October 8, 2012


We'll meet at Kathy's house for book-picking night.

We will pick about half of our books from the pool of books written by authors we've enjoyed during our first 10 years.  The other half of our books will be our usual free-for-all.  (We haven't worked out whether we will have a classics slot and, if we do, whether it will be within the Fave Authors category or the free-for-all.)  Our favorite authors (2005-2012):

Top 1-14
1) Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) -- No other books
2) Mary Doria Russell (Thread of Grace; also read The Sparrow and Dreamers of the Day) -- Doc, Chlldren of God
3) Toni Morrison (Sula; also read Beloved) - The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, Jazz, Paradise, Love, A Mercy, Home
4) Ann Patchett (Bel Canto; also read Truth and Beauty) - Run, State of Wonder, Taft, The Patron Saint of Liars, The Magician's Assistant
5) Zora Neal Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) - LOTS
6) Louis de Bernieres (Birds Without Wings; also read Corelli's Mandolin and The War of Don Emanual's Nether Parts) Senor Vevo and the Coca Lord; The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, Red Dog, Partisan's Daughter, short stories 
7) Abraham Verghese  (Cutting for Stone) - My Own Country, The Tennis Partner
8) Willa Cather (My Antonia, One of Ours) - O Pioneers and LOTS of others
9) Bram Stoker (Dracula) - LOTS
10) David Wroblewski (Edgar Sawtelle) - No others books
11) Wendell Berry (Fidelity and others) - LOTS

Two of those authors don't have other books (as far as I could tell from a quick search).  Our next top authors are:
12) Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge) - Amy and Isabelle, Abide With Me
13) Jhumpa Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies also read Unaccustomed Earth and The Namesake) - we've read both of her short story collections and her one novel. No other books.
14) Lisa See (Snow Flower) - On Gold Mountain, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, Dragon Bones, The Interior, Flower Net

Top 15-35

15) Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace; also read The Handmaid's Tale) - LOTS
16) Per Petterson  (Out Stealing Horses) - It's Fine By Me, To Siberia, I Curse the River of Time
17) Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita) - LOTS
18) Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men) - LOTS
19) Andrea Levy (Small Island) - Every Light in the House Burnin', Never Far from Nowhere, Fruit of the Lemon, The Long Song
20) T. S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral) - LOTS of nonfiction, plays, poetry and short stories
21) Richard Adams (Watership Down) - LOTS
22) Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth) -- see above
23) Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary) - several
24) Kazuo IshiguroA Pale View of Hills (1982); An Artist of the Floating World (1986);The Remains of the Day (1989); The Unconsoled (1995); When We Were Orphans (2000)
25) David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars) - Several
26) Charles Dickens (Tale of Two Cities) - LOTS
27) Willa Cather (One of Ours) - see above
28) Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants) - Ape House, Riding Lessons, Flying Changes
29) Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
30) Ernest Hemingway - LOTS
31) Erik Larson (Devil in the White City) - The Naked Consumer: How Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities (1992), Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun (1995), Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (1999), Thunderstruck (2006), In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin (2011)
32) Sattareh Farmaian (Daughter of Persia) - No other books
33) Olive Ann Burns (Cold Sassy Tree) - No other books
34) Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay; also read The Yiddish Policeman's Union) - Wonder Boys, Telegraph Ave., The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Gentlemen of the Road, The Final Solution
35) Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra) - A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America; Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov): Portrait of a Marriage; Saint Exupery: A Biography

Feel free to nominate favorite authors from our first years (2002/3 through 2004/5) before we surveyed.  If I were to nominate some authors from those years that I think were well-loved, I'd add these to the list:

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