Bookdwarf, who is neither a book nor a dwarf, is the Head Buyer for the independent Harvard Book Store and an inveterate hoarder of galleys and first editions. Her reading interests run across all genres and styles, but her favorites include Haruki Murakami, George Eliot, and Alexander Dumas.
I feel like I’ve said “This is the best book I’ve read this year” a lot in 2007. What a great year for books. There are a few new ones as well as a few older ones on my list. First, I’ll get George Eliot’s Middlemarch out of the way. It’s simply one of the best books I’ve ever read. I expect to read this again in a few years and still feel the same, it’s that good. It’s the kind of book where you’re not certain you can make it past the first 100 pages, but what a treat if you do!
I loved Danielle Trussoni’s Falling Through the Earth, listed as one of the Top Ten Books of 2006 by the New York Times. A spare memoir about her father’s experiences as a tunnel rat in Vietnam. She seemed to have gotten post traumatic stress syndrome from the war as well.
Shalom Auslander wrote another brilliant memoir, Foreskin’s Lament. Dark, scathing, and funny, he writes about his Orthodox Jewish upbringing with a passion I usually reserve for politics.
With regard to new fiction, I loved many books this year, but two standouts were Yannick Murphy’s Signed, Mata Hari and Benjamin Percy’s Refresh, Refresh. These might be two of the best books you haven’t read yet.