I read 82 books this year, a new record for me. Here are my twenty favorite books of the year.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Technically I finished this on December 31, 2021, but I didn’t get to put it on my list last year because I had already written this post. This was my first exposure to Jane Austen, and to be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I had purposely avoided Austen most of my life, because I didn’t really want to read 19th century romantic tale.
It just goes to show that good writing can make anything come alive. Just like Remains of The Day, one of my favorite books ever written, the plot of Pride and Prejudice, wouldn’t necessarily grab me if I read it on the back of a book cover. But my experience reading this book in one word: delightful. Everything about this book is delightful from the Bennet family, to the subplots and dances, and the long simmering romance of Mr. Darcy and Ms. Bennet. An all-time great book.
The Power Broker by Robert Caro
Coming in at over 1100 pages, The Power Broker surprisingly was not the longest book I read this year (that distinction belongs to War and Peace). The Power Broker, however, is the best biography I’ve ever read. If you live or are interested in New York City history in the 20th century, this is essential reading. The tale of Robert Moses rise and fall is fascinating in the way all archetypal ways men of power rise and fall, their hubris eventually leading to their downfall.
The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Ok, I’m cheating. I’ve clustered two books by the same author, so I can fit more books into my list in part because I couldn’t choose between the two. I won’t spoil either mystery. I would just say both books are incredibly fun in the way only Agatha Christie is. In both books the twist surprised the hell out of me.
White Noise by Don DeLillo
The funniest book I read all year, DeLillo’s White Noise is a sharp-eyed satire about American consumerism. It’s a weird, weird book. There are toxic events, Hitler studies classes, shootings, and strange experimental drugs. It also has two all-time characters, Murray and Heinrich, both with…