It's that time of year when lots of magazines and newspapers and publishing their "Best Book of the Year" lists. Today's New York Times Books Review boasts "The 10 Best Books of the 2015." They list five works of fiction, five nonfiction. In addition, they ask Simon Winchester in "By the Book" what was the best book he'd read so far. (He named Farthest Field by Taghu Karnad, a book he calls "so hearth-stompingly beautiful [he wants] all around to read it too.") Then on the last page "Bookends," sixteen other authors answer the same question.
By the end of the year, I always compile the list of books I've read, but by then, I will already have another huge list of books I want to read next. Already, I feel those unread books slipping up behind me, with a louder whoosh than "time's winged chariot."
Just a week ago, in the course of a phone conversation, Shari Smith (I Am the Town) told me, I just finished reading the best book I've read in a long time. Stop reading whatever you're reading and read The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Chris Scotton." Guess what's downloaded on my iPad now? Yep.
As frustrated as I get by realizing the sheer impossibility of reading all (even most) of the books on my "to read" list, I keep adding to it. I know I've met "my people" when we start talking books and they pull out their list and jot down a few more titles.