On A Sticky Note: 2006

Here’s a list of the best of 2006:

1.  John Adams by David McCullough  (Blows the image of Adams as a stick-in-the-mud president to smithereens.  I think this is McCullough’s best book.)

2. The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa by Neil Peart (Peart, the drummer for RUSH, writes great travel literature. His reflections on riding and traveling in a group of fit and not-so-fit cyclists.)

3. The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie McDonald (Neil Peart recommended this book on his blog, so my husband got it for me.  It’s an epic tale of the murder of a little girl in small town Canada during the Sixties; a good companion book for Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones.)

4. The Reader by Bernard Schlink (Devastating coming-of-age tale of the secrets we keep and their tragic consequences.)

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The ump-teenth time I read it.  Always timely, especially today— don’t you feel like you’re cleaning up the messes of the super-rich?)

6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Mandatory reading. Period.)

7. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (How can you not love Oscar Schell searching New York to unlock his father’s secret?  Plus, this book has the funniest first paragraph– ever.)

8. Atonement by Ian McEwan (It’s like watching a beautiful train wreck that never was.)

9. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (A complex moral dilemma about the consequences of decisions made under extreme pressure.)

10. The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly (The plague and so much more.  A study how earthquakes, changes in the weather pattern and the migration of rats– and their fleas– led to the deaths of millions and affected art, literature, science and beliefs.  A good companion book for Geraldine Brooks novel, A Year of Wonders.)

11. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (An elderly man reflects on his life and legacy in a letter to his young son.)

12. The History of Love by Nicole Krause (A multi-narrative story about love, loss, and betrayal in post-Holocaust/WWII.  Krause is Safran Foer’s wife, and I think they wrote their books at the same time, since they echo each other.  Therefore, they make good companion books. I refer to EL&IC)

13. 1776 by David McCullough (You know, it’s really amazing that we gained independence from Britain.  This is McCullough’s look at that tumultuous year of war; I think this would be his fourth best book.)

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