I read 24 books this year. To be more exact, I guess, I finished 24 books this year — I’ve got a few more scattered around the house, but I’m not going to finish those before 2018.
If I finished a book, that means I liked it. I used to be one of those people who would slog through a book to the end, even if I hated every page. The great Nick Hornby cured me of that. I read a quote from him somewhere where he said that if you don’t like a book, it’s OK to toss it across the room. You shouldn’t feel like you have to finish out of duty. Thanks to Nick Hornby for saving me from many books that just weren’t for me.
So you can take this list as a list of recommendations — the books I wouldn’t recommend are the ones I didn’t finish. Some of the books below were work-related and others were just for pleasure. But I got something meaningful out of all them. These aren’t ranked; I’m listing them in the order I finished them during the year.
Bruce Springsteen, “Born To Run”
Patti Smith, “M Train”
The Rev. William Barber, “The Third Reconstruction”
“Best American Sports Writing 2015”
Tig Notaro, “I’m Just a Person”
Elmore Leonard, “The Big Bounce”
Vince Dooley, “Vince Dooley’s Garden”
Terry McDonell, “An Accidental Life”
George Saunders, “Lincoln In the Bardo”
Atul Gawande, “Being Mortal”
Roxane Gay, “Hunger”
Jennifer Weiner, “Hungry Heart”
Dan Harris, “10% Happier”
James McBride, “Kill ‘Em and Leave”
Dick Francis, “Whip Hand”
Dick Francis, “Risk”
Dick Francis, “Come To Grief”
Joe Ide, “Righteous”
Warren Zanes, “Petty: The Biography”
Kelly Williams Brown, “Adulting”
Gavin Edwards, “The Tao of Bill Murray”
Jesmyn Ward, “Sing, Unburied, Sing”
Paul Zollo, “More Songwriters On Songwriting”
Cary Elwes and Joe Layden, “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of ‘The Princess Bride'”
Here’s to more good books in 2018.