My favorite book of the year was The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris. After the Emancipation Proclamation, two brothers find work on a Georgia farm but the community is not as open-minded as their landowner employer. Conflict ensues as the brothers continue to struggle for freedom. This novel has gorgeous prose, memorable characters, and a beautiful ending.
A close second was Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Set in late 16th century England, a Latin tutor and his unusually talented wife deal with the effects of the Black Plague on their marriage and family. Also beautifully written with a memorable ending.
Other notable fiction I enjoyed include:
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner
The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
Favorite non-fiction & inspiration:
Taste (My Life Through Food) by Stanley Tucci. A fun read, especially if you watched his CNN series traveling throughout Italy on gastronomical adventures. While reading the book, I could hear Tucci’s distinctive voice.
Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante. A year’s worth of personal essays originally published in The Guardian. I love everything written by this reclusive, talented author.
Devotions by Mary Oliver. The poet curated this final collection of her favorite poems. It makes a calming bedside companion.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. My mother introduced this book to me decades ago. It was a sort of bible to her and I see why. I’ve read it several times and, like she did, I keep it on my nightstand.
What was your favorite book of the year?
Happy reading and Happy New Year!