Books Every King Should Read - The Best of Cannonball Read V
If you were distraught when you read what happens to The Lives of Four Kings, then you know how important and wonderful a book can be. Below are the most important and wonderful books read by our Cannonballers this year. Hands down, the new favorite author is Rainbow Rowell. Check out the titles below for our participants’ favorites and a few comments, to boot. Or look through our worst books of the year and learn what tomes to leave uncracked.
Not Prince Hamlet
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Allison Arngrim
The Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner
Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rakoff. Told in rhyme, it is funny sad, witty and tragic, and a well rounded, compact story that covers multiple story lines and several generations. Impressive and engrossing.
Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson. A novel about someone reliving her life over and over could have been tedious and disastrous. This is brilliant.
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and Identity by Andrew Solomon. A superbly researched and beautifully written work of non-fiction. Solomon writes with intelligence and compassion about "difference" of all sorts. I wish I could make people read this book.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. There are no vampires, no dystopia, no fantasy, just two broken kids trying to figure out how to deal with life.
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow. This one snuck up on me, but I still think about it, even now.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Not because it was the best book of the year (although it was fantastic), but because this is the first Rainbow book I read, so it has a special place in my heart. And it led me to the other two, and then it led me to a full-on girl crush. I want to be BFFs with Rainbow.
Everything Rainbow Rowell, but Attachments is my personal favorite.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (which got a RT from NG!)
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Blew my mind.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Runaways Deluxe Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (so hard to choose just one Atwood, even)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (and just one Chabon! But they’re all so good!)
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller
The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Rainbow Rowell didn’t quite make the list though I loved everything I read by her so maybe favorite new author? Attachments was my favorite of hers.
Beyond the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (note, this review has yet to be posted)
Revenge by Stephen Fry
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
American Savage by Dan Savage
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Milking the Moon by Katherine Clark and Eugene Walters
Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Some Hope, 3rd book in the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
World War Z by Max Brooks
Silver Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
Shadowfever by Karen Moening
Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey
Travis Jarrod Smith
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf http://cannonballread5.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/shucks-mahoneys-cbrv-review-23-mrs-dalloway-by-virginia-woolf/
Close to the Machine by Ellen Ullman http://cannonballread5.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/shucks-mahoneys-cbrv-review-21-close-to-the-machine-technophilia-and-its-discontents-by-ellen-ullman/
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima http://cannonballread5.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/shucks-mahoneys-cbrv-review-16-the-temple-of-the-golden-pavilion-by-yukio-mishima/
Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Mathew Goodman
If the fact that Rainbow Rowell has a new book coming out in July 2014 thrills you to no end, then come along for the ride and join Cannonball Read Six. Even if you can’t bear to register, you can follow our group blog all year long. In addition to Guy’s Awesome Graphic, the reviews and opinions are worth the read.