With the year of 2004 drawing to a close, some of us (preferably the ones that have re-read High Fidelity too many times) start making Best Of 2004 lists. I thought I'd make one involving books, so here it goes: My best reads of 2004. Anyone else wanna chip in? Although most of the books mentioned here were published this year (apart from #1, obviously), you're more than welcome to bring up older books.
TOP TEN READS OF 2004
1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I can't believe I didn't read it earlier, but part of me is glad I saved it. A wonderful read.)
2. Oracle Night by Paul Auster (after a few weaker efforts, my darling Auster is back in shape. Arguably his best work since Leviathan.)
3. The American Boy by Andew Taylor (19th century England! Lots of semi-colons! Sherlock Holmes-esque intrigue! An 11-year-old Edgar Allan Poe!)
4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon (quirky, endearing and very original. The narrator reads like an autistic Adrian Mole.)
5. Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood (Another splendid effort from one of the best writers alive. It's a bit sci-fi, but I loved it anyway)
6. The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates (Not one of Oates' more stellar efforts, but an average Oates is still way ahead of any other living writer.)
7. Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking around America with Interruptions (a beautifully written, funny and thoughtful piece of non-fiction)
8. The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band (Hilarious, shocking and addictive, this is THE rock'n'roll biography. You don't even have to like Motley Crue!)
9. The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson (Low-key, touching and beautiful, this novel about a young, jaded girl growing up in a gated community gives me the same feeling that the movie Ghost World did.)
10. No Second Chance by Harlan Coben (Gives the phrase "Page turner" a whole new dimension.)
I really wanted to put The Probably Future by Alice Hoffman up there too.