Wednesday, November 30, 2005

2005 the Amazon way

With it's wealth of data and presentation skills, it's no surprise that Amazon's best of 2005 is the biggest. You get customer faves, editor faves and detailed genre top tens. For example, the editors picked the History of Love as the best novel of 2005, while the readers voted (with their dollars) for The Shadow of the Wind. In paperback at least. If you've not read Shadow of the Wind, I recommend it. It's a Spanish novel and fits in the literary thriller category. The comparison to his countrymen Arturo Perez Reverte is inevitable. I would say that Ruiz Zafon, author of Shadow, is a more vibrant writer, his prose is much more engaging and alive. His plot also holds together better than Reverte's, which often limp along at the end. Being literary it is filled with great sadness of course.

Didion's Year of Magical Thinking tops the Amazon best of list. If you don't know it, the book deals with the death of Didion's husband while their only daughter was battling for her life in the hospital. I must read this, but I should probably wait until my life has calmed down. The editors line up lots of obvious books but through in a guide to cool hotels, a photography book and a book about Star Wars posters. Iain Banks made the list as well. I have this one, but have not yet read it yet.


Anonymous said...

I saw one of the authors of a book in the Amazon top 50 - John Hodgman, "My Areas of Expertise" - on the Daily Show and he was so funny even Jon Stewart was having trouble keeping a straight face. I found the video of it online at:

Tripp said...

Yep, that is hilarious, that book just went on the wish list (even library holds seem like cheating in the holiday season)