Once again, it’s time for me to depart from my nerdy governance life and list my 10 favorite books of the year gone by. For those of you who are new to these annual posts, my top 10 list reflects what I read last year, rather than what was published during the year.
The only significant departure from prior years is that in a couple of instances I’ve combined two books by the same author. So here goes:
- Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. This is probably the best work of what is now called “narrative non-fiction” that I’ve read in many a moon. It tells the story of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland but goes well beyond that. It is gripping and sad and brilliantly executed.
- Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? By Jeannette Winterson. As long as we’re talking in superlatives, this is one of the best memoirs I’ve read in a long time – and I’ve read some very good ones. Winterson had a miserable childhood that could ruin anyone, but she has risen above her beginnings with grace and humor. This is one of the few books that is undoubtedly better as an audiobook, as Ms. Winterson is the narrator, and her Manchester accent is perfect. (If you were driving near me on I-95 and saw me laughing out loud, reading the book will help you understand that I had good reason.)