Saturday, December 31, 2005

THE BEST READS OF 2005

Books that somehow made me want to put
everything else on hold and read


NOVELS
Articles of War / Nick Arvin
The Brooklyn Follies / Paul Auster
Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon / Dean Bakopoulos
The Sea / John Banville
Arthur & George / Julian Barnes
A Long Long Way / Sebastian Barry
The Family on Paradise Pier / Dermot Bolger
Three Day War / Joseph Boyden
March / Geraldine Brooks
The Family Tree / Carole Cadwalladr
Acts of Faith / Philip Caputo
The Saint of Lost Things / Christopher Castellani
It’s All Right Now / Charles Chadwick
The Great Stink / Clare Clark
A Slight Trick of the Mind / Mitch Cullin
Specimen Days / Michael Cunningham
This Human Season / Louise Dean
The March / E.L. Doctorow
The Memory Kepper’s Daughter / Kim Edwards
The Painted Drum / Louise Erdrich
26a / Diana Evans
Wounded / Percival Everett
Skinner’s Drift / Lisa Fugard
An Acre of Barren Land / Jeremy Gavron
Baker Towers / Jennifer Haigh
The Short Day Dying / Peter Hobbs
A Long Way Down / Nick Hornby
Never Let Me Go / Kazuo Ishiguro
The Ha-Ha / Dave King
The Girls / Lori Lansens
The Highest Tide / Jim Lynch
Beyond Black / Hilary Mantel
The Bright Forever / Lee Martin
Saturday / Ian McEwan
The People’s Act of Love / James Meek
Lost in the Forest / Sue Miller
Ghost Portrait / Gregory Norminton
In the Province of Saints / Thomas O’Malley
The Portrait / Iain Pears
Dancing in the Dark / Caryl Phillips
Rules for Old Men Waiting / Peter Pouncey
Shalimar the Clown / Salman Rushdie
The Writing on the Wall / Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Prep / Curtis Sittenfeld
The Accidental / Ali Smith
On Beauty / Zadie Smith
The Angel of Forgetfulness / Steve Stern
A Factory of Cunning / Philippa Stockley
Abide with Me / Elizabeth Strout
Divided Kingdom / Rupert Thomson
The Hummingbird’s Daughter / Luis Alberto Urrea
A Jealous Ghost / A.N. Wilson
Only Say the Word / Niall Williams
The Ballad of Lee Cotton / Christopher Wilson

STORIES
War by Candlelight / Daniel Alarcón
Follies / Ann Beattie
Here is Where We Meet / John Berger
God Lives in St. Petersburg and Other Stories / Tom Bissell
Tooth and Claw / T.C. Boyle
Under the Dam / David Constantine
Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories / Patricia Highsmith
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers / Yiyun Li
The Stories of David Leavitt (2005) / David Leavitt
Fathers and Daughters / Benjamin Markovits
Mother of Sorrows / Richard McCann
Ghost Town / Patrick McGrath
You Are Not the One / Vestal McIntyre
The Hill Road / Patrick O’Keefe
Music Through the Floor / Eric Puchner
Last Night / James Salter
Constitutional / Helen Simpson
I Got Somebody in Staunton / William Henry Lewis

POETRY
American Sublime / Elizabeth Alexander
Where Shall I Wander: New Poems / John Ashbery
Star Dust / Frank Bidart
The Good Neighbour / John Burnside
Rapture / Carol Ann Duffy
Intimates / Helen Farish
Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005 / Brendan Galvin
Refusing Heaven / Jack Gilbert
Legion / David Harsent
A Shorter Life / Alan Jenkins
Collected Poems / Jane Kenyon
To a Fault / Nick Laird
Harbour Lights / Derek Mahon
The Sugar Mile / Glyn Maxwell
Migration: New and Selected Poems / W.S. Merwin
New and Selected Poems: Volume 2 / Mary Oliver
Woods etc. / Alice Oswald
Skirrid Hill / Owen Sheers
Elegy on Toy Piano / Dean Young

NONFICTION
Shakespeare: The Biography / Peter Ackroyd
Selected Prose 1953-2003 / John Ashbery (edited by Eugene Richie)
Curious Pursuits: Occasional Writing (published as Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose, 1983-2005 in the U.S.) / Margaret Atwood
Quicksands: A Memoir / Sybille Bedford
Untold Stories / Alan Bennett
Bertie, May and Mrs Fish / Xandra Bingley
Heartland: A Memoir / Neil Cross
Edmund Wilson: A Life in Literature / Lewis M. Dabney
Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev / Robert Dessaix
The Year of Magical Thinking / Joan Didion
The Coldest Winter: A Stringer in Liberated Europe / Paula Fox
Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home: Life on the Page / Lynn Freed
Findings / Kathleen Jamie
The Disappointment Artist / Jonathan Lethem
Making It Up / Penelope Lively
The Hall of a Thousand Columns: Hindustan to Malabar with Ibn Battutah / Tim Mackintosh-Smith
Memoir / John McGahern
India in Mind / edited by Pankaj Mishra
Uncensored: Views and (Re)Views / Joyce Carol Oates
Istanbul: Memories of a City (published in the U.S. as Istanbul: Memories and the City) / Orhan Pamuk (trans. from the Turkish by Maureen Freely)
Mark Twain: A Life / Ron Powers
Mencken: the American Iconoclast / Marion Elizabeth Rodgers
When I Grow Up / Bernice Rubens
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel / Jane Smiley
Matisse: The Master / Hilary Spurling
Consider the Lobster and Other Essays / David Foster Wallace
D.H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider / John Worthen

2 Comments:

Anonymous patricia said...

Stop! Stop! I can't breathe!
(Love your many, many recommendations).

Saturday, January 07, 2006 5:00:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

I am glad that you enjoyed my recommendations. Here's to more wonderful books!

Saturday, January 07, 2006 8:03:00 AM  

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