It’s been a long time…I shouldn’ta left you…etc. Hopefully, I’ll be a better blogger in 2011. But in the meantime, here are some of the books that I read this year (note: this list totally excludes the books I’ve read with my son, including Brown Bear and The Very Busy Spider). I’ll update this later with more books and my thoughts on these.

Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
My friend from Nigeria told me that Americans don’t read enough translated fiction and he suggested I try this Norweigian novel. I enjoyed it.

Leaving Atlanta, Tayari Jones
I’d been wanting to read this for years, but somehow just got around to it. I’m glad I finally did; it was a great story with very unique narrative technique and one of the best last lines I’ve read in a while.

The Wind Done Gone, Alice Randall

The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Neffenegger

Twilight, Stephanie Meyer
Don’t judge me! The concept is interesting, and y’all know how I feel about plot. Plus I’m a sucker for a love story. She ain’t no Toni Morrison, but this was a fun book.

New Moon, Stephanie Meyer
…now, for this one, I will say: I wouldn’t let a teenage girl read it. Bella’s (the main character) suicidal/reckless/depression thing over a boy (granted, a pretty, sparkly boy) was unhealthy. And, to me, unrealistic. Then again, her best friend’s a werewolf, so who am I to judge it based on realism?

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A Song for Night, Chris Abani
Beautiful and sad, as per Chris Abani’s MO. I really liked it.

A Mercy, Toni Morrison

Paradise, Toni Morrison (re-read)
Reading this, I was blown away all over again. Toni Morrison is a myth-maker–and that ain’t no easy feat!

Little Scarlet, Walter Mosley (re-read)
My favorite Easy Rawlins novel.

American Gods, Neil Gaiman
Not as good as the graphic novels I’ve read by him (kinda plods along in some places), but a very good story nonetheless. If you’re interested in mythology, you’ll probably enjoy it.

The Sandman Comics 1-5, Neil Gaiman
I was ignorant of the storytelling power of comics until I was introduced to these graphic stories. Now? I’m addicted.

SHORT STORIES

Nilda, Junot Diaz

Shiloh, Bobbie Ann Mason

The Lottery, Shirley Jackson (re-read)
A thrilling classic. I’m sure I read it every year.

The Complete Stories, Zora Neale Hurston
Very cool to discover some of her work that I’d never read. It also contains multiple versions of things she wrote, so you get a sense of her process.

Unaccostomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
One of my favorite books this year. Her writing is very quiet but very intense.

NON-FICTION
The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene
This dude is SO Machiavellian, but I couldn’t put the book down! Lots of historical and literary anecdotes. I almost hate to admit how much I liked this one.

Trust Agents, Chris Brogan

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