The Best Books Read in 2016

Here is my annual round-up of the 12 best books I read this year, one for every month. The list is alphabetical by author. For the first time since I started keeping annual lists (about 11 years, I believe), I cannot pick a single book to be my favorite. Several of them vied at times for the top spot, but I couldn’t settle on one, so I will not choose one absolute favorite this year*. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Pulitzer board, it’s good enough for me.

Happy reading!

*I retroactively awarded two novels this honor: Dave Eggers’ Heroes of the Frontier, and Toni Morrison’s Sula.

380057 heros_of_the_frontier_book_cover_david_eggers_p_2016

1. What It Takes (1992), Richard Ben Cramer


2. Heroes of the Frontier (2016), Dave Eggers



3. Eleven Hours (2016), by Pamela Erensstrangers eleven-hours


4. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (2016), by Arlie Russell Hochschild



sula after-claude

5. Sula (1973), by Toni Morrison


6. After Claude (1973), by Iris Owens



mister-monkey the-wanderers

7. The Wanderers (1974), by Richard Price


8. Mister Monkey (2016), by Francine Prose



private-citizens whats-for-dinner

9. Private Citizens (2016), by Tony Tulathimutte


10. What’s For Dinner? (1978), by James Schuyler


underground string-theory-cover

11. String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis (2016), by David Foster Wallace


12. The Underground Railroad (2016), by Colson Whitehead


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