I’ve always loved to read. In a family home video of my seventh or eighth birthday, I don’t open the usual action figures, tanker trucks, and whatever else little boys like to play with. Almost every gift is a book. Then one day I went and got a Master’s degree in English. Go figure.

Each year I try to read as many books as possible, and I keep track of each novel, short story collection, volume of poetry, work of nonfiction, or series of essays I journey through. At the end of the year, I like to write a post for chronicling what were the best books from each set of twelve months. Here I put the list without the accompanying synopses and thoughts, but if you’d like to read those, just click on the year.

1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
3. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
4. Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
5. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

1. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
2. Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
3. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
5. Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
6. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
8. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
9. Maus by Art Spiegelman
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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