On to some of my favorite fiction picks this year:
How has it taken me so long to read this book?! As an English major in college, I took an entire semester on Jane Austen, and loved reading all of her novels and dissecting what made them so delightful and wise and witty. And professor after professor told me I would love this book, a more adult version of Jane Austen’s works. Now almost 20 years later, it was finally time. The story of how to live a good life after the wedding, this book is wise and insightful and so so good. Virginia Wolf calls this “one of the few English novels for grown-ups”. Next up in the new year, My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. Dorothea, I understand you!
2. Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series
Set in Quebec in a cozy, hidden village, this mystery series is absolutely fantastic. More than mysteries, these books examine the life well-lived. What does it mean to love and be part of a community or family, and what happens when we are not? How can we find meaning and purpose and love? These books remind us over and over that love and community are strong weapons in the fight against evil. Start this series at the beginning with Still Life.
3. More mysteries: I started the great new Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling) Cormoran Strike series with Cuckoo’s Calling and dove into Agatha Christie with the well-done Murder on the Orient Express . I’ll be reading more of the Cormoran Strike series in 2019…
4. A few fun reads: Ready Player One, a great adventure set in a virtual video-game world, was even better than the movie. The Impossible Girl was a semi-dark venture into the Victorian world of grave-robbing to provide cadavers for medical schools and anatomic museums. I really enjoyed it, and the anatomic and medical details were accurate. Great book and not overly gruesome. And finally, a classic mystery that some say is one of the best written: The Daughter of Time. Despite the fact that the detective is laid up in bed recovering from an injury and never leaves his room, and that this book is about solving a historical mystery about Richard III, it was enjoyable and well done.
Happy reading, all! Tell me what you’re reading in the comments.