The most interesting (!) was from a friend who pointed out a book that I read and forgot to record. (She remembers because I borrowed it from her!) My goodness...that makes 101. And it happened to be a book that I really enjoyed: Room, by Emma Donoghue.
The other comments were from people who suggested that I highlight the books that were "worth reading" or make a top 10 list.
So I've decided to add to my list and create a "top 20" list. I picked ones that I've been recommending to people all year long. I really enjoyed many others (almost all of them) on my list, but I tried to pick "unusual" or different ones - I don't need to recommend the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to you. Good books, but everyone suggests those!
- Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde - if you haven't ever read his books, they're funny and creative and different.
- Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah - I thought this was her best book so far. If you've avoided her books because they look like "chick lit", this one steps a little outside that box.
- The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf - a story about the Muslim-American experience. I personally found it interesting to compare to the Jewish-American experience.
- Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn - powerful stuff.
- Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian - interesting Holocaust literature that isn't really about Jews, and it isn't BY a Jew.
- Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht - although many at the book discussion didn't like this book, I found it readable and interesting.
- Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa - really hard to read, the (fictionalized) story of Israel from an Arab perspective. I didn't agree with most of the book, I found it disturbing and annoying, but it also felt a little bit important to challenge myself.
- Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - better than The Help. Grittier, more difficult, but a more compelling story.
- Crashing Through by Robert Kurson - non-fiction about a guy who is blind and has his sight restored. Fascinating.
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen - one of my new favorite authors. I read through all her books in about one week.
- By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan - Inquisition story, well-written and interesting
- For the Win by Cory Doctorow - he writes such interesting (fiction) books about technology - this one is about "gold farming" in massive multiplayer online games.
- My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares - a change from her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a book about reincarnation and memory, a sweet story.
- The Red Thread by Ann Hood - novel about adopting from China, tracing the adopting parents and also the mothers who give up their daughters
- A Novel Bookstore by Lawrence Cosse - the librarian handed this one to me and it was a challenge but very worth it.
- Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons - one of my favorite books of the year - a sweet story about trying to fit in
- The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer - well-written and gripping story of Europe before and after the war
- The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria Angels Anglada - a brief book about how music has such an impact
- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner - really enjoyable book set mostly in Madison, Wisconsin
- Room by Emma Donoghue - the one I left off the list! Such an interesting perspective in this novel.