According to HoCoPoLitSo Board of Directors members and staff, here are the best things we read in 2014.
- The Shack by William Young
- Fludd by Hilary Mantel
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
- Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros
- The Beautiful Things Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu
- Inside Newark by Robert Curvin
- Breakfast with Lucian by Gordie Greig
One of my favorites was Dear Committee Members, a short entertaining novel by Julie Schumacher. The novel pokes fun at academia and academics in general, and it was fun to laugh at myself while laughing at the characters. A lighthearted book that I read over the course of two evenings snuggled up in my reading chair.
That is not the experience I had (and am still having) with Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea. Before you read the rest of this, I want to make clear that I love this book.
I’m having a year-long relationship with this book – I’ve been reading it all year mainly because I can manage to read only a few pages at a time (although this may not be a reflection on the novel but just my inability to concentrate at 11 o’clock at night when I finally settle down with a book). It took some time and some mental-doing to really get into this dystopian novel by one of my favorite writers. The novel takes place in B-Mor in the future. We follow the story of a young woman who ventures out of B-Mor to the “counties.” The prose is poetic. At times the story seems to move along a bit too slowly and the prose very dense. The narrative structure and voice strike me as experimental. It’s not exactly a page-turner, but perhaps we might call it a thought-turner. It’s challenging, thoughtful, and beautiful. It’s quite an experience.
– Laura Yoo
member of HoCoPoLitSo Board of Directors