Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Best Books of the Year, not covered by other categories

My favorite books of the year that were not covered by the 3 categories include (some are older, but I only got them recently):

10. Batman: Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb (these work in tandem. Not among the best Batman works, but they were the best I had not already read.)

9. Superman: Red Son by Mark Miller (one of the best comics I have ever read. Imagine Superman landing in Siberia instead of Kansas in the 1930s. How would that change the world if Superman was Russian and Communism's great advocate?)

8. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (if he leads as well as he writes, we are in for a good time.)

7. Takeover: The return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy by Charlie Savage (scary stuff by Pulitzer Prize winner. This is not a Liberal screed, but a painstakingly researched document reminding America of the perils of Executive power, under any president.)

6. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben (intuitively, this is where I always thought we needed to head. Free market capitalism has its limits, especially in our new world. Can we go for better and not just bigger economies?)

5. The Bin Ladens: An Arab Family in the American Century by Steve Coll (this guy gets to the heart of the entire Bin Laden clan. They are a complex family that would make a soap opera better than Dallas. Read along with The Looming Tower, my # 1 from last year, to see how we got to 9/11.)

4. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (I read very few novels, of which I am ashamed. Of course, if each one I read is as good as this, I will keep being picky.)

3. Consider the Lobster and other Essays by David Foster Wallace (I read him years ago and forgot about him until his death. These essays are unlike any you will ever read. The tenderness of his post-9/11 essay is beautiful and comes on the heals of a foray into the dark world of adult entertainment for a movie magazine. he may have been the best writer of this generation. RIP.)

2. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan (just read it and become mindful of how and what you eat. I talked about it way to much on my blog earlier this year.)

1. The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet (wow. Stupendous. He digs deep into an organization few know exists and gets the truth behind the greatest power brokers in the world and the advancers of a civil version of fundamentalism that exists in our government. I know. I have friends that have been part of it. You would not believe it, if people could not tell you it is true. He is a great writer and journalist and understands religion like few writers.)

(I went back and read some great comics this year. In fact, I should have had a category for best comics read this year. Most of the great ones I have had and read for years, Watchmen, Batman: Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Killing Joke, Batman: Year One, etc. However, this year I found more. If you want that list, let me know and I will post it).

1 comment:

g13 said...

in addition to his ground breaking website killing the buddha, sharet also wrote a incredibly perceptive, darn near prophetic, piece about ted haggard and the perils of pride in a 2005 piece in harpers. the piece was called "soldiers of christ" and unfortunately it is no longer available on the web, though i'm sure if you look hard enough it's hiding under some rock.

you're right, he is an AMAZING writer. i'm going to request the book from the library right now.