wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Right Turn
Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 12/26/2011

My favorite reads of the past year

American theater isn’t what it was in the 1940s and ’50s. Symphonic music after Stravinsky went downhill. Postmodern art? (My 10-yr-old, observing a specimen at the National Gallery of Art, said, “Mom, it’s a black canvas with a piece of toast. A piece of toast.”) But great books are still written every year, more than you can read and still remain gainfully employed.

Here are a few of the most absorbing books I read in the past year (a couple were published at the end of 2010 and one in 2006, although I didn’t get around to it until this year). These sorts of books keep you up way too late reading and leave you with a sense of loss when you’re done and there are no more pages to turn:

Crazy U by Andrew Ferguson

Bloody Crimes by James L. Swanson

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough

Rawhide Down by Del Quentin Wilber

1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart

The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009 by Irving Kristol

Decision Points by George W. Bush

The Few by Alex Kershaw

By  |  09:00 AM ET, 12/26/2011

Categories:  Culture

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company