At the end of each year, I check to see which books have received the most attention on SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH BOOKS. Over the past few years, several books from the long-ago past have received significant numbers of page views and outrank many newer books. Here is the list of some favorite reviews, in order. Classic novels, available in more than one edition, show no publisher here. Newer books are noted with the name of the specific publisher.
1) Jo Nesbo-–THE REDEEMER, Book 6 in the Harry Hole series, originally published 2009 (Knopf, reissued by Vintage Crime, Black Lizard). This book has been by far the most popular review, with three times more page views than any other novel on this list, though it is not my favorite Nesbo novel. (THE REDBREAST (2006), #3 in the Harry Hole series, is my personal favorite.)
2) Edith Wharton–SUMMER (1917)
3) D. H. Lawrence–SONS AND LOVERS (1913)
4) Alan Paton–THE HERO OF CURRIE ROAD (2008), “the complete short pieces,” posthumously released by Random House, South Africa. Most of these page views come from overseas, as the book is not published in the US.
5) Edmund De Waal–THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES (2010), non-fiction (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). This book was WINNER of the Costa Award for Biography in 2011. It was also WINNER of the Ondaatje Prize.
6) D. H. Lawrence–WOMEN IN LOVE (1920).
7) Zachary Mason–THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY (2010) (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).
8) Carlos Fuentes–THE OLD GRINGO (1985) (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). This novel tells the story of American author Ambrose Bierce during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 – 1920. It is the first novel by a Mexican author to become a best seller in the US.
9) Maurizio de Giovanni–I WILL HAVE VENGEANCE (2012), the first of four books (so far) in the Commissario Ricciardi series of Neapolitan mysteries, which often contain dark humor. (Europa Editions)
10) David Bret–PIAF: A PASSIONATE LIFE (1999), non-fiction (Robson Books)
11) Louise Erdrich–THE PAINTED DRUM (2005), (Harper Collins), Native American focus.
12) Kamila Shamsie–KARTOGRAPHY (2002), (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin), set in Pakistan.
13) John Steinbeck–TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY (1962). Author John Steinbeck travels the United States in 1960 with his standard poodle and observes the country and its attitudes.
14) Alan Duff–ONCE WERE WARRIORS (1994) (Vintage). An indictment of the conditions under which the Maori live in New Zealand’s cities.
15) Mario Vargas Llosa–THE DREAM OF THE CELT (2012). Peruvian author and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, Vargas Llosa writes a fictionalized biography of Roger Casement, (1864 – 1916) and his experiences in Congo, Peru, and Ireland, where he became a believer and martyr in the cause of the Irish Revolution. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
16) Louise Erdrich–THE ROUND HOUSE . WINNER of the National Book Award in 2012. Native American focus. (Harper Collins)
17) Jane Gardam–A LONG WAY FROM VERONA (originally published 1971, republished by Europa Editions, 2013). This was the first novel written by perennial favorite Gardam, WINNER of the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime’s contribution to the enjoyment of literature and the only author to have been a two-time WINNER of the Whitbread (now Costa) Award. My own favorite Gardam novel is GOD ON THE ROCKS, a good place for a newcomer to start with this outstanding English author.