2017 Book Recommendations

ARCHIVE - PAST LISTS

(2002- 2017)

2017

 

ILZA'S TOP RECOMMENDATIONS

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The Frozen Hours by Jeff Shaara

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

 

ILZA'S INTERESTING PICKS

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Wonder by Emma Donahue

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Selection Day by Aravind Adiga

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hanna Tinti

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

 

2016

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS​

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan

Grace by Natasha Deon

Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

 

ILZA'S INTERESTING PICKS

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

La Rose by Louise Erdrich

The North Water by Ian McGuire

City of Djinns by William Dalrymple

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Shelter by Jung Yun

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

The Nix by Nathan Hill

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

La Rose by Louise Erdrich

The North Water by Ian McGuire

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

 

 

2015

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS - FICTION

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

To Kill a Mockinbird by Haper Lee

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Euphoria by Lily King

ILZA'S TOP PICKS - NONFICTION

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larsen

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

 

ILZA'S INTERESTING PICKS

Loving Day by Mat Johnson

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

Confessions of the Lioness by Mia Couto

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Gods of Tango by Carolina de Robertis

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Euphoria by Lily King

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

The Turner House by Angela Floury

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Marriage of Opposites by Alica Hoffman

 

2014

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Circle by Dave Eggers

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Life Boat by Charlotte Rogan

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

China Dolls by Lisa See

Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar

Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu

Peace Like a River by Lief Enger

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Station Eleven by Hilary St. John Mandel

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Son  by Philipp Meyer

Peace Like a River by Lief Enger

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

 

2013

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie

Cartwheel by Jennifer Dubois

One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez

The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

 

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden

The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison

The Gravity of Birds by Trazy Guzeman

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende

 

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

The Lowland by Jumpa Lahiri

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

 

2012

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Freeman by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson*

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

Perla by Carolina De Robertis

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Arcadia by Lauren Grott

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer 

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

 

 

2011

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

The Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery 

 

 

LALITA'S TOP PICKS

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

 

2010

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Cleopatra, A Life by Stacy Schiff*

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee

The Writing on My Forehead by Nafisa Haji

The Vagrants by Yiyun Li

A Good Fall: Stories by Ha Jin

The Long Song by Andrea Leavy

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver

Beneath the Lions' Gaze by Maaza Mengiste

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Room by Emma Donoghue

Disintegration by Eugene Robinson*

The Big Short by Michael Lewis*

 

LALITA'S MORE INFORMED PICKS

Room by Emma Donoghue

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow

How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu

 

2009

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

The Thing Around Your Neck  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie    (rec. by Compass Book Store - San Francisco, CA)

The City of Thieves  by David Benioff   (rec. by Lalita Tademy)

Little Bee / The Other Hand  by Chris Cleave   (rec. by Book Passages - Marin, CA)

Someone Knows My Name / The Book of Negroes  by Lawrence Hill   (rec. by Lalita Tademy)

The Reliable Wife  by Robert Goolrick   (rec. by San Francisco Chronicle Book Review)

Cellist of Sarajevo  by Steven Galloway   (rec. by Mason Sizemore - Seattle, WA)

ILZA'S VERY SOLID PICKS

Mudbound  by Hillary Jordan

The Help  by Kathryn Stockett

The Defector  by Daniel Silva

Baking Cakes in Kigali  by Gaile Parkin

Say You're One of Them  by Uwen Akpan

The Piano Teacher  by Janice Y. K. Lee

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

A Good Indian Wife  by Anne Cherian

Shanghai Girls  by Lisa See

Cutting for Stone  by Abraham Verghese

Brothers  by Da Chen

Strength in What Remains  by Tracy Kidder

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders  by Daniyal Mueenudin

The Servants Quarters  by Lynn Freed

 

 

LALITA'S MORE INFORMED PICKS

Mudbound  by Hillary Jordan

Lark and Termite  by Jayne Anne Phillips

City of Thieves  by David Benioff

The Help  by Kathryn Stockett

Cutting for Stone  by Abraham Verghese

Monsters of Templeton  by Lauren Groff

2008

 

ILZA’S TOP PICKS

Unaccustomed Earth  by Jhumpa Lahiri   (rec. by San Francisco Airport Bookstore)

The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak   (rec. by Nina Smiley Wilkins - St. Louis, MO)

The Boat  by Nam Le   (rec. Book Passages' List - Marin County, CA)

The White Tiger  by Aravind Adiga   (rec. by Maryellen Herringer)

Netherland  by Joseph O'Neill   (rec. by Lalita Tademy)

 

ILZA'S SOLID PICKS

A Mercy  by Toni Morrison

Sea of Poppies  by Amitan Ghosh

In the Woods  by Tana French

A Pirate's Daughter  by Margaret Cezar-Thompson

The Disagreement  by Nick Taylor

 

ILZA'S QUITE INTERESTING PICKS

Peony in Love  by Lisa See

The Ministry of Special Cases  by Nathan Englander

Brother I'm Dying  by Edwidge Danticat

Grotesque  by Natsuo Kirino

The Forbidden Daughter  by Shobhan Bantwal

 

ILZA'S CULTURAL CONTEXT PICKS

Telex from Cuba  by Rachel Kushner

Lima Nights  by Maria Arana

Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth  by Xiaolu Guo

Slumberland  by Paul Beatty

 

ILZA'S ENJOYABLE (BUT OTHERS ENJOYED MORE) PICKS

The Gathering  by Anne Enright

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao  by Junot Diaz

Divisadero  by Michael Ondaatje

The Good Thief  by Hannah Tinti

Things I've Been Silent About  by Azar Nafisi

 

LALITA TADEMY'S PICKS

The White Tiger  by Aravind Adiga

Olive Kitteridge  by Elizabeth Strout

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle  by David Wroblewski

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society  by Mary Ann Shaffer

 

2007

 

TOP SIX PICKS

The Post Birthday World  by Lionel Shriver

The Space Between Us  by Thrity Umrigar

Water for Elephants  by Sara Gruen

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears  by Dinaw Mengestu

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox  by Maggie O'Farrell

A Long Way Down  by Nick Hornby

 

SOLID PICKS

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kahled Hosseini

Everyman  by Phillip Roth

New England White   by Stephen Carter

The Historian  by Elizabeth Kostova

The Man in My Basement  by Walter Mosley

 

VERY INTERESTING PICKS

Madras on Rainy Days  by Samina Ali

Free Food for Millionaires  by Min Gin Lee

Descendents  by Kaui Hart Hennings

Foreigners  by Caryl Phillips

 

LALITA'S TOP FIVE PICKS

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears  by Dinaw Mengestu

The Post Birthday World  by Lionel Shriver

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox  by Maggie O'Farrell

Away  by Amy Bloom

The Stolen Child  by Keith Donohue

 

2006

 

TOP PICKS

What is the What  by Dave Eggers

Winter's Bone  by Daniel Woodrell

Purple Hibiscus  by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie

Memory Keeper's Daughter  by Kim Edwards

The Bondmaid  by Catherine Lim

 

VERY SOLID PICKS

The Inheritance of Loss  by Kiran Desia

The History of Love  by Nicole Krauss

Case Histories  by Kate Atkinson

Snow  by Ophan Pamuk

Kafka on the Shore  by Haruki Murakami

NONFICTION PICKS

The Blind Side  by Michael Lewis

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World  by John Wood

At Canaan's Edge  by Taylor Branch

The Rape of Nanking  by Iris Chang

 

VERY INTERESTING PICKS

Children of Gebelawi  by Naguib Mahfouz

The Jane Austin Book Club  by Karne Fowler

The Plot Against America  by Phillip Roth

War Trash  by Ha Jin

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan  by Lisa See

 

LALITA'S PICKS

What is the What?  by Dave Eggars

Winter's Bone  by Daniel Woodrell

Water for Elephants  by Sara Gruen

Half of a Yellow Sun  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Unconfessed  by Yvette Christianse

 

2005

 

ILZA’S OUTSTANDING LITERATURE PICKS

The Known World  by Edward Jones   (rec. by Lalita Tademy - Menlo Park, CA)

Sister of My Heart  by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Time Traveler's Wife  by Audrey Niffeneggar   (rec. by Dirk Hampson - St. Helena, CA)

A Million Little Pieces  by James Frey   (rec. by Barry Chandler Williams - Santa Monica, CA)

The Kite Runner  by Khaled Hosseini   (rec. by Lalita Tademy - Menlo Park, CA)

ILZA'S VERY SOUND PICKS

On Beauty  by Zadie Smith

Saving Fish from Drowning  by Amy Tan

Saturday  Ian McEwan

The Mermaid's Chair  by Sue Monk Kidd

The Hungry Tide  by Amitav Ghosh

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

Small Island  by Andrea Levy   (rec. by Judy Squier - Menlo Park, CA)

When We Were Orphans  by Kazuo Ishigura

Empress Orchid  by Anchee Min

The Harmony Silk Factory  by Tash Aw

A Fine Balance  by Mohinton Mistry   (rec by Elizabeth Smith - Moraga, CA)

 

ILZA'S NONFICTION PICKS

The Tipping Point  by Malcolm Gladwell   (rec. by Marji Shaw - Oakland, CA)

The World is Flat  by Thomas L. Friedman   (rec. by Ralph Cox - Houston, TX)

The Smartest Guys in the Room  by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

Come Back to Afghanistan  by Said Hyder Akbar

 

LALITA TADEMY'S SUGGESTED PICKS

Small Island  by Andrea Levy

On Beauty  by Zadie Smith

The Amateur Marriage  by Ann Tyler

The Historian  by Elizabeth Kostova

The History of Love  by Nicole Krauss

 

2004

 

ILZA'S BEST LITERATURE PICKS

Train  by Peter Dexter

The Lovely Bones  by Alice Sebold

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time  by Mark Haddon

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel  by Louise Murhpy

The Darling  by Russell Banks

 

ILZA'S VERY INTERESTING PICKS

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere  by ZZ Packer

Interpreter of Maladies  by Jhumpa Lahiri

After  by Claire Tristram

The Last Song of Dusk  by Siddharth Shanghui

Pompeii  by Robert Harris

 

ILZA'S WANT-TO-BE LIST

Middlesex  by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Namesake  by Jhumpa Lahiri

Loving Che  by Ana Menéndez

The Sunday Philosphy Club by Alexander McCall Smith

News from Paraguay  by Lily Tuck

 

ILZA'S PRE-PICKS FOR 2005 - (Top Books that Lita wants Barry to read in 2005)

The Confessions of Max Tivoli  by Andrew Sean Greer

The Kite Runner  by Khaled Hosseini

The Time Traveler's Wife  by Audrey Niffeneggar

Runaway  by Alice Monroe

Little Scarlett  by Walter Mosley

ILZA'S OTHER GREAT SUGGESTIONS - (Suggested by Lita's Literary Band)

Caucasia  by Danny Senna

Madeleine is Sleeping  by Sarah Shun Li Braum

Truth and Beauty: A Friendship  by Ann Patchett

The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccanatios  by Yann Martel

 

 

2003

 

ILZA'S BEST LITERATURE PICKS

Reading Lolita in Tehran  by Azar Nafisi

The Bonesetter's Daughter  by Amy Tan

Martyr's Crossing  by Amy Wilentz

Atonement  by Ian McEwan

Cold Mountain  by Charles Frazier

 

ILZA'S WANT-TO-BE PICKS

Forever  by Pete Hamill

Miracle at St. Anna  by James McBride

Seabiscuit  by Laura Hillenbrand

Fortress of Solitude  by Jonathan Lethem

Life of Pi  by Yann Martel

 

ILZA'S MOST INTERESTING PICKS

Catfish and Mandela  by Andrew X. Pham

Women of the Silk  by Gail Tsukiyama

Human Stain  by Philip Roth

Tears of the Giraffe  by Alexander McCall Smith

The Da Vinci Code  by Dan Brown

 

ILZA'S 2004 PICKS (so far)

Middlesex  by Jeffrey Eugenides

Train  by Pete Dexter

The Secret History  by Donna Tartt

Love  by Toni Morrison

Empire Falls  by Richard Russo
 

2002

 

ILZA'S TOP PICKS

Bel Canto  by Ann Patchett

White Teeth  by Zadie Smith

Piano Tuner  by Daniel Mason

The Secret Life of Bees  by Sue Monk Kidd

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  by Dai Sijie

 

ILZA'S WANT-TO-BE LIST

The Bondwoman's Narrative  by Hannah Crafts

The Crazed  by Ha Jin

The Joy Luck Club  by Amy Tan

Fortune Catcher  by Susanne Pari

Wild Swans  by Jung Chang

 

ILZA'S 2003 PICKS (so far)

Empire Falls  by Richard Russo

Martyr's Crossing  by Amy Wilentz

Flash Back  by Nevada Barr

A Bend in the River  by W. S. Naipaul

Hard Laughter  by Annie Lamott

Atonement  by Ian McEwan