Top Picks of 2006

Here are my top picks for 2006.
The Winners
1. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
2. The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club and other stories by Julia Slavin
3. River of Doubt by Candice Millard
4. To Feel Stuff by Andrea Seigel
5. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Honorable Mentions
1. On Seeing and Noticing by Alain de Botton
2. Women by Charles Bukowski
3. Andes to the Amazon by Bruce Junek
4. Ask the Dust by John Fante
5. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
6. Legends by Robert Littell
7. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
8. Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead
9. Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Top Picks of 2005

Here are my top picks for 2005.
The Winners
1. The Pacific by Mark Helprin
2. The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey
3. Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox
4. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
5. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
6. Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
The Honorable Mentions
1. Poet of the Appetities by Joan Reardon
2. The Middle Mind by Curtis White
3. Obsessive Genius by Barbara Goldsmith
4. The Light of Day by Graham Swift

Top Picks of 2004

Here are my top picks for 2004.
The Winners
1. The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
3. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Honorable Mentions
1. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
2. All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
3. The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn
4. Black Money by Ross Macdonald

LZ enjoys…

This is a list of my recent favorites; also check out the list of annual Best-ofs.
(Updated Aug 2014, just covering the best books I’ve read over last 8 months)
Dwight MacDonal’s collection of essays are stunning
Masha Tupisyn’s Beauty Talk & Monsters
Barbara Tuchman’s history of the 14th century
Renata Alder’s Speedboat
Really anything by Virginia Woolf, but Death of the Moth is a good place to start.
Thoreau’s Journals
Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook
Megan Marshall’s bio of Margaret Fuller

As of June 2011:
Yarborough by B.H. Friedman
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
Consider the Oyster by MFK Fisher
You Can’t Win by Jack Black
Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Pacific by Mark Helprin
Women by Charles Bukowski
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
The Tanners by Robert Walser
The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald
What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer

Top Picks of 2003

Here are my top picks for 2003.
The Winners
1. Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
2. The Widow’s Children by Paula Fox
3. Consider the Oyster by M.F.K Fisher
4. The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
5. Birds of America by Mary McCarthy
The Honorable Mentions
1. Moneyball by Michael Lewis
2. The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
3. Why Girls are Weird by Pamela Ribon
4. One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
5. Jarhead
6. Salt
7. Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi

Top Picks of 2002

1. The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher
2. Being Dead by Jim Crace
3. A House for Mr. Biswas by VS Naipaul
4. Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
5. You Can’t Win by Jack Black
6. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
7. Into a Desert Place by Graham MacKintosh
8. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
9. The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
10. The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan
11. The Prime of Miss Jean Brody by Muriel Spark