10 - God is Not Great (Christopher Hitchens)
Finally, got around to reading Hitchens' piece. For a guy whose writing I find so enigmatic, this work was really accessible. Kelley was alarmed by my reading it, not sure what affect it might have upon me. My assessment was: entertaining and provocative. My opinions of why I personally practice Christianity remain un-swayed by its arguments, as convincing as they were.
9 - The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)
Deftly told story. I cannot recall the details of the plot but it was tightly knit and engaging.
8 - The Case for God (Karen Armstrong)
The best example of a retort to "God is Not Great." While she has some interesting things to say about religion's role in history--it's solid writing to boot--I don't think she confronts Hitchen's arguments specifically or fully. Incidentally, I read another work by her--The Battle for God--about religious fundamentalism. It didn't make my Top 10 list. She's strong-to-quite-strong so I do recommend her work.
7 - The Assistant (Bernard Malamud)
Plot, interesting characters, well-written prose.
6 - Appointment in Samarra (John O'Hara)
A gripping tale of destruction. One man's fate down the rabbit hole. I love the time period, too (1930s).
5 - The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Atul Gawande)
Gawande is smart and interesting and, as a self-proclaimed "List Lover,” his topic was right up my alley.
4 - Beloved (Toni Morrison)
This one is widely considered a classic so I felt compelled to read it. It's also in the B's, alphabetically, on the Time Top 100 Novels list (of which I'm working through in that order). Frankly, I found the narrative hard to follow. There are things, real and imagined, happening throughout and it was difficult to nail down which was which. It is beautifully written and definitely deserves a re-read. That's saying something, as I RARELY re-read books (my to-read list is far too long!!).
3 - Game Change: Obama and the Clintons… (John Heilemann)
I love reading about politics; the backroom deal-making and the mud-slinging, scandals and agony and ecstasy, etc. This is the preeminent book on the 2008 election. Fantastic!
2 - The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Michael Lewis)
Here's a highly biased statement. Any book that Michael Lewis writes will always land in my Top 5, every year. Always. I just like the guy. He can write. He writes about interesting things. If you read only one book about our nation's financial calamity of the last few years, make it this one. You won't be disappointed.
1 - Atonement (Ian McEwan)
The book's better than the movie. By a mile. It's not even close. And the movie is pretty darn good.