Top Ten Best Reads (in no particular order):
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri - Pulitzer-winning short story collection.
- Stoner by John Williams - Quiet, heart-rending.
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - The blessing scene still brings tears to my eyes.
- Hunger by Knut Hamsun - Desperation and despair.
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - Dry wit, sad ending.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Not your usual YA romance, but with sufficient feels.
- A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) by GRR Martin - Fire and blood!
- The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster - Mind-bending and precise writing.
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - UK's Book of the Year.
- A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes - Words and definitions.
[For a slideshow of the covers of the foregoing books, please click on this link.]
Honorable Mentions: An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, Drown by Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, The Passport by Herta Muller, Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Top Ten Best Filipiniana Reads (in no particular order):
- Don't Forget the Soap by Marie Claire Lim Moore - Parenting 101. Home Tips 101.
- Unseen Moon by Eliza Victoria - Deliciously creepy stories.
- Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano - Beach love!
- Woman In A Frame by Raissa Rivera Falgui - Historical fiction + Filipino culture.
- Salingkit by Cyan Abad-Jugo - A girl and a country's coming-of-age stories.
- Tall Story by Candy Gourlay - Sibling and family love + Filipino folklore.
- Icon of the Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love, #3) by Mina V. Esguerra - Team Robbie!
- All's Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria - Love in the time of (Macau) travel.
- Guardians of Tradition: The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan by Mae Tobias - Filipino artists.
- Astigirl by Tweet Sering - Witty, romantic, hilarious.
Finally, for the worst read, I only have one for this year (see, it was a good reading year!) and it's a locally published work: Voices in the Theater by A.S. Santos.
Until next year! Have a Blessed New Year, everyone! Stay safe!