Saturday, September 25, 2010

Best Books of 2004

1.  My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki. My new favorite writer! Explores Japan's fascination with all things American. Don’t read if you want to keep eating beef.
2.  All Over Creation, Ruth Ozeki. I love Ozeki's sense of humor and sense of justice!
3. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides. Excellent family saga of girl who eventually discovers she's a hermaphrodite.
4. Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood. Beautifully written, about a woman charged with murdering her employer in 1800s.
5.  The Outside World, Tova Mirvis. Two young Orthodox Jews falling in love.
6. The Pearl Diver, Sujata Massey. Explores the secrets of Vietnam War, DC restaurants, and complex characters.
7. Liberating Paris, Linda Bloodworth Thomason. Wonderful story of six friends and a year that changed all their lives.
8. Keeping Faith, Jodi Picoult. Provocative story about girl who starts seeing God, resulting in bitter, custody battle.
9. The Yokota Officers’ Club, Sarah Bird. Great. An Air Force brat's childhood in Japan and her secrets.
10. Little Earthquakes, Jennifer Weiner. Shows how children cause “little earthquakes” yet enrich their mothers’ lives.
11. The Rice Mother, Rani Manicka. Woman born in Ceylon ends up in Malaysia in arranged marriage.
12. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman. Wonderful story of sisterly love and devotion, combined with magic and love.
13. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown. Engrossing. Made me look at art, history, and religion in a different light.
14. Donorboy, Brendan Halpin. A girls’ two mommies die and she goes to live with her biological dad, the sperm donor.
15. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier. Story of a man and a woman separated by the civil war.
16. The Moon Under Her Feet, Clysta Kinstler. The Red Tent meets Mary Magdalene. Exquisitely written.
17. Little Children, Tom Perrota. Thought-provoking, deceivingly light-hearted satire about suburban life.
18. The House Tibet, Georgia Savage. Beautifully written story about an Australian runaway who finds a family.

1. Blood Done Sign My Name, Timothy Tyson. Extremely well-written; about a racially motivated killing, the history of the Black Freedom movement, and the way it has affected the author.
2. Following Foo: The Adventures of the Chestnut Man, B.D. Wong. Heartwarming story of two gay men and their preemie son.
3. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis 2, Marjane Satrapi. Wonderful graphic novels of a girl growing up in post-revolutionary Iran.
4. Slave, Mende Nazer. 12-year-old sold into slavery in 1993; puts a human face on the tragedies in Sudan.
5. Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, Valerie Boyd. What a fascinating, inspiring woman!
6. Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett. Compassionate, heartwarming but very sad account of a deep friendship between two women writers.
7. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, Catherine Clinton. Fascinating glimpse into this amazing woman’s life.
8. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, Firoozeh Dumas. Funny coming of age story.
9. This Day: Diaries of American Women, Joni B. Cole et al., ed. A day in the life of 35 or more different women.
10. An Innocent, A Broad, Ann Leary. Another story of a preemie, born in the 80s to a couple visiting the UK.
11. Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia, Carmen Bin Ladin. Disturbing memoir of Osama Bin Laden’s former sister-in-law.

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