t hit me a few weeks back that I had completely forgotten to do my best books of 2019 (something I’ve been doing for a few years now). Well, better late than never, I suppose.
I will add this generic comment that, looking back, outside of enjoying The Expanse and suffering through (in, in retrospect, appreciating Infinite Jest), there wasn’t anything that really blew me away (or made me tear up or fob onto friends) last year. So, without any particular order, here’s my faves from 2019.
Don Quixote – this includes both books. I really did enjoy the adventures of our dazed knight as he wandered Spain and got into all sorts of problems. The ending was bittersweet and stuck with me. A classic that everyone should read but few will.
The Decision Book – I was facing the biggest decision in my life (well, marriage was pretty big too, but that’s a long time past). My wife gave me this book that shows you fifty methods of reaching a decision. I found one I liked, started doing it, and in a week, had my answer. It’s like a paper oracle, this book was.
The Man in the High Castle – A very interesting tale of the day-to-day world where the Japanese and Germans won World War Two. Forget that silly show on TV (I’ve not seen it, but I sure don’t recognize anything from the commercials). The characters are interesting, as is the notion that the world that should have been (our world) is just outside their grasp.
Altered Carbon – this was great scifi in that it takes futuristic ideas (in this case, the thought that you could take your memories and plug them into someone else’s body) and explores it. I really enjoyed the mystery and the noir was inky-black.
Airborn – A good YA book about a plucky cabin boy on an airship in a nifty fantasy world. Like it so much I gave it to my wife, and then (when she’d finished) to a friend. The sequel (Skybreaker) was good too!
And an honorable mention goes to Roasting Robert Raymond. This wasn’t so much a book as it was from a good ex-work-friend (ex- it turns out for both of us), Marilyn. For my going-away party she put in a great deal of effort in writing this roast. I was really touched by the thoughts. So I’m including it here, because it was written and it moved me.