For the second year in a row, my husband and I have kept lists of all the books we read during the year. Last year we had very few books in common, but this year we had more overlap, including David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, plus a few books one of us read in 2010 and the other in 2011 (Meloy, Franzen).
But perhaps most notable is that for the first time in — well, perhaps, ever, we agreed on a favorite book of the year: Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Quirky, compelling, plainly yet gorgeously written. I don’t know why this novel isn’t more famous. Jackson is about so much more than “The Lottery.”
I’m also struck by the way in which my husband will find a writer he likes and then just clean up through their oeuvre. Continue reading