezio translated from French by C. Dickson
    Nobel laureate tells a story that has to be told and must be heard.
2009
January
The Best American Short Stories 2008 eds. Salman Rushdie, Heidi Pitlor
    Especially liked those by Allegra Goodman, A.M. Homes, Miroslav Penkov, George Saunders, Bradford Tice and Mark Wisniewski.
Drown Junot Diaz
    Ten convincing stories. Diaz has the gift. Keep writing, bro.
The White Tiger Aravind Adiga
    White Tiger, black India. Well-painted, scary first-person portrait of one violent attempt to do the near-impossible: escape from a bottom caste or "Rooster Coop."
Dreams from My Father, A Story of Race and Inheritance Barack Obama
    This autobiographical, self-exploration by superior thinker and writer, Barack Omaba, includes eloquent depictions of obstacles to social and political advancement faced by American Blacks. With profound irony, its author is now today the first Black president of our United States. Highly recommended reading for every American.
February
Women in Their Beds Gina Berriault
    Wow! PEN/Faulkner awared winner exceeds expectations. Seems impossible that one writer could produce 35 such absolute gems. At least as good as anything I've read. Listen carefully to Berriault's stories and you will hear sounds that you didn't know your heart could make. Yes.
Exit Ghost Philip Roth
    Roth at his best. Teaches while he entertains - brilliantly. Could not put the book down. We love you, Nathan Zuckerman.
A Person of Interest Susan Choi
    Irresistable page-turner by very talented writer. Choi seamlessly weaves together elements of terror, suspense, and mystery, with an older person's self-examination and rediscovery leading to growth, maturation and hope for a new kind of personal rapprochement. No small feat.
The Prospector J.M.G. Le Clezio translated from French by Carol Marks
    Well-told biographical adventure/love story letting us feel the human condition in a new way.
Death with Interruptions Jose Saramago translated from Portugese by Margaret Jull Costa
    Well done, fantastic bemusements. What if death: put things on hold for while in one country? restart gave one-week warnings? fell in love?
March
Intuition Allegra Goodman
    Excellent look at the personalities, passions, deceptions and nobilities of the modern medical science laboratory business.
The March by E.L. Doctorow
    Tells the story of Sherman's March to the Sea from the points of view of several interesting characters on both sides of the American civil war.
The O'Henry Prize Stories 2008 ed Laura Furman
    Twenty fine stories. I especially liked three: Village 113 by Anthony Doerr, Touch by Alexi Zentner and Bad Neighbors by Edward P. Jones.
May
A Free Life Ha Jin
    Wonderful, moving epic tale of one Chinese immigrant's struggle to find personal and artistic fulfullment through, or in spite of, the "American Dream."
This Book Will Save Your Life A.M. Homes
    Very entertaining read. Warm. Funny. Happy. Sad. Read it and you will hope to be like Richard Novak - an always willing, if sometimes accidental, modern American Good Samaritan hero. You may even save someone's life, if not your own.
June
The Best American Short Stories 2007 eds. Stephen King, Heidi Pitlor
    Twenty good ones. Especially liked those by Aryn Kyle and Richard Russo.
Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Powerfully moving look inside the Biafran-Nigerian war.
Biting the Hand that Starves You, Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia Richard Maisel, David Epston, Ali Borden Toilet Training in Less Than a Day Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx
    Classic (1974) method.
July
The PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories 2009 ed. Laura Furman
    Good stuff. Especially liked the stories by L.E. Miller, Caitlin Horrocks, Judy Troy, and Junot Diaz.
The Happiest Toddler on the Block, How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One-to-Four-Year-Old Harvey Karp
    Clear, detailed explanations and examples of how to help your toddler into civilization. Basic principles useful for all ages: first listen with RESPECT, echo strong emotions, talk at the appropriate level, provide lots of positive guidance. Always respect the dignity of your toddler as an individual.
August
CivilWarLad in Bad Decline George Saunders
    Six very good stories and a novella. Original, funny, at times scary.
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch
    For everyone, including his wife and three kids.
September
The Crimson Petal and the White Michel Faber
    Faber gently seduces us into the story of Suger, an 1870's London prostitute, who keeps us entranced without disappointment for over 800 pages. Great story, very well told.
Oxygen Carol Cassella
    Exciting medical adventure involving a mysterious operating room anesthesiology mishap that kills a child. Well thought-out by real insider Dr. Cassella, a practicing anesthesiologist.
Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black Nadine Gordimer
    Good stuff. Especially liked Alternative Endings. Unique story-telling style. Nobel prize winner.
October
The Garden of Last Days Andre Dubus III
    An irresistible page-turner all right!
Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day Teri Crane
    We're gonna have a Potty Party!
November
Fine Just the Way It Is Annie Proulx
    Super fine stories. Hooray for the gem, 'Tits-Up in a Ditch' - very powerful, moving anti-Iraq-war Wyoming story!
Detective Story Imre Kertesz, translated from Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson
    Outer Dark Cormac McCarthy
      Great story-teller. Creepy story.
    December
    The Humbling Philip Roth
      Super story-telling, as always, from Mr. Roth.
    Indignation Philip Roth
      Funny, sad, powerful.
    2010
    January
    The Toss of a Lemon Padma Viswanathan
      Well-told epic tale of an Indian woman and her family's struggles with life and the caste system in a changing society.
    Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout
      Pulitzer Prize winner. Insightful stories about the citizens of small-town coastal Maine, especially wonderful, big, old, mean, kind, hating, loving Olive.
    Preventing Sibling Rivalry, Six Strategies to Build a Jealousy-Free Home Sybil Hart
      Interesting read.
    Let the Great World Spin Colum McCann
      Super job. New York City in well-told stories that share a wide spectrum of intriguing characters and a day in 1974 when a tightrope artist walked a wire connecting the tops of World Trade Center Towers.
    March
    The Case for God Karen Armstrong
      Excellent review and analysis of the history of our thinking about God and religion from ancient times to the early 21st century. Religion's task is to help us live well, even joyously, with realities for which there are no easy explanations and with problems we can't solve (e.g., mortality, pain, grief, despair, injustice and cruelty). Religion is a practical discipline that requires significant effort in a dedicated lifestyle - a "compassionate lifestyle that allows us to break out of the prism of selfhood."
    The Conservationist Nadine Gordimer
      Strong work. Character portraits and paintings of South African apartheid.
    A Mercy Toni Morrison
      Powerful portrayal of slavery and indentured servitude in 17th century America.
    April
    The Women T.C. Boyle
      Wow. Very good stuff. Superbly told tale of the women of Frank Lloyd Wright.
    May
    The Best American Short Stories 2009 ed. Alice Sebold
      Fine collection. Especially like those by Victoria Lancelotta, Karl Taro Greenfield, Annie Proulx.
    June
    About Grace Anthony Doerr
      Almost, but not quite.
    The Fire Gospel Michel Faber
      Yes! A real page turner. Publishing a newly discovered Gospel that contradicts the old can be profitable but disastrous.
    Zoli Colum McCann
      Wow! Another McCann masterpiece. Gets right inside the beating heart and mind of Romani Gypsy Zoli and her culture.
    Lost City Radio Daniel Alarcon
      Very well constructed first novel. Unique, attractive characters whose lives are critically impacted by an impossible war.
    Under the Skin Michel Faber
      Amazing, weird, engrossing tale. What sacrifices and soul-searchings might be experienced by a handful of fascinating beings from another world who hunt and butcher us for profit as rare culinary delicacies? Somehow Faber pulls this one off beautifully. Have to wonder if he is vegan.
    The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
      Very well told and put together mysterious story within a story or stories, connected in interesting and unexpected ways.
    Going Away Shoes Jill McCorkle
      Eleven stories, told with sensitivity and humor, about women and men trying, failing and maybe sometimes succeeding to connect meaningfully to each other and their families.
    July
    The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
      A classic.
    The Ministry of Special Cases Nathan Englander
      Fine piece of work. Outcast Jew, hijo de puta, Kaddish Poznan and wife Lillian deal with loss of their son, "disappeared" by Argentina's new government.
    American Woman Susan Choi
      Wow! A masterpiece second novel by an awesome talent. Exciting page-turner centered around four young American radical terrorist fugitives in the 1970's. (Shades of Patty Hearst.) Irresistible character development exceeds expectations. Although the tragic heroine, Jenny, planted a bomb that blew up part of a building (as planned, no one was killed), you understand her and want her to somehow find peace and happiness. Powerful. Unforgettable.
    The Thing Around Your Neck Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
      Twelve stories. All good.
    The Courage Consort Michel Faber
      Three fine novellas.
    The Foreign Student Susan Choi
      Entirely superior work. Gripping. Tragic. Powerful. Insightful. Hopeful. Enlightening. Fulfilling. Awesome.
    Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
      Classic. Casual, funny, imaginative, strong anti-war statement, based on the adventures of Billy Pilgrim who was a POW in Dresden, Germany, when U.S. and British bombers killed 135,000 people there.
    The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
      Tale of the tragic fall of an early 20th century southern family plagued by greed, promiscuity, sickness and suicide. Faulkner uses some wonderful, challenging streams of consciousness starting with one from the disorganized mind of the very retarded Ben.
    August
    Confessions of a Shopaholic Sophie Kinsella
      Fun read.
    Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence
      Classic tale (1913) of Paul Morel's difficult, conflicted relationships with his mother and his lovers.
    Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel
      Booker prize winning study of the mind and heart of Thomas Cromwell in the time of King Henry VIII.
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
      Classic tale of connection and isolation in a small southern U.S. town in the 1930's.
    How to Paint a Dead Man Sarah Hall
      Wonderful. In rotation, Hall introduces us to four appealing artists in four powerful, moving stories, connected in so many ways.
    September
    Darkness at Noon Arthur Koestler
      Darkly disturbing look at the last days of Comrade Rubashov, victim of the 1930's Moscow trials.
    Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry
      Classic, timeless masterpiece set in 1938 Mexico. Magnificent control of the language. Rich use of literary allusions. Powerful portrayal of the agonies of alcoholism. One cannot live without love.
    The Electric Michelangelo Sarah Hall
      Interesting biography of early twentieth century English tattoo artist.
    Little Bee Chris Cleave
      Good, moving story, well told alternately by two interesting narrators: Little Bee, a teen-aged Nigerian asylum-seeker, whose life was saved in a tense scene by the other teller - editor of a London fashion magazine, the about-to-be widowed young mother of a four-year-old who believes he is Spiderman.
    Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West Cormac McCarthy
      Bloody masterpiece. Very bloody. Kid joins traveling gang of ruthless, vicious scalp hunters in mid-nineteenth-century wild, wild western U.S. In the end, what horrible thing did the Judge do to the kid? No one will ever know for sure.
    October
    Daughters of the North Sarah Hall
      Fine piece of speculative fiction.
    Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
      Classic masterpiece. The unforgettable story of Philip Carey.
    Toilet Training: the Brazelton Way T. Berry Brazelton M.D.
      Let the child be the leader. You be the helper.
    Incendiary Chris Cleave
      Letter to Osama bin Laden from working class London gal describing her struggle to re-build her life after the sudden violent deaths of her husband and 4 year-old son in an Al Qaeda suicide bombing. Interesting twists: some sad, many hilarious.
    The Moviegoer Walker Percy
      Excellent. Young, New Orleans stockbroker searching for meaning, love.
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
      Irresistible page turner. Intriguing, unique characters.
    November
    Ulysses James Joyce
      Classic tour de force. Joyce proves the master of multiple styles as we spend June 16, 1904, in Dublin, Ireland, getting up close and personal with Leopold Bloom.
    The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
      Superior, gripping tearjerker.
    Wabash Robert Olen Butler
      Very good. Builds smoothly to gripping climax.
    December
    The Girl Who Played With Fire Stieg Larsson
      Second of the trilogy. Even better than the first. Gripping. Couldn't put it down.
    War Dances Sherman Alexie
      Collection of poems and good stories. Good sense of humor.
    The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
      Classic tale of selected misadventures of the young Holden Caulfield.
    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Stieg Larsson
      Trilogy finale. Another real page-turner.
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein
      Classic (1966) science fiction tale of how determined and resourceful Lunar patriots achieved independence from mother Earth in 2076. Tanstaafl!
    Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein
      Classic (1961) story of the Man from Mars, Valentine Michael Smith who was born on Mars of human parents, and brought back to earth to learn our ways and then teach us all a better way. Thou art God. Grok it, man.
    2011
    January

    Getting Back to Even James J. Cramer and Cliff Mason
      Inspirational. Good ideas.
    The Finkler Question Howard Jacobson
      Superior. Excellent examination of the struggles of two recently-widowed English Jews and their would-be-Jew friend, dealing with life amidst growing anti-Semitism in the face of the shameful and violent mistreatment of Palestinians by Zionist Israel.
    Real Money James J. Cramer
      Learn and be inspired by a stock market guru. Buy and sell stocks right by spotting bottoms and tops. Make money.
    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Amy Chua
      Excellent read for every serious parent by Yale law professor and "Chinese mother" of two musically very prodigious daughters. Well-written, moving story of Ms. Chua's relentless determination to push her daughters to excellence, and her eventual surrender to her younger (13-year-old) one.
    February
    Stay Mad for Life, Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer) James J. Cramer and Cliff Mason
      Filled with great, practical financial advice based on Cramer's years of study and experience in the investing business.
    The Spiral Staircase, My Climb Out of Darkness Karen Armstrong
      Moving. Honest. Inspiring. Ms. Armstrong, escaping a convent and overcoming temporal lobe epilepsy, finds that the study of meaning in religion and God are her true passions. "...look into your own heart, find out what distresses you, and then refrain from inflicting similar pain on other people." This is the essence of religious life. Everything else is commentary.
    The Year of the Hare Arto Paasilinna
      Disenchanted journalist drops out of his old life in chase of an injured hare; becomes wandering woodsman, bear hunter. Adventurous. Imaginative. Fun.
    Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett
      Classic. Tragic tale very well told. Poor Anna.
    Nurtured by Love, the Classic Approach to Talent Education, Second Edition Shinichi Suzuki, translated by Waltraud Suzuki
      Suzuki describes the development of the philosophy of his method of music education of young children.
    The Grand Design Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
      Fascinating. Inspires one to study physics. Is M-theory the complete theory of the universe? A universe that creates itself?
    March
    When the Killing's Done T. C. Boyle
      Boyle just keeps getting better. One of our best story-tellers ever.
    Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life Karen Armstrong World on Fire, How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability Amy Chua
      Cogent argument, well documented and annotated, by Yale law professor. History has taught us that free markets favor already market dominant minorities. Adding democracy is likely to be disastrous, resulting in cruel, even genocidal, attacks on those minorities from the newly empowered majority.
    The Hidden Reality Brian Greene
      Mind expanding. Is ours just one of many universes?
    The Investment Answer, Learn How to Manage Your Money and Protect Your Financial Future Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray
      Good well-referenced explanation of the classic conservative approach to investing.
    Confessions of a Street Addict James J. Cramer
      Quite a tale. Good read.
    A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan
      Masterful, magical picture of how that Goon, time, subtly completely changes everything. A collection of uniquely charming stories woven together across the years with irresistible characters like you and me.
    April
    The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power Daniel Yergin
      Awesome piece of work! Thoroughly documented with over 80 pages of references. Brilliantly written historical narrative of the essential role oil has played in the lives of we "hydrocarbon" people. Filled with anecdotes, quotes and vivid character portrayals that keep the reader unforgettably right in the midst of the action.
    How the West Was Lost, Fifty Years of Economic Folly - and the Stark Choices Ahead Dambisa Moyo
      Sobering look at how U.S. policy and the behavior of its people is causing its downfall as a leading economic power in favor of other rapidly rising countries, especially China.
    Look at Me Jennifer Egan
      Superior. Couldn't put it down.
    Netherland Joseph O'Neill
      Well told. Thoughtfully introspective winner of 2009 PEN/Faulkner.
    May
    Model Home Eric Puchner
      Gem of a novel. LOL hilarious and heart wrenching sad, just like life.
    Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese
      Interesting, well-written first novel by Dr. Verghese. Lots of accurate, detailed medical knowledge and experience evident; but overall story feels just a wee bit too fantastic.
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami, trans (Japanese) by Jay Rubin
      Super story telling by a great talent. An irresistible adventure.
    Take One Candle Light a Room Susan Straight
      Not bad.
    The Caprices Sabina Murray
      PEN/Faulkner award winner. Nine powerful stories of repercussions of WW II in Asia. New best anti-war book.
    June
    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
      Riches to rags intersects rags to riches, but nowhere happiness. Well told.
    Flourish, A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being Martin E. P. Seligman
      An upgrade to his earlier "Authentic Happiness." Write down three things that went well for you today. Write why each went well. Repeat daily. See www.authentichappiness.com
    The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg Deborah Eisenberg
      A glorious collection of 27 wonderful stories, artistically crafted and told in deliciously poetic prose by the inimitable Eisenberg.
    After Dark Haruki Murakami, trans (Japanese) by Jay Rubin
      Short novel looks at scenes of one Tokyo night. Appealing. Imaginative.
    July
    Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami, trans (Japanese) by Philip Gabriel
      Wow! What a mind-bending trip! Extraordinarily imaginative metaphysical adventure in growing up, life, death, sex, violence, raining fish and talking with cats.
    In Cold Blood Truman Capote
      Gripping true story of the murderers of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, November 1959.
    The Keep Jennifer Egan
      Masterful, elegant, irresistible story within a story.
    Raising Confident Happy Children, 40 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed Anthony Gunn
      Forty practical tips from psychologist Gunn.
    John Adams David McCullough
      Amazing piece of work. Superbly referenced, detailed, sensitive, moving biography of one of our greatest Americans, the voice of our Declaration of Independence - the reason it got done and approved when it did. Enjoyed life-long, deep, spiritual and inspirational relationship with the amazing Abigail Adams. Best friends at the end, Adams and Tom Jefferson both died on the same day, July 4, 50 years after the signing of the Declaration!
    August
    Blood Dark Track, A Family History Joseph O'Neill
      Wonderful. Better than his award-winning fictional Netherland. O'Neill researches, reveals and carefully analyzes the stories around the World War Two imprisonment of both of his grandfathers.
    Illustrado Miguel Syjuco
      Masterful. Clever. Funny. Man Asian Literary Prize winning first novel! Recommended reading for everyone but especially for Filipino expatriates, balikbayan, or U.S. Philippines aficionados with some Tagalog skills. Readers will wonder: Is this fiction? Who is really telling this story? Who is it really about?
    Turn of Mind Alice LaPlante
      Superior first novel. Get inside the head of Jennifer White, demented retired orthopedic surgeon accused of murdering her best friend. Hard to put down.
    Positive Discipline for Preschoolers Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy Henderson the Rain King Saul Bellow
      A deliciously imagined adventure.
    iCon, Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon
      Spellbinding, unauthorized but authoritative, well-documented revelation of some of the misadventures and incredible achievements of the unique genius that is Steve Jobs.
    September
    Wild Child and Other Stories T. C. Boyle
      Fourteen imaginative, intriguing, satisfying short stories. Boyle can write a great short story about anything, anybody, anywhere.
    October
    Truman David McCullough
      Definitive masterpiece. Tells one of the greatest American stories, that of President Harry S. Truman - ordinary, small-town midwestern citizen with no college education who became president almost accidentally and, using the Bible, a deep knowledge and understanding of history and his profound personal integrity as guides, successfully faced some our country's most important decisions: whether to use the atomic bomb, creation of the United Nations, dealing with post-World War II Europe (Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan), the Berlin Airlift, recognition of Israel, formation of NATO, committing our armed forces to Korea, and helping ensure civilian control over our military. Proved that each of us is capable of greatness, and that Presidents are regular people.
    Hell Robert Olen Butler
      Dead news anchor finds himself in Hell. Wondering what put him there and seeking to escape if possible, he works in Hell as a TV news anchor interviewing famous others, asking why they think they are in Hell. Turns out everyone is there. Teaming with horrors, but also full of funny, even hilarious, moments.
    Beyond Time-out, From Chaos to Calm Beth A. Grosshans Ph.D. with Janet H. Burton L.C.S.W.
      Use Grosshans 5-step Ladder to be an effective parent and avoid or repair any imbalance of family power (IFP). Successful method based on lots of clinical experience. Well-explained with lots of good examples.
    Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Malcolm Gladwell
      The power of first impressions. How they hurt us; and how they can be honed to help us. Very interesting read.
    Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
      Powerful stuff. National Book Critics Circle Award winning first novel from a Minneapolis, Minnesota, gal who grew up in North Dakota as a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe Indians and became a gracefully artistic and deeply sensitive storyteller.
    Nanjing Requiem Ha Jin
      Fine piece of work. Story of the Goddess of Mercy, Minnie Vautrin, and the last years of Jinling Women's College, Nanjing, China - all tragic victims of Japanese war atrocities in the late 1930's to early 1940's.
    November
    The Plague of Doves Louise Erdrich
      Powerful, superior story-telling by an artist who uses language that not only paints, but also sings and dances. A collection of beautifully interwoven stories told by irresistible characters, through which the truth behind an old family murder gradually emerges. Oh, yeah, and there's lots of great sex in it, too.
    1Q84 Haruki Murakami
      Reality and fantasy are cleverly brought together in this unique, irresistible page-turner.
    The Small Hotel Robert Olen Buter
      Wow! That's some powerfully moving stuff from a very gifted story-teller. Don't hesitate to say "I love you."
    The Painted Drum Louise Erdrich
      Very fine story-telling.
    December
    Steve Jobs Walter Isaacson
      The definitive biography, the real Steve Jobs story. Fine piece of work. The journey is the reward.
    The Master Butchers Singing Club Louise Erdrich
      Very superior, sensitive story telling.
    The 50 Funniest American Writers Andy Borowitz
      LOL. Some seriously funny; others funny-serious.
    Shadow Tag Louise Erdrich
      Powerful sad tale.
    When the Emperor Was Divine Julie Otsuka
      Fine debut novel tells the story of one Japanese American family held in captivity for years and permanently, deeply scarred by the irrational, paranoid racism that flared up after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
    2012
    January

    Man with a Pan ed. John Donohue
      Delicious, inspirational book. Collection of fun stories and recipes by men writers who cook for their families. Do men who cook have more and better sex?
    This Side of Brightness Colum McCann
      Gripping, heart wrenching story of the New York subway tunnels: the men who dug them and the people who live in them today.
    Autobiography of a Yogi Paramahansa Yogananada
      Incredible stuff.
    February
    The Tiger's Wife Lea Obreht
      Wonderful story from great new talent. 2011 Orange Prize winning first novel. Woven with great loving care and a tantalizing pinch of fantasy. A girl and her grandfather.
    Buy High Sell Higher Joe Terranova
      Respected professional investor and TV Fast Money panelist shares his successful experience.
    The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka
      We learn the story of our Japanese immigrants in the first half of last century. And we make the unusual first person plural work so well that we become them.
    If I Have to Tell You One More Time... Amy McCready March
    A Good Fall Ha Jin
      Collection of very good stories about Chinese immigrant troubles and transitions in America.
    The Red Convertible, Collected and New Stories, 1978-2008 Louise Erdrich
      Very nice collection of super stories. Naked Woman Playing Chopin. Beauty Stolen from Another World.
    Stone Arabia Dana Spiotta
      Beautifully told. 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Feels at least as good as her earlier Eat the Document.
    Open City Teju Cole
      Interesting first novel. Philosophical observations of a knowledgeable new psychiatrist wandering Brussels briefly but mainly Manhattan. "The racist structure of this country is crazy-making."
    The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst
      Exquisite, sensitive, satirical study of the English upper class in the 1980s told especially through the eyes of a gay, young Oxford grad. Man Booker Prize Winner 2004.
    April
    The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes
      Spell-binding page turner. 2011 Man Booker Prize winner.
    Lightning Fields Dana Spiotta
      Super first novel (2001). Likable, troubled LA ladies working, loving and searching for something uncertain.
    State of Wonder Ann Platchett
      Quite an adventure.
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Katherine Boo
      Super first book. Awesome piece of narrative journalism, an in-depth investigative report of the struggle to survive and the hope to do the impossible: live a decent life in a Mumbai slum. Katherine Boo speaks significant truths. Must read for anyone who wants to know India.
    Lord of Misrule Jaimy Gordon
      Gordon is an artist who takes us all around and inside the souls of several unique but totally real characters who chance to find themselves involved together at a low-stakes horse racing track near the Ohio-West Virginia border. Money, sex and violence of course, but also magic, love, insanity, risk and luck. A clear winner.
    Mathilda Savitch Victor Lodato
      Solid first novel from award-winning playwright. Young adolescent Mathilda struggles to define herself one year after her older sister's suicide.
    The Vagrants Yiyun Li
      Trying to live an honorable life or just trying to survive under Communist oppression in the little town of Muddy River, China, in 1979, after the gruesome execution of a young woman protester.
    May
    Arthur and George Julian Barnes
      Very good stuff. Intersecting stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a little known George. A life-saving intersection for both.
    Together With Montessori Cam Gordon
      Good presentation and explanation of the principles and practice of the Montessori method.
    Binocular Vision Edith Pearlman
      Wow! Awesome collection of beautiful stories that fit together like stepping stones on an irresistible path. Pearlman is absolutely brilliant.
    Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius Angeline Stoll Lillard Bring Up The Bodies Hilary Mantel
      Mantel was just warming up when she wrote Wolf Hall, the Man Booker Prize winning prequel to this irresistible page-turner! Gripping portrayal of the downfall of Queen Anne Boleyn through the eyes of King Henry VIII's right-hand man, Secretary Thomas Cromwell.
    Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life George Eliot
      Classic tale of the lives and loves of citizens of an English municipality circa 1830.
    June
    Home Toni Morrison
      Short but very sweet and moving.
    Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It Maile Meloy
      Nice collection of fine, modern, perceptive stories.
    The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
      Super no-let-up adventure, introducing the unforgettable teen heroine, Katniss Everdeen. Couldn't put it down.
    Fast and Furious, Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up Katie Pavlich
      Fine piece of well-documented, convincing, investigative journalism. What Obama and his administrative team have done and continue to cover up is shocking and appalling!
    Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
      Part two of the continuing adventures of Katniss Everdeen, bold new YA fiction heroine.
    Mockingjay Suzanne Collins
      Fine and fitting finale to the trilogy.
    July
    Unintended Consequences, Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong Edward Conard
      Some excellent points, sometimes obfuscated by Conard's academic economy-speak. Talk plain, man! We all need to understand why investing in risky innovation clearly has been and should continue to be the key to our economic superiority. That Obama and his filibuster-proof congressional majority are moving us in the wrong direction! "Commerce is the salvation of the poor, not charity. Successful risk takers put Americans, immigrants and off-shore workers to work, not government handouts."
    Montessori from the Start, The Child at Home from Birth to Age Three Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen
      How to apply Montessori principles to our youngest.
    August
    Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James
      Yea, I know, but I just had to check out the book that outsold the Bible and Harry Potter! I'd give it a solid 2 out of 10. Made me feel a bit of a voyeur. Would say don't waste your time, but I know most of you have already read it.
    The Invisible Man H.G. Wells
      Classic tale. Would it be advantageous or terrible to be invisible?
    Tinkers Paul Harding
      Fathers and sons. Coming and going. Living and dying. Sensitive, ethereal, poetic.
    September
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon
      The amazing Chabon has constructed a merciless masterpiece. A celebration of the golden age of comics shared by two irresistibly attractive artist sidekicks. Even after turning over 600 pages, you just don't want this story to end. And it doesn't.
    The Wonder Boys Michael Chabon
      Entertaining, hilarious page-turner.
    The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table Tracie McMillan
      Fine piece of investigative journalism. Engaging, inside study of how our food system really works. We have room for improvement.
    October
    San Miguel T.C. Boyle
      Masterfully told story of two families who, in turn, were the sole residents of the island of San Miguel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Another unforgettable gem from one of our greatest writers.
    One Shot Lee Child
      Gripping page-turner. Detective story. Violent.
    The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever Pierre Dukan
      Effective, high protein, low carb diet variant.
    The Sea John Banville
      Eloquent, disarmingly plangent gem of a tale. Man Booker Prize winner. "There are moments when the past has a force so strong it seems one might be annihilated by it."
    Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas Seymour Papert
      Started the computer revolution in schools in the 1980s. Done right, learning to program computers can help children enjoy learning how to think about thinking!
    Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Minds, What You and Your School Can Do for Your Gifted Child Jan and Bob Davidson
      Grouping children by age is arbitrary and often inappropriate, especially for our gifted children. Let's group by ability! Gifted children do BETTER when grouped together with others more closely matching their ability level, no matter that these are often older children or even college level young adults. More at GeniusDenied.com. See also The Davidson Institute.
    November
    The Infinities John Banville
      More good story telling. With a sense of humor.
    Ancient Light John Banville
      Banville is a story teller of ineffable poetic elegance.
    Fate is the Hunter Ernest K. Gann
      Gripping read, especially for another pilot. Gann artfully describes his experiences as a commercial pilot during aviation's learning years, the 1930's - 1950's, when survival seemed to depend less on skill and knowledge than on luck.
    December
    Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child, 3rd Edition Sylvia Rimm, Ph.D.
      Good thinking. Good read. 42 Keys.
    This is How You Lose Her Junot Diaz
      Super good stuff, Senor Diaz. Keep it coming, man.
    Some of My Best Friends Are Books, Guiding Gifted Readers From Preschool to High School, 3rd Edition (2009) Judith Wynn Halsted
      Best of breed! How to use books to help gifted kids meet their emotional and intellectual needs. Great annotated bibliography of recommended books.
    Gentlemen of the Road Michael Chabon
      Great fun read! Wonderful non-stop adventure story. Midieval Mideast. Super characters. Loved the luscious language. Includes a delightful Afterword. (First intended title was "Jews with Swords"!)
    2013
    January

    The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller
      Brilliant first novel. Orange Prize 2012 fiction winner. The story of Achilles told by his love, Patroclus. Couldn't put it down. Yes, Achilles is gay.
    Canada Richard Ford
      Good, thought-provoking read.
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union Michael Chabon
      Chabon is one of our great American novelists. This one has it all: murder mystery, down-and-out lovable good guy hero cop, humor, international intrigue, religion, chess, and love sweet love - all sown together so very eloquently. "She looked like hell, only hotter."
    Telegraph Avenue Michael Chabon
      Superb new (2012) novel by master Chabon. Does so much and so well. Entertains and illuminates. Can a white writer write black? Chabon shows that skin color has been socially and culturally defining, but is fundamentally irrelevant. We need more work like this. Selected fun features: black pantropy, blaxploitation, maumau, appearance by Barack Obama, Oakland, midwifery, nostalgia, father-son fighting and forgiveness across generations, lots of great music and an experiment that succeeds surprisingly well: the third chapter, 12 pages long, is one sentence!
    February
    Married Love and Other Stories Tessa Hadley
      Wonderful. Hadley just seems to know us all oh so well.
    How Children Succeed Paul Tough
      Well-referenced, engaging and cogent. To graduate from college and get better jobs, our kids need, not just academic, cognitive skills, but character: grit, self-control, zest, social intelligence, optimism, curiosity, conscientiousness, resilience, perseverance and gratitude. And they need a good start, in infancy, with the establishment of a strong attachment relationship with a loving parent or two.
    Werewolves In Their Youth Michael Chabon
      Nine good stories.
    March
    The Best American Short Stories 2011 eds. Geraldine Brooks and Heidi Pitlor
      All good. Especially liked the stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Allegra Goodman, Bret Anthony Johnston, Claire Keegan, Richard Powers and Jess Row.
    The Round House Louise Erdrich
      Most recent gripping page-turner from the inimitable Erdrich. 2012 National Book Award winner.
    The Final Solution, A Story of Detection Michael Chabon
      Fascinating little gem.
    The Best American Short Stories 2005 eds. Katrina Kenison and Michael Chabon
      Twenty entertaining stories.
    The Echo Makers Richard Powers
      National Book Award winner. Real thought-provoking page-turner.
    April
    A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children James T. Webb, Ph.D, Janet L. Gore, M.Ed., Edward R. Amend, Psy.D., Arlene R. DeVries, M.S.E
      Excellent. Best of breed reference that should be on the shelf of every family with a gifted child.
    Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
      Pulitzer Prize winner. Told by an intersex person with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency who was raised as a girl until age fourteen when when he decided that he was a boy.
    Salvage the Bones Jesmyn Ward
      National Book Award Winner 2011. Rural Mississippi young teen girl and her family, motherless, living with poverty, alcoholism, unplanned pregnancy, lose almost everything to hurricane Katrina but not their love and hope for themselves and each other. Great novel. Feels like a classic. Comparisons to Faulkner not overdone; Ward may know her characters just as deeply, and tells it all just like it is.
    May
    The Best American Short Stories 2012 eds. Heidi Pitlor and Tom Perrotta
      Twenty entertaining stories. Especially liked the stories by George Saunders, Carol Anshaw, Roxane Gay, Jennifer Haigh, Lawrence Osborne, Taiye Selasi, Sharon Solwitz and Kate Walbert.
    Antarctica Claire Keegan
      Impressive debut (1999) story collection by a very talented writer.
    June
    Shadow Country Peter Matthiessen
      A merciless masterpiece. Epic saga of infamous cane-farmer and gun-slinger E.J. Watson on the southwestern Florida frontier around the turn of the twentieth century. National Book Award winner, 2008.
    Danny the Champion of the World Roald Dahl
      Read it, a chapter a night, to my 3 & 5 year-old sons. Perfect! Young Danny tells about his life and adventures with his sparky Dad. Happy Father's Day!
    Killing Lincoln Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
      Well told.
    Wheat Belly William Davis, MD
      Cardiologist, medical director of Track Your Plaque, discusses lots of evidence that modern, genetically modified dwarf wheat is perhaps the most important cause of our current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. That the decades-old advice to eat "healthy whole grain" wheat is a dangerous mistake. In fact, wheat (and several other high-glycemic-index foods) should be eliminated from our diets and replaced with healthy real (not processed) foods. See also the wheatbellyblog.
    Tenth of December George Saunders
      Ten stories. Original. Inimitable. Hilarious. Satirical. Loved 'em all.
    And the Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini
      Very superior story-telling. Another gem, at least as good as his The Kite Runner. Shows that love can live, not only over great distances and periods of time, but also across generations!
    July
    Carry the One Carol Anshaw
      Moving page-turner. Group of family and friends find their lives permanently redirected after accidentally hitting and killing a young girl pedestrian while they drove home from a wedding party.
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes Loren Cordain PhD and Joe Friel MS
      Classic Paleo plus appropriate carbohydrates before, during and after significant endurance work. Sweet potatoes the night before the race. Fruit, dried fruit and sports drinks.
    Mrs. Kimble Jennifer Haigh
      Irresistible page-turner won PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction.
    Baker Towers Jennifer Haigh
      Very good read.
    The Forgiven Lawrence Osborne
      Bad-luck couple in a stale marriage run over and kill a Moroccan desert fossil picker on a night-time drinking drive to a select group of well-to-do partiers. Feel the heat inside and out. Very good read. Surprising but somehow fitting ending.
    Faith Jennifer Haigh
      Priest falsely accused of molesting a child. OK, but no Mrs. Kimble.
    August
    Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime and the Era of Catholic Scandal Michael D'Antonio
      Fine piece of work. Sad, but true tale of many years of sexual abuse of our children by almost 6% of Catholic priests. The characteristic response of the Church has been to try to cover up and hide those crimes, withhold relevant information and documents, attempt to silence the accusers and repeatedly transfer the child molesters to new parishes where they go on to molest more children. Let's pray that new Pope Francis listens to God and helps make some long-needed major changes in the Church.
    Nemesis Philip Roth
      Admirable, exasperating, tragic Bucky Cantor deals with guilt, fear, love and death during and after a 1940's polio epidemic in Newark. Very good read.
    The Birchbark House Louise Erdrich
      Read this beautiful book to my sons over several weeks. Simple and profound. Touched our hearts.
    The Paleo Diet, Revised Edition - Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
      Eat the foods our bodies have been genetically programmed to eat - the foods eaten by our Paleolithic ancestor hunter-gatherers: lean meats, fish, seafood, fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Not cereals, legumes, dairy or processed foods. See thepaleodiet.com.
    The Secrets of Happy Families Bruce Feiler
      Fun and informative. Adapt all the time. Talk - a lot. Go out and play.
    Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity Andrew Solomon
      Profoundly moving masterpiece! Product of 10-years of study involving multiple interviews of hundreds of families. Solomon compassionately and humanely relates the stories of parents with children whose marked differences forced them to identify or be identified "horizontally" with others outside of their own family. What do we do when our child is born with or develops deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disability, prodigious musical brilliance, or is a product of rape, begins a life of crime, or convincingly claims to have been born the wrong gender? Solomon transparently begins and ends the book with his own story. "Sometimes, I had thought the heroic parents in this book were fools, enslaving themselves to a life's journey with their alien children, trying to breed identity out of misery. I was startled to learn that my research had built me a plank, and that I was ready to join them on their ship." Love for our children is nearly the strongest emotion that we know. Love. That's why and how it works.
    A Short History of Women Kate Walbert
      Intimate glimpses at various times forward and backward into the lives of some quite interesting ladies belonging to several generations of the same family. Very well done.
    NW Zadie Smith
      Loved it! Share the lives of several flawed but irresistible northwest Londoners.
    Tampa Alissa Nutting
      First person story of attractive young Celeste who chose her profession as a middle school teacher so that she would have ample opportunity to pursue her obsession - sex with fourteen-year old boys. Quite a page-turner, though some parts are just not quite believable enough.
    September
    The DASH Diet Action Plan Marla Heller, MS, RD
      Full of practical tips to help you follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, lean meat, poultry, fish, some nuts and beans and some grains. Portion control important. See dashdiet.org
    On Beauty Zadie Smith
      Fell in love with all the characters, so humanely and thoughtfully crafted by the brilliant Ms. Smith.
    My Education Susan Choi
      Very well done, hard-to-put-down page-turner. Just a bit too much alcohol abuse on the part of too many of the otherwise completely convincing and very likable main characters.
    White Teeth Zadie Smith
      Playful, poignant, hilarious, warm.
    October
    Transatlantic Colum McCann
      Masterful. Artful. Ireland and America, historical fact and fiction, past and present, old and new generations all woven together most gracefully.
    The Noon Demon, An Atlas of Depression Andrew Solomon
      Must read for one suffering from depression, caring for someone with depression or treating depression.
    The Condition Jennifer Haigh
      Thoroughly satisfying story.
    November
    The Five Love Languages Gary Chapman
      Some good ideas.
    Hateship, Friendship, Loveship, Courtship, Marriage Alice Munro
      One of our best story tellers!
    The Best American Short Stories 2013 ed Elizabeth Strout

    Storm Runners, Eruption Roland Smith
      Good to read to two young boys.
    News from Heaven Jennifer Haigh

    Death is Not an Option Suzanne Rivecca
      Great new talent! Piercingly perceptive.
    December
    The Suicide Index, Putting My Father's Death in Order Joan Wickersham
      Moving memoir.
    Checkmate Tactics Garry Kasparov
      Good stuff for serious players.
    Flight Behavior Barbara Kingsolver

    The Magician's Elephant Kate DiCamillo
      Beautiful, moving story to read aloud to your children.
    The News From Spain, 7 Variations on a Love Story Joan Wickersham
      Seven unique, luscious vignettes by a very talented writer.
    Ghana Must Go Taiye Selasi
      Impressive, huge first novel!
    Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family Dr. Peggy Drexler
      Psychology professor discusses her interviews with various, generally successful, women, that focus on interesting aspects of the daughter-father relationship.
    2014
    January
    The Tale of Despereaux being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread Kate DiCamillo
      Wonderful story! Read with my 4 and 5 year old sons.
    Indiscretion Charles Dubow
      Decent first novel. Page turner.
    Wonder R.J. Palazio
      Excellent first novel.
    Chess Strategy for the Tournament Player, 2nd Edition Lev Alburt and Sam Palatnik
      Good stuff. Lots of games, good analyses.
    Someone Alice McDermott
      Superior story-telling.
    Dirty Love Andre Dubus III
      Very well done. Four stories delicately connected.
    February
    Charming Billy Alice McDermott
      Very superior story-telling. Deeply affecting.
    Evil Eye Joyce Carol Oates
      Four variably frightening love-gone-wrong stories.
    Get Rich Carefully James J. Cramer
      Entertaining, informative read from experienced stock investing teacher and guru. Let's see if it works!
    Flora & Ulysses Kate DiCamillo
      Read to two older sons. Fun, likable characters, including a star superhero, poetry-writing squirrel.
    March
    Your Best Brain Ever, A Complete Guide and Workout Michael S. Sweeney
      Broad review of the basics. Lots of encouraging tips.
    Love and Math, The Heart of Hidden Reality Edward Frenkel
      Inspirational. Want to learn more math.
    The Good Lord Bird James McBride
      The story of abolitionist John Brown told most imaginatively by a freed slave boy masquerading as a girl.
    It Starts With Food Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
      Informative. Inspirational.
    April
    Up, How Positive Outlook Can Transform Our Health and Aging Hilary Tindle, M.D., M.P.H.
      Cogent. Greater positive outlook leads to better health. How do we all get there?
    Heidi Johanna Spyri
      Classic, moving story read to my sons.
    From Here to Eternity James Jones
      Iconic masterwork examines the lives and psyches of some of our 1940 peace time Army in Hawaii.
    The Perfect Theory, A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity Pedro G. Ferreira
      Fascinating history and analysis by Oxford astrophysics professor.
    May
    Kinder Than Solitude Yiyun Li
      Lives of three young friends forever sadly redirected by an ultimately fatal poisoning. Murder? Very well written.
    The Childhood of Jesus J. M. Coetzee
      Mysterious, intriguing.
    Off Course Michelle Huneven
      Almost.
    Labor Day Joyce Maynard
      Yes! From the unlikely, the far-fetched there eventually, gracefully emerges glory.
    Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
      Classic first English style novel about Nigeria by a Nigerian. Moving story.
    June
    The Rehearsal Eleanor Catton
      Superbly constructed, deliciously written, brilliant first novel!
    Mighty Fitz, The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald Michael Schumacher
      Good story and analysis of the tragedy and its aftermath. Lake Superior, November 10, 1975.
    The Luminaries Eleanor Catton
      Masterpiece of story telling! Brilliantly constructed and very cleverly and originally executed. Big congrats to Ellie Catton, our new youngest Man Booker Prize winner (2013)!
    July
    Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie
      Magical! Voted Best of the Booker in 2008.
    Can't and Won't Lydia Davis
      Fun read. Original. Short short story expert demo.
    August
    The Cookbook Collector Allegra Goodman
      Entertaining page-turner.
    Gorky Park Martin Cruz Smith
      Introducing the inimitable Russian inspector Arkady Renko.
    Americanah Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
      On being a non-American Black in America and Nigeria.
    September
    Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami (translated by Philip Gabriel)
      Great page turner!
    Creating Mission, Ten Decisions that Framed Birchwood School Charles Debelak
      The dedicated and brilliant founder of Birchwood School tells the inside story of the birth, growth and plan for the future of this small, private, unique and wonderful educational institution.
    The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis Lydia Davis
      Diverse, unique pieces.
    October
    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
      Rather extraordinary story, very well told.
    The Orphan Master's Son Adam Johnson
      Bold, irresistible page-turner! Totalitarian North Korean horror story from which blossoms a true love story. Couldn't put it down.
    All the Birds, Singing Evie Wyld
      Tragic, disturbing tale, very well told. Alternate chapters tell two parts of the story, one part moving backwards in time so, with perfect timing, it ends at the beginning.
    The Goldfinch Donna Tartt
      Good long story.
    November
    Child of my Heart Alice McDermott
      Loved it. Simple but very moving story told insightfully, gently, gracefully.
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan
      Real page turner. Love and war.
    Harvest Jim Crace
      Intriguing, very well told tale of a long-ago, remote village consisting of a landowner and his tenants whose suspicions, misinterpretations and moral ambiguity lead to its destruction.
    To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Joshua Ferris
      Funny, fun read. Dentistry, relationships and religion, with a side of baseball.
    A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki
      Two stories, told alternately, intersect unexpectedly.
    December
    The Best American Short Stories 2014 eds. Jennifer Egan, Heidi Pitlor
      Twenty wonderful stories.
    Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas Patrick Modiano, translated from French by Mark Polozzotti
      Three nostalgic Parisian musings by our 2014 Nobel laureate.
    The Door in the Wall Marguerite de Angeli
      Wonderful story of heroic success despite disability. Read to my 5 and 6 year old sons. 1950 Newbery Medal winner.
    Then We Came to the End Joshua Ferris
      Thoroughly brilliant first novel! Hilarious heartbreaker. Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner.
    2015
    January
    Swamplandia! Karen Russell
      Original. Imaginative. Creepy at times.
    The Unnamed Joshua Ferris
      Profoundly moving, tragic tale. Progressive psychiatric illness relentlessly drags a bright attorney away from his family into a wandering homelessness.
    The Triple Package Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
      Two Yale Law School professors argue convincingly that, in the U.S., a minority group is disproportionately successful to the degree that it has the triple package: a sense of group superiority, a deep feeling of insecurity and well-practiced impulse control.
    A Map of Betrayal Ha Jin
      Examines the stressful life of a Chinese spy, a mole, working in the US CIA, and it's profound impact on his family members in both countries. Told very effectively by two voices that alternate chapters.
    February
    Katharine Leslie Audrey White Beyer
      Read to my two older sons. Fine piece of historical fiction. Katharine, a young governess, wrongly jailed in England, escapes to a new life in Maine, and joins the rebel cause after witnessing the burning of Falmouth by British warships in 1775.
    The Soul Thief Charles Baxter
      Powerful thought provoker. Forgiveness is everything.
    Money, Master the Game Anthony Robbins
      Inspirational. Think, evaluate, save, invest, allocate, diversify, give, grow and enjoy a permanent income for a full and fulfilling life.
    Excellent Sheep, The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life William Deresiewicz
      An overgrowth of his internet viral essay "The Disadvantages of an Elite Higher Education." Makes a few good points, but critically weakened by a overarching, exaggerated and almost whining cynicism regarding everything about our top colleges (especially Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford) and the culture that supports them; while offering little in the way of workable suggestions for improvement. "Is there anything I can do, a lot of young people have written to ask me, to avoid becoming an out-of-touch, entitled little shit. I don't have a satisfying answer, short of telling you to transfer to a public university."
    The Drama of the Gifted Child, The Search for the True Self Alice Miller translated (German) by Ruth Ward
      1979. Exploration with examples of the idea that current psychological difficulties develop from repressed traumatic interactions with the mothering parent during infancy.
    The Newlyweds Nell Freudenberger
      Very superior story-telling. Irresistible story.
    Chasing the Scream, The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs Johann Hari
      Great journalism. Thoroughly annotated. It's long past time to end the war on drugs.
    March
    The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
      One of our greatest stories. Read aloud to my two older sons.
    To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
      Classic meditation on life and death, men and women, pain and forgiveness, grief and acceptance.
    Burning Down the House, Essays on Fiction Charles Baxter
      Musings of a master.
    April
    Honeydew Edith Pearlman
      Outstanding, profound, delicious.
    The Harder They Come T.C. Boyle
      Profoundly gripping tale from one of our best!
    May
    The Collected Stories Grace Paley
      Funny, serious stories. Paley may be the William Faulkner of New York City.
    God Help the Child Toni Morrison
      Gripping if a bit gruesome.
    Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
      The autotelic self sets goals, becomes immersed in the activity and pays attention to what is happening.
    Prayers for the Stolen Jennifer Clement
      In rural Mexico, mothers pretend their girls are boys, then very ugly girls, attempting, all too often in vain, to avoid their being "stolen" to become slave-mistresses to the drug traffickers who still control too much of that county. Scary story, very well told.
    Drive Daniel H. Pink
      Let's replace carrots and sticks with autonomy, mastery and purpose.
    June
    Moon Over Manifest Clare Vanderpool
      Superior piece of historical fiction for young readers. 2011 Newbery Award winner. Read to my two older sons.
    The Wives of Los Alamos TaraShea Nesbit
      Wonderful little piece of historical fiction told in first person plural. Their husbands were secretly creating the first atomic bomb.
    The Ambassadors Henry James
      Classic thought-provoking tale of our friend Strether on his mission in Paris.
    Time of the Locust Morowa Yejide
      Very impressive first novel, 2012 Pen/Bellwether Prize finalist, successfully blends elements of historical fiction, personal tragedy and dreamlike fantasy.
    July
    Once A Runner John L. Parker, Jr.
      Best story about running! What it feels like to be a young, serious, top notch, competitive miler.
    The Road to Character David Brooks
      1. We live for holiness (purpose, righteousness, virtue), not happiness. 2. Know that we are flawed creatures. 3. We have the capacity to struggle with ourselves and overcome sin. 4. In this struggle, humility is the greatest virtue. 5. Pride is the central vice. 6. The struggle against sin and for virtue is the central drama of life. 7. Character is the set of desires and habits built during the struggle against your weaknesses. You become more disciplined and loving. 8. Character traits endure: courage, honesty, humility. We are able to love unconditionally and commit permanently. 9. We cannot do it alone. We need God, family, friends, rules, traditions. 10. We are ultimately saved by grace. You are accepted. Grateful. 11. Defeating weakness means quieting yourself. Requires self-effacement-reticence, modesty, obedience to a larger thing-and a capacity for reverence and admiration. 12. Wisdom starts with epistemological modesty. Experience is a better teacher than pure reason. 13. A good life must be organized around a vocation. Look outside yourself and recognize what life is asking of you. Focus on being excellent at work that you are called to do and that is intrinsically compelling. 14. A wise leader is a steward who tries to pass his organization along in a slightly improved condition. 15. Struggling successfully against weakness and sin leads to maturity. A settled unity of purpose.
    The Island of the Blue Dolphins Scott O'Dell
      Wonderful children's book based on the true story of a young Nicoleno Native American girl left alone on San Nicolas Island for 18 years. Newbery Award winner, 1961. Read aloud to my sons.
    John Quincy Adams, American Visionary Frank Kaplan
      Superb piece of work! Like looking over the shoulder of John Quincy Adams and experiencing history unfold.
    As I Lay Dying William Faulkner
      Classic story of the poor farmer family of Anse Bundren and the death and eventual burial of his wife, Addie. Anse and his children and some others alternately relate their unique, personal perspective on the unfortunate misadventures they suffer as they struggle for many days and nights to cart Addie's coffin in a mule-driven wagon to her chosen burial place.
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold John Le Carre'
      Great, gripping spy thriller!
    August
    Angle of Repose Wallace Stegner
      Excellent story within a story. Both compelling. Are you man enough to forgive?
    Because of Winn-Dixie Kate DiCamillo
      Warm, moving story about 10-year-old Opal, deserted by her mother, learning to survive and make friends in a new town with her preacher father. Read to my two sons.
    Plainsong Kent Haruf
      Irresistible page turner! Haruf surrounds us with unforgettable characters and tells their story with language elegantly simple but precisely accurate.
    The Social Animal, The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement David Brooks
      Enjoyable way to review lots of fascinating insights in psychology and sociology by applying them to the lives of a realistic fictional couple.
    September
    Benediction Kent Haruf
      Beautiful, sad, moving story, very well told.
    Dead End in Norvelt Jack Gantos
      Excellent, funny, rewarding book read to my two oldest sons.
    Updike Adam Begley
      Thoroughly marvelous piece of work looks closely into and discusses openly the life and work of one of America's most prolific writers. A must-read for all serious John Updike fans.
    All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr
      Yes! Superior story telling. Unforgettable characters.
    The Year of Billy Miller Kevin Henkes
      Heart warmer read to my sons.
    October
    The Naked and the Dead Norman Mailer
      Classic masterpiece. Best WW II novel. Very honest and compassionate.
    Our Souls at Night Kent Haruf
      A beautiful, sad, hopeful little story, so simply, directly, perfectly told.
    Voices from Chernobyl, The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster Svetlana Alexievich
      National Book Critics Circle Award winner, 2005. Profoundly moving work based on interviews taken a few years after the event by the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
    Station Eleven Emily St. John Mandel
      National Book Award finalist, 2014. Superior page turner. Life before and after a deadly virus wipes out more that 99% of us.
    The Desire Map, A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul Danielle LaPorte The Sacrifice Joyce Carol Oates
      Very good page-turner. Fictional re-telling of the Tawana Brawley story.
    The Fishermen Chigozie Obioma
      Cursed by a homeless madman, a Nigerian family suffers tragic losses. Gripping.
    November
    A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara
      Yanagihara wants us to feel that his extraordinary characters really exist. Even the brilliant, but permanently traumatized, self-mutilating Jude St. Francis. He succeeds masterfully!
    Redeployment Phil Klay
      Former Marine who served in Iraq telling it like it is with this fine collection of hard-hitting stories!
    Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China Evan Osnos
      Very fine piece of work, based on 8 years of in-depth study in China, from New Yorker writer Osnos.
    Smaller and Smaller Circles F.H. Batacan
      Two priests help the NBI find a serial killer. Debut novel, winner of the Philippine National Book Award.
    Quicksand Steve Tolz
      Wow! Quite a trip!
    December
    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Jacqueline Kelly
      Very nice story of budding girl scientist in 1899 Texas. Read to my two oldest sons.
    A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James
      Jamaican drug gangs, their dons and associates at home and abroad in Miami and New York. Told like it is from several inside points of view. "If it no go so, it go near so."
    Lovely, Dark, Deep Joyce Carol Oates
      Wonderful collection of unforgettable, poignant stories from the brilliant, inimitable Joyce Carol Oates! "It is the purity of desire, that requires another person to coax it into blooming."
    2016
    January
    The Sixth Extinction, An Unnatural History Elizabeth Kolbert
      Interesting, careful, cogent, very well documented exposition. For the sixth time, our Earth is relatively rapidly losing countless of its animal and plant species. This time it is because of the behavior of us humans. Lest we change our ways, we may even be dooming ourselves to extinction!
    The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How Daniel Coyle
      Great, inspirational read. Develop and myelinate those talent nerve circuits with deep practice, ignition (inspiration and motivation) and master coaching. Three rules of deep practice: 1) chunk it up, 2) repeat it, and 3) learn to feel it. The virtues of a master coach: the matrix (deep practical knowledge base), perceptiveness, the GPS reflex (step by step directional guidance) and theatrical honesty.
    Death by Water Kenzaburo Oe, translated (Japaneze) by Deborah Boliver Boehm
      Challenging but rewarding self-analysis in the shape of an interesting novel by a Nobel laureate.
    The Accursed Joyce Carol Oates
      Historical fictional far-fetched fantasy involving Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, Upton Sinclair, Jack London and others connected to the accursed Slade family who encounter evil fiends, ghosts, serpents, violent deaths and eventual reincarnations.
    The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins
      Gripping thriller!
    Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
      Murder mystery with a surprising twist or two.
    February
    Preparation for the Next Life Atticus Lish
      Wow! This is a powerfully good book! And now is just the right time to tell a love story like this. Iraq war PTSD. Illegal Asian immigrant. Careful, accurate, straightforward descriptive language. Clear sense of profound, at times frightening, realism. This book will stick with you. Winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award.
    Dept. of Speculation Jenny Offill
      Moving story of a wife in a troubled marriage told uniquely and very effectively as a chronology of bits and pieces including brief diary-like entries, quotes, anecdotes, observations, insights and conversations.
    The Lola Quartet Emily St. John Mandel
      Tense tale, well-told.
    Orphan Train Christina Baker Kline
      Wonderful piece of historical fiction, told in a most delightful way with voices that resonate with timeless truth. Will put a tear in your eye and a smile on your face.
    Last Night in Montreal Emily St. John Mandel
      Outstanding debut novel!
    March
    Thirteen Ways of Looking Colum McCann
      Four wonderful stories from one of our best writers. "For all its imagined moments, literature works in unimaginable ways."
    Education and Character: Essays from the Birchwood Clipboard Charles Debelak
      Birchwood School founder and head, Debelak is a very thoughtful and experienced educational guru. Be inspired to raise great kids!
    Being Mortal, Medicine and What Matters in the End Atul Gawande
      Well referenced and very well written. Should be required reading for all health care providers.
    The Visiting Privilege, New and Collected Stories Joy Williams
      Good stuff.
    Rediscover Jesus, An Invitation Matthew Kelly
      Inspirational!
    Tibetan Peach Pie, A True Account of an Imaginative Life Tom Robbins
      Fun, funny, fantastic memoir from a uniquely talented writer.
    April
    The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen
      Superb debut novel. Insider perspective on the personal and psychological significance of the Viet Nam war.
    The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster
      Wonderful, hilarious, educational! Read aloud to my 3 sons who also loved it.
    When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi
      Unforgettably tragic. Brilliant young neurosurgeon tells the story of his struggle, dealing with life while facing death from lung cancer. His widow adds an epilogue.
    United, Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Ground Cory Booker
      Our junior senator from New Jersey, former mayor of Newark, tells his inspiring story.
    Madeleine is Sleeping Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
      Remarkable, strikingly original debut novel. Two stories, of the sleeping Madeleine and of her dream, told with rich, poetic language are magically woven together, merging fact and fantasy. Is it all a mysterious kind of dream?
    Stargirl Jerry Spinelli
      Meet the delightful, mysterious and inimitable Stargirl in this wonderful coming of age YA story.
    May
    Give and Take, A Revolutionary Approach to Success Adam Grant
      Givers are at risk to become bottom dwelling doormats, but careful, 'otherish' givers rise to the top of their businesses and social groups! Action plan: 1. Test your giver quotient at giveandtake.com, 2. Run a reciprocity ring (see Humax) and Favo.rs, 3. Help other people craft their jobs - or craft yours to incorporate more giving (jobcrafting.org), 4. Start a love machine; for example see SendLove, 5. Embrace the five-minute favor, 6. Practice powerless communication, but become an advocate (see Susan Cain's blog and GetRaised), 7. Join a community of givers, e.g. freecycle and ServiceSpace 8. Launch a personal generosity experiment, 9. Help fund a project, 10. Seek help more often.
    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Susan Cain
      Let's praise and celebrate our introverts. We need them.
    I Don't Sleep With Democrats Kathy Matta
      Riotous Republican romp and rant.
    June
    Never Split the Difference, Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It Chris Voss with Tahl Raz
      Experience and advice from former FBI hostage negotiator. Elements of a negotiation one sheet: 1) The Goal, 2) Summary, 3) Labels/accusation audit, 4) Calibrated Questions, 5) Identify behind-the-table deal killers, 6) Identify & diffuse deal-killing issues, 7) Noncash offers. How am I supposed to do that? See The Black Swan Group.
    The "Me, Me, Me" Epidemic, A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World Amy McCready
      Lots of good ideas, very well explained, starting with the essential "Mind, Body and Soul Time." Let's raise responsible, respectful, grateful, un-entitled kids!
    July
    The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann, translated (German) by John E. Woods
      Unique masterwork! Deeply rewarding.
    Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Angela Duckworth
      Very readable, cogent examination of grit - passion and perseverance for long term goals. Grit trumps talent, and, yes, we can lead ourselves and our kids to be gritty. To find out how gritty you are, take the grit test.
    Barkskins Annie Proulx
      Epic masterpiece of historical fiction by one of our greatest writers! Proulx's language is rich and delicious; her characters so very alive. And what can we short-sighted barkskins do to help renew our planet's forests?
    August
    Zero K Don DeLillo
      Darkly engaging.
    The Best American Short Stories 2015 eds. T.C. Boyle, Heidi Pitlor
      Wonderful collection of twenty real gems!
    LaRose Louise Erdrich
      Story telling at its best! Irresistible characters!
    Gold Boy, Emerald Girl Yiyun Li
      Stories surprising and enchanting!
    The Birthdays Heidi Pitlor
      OK.
    Almost Famous Women Megan Mayhew Bergman
      Interesting fictional vignettes inspired by real, unusual, eccentric women on the edge.
    September
    Originals, How Non-conformists Move the World Adam Grant Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? Kate DiCamillo
      Wonderful children's story by a master.
    The Introvert Advantage, How to Thrive in an Extrovert World Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
      Lots of helpful tips.
    Heart of Palm Laura Lee Smith
      Engrossing tale of dysfunctional family in rural Florida. Fine first novel.
    Developing Math Talent, A Guide for Educating Gifted and Advanced Learners in Math Susan Assouline Ph.D. and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik Ph.D.
      Well done. Thoroughly referenced work for educators, including parents.
    The Wilds Julia Elliott
      Wonderfully imaginative stories, darkly painted with exquisite language!
    The Cricket in Times Square George Shelden
      Wonderful children's story. Newbery Honor book.
    Elegy on Kinderklavier Arna Bontemps Hemenway
      Told with profound empathy, compelling stories that must be read! Required reading! Winner of the 2015 PEN/Hemingway award for debut fiction.
    Fools Joan Silber
      Nice collection of well-told stories. Memorable characters.
    October
    The New and Improved Romie Futch Julia Elliott
      Wildly imaginative, often hilarious, always genuinely human, a great ride!
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred D. Taylor
      Powerfully moving picture of racism in the southern U.S. during the 1930's. Newbery Award winner.
    The Yellow Birds Kevin Powers
      High quality historical fictional account of Iraq war horror from writer who's been there. You pray that this is just fiction, but the story profoundly and clearly rings true. It breaks your heart. National Book Award finalist.
    Eileen Ottessa Moshfegh
      Unique, alluring new voice. Couldn't put down this somber and, finally, shocking debut story of Eileen's escape from her miserable life.
    Delicious Foods James Hannaham
      Hannaham tries to do so much in this novel, and, largely, succeeds.
    The Book of Memory Patina Gappah
      Very well done. Excellent first novel.
    The Best American Short Stories 2016 eds. Junot Diaz, Heidi Pitlor
      Twenty new gems.
    November
    We Need New Names NoViolet Bulawayo
      Zimbabwean American immigrant angst, well told.
    A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle
      Wonderful, classic, Newbery Medal winner read aloud to two sons. We are saved by love.
    Black Flags, The Rise of ISIS Joby Warrick
      Detailed explanation of the birth and growth of ISIS in the Middle East.
    The Terranauts T.C. Boyle
      Irresistible page-turner by master Boyle. Couldn't put it down.
    Swing Time Zadie Smith
      Excellent. First person unnamed woman narrative memoir of a close childhood friendship and its profound, lasting influence.
    December
    The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business Charles Duhigg
      Very readable. Entertains while educating. The framework to change a habit: 1) Identify the routine, 2) Experiment with rewards, 3) Isolate the cue, 4) Have a plan.
    Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success, Why Values and Coping Skills Matter More Than Grades, Trophies or Fat Envelopes Madeline Levine, PhD
      Helpful, well-referenced, guide to protecting and growing with our middle and high school age kids.
    The Explosion Chronicles Yan Lianke, translated (Chinese) by Carlos Rojas
      Intriguing 'mythorealistic' portrayal of the emergence of modern China.
    The Vegetarian Han Kang, translated (Korean) by Deborah Smith
      Absorbing, disturbing, heart-wrenching descent into insanity. Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.
    The Four Books Yan Lianke, translated (Chinese) by Carlos Rojas
      Penetrating allegorical exposition of Mao's Great Leap Forward into the Great Famine. International Man Booker Prize finalist.
    2017
    January
    Hillbilly Elegy, A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis J.D. Vance
      Important new voice speaks for our white working-class poor.
    Settle for More Megyn Kelly
      Good read!
    The Fortunes Peter Ho Davies
      Wow! A brilliant masterpiece! History and fiction woven gracefully together in four parts, epic, yet intimately personal. Davies' language often sings so musically it must be read aloud. Any American can recognize essential parts of himself in this Chinese-American immigrant story. "What else can we represent if not ourselves, however uncertain or contradictory those selves might be?"
    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Marie Kondo
      Inspirational. Keep only what "sparks joy!"
    Moonglow Michael Chabon
      Clever combination of memoir and novel, fact and fiction, real and imagined.
    Drug Dealer, MD Anna Lembke MD
      Excellent, well referenced, analysis of how our faltering health care system is driving the current prescription drug addiction epidemic. A clarion call for major change.
    February
    The Little Red Chairs Edna O'Brien
      Amazing piece of work. Charming. Frightening. Captivating.
    Human Acts Han Kang
      Finely crafted historical fiction, remembering the massacre at Gwangju, South Korea in May, 1980.
    Lila Marilynne Robinson
      Superb! Lila's deeply moving story is one of sorrow and joy, loss and love, a search for meaning that touches the peace that passeth all understanding.
    The Sellout Paul Beatty
      Clever, comedic demonstration of the absurd insanity of racism. Winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize.
    Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life Yiyun Li
      Recommended reading for all writers and readers! Profound. Deeply personal. Li shares words about literature and life, often in a private language that helps bring us closer together.
    March
    Hot Milk Deborah Levy
      Serious fun. Short-listed for 2016 Man Booker Prize.
    The Boat Rocker Ha Jin
      Good, but missing something?
    The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen
      Eight powerfully poignant stories about our refugees from Viet Nam. More strong work from Mr. Nguyen.
    Outline Rachel Cusk
      Interesting development of character through interactions, especially conversations, with other characters.
    Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
      Excellent work, thoroughly referenced, very well written! We become experts through deliberate practice!
    Black River S.M. Hulse
      Wow! Ms. Hulse has built a dazzling debut novel! Winner of the 2015 Reading the West Book Award. A 2016 PEN/Hemingway Finalist.
    All That Man Is David Szalay
      Insightful looks into nine characters from youth to old age. Well done.
    Destruction and Sorrow Beneath the Heavens Laszlo Krasznahorkai
      Lamenting the loss of ancient Chinese culture.
    April
    A Book of American Martyrs Joyce Carol Oates
      Close look how the abortion issue can inspire violence with profound personal consequences. Good read.
    Transit Rachel Cusk
      Good stuff. Relationships, life, in transit.
    The Power of Meaning, Crafting a Life That Matters Emily Esfahani Smith
      Well done. We need belonging, purpose, storytelling and transcendence to give our lives meaning.
    The School Days of Jesus J.M. Coetzee
      Well spun allegorical tale of child rearing.
    The Girls Emma Cline
      Well written debut novel. Shades of Charles Manson's girls.
    Selection Day Aravind Adiga
      Even a notch better that his debut novel, The White Tiger, which won the Man Booker Prize in '08.
    Autumn Ali Smith
      Wonderfully told story of an unlikely but especially warm and influential relationship.
    May
    Man's Search for Meaning Victor E. Frankl
      Frankl writes of his Nazi concentration camp experiences and the principles of logotherapy. Meaning can be found even in suffering.
    The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness Todd Rose
      Very well written and referenced. We need to move from averagarianism to individualism in business and education. Key principles of individualism: talent is always jagged, behavior depends on context, and there are many different pathways to competence. Key concepts to individualize education: grant credentials not diplomas, replace grades with competency, and let students determine their educational pathway.
    Public Library Ali Smith
      Good words and stories in support of our public libraries.
    How To Be Both Ali Smith
      Refreshingly original. Sensitive. Observant. Compassionate.
    Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
      Sandberg shares her personal story and those of others in dealing with the death of a loved one or with other major adversity. Beware the three P's: personalization, pervasiveness and permanence. Teach your children these four core beliefs of resilient kids: 1) they have some control over their lives, 2) they can learn from failure, 3) they matter as human beings, and 4) they have real strengths to rely on and share.
    Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence Andy Molinsky, Ph.D.
      Move out of your comfort zone using the tools of conviction, customization and clarity.
    June
    Stretch Scott Sonenshein
      Stop chasing stuff and start stretching what you have. Just say no. Find a sleeping beauty. Go explore. Take a break. Pick new neighbors. Appreciate. Shop your closet. Plan backward. Scramble the back row. Make midyear resolutions. Break it down. Turn trash into treasure. Any map will do.
    Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of Bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State Ali Soufan
      Good, detailed, well-referenced analysis by a former FBI special agent. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are manifestations of dangerous Salafi-jihadism. To help counter the threat we need to expose its basic hypocrisy, and spread a new narrative based on the truth.
    The Penderwicks Jeanne Birdsall
      Wonderful story. Read aloud to two sons. National Book Award winner.
    Hotel World Ali Smith
      Award winning tale, told by five unique voices connected by an sudden accidental death.
    The Forever War Dexter Filkins
      Excellent inside tale of the disastrous Iraq war, told by an award winning journalist.
    True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey
      The exciting adventures of 19th-century Australian bushranger and outlaw, Ned Kelly, and his gang, as might be told by Kelly himself. 2001 Booker Prize winner.


    Greg Gordon MD, CFII
    Updated: