A Year in Review: The Book Stuff

10. John Haskell, American Purgatorio
An American road trip, the search of a wife who disappeared, the one book that I literally couldn’t put down, so I stayed awake until really late at night to finish it. I’m still unsure what it was that gripped me so much.

9. Anthony Bourdain: A Cookâ??s Tour
I mean, I just love Anthony Bourdain, so how could I not love this book. His story of the search for the perfect meal all around the world.

8. Marisha Pessl: Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Possibly the book with the most metaphors, but also a great coming-of-age story and a thrilling mystery. Plus, the edition I have gets the award for prettiest cover.

7. Jasper Fforde: The Well of Lost Plots
I finished the Thursday Next series this year and I just love all the books, but The Well of Lost Plots probably was the best Fforde book I read this year. The others are still really good as well.

6. Ann Patchett: Bel Canto
Third runner-up for Saddest Book of the year is this wonderful story about a kidnapping gone wrong and its aftermath, a group of terrorists and the guests of a birthday party forced to live together.

5. Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
Possibly the most beautiful book I read last year. There’s love, there’s books, there’s Barcelona. There’s a young boy and a mysterious writer whose lifes suddenly get intertwined. Sigh.

4. Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore
Yeah. So this book is kind of, you know, strange. You have to just trust me when I tell you I loved it and you are most likely to love it, too.

3. Walter Moers: Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher

The year I learned to love Walter Moers. If there is one German fantasy author who doesn’t only create great stories, but can actually write, it’s him. It also helps that his ideas – at least, most of the times – are wonderfully absurd and crazy.

2. Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
I’m always afraid that talking about this book I might say too much. Read it.

1. David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas
I always have a hard time choosing one favorite book, because they’re all so different, so how to actually make a choice. Cloud Atlas stood out from all the books, which is why I chose it as my favorite book of the year 2006. It was just amazing to follow this book word by word, paragraph by paragraph, page by page. It was a strange journey through six diffrent lives and six different ages, a journey there and back, beautifully written, full of woundrous things.

Also notable:

Best Short Stories and Probably Funniest Book: David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Best Children’s Book: Conor Kostick, Epic
Book that Seemed the Longest (and Probably Also Was the Longest): Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Saddest Book: Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner (runner-up: American Purgatorio, but that one already scored)
Most Charming Book: Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladiesâ?? Detective Agency
Best Love Story with a Time Twist: Andrew Sean Greer, The Confessions of Max Tivoli
Best Strange Finnish Book About Strange Finnish People Living in Strange Finnish Woods: Arto Paasilinna, Hirtettyjen kettujen metsä (German: Im Wald der gehenkten Füchse)