After venting a bit in yesterday's post, I thought that I would change the tone today and post something a whole lot more positive. I've decided to come up with a fairly solid draft of my "Top Reads of 2007." These books were not all published in 2007 because with my backlog of reading I don't always read the big-name books anywhere near the year they were released. This is not meant to be a "Best of 2007" in any sense other than that I read each of them this year.
With that in mind, these are my favorites up to this point:
1. The Kite Runner - Khaled HosseiniMy rankings are based mostly on how I felt about the books immediately after finishing them. Books receiving the same overall rating in my original reviews were than ranked according to how I feel about them today.
2. Ava's Man - Rick Bragg
3. The Known World - Edward P. Jones
4. The Tin Roof Blowdown - James Lee Burke
5. A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines
6. Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
7. Crow Lake - Mary Lawson
8. The Rise of Silas Lapham - William Dean Howells
9. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
10. A Gathering of Old Men - Ernest J. Gaines
11. Beautiful Shadow - Andrew Wilson
12. Main Street - Sinclair Lewis
13. Shalimar the Clown - Salmon Rushdie
14. The Hours - Michael Cunningham
15. The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
I am a little surprised that my Top 15 includes books from three centuries, authors from three continents, white writers, black writers, three writers of Muslim heritage, and three non-fiction books. The biggest surprise, however, is that the list includes only two women. I read so many female writers, and absolutely love the writing of Joyce Carol Oates, that two women out of fifteen total seems odd.