Posted in Recommendations, The Bookish Life

Drunk Drifters and Favorite Books of 2016…So Far

If you are going to tell your mom a story about how you shared a conversation with a drunken drifter when you were hiking alone you should definitely preface it by telling her you could totally have taken him in hand to hand combat.  And really I could have taken him. 

But a meeting of the fists wasn’t necessary.  We shared life stories and a sweltering trail.  We admired a shirtless man on horseback with a glorious tan worthy of any Thanksgiving turkey and found a shady spot to part ways with sweaty handshakes.  I left feeling an intense gratitude for fate casting us in our mutual and literal paths so that I could hear a story of an authentic life so vastly different from my own.  

Isn’t that why we read really?  We want to experience outside ourselves.  I guess there are the fantasies and adventures that carry us away from the realities of human life.  But the truly satisfying stories are those that capture or reflect a real human life, a truth outside ourselves that casts our own life in new and revealing contrast.  

Looking back on my reading at the half point of the year, I realize of the 100 or so books I’ve read so far, my favorites tend to follow this aesthetic.  

Here is the list of this year-so-far reads I think about, talk about, quote and sometimes shove in friend’s faces and demand they be read.  

Picture Bride – Yoshiko Uchida

The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

Dress Your Family In Denim & Corduroy- David Sedaris

The Peripatetic Coffin -Ethan Rutherford

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ben Fountain

Tribe – Sebastian Junger

Just Kids – Patti Smith

A Man Called Ove – Frederik Backman

On Cats – Charles Bukowski

The Principles of Uncertainty – Maira Kalman

The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick

Anatomy of a Soldier – Harry Parker

Revenant – Michael Punke

Kira-Kira – Cynthia Kadohata

The Whale: A Love Story – Mark Beauregard 

Fox Tossing – Edward Brooke-Hitching

Palm of the Hand Stories – Yasunari Kawabata

How to Be a Victorian – Ruth Goodman

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