Best Reads

These "Best of..." are not based on books published in the year listed but books that I read that year and gave a ✰✰✰✰✰ rating.  The order in which they are listed is the order in which I read them, not how I would rank them in relation to each other.  If the title is hyperlinked and you would like to read what I have to say, you can click on the title to bring up the book's review. Enjoy!

Best of 2018 Fiction

If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

Best of 2018 Nonfiction

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Radium Girls by Kate Moore 
Nine Continents by Xiaolu Guo
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukhergee

Best of 2017 Fiction

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Best of 2017 Nonfiction

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin's House by Daniel Mark Epstein
Love Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival by Jeffrey Gettleman
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin

Best of 2017 Audio

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (I only gave this novel four stars; had I read the print version it likely would have been three stars, but Fiona Hardingham's narration is five stars all the way.)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Best of 2016 Fiction

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Iliad by Homer; Lattimore (trans.)
Medea by Euripides
The Book of Murder by Guillermo Martinez
To the Bright Edge of the World  by Eowyn Ivey
Girl at War by Sara Nović
The Stand by Stephen King
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Best of 2016 Nonfiction

The Way to the Spring by Ben Ehrenreich
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Best of 2016 Audio

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (I only gave the book three stars, but the audio is outstanding. Click on the title for more info.)
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (I only gave the book four stars, but the audio definitely deserves a "Best of" designation.)

Best of 2015 Fiction

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore 
Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Best of 2015 Nonfiction

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides (Favorite Book)

Best of 2015 Audio

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith 

Best of 2014 Fiction

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Favorite Book)

Best of 2014 Nonfiction

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone

Best of 2014 Audio

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Favorite Book)

Best of 2013 Fiction

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Favorite Book)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (Favorite Book)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Best of 2013 Nonfiction

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Best of 2013 Audio

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Best of 2012 Fiction

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Private Life by Jane Smiley
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Swamplandia by Karen Russell
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Best of 2012 Nonfiction

Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides (Favorite Book)
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough
Games without Rules by Tamim Ansary (Favorite Book)

Best of 2012 Audio

Lamb by Christopher Moore (I only gave the book itself three stars, but the audio is outstanding-it is an odd book-link to the review if you are interested in more information.)
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (narrated by Ruby Dee)
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier (narrated by Will Patton)

Best of 2011 Fiction

I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick (Favorite Book)
Juliet by Anne Fortier 
Room by Emma Donoghue
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Spiral by Paul McEuen
The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
The March by E.L. Doctorow
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Favorite Book)

Best of 2011 Non-Fiction
Anne Morrow Lindbergh by Susan Hertog
Schuyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson
The Happiness of Pursuit by Davis Phinney (with Austin Murphy)
The Fear by Peter Godwin
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Best of 2011 Audio Books
Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey (narrated by Humphrey Bower, who does such an excellent job with Parrot’s and Olivier’s voices that I thought there were two separate narrators)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
(narrated by Allan Corduner, who is absolutely pitch perfect as the narrator, “Death”)

Best of 2010 Fiction
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer 
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Best of 2010 Non-Fiction
Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen
Sisters of Sinai by Janet Soskice
1776 by David McCullough
King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild

Best of 2010 Audio Book
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I rated this a four star book, but the audio is the best I have ever heard-definite five star if you listen to the audio.)