A bit behind in getting out the best of the year posties, but my procrastination has a purpose: now it’s a reminder instead of a glut of wrap up info. Good old fashioned method-in-my-madness stuff going on here.
I am always curious as to what is popular in book reads. The New York Times is one popular measuring tool, and another one is Publisher’s Weekly. These are excerpts from their yearly best 20 books of the year. I found some head-scratching “Really, that was popular?” selections to “Well, that’s no surprise” entries. Here are some pull outs with their summaries. One thing I noticed is that I haven’t heard any of these titles. I’ve not even seen them on the new book offerings shelves at the library. Is this something I should be concerned about? Also, most of these titles are not very cheery, interesting, yes–cheery no. Somehow, I am not as concerned about that issue. After all, people tend to flock towards the sad and mad instead of the glad. Or is that just my view?
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday)
Add Norton Perina to the pantheon of literature’s best unreliable narrators. Perina is a scientist who, after graduating Harvard medical school in the 1940s, travels to a remote Pacific island chain where he may or may not have stumbled upon the key to immortality. The book is composed of his memoirs, which he is writing from prison in the U.S. after being convicted of a heinous crime. The truth behind Perina’s story is both riveting and chilling.
Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance by
Carla Kaplan (Harper)
In this beautifully written, empathetic, and valuable addition to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, scholar Kaplan (Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters) presents the untold story of six notable white women (including Fannie Hurst and Nancy Cunard, members of a larger group known collectively as “Miss Anne”) who embraced black culture—and life—in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s, serving as hostesses, patrons, activists, comrades, lovers, writers, and editors.
Sea of Hooks by Lindsay Hill (McPherson & Co.)
On a small scale, Hill, a onetime banker and now a poet with six published books, has written a fragmented portrait of a man’s troubled childhood and lost adulthood—a spiritual biography that’s both tragic and comic, and provides moments of pure reading pleasure on every single page, not to mention a wallop of pathos. On a larger scale, it’s a moving and unforgettable novel.
DISCLAIMER: covers and summaries are from the Publisher Weekly site. For the entire tamale go to: 2013 Publisher’s Weekly List
- Best Books of 2013 (bookreportradio.wordpress.com)
- Favorite Book Lists for 2013. (endpaperreview.com)