After a fun trip to Mexico City, I am ushering out 2016 reading Roberto Bolaño's novel The Savage Detectives, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer and partially set in the Ciudad de México. A wild ride of a book, for sure! I started studying Spanish again, too, this year.
Here are some of the favorite books that I read in 2016, some published this year, others not.
Barefoot Dogs, by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho
The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship, by Paul Lisicky
Peas and Carrots, by Tanita S. Davis
Leaving the Atocha Station, by Ben Lerner
The Dark Back of Time, by Javier Marías, translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen
Seeing Red, by Lina Meruane, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
In Other Words, by Jhumpa Lahiri, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
The House by the Lake: A Story of Germany, by Thomas Harding
I Love Cake! Starring Rabbit, Porcupine, and Moose, written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Angie Rozelaar
The Vanishing Velásquez: A 19th-Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece, by Laura Cumming
How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, by Edward Hirsch
The Outrun, by Amy Liptrot
One of the best bookish things I did was taking the free online course "Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing," offered through the UK's Warwick University on the FutureLearn platform. The six-week course repeats on January 30, 2017; I recommend it highly, as well as FutureLearn's class on Much Ado about Nothing, presented by the University of Birmingham and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Photograph: Calle Madero, Mexico City. Photo by Norman Trepner.