Sunday, December 3, 2017

Books of the Year

some of my favourites in various categories in what proved to be a great reading year for me...

History Book of the Year
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue - John McWhorter
Our greatest contemporary linguist explains how English kicked off.

Music Criticism Book of the Year
Listen to This - Alex Ross
A collection of Ross's pieces from the New Yorker.

Memoir of the Year
Hunger - Roxane Gay
Gay's honest unflinching look at her life, trauma, sexuality and her issues with food.

Geography Book of the Year
Landmarks - Robert Macfarlane
A meditation on places and the language we use to describe them.

Psychogeography Book of the Year
London Overground - Iain Sinclair
More gorgeous prose from professional flaneur Iain Sinclair as he walks around London, again.

Crime Novel of the Year
The Force - Don Winslow
Winslow reinvents the NY dirty cop novel for our times.

Australian Crime Novel of the Year
The Dry - Jane Harper
A federal Melbourne cop investigates a murder in his home town during fire season.

Philosophy Book of the Year
Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea And the Deep Origins of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey
A professional philosopher dons a wetsuit and explores octopus intelligence.

Biography of the Year
Sticky Fingers - The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stones Magazine - Joe Hagan
A gossipy, damning all access biography of Wenner written in a superior style.

Novel That Made Me Cry On A Plane Book of the Year
A Man Called Ove - Frederik Bachman
I don't even want to talk about it.

Comedy Novel of the Year
The Forensic Record Society - Magnus Mills
Blokes meet up in a pub in north London to listen to records. Nothing much happens. Genius.

Poetic War Memoir of the Year
My Life as a Foreign Country - Brian Turner
Turner's poetic memoir of his tour as an army Staff Sergeant during the invasion of Iraq.

Science Fiction Novel of the Year
Fear The Sky - Stephen Moss
An alien conspiracy to take over the Earth.

Literary Novel of the Year
Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders
Abe Lincoln's dead son wanders through purgatory.

Reread of the Year
The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach
One of my favourite baseball novels of all time now.

Audiobook Reread of the Year
The Wine Dark Sea - Patrick O'Brian narrated by Patrick Tull
My fourth time listening to this one.