Top Five 2018

51XARxF5OiLI maintain a highly subjective ranking of all the books I have read during the year and have traditionally published some form of Top Reads for a couple of years. It’s February already but I found it interesting to go back and see what the five books I most esteemed (or enjoyed) in 2018.

How do you consider these titles:

  • How German Is It — Walter Abish
  • The Golden Notebook — Doris Lessing
  • The Years, Months, Days — Yan Lianke
  • The Black Prince — Iris Murdoch
  • Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats — Allen Ginsberg

Note that although not ranked Number One, looking back I think my favorite title was Allen Ginsberg’s, Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats. Don’t miss it. It’s also interesting to me that two of the books I struggled with completing are on the list: The Golden Notebook and The Black Prince. Do you think my difficulties affected my ranking (as in “it was tough so it must have been great”}.

Here is my complete ranking (Top 20) for 2018.

  1. How German Is It — Walter Abish
  2. The Golden Notebook — Doris Lessing
  3. The Years, Months, Days — Yan Lianke
  4. The Black Prince — Iris Murdoch
  5. Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats — Allen Ginsberg
  6. Such Fine Boys — Patrick Modiano
  7. A General Theory of Oblivion — José Eduardo Agualusa
  8. Riders of the Purple Sage — Zane Grey
  9. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy — Laurence Sterne
  10. Frankenstein In Baghdad — Ahmed Saadawi
  11. Odysseus Abroad — Amit Chaudhuri
  12. For Bread Alone — Mohamed Choukri
  13. Black Moses — Alain Mabanckou
  14. I Can Give You Anything But Love — Gary Indiana
  15. Iphigenia In Tauris — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  16. The Mars Room — Rachel Kushner
  17. Lives of the Saints — Nino Ricci
  18. Dunbar — Edward St. Aubyn
  19. Belle de Jour — Joseph Kessel
  20. The Picturegoers — David Lodge

This ranking list and others going back to 1997 are available here.

What are your thoughts on this?

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