I admit, I am wary of all the "best book" lists that crop up this time of year. Publishers Weekly has announced its 101 best books of the year, Goodreads is seeking votes on the best books in multiple genres, and book critics across the country (including me) are busily writing their recommendations for Salon's What to Read Awards.
These lists trouble me. I love to read them, but I'm suspicious. Because who has read everything? Who has even seen everything?
And yet … I'm asking you to help me come up with one more list. I'd like you to tell me the best book you read all year.
This is not a ranked list. There is no voting. Please do not seize the opportunity to flood my e-mail (as some have) with persuasive messages in support of one particular mystery. It will not work! I am too smart.
Just send a brief note telling me the best book you read this year — the title, the author, and why it was good. Write me at the Strib, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your name and city of residence. We'll run your suggestions and praise on Dec. 1.
• Richard Robbins' poem "Recovery" was published in the fall issue of the Georgia Review. Robbins teaches at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and directs the Good Thunder Reading Series.
• "Bingo's Run," by Dr. James A. Levine, will be published in January by Spiegel & Grau. Levine, who practices medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, is the author of "The Blue Notebook."
• "Practical Grace: How to Find God in the Everyday," by Robert K. Hudnut, has been published by Abingdon Press. Hudnut lives in Cottage Grove and is the author of 12 books.
• Four essays by writers with Minnesota connections — Lorna Landvik, Anne Dimock, Bonny Wolf and Phyllis Florin — are among the essays collected in "Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food," edited by Peggy Wolff and published by the University of Nebraska Press.
• "El Dorado," poems by Peter Campion, has been published by the University of Chicago Press. Campion teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota. This is his third collection.