To be considered this time are four novels and three nonfiction titles: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Seth Grahame-Smith), Shadow of the Swords (Kamran Pasha), Blockade Billy (Stephen King), Ordinary Thunderstorms (William Boyd), War (Sebastian Junger), That's No Mob, That's My Mom (Michael Graham) and Me of Little Faith (Lewis Black).
So, after due consideration, this is what the fiction list looks like after 56 fiction books read:
And the nonfiction list from a total of 18 read changes a bit:
1. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese (novel)
2. Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes (Vietnam War novel)
3. The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim (novel)
4. Shadow of the Swords - Kamran Pasha (novel about the Third Crusade)
5. Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier (historical fiction)
6. Drood - Dan Simmons (historical fiction)
7. The Secret Speech - Tom Rob Smith (historical thriller)
8. Far Cry - John Harvey (police procedural)
9. Home, Away - Jeff Gillenkirk (baseball novel)
10. Whiter Than Snow - Sandra Dallas (historical fiction)
1. Lies My Mother Never Told Me - Kaylie Jones (memoir)It is obviously getting tougher to crack the list because only two of the seven new ones made it this time: Shadow of the Swords, at number 4 on the fiction list and War at number two on the nonfiction one. Both books earned high spots on the list and will probably still be there at the end of the year.
2. War - Sebastian Junger (about the daily lives of our soldiers in Afghanistan)
3. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley & Eddie Dean (biography)
4. Losing My Cool - Thomas Chatterton Williams (memoir)
5. Jane's Fame - Claire Harman (on the evolution of Jane Austen's reputation)
6. The Opposite Field - Jesse Katz - (memoir)
7. The Tennis Partner - Abraham Verghese (1998 memoir)
8. Game Change - John Heilemann & Mark Halperin (political nonfiction)
9. Damp Squid - Jeremy Butterfield (on the evolution of the English language)
10. Unfinished Business - Lee Kravitz (memoir)
That makes these the best 20 books of the 74 I've read so far this year, with another five months to go.