Best Book of the Year

I read a lot of good books this year.  But the best had to be Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (currently only $2.99 on the Kindle!). Here’s what I wrote about it:

The title characters are superbly drawn, leading me to hope that this novel will never be turned into a movie, for there is so much subtlety to their personalities, and my affections toward each of them rose and fell so many times, that a 3-act movie would be a supreme injustice to the Clark’s development of them. [READ THE REST]

Since a lot of us will be buying books over the next couple weeks, what’s the best book that you read this year?

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  • Mark Van Steenwyk

    I love that book. It brings together almost all of my favorite aspects of imaginative fiction.

    But the best book I’ve read this year was either Urth of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe or the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman lives in the Twin Cities…one of my standing wishes is to have a beer with him at Merlin’s Rest (or some other pub) and have a long conversation about storytelling.

    • Carla

      Mark, I’ve been thinking about getting the Graveyard Book for my 11-year-old. What do you think–too weird? too intense?

  • The last book I read and enjoyed as much as I’m enjoying this one was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

  • Dawn

    I read JS&MN several years ago. I think you’re right about the character development, but I wonder if it can be a masterpiece of fantasy fiction without a stronger plot line. Fantasy that relies on futuristic or funky gimmicks instead of a well-written story annoys me. Too much weight on character-development feels tedious too, though in this case I’d say that Susanna Clarke has produced a Pride and Prejudice for the fantasy world. Very English. And crossover anything is huge.

    Also I think you’re right about too much non-fiction-reading in “your” branch of the world.

  • Larry Barber

    Don’t know about best, but the worst was George Martin’s “A Game of Thrones”. Uninteresting, predictable, unsympathetic characters. The only character that I could care about got killed early on. Everybody else were just conniving, power hungry, narcissistic drunks. The only interesting characters were the ones that were insane. I have no idea what people saw in that series.

    • Mark Van Steenwyk

      Really? I enjoyed all of the books in the Song of Ice and Fire.

  • Thanks for the book recommends, goes to read other reviews of the book. 🙂

  • Loved Love Wins by Rob Bell and am now enjoying Simply Jesus by Tom Wright. Both inspirational books – probably because they point towards such a great God.

  • I’d had Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow on my “must read” list for a long time. I finally read it this year and it blew me away. Best book I read this year.

    I also read and greatly enjoyed Rachel Held Evans Evolving in Monkeytown. Highly recommended.

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