A few years ago I got tired of forgetting titles and authors, so I started keeping a spreadsheet of every book I read (or listened to). I give everything an off-the-cuff 1 to 10 rating.

End of the year…85 titles listed…sort by rating. I can see a few changes I would make in retrospect, but here are my favorite titles from the list:

One title, Zone of Interest by Martin Amos, got a 9, and I stick by it. This is a great novel set in Auschwitz concentration camp. It is almost entirely about the romances, foibles and machinations of the camp administration; the terrible purpose of the camp is in the background, but of course still dominates the book.

I rated eight titles an 8:

  • The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart
  • The Big Money by John Dos Pasos
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  • Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason
  • Queen of the Trailer Park by Alice Quinn
  • M Train by Patti Smith
  • The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman

Queen of the Trailer Park and M Train are my favorites. I can’t wait for another Rosie Maldonne book by Quinn; the second is due in February! Patti Smith…all praise and love.

There are 21 7’s, almost all mysteries by Ann Cleeves, Michael Connelly, Colin Cotterill, Robert Crais and Reginald Hill. One, The Stranger House by Reginald Hill, should be an 8. This is a great modern-day mystery set in rural England but reaching far back to the 16th century Catholic suppression under Elizabeth and even to the Viking invaders. I’ll definitely be reading this one again.

The time is now. Or is it?

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