Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read This Year – Hillbilly Highways Edition

I didn’t read nearly as much this year as I did last year, or as I wanted to, but I wound up reading some damn good books.  Enough so that I decided to do two of these posts.  You can find my list of the ten best speculative fiction and related books over at Every Day Should Be Tuesday.  This is my list of the best of the rest.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Artsy Reader Girl.

(In alphabetical order.)

 

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg

Not on-brand for the blog, but this is a good enough book that I started a reread almost as soon as I finished it the first time.  I’m a new, first-time dad, and this book is an invaluable source of life hack-style tips (even if I do mostly wind up winging it).

Buy it here.

 

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

This is an enormously crunchy book.  Which is one reason why it is taking me so long to get it reviewed.  That review might be as long as my review of White Working Class by Joan Williams.

Review to come.

Buy it here.

 

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by Buzz Bissinger (reread)

Bissinger is easy to mock, but there is a reason this is an enduring work of sportswriting that spawned a movie and TV series.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

Last Girl Gone by J.G. Hetherton

It is more of a mainstream thriller than something directly in my wheelhouse, but I very much enjoyed it and am very much impressed that it is a debut.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

The Line That Held Us by David Joy

Joy has the potential to have written the best book on this list.  This book isn’t that, but it is still damn good, a weak finish notwithstanding.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow

The third nonfiction book on this list follows the transformation of a scion of the white nationalist movement as he comes to reject his malignant raising.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

Rough Animals by Rae Delbianco

It’s always refreshing when a book positioned to be “literary” zigs when you expect it to zag.  And has gunfights.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

Savage Season by Joe Lansdale

One of the things I love about country noir is that it so comfortably straddles the overlap between literary and pulp.  But, to be honest, I wish there were more works that leaned more to the pulp side.  Savage Season scratches that itch.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

A bit of a stretch for the blog, perhaps, but the deal-with-the-devil motif and the serious inspection of why metal speaks to working class, flyover America gets it there.

My review.

Buy it here.

 

Winter’s Bone by Daniell Woodrell

This is an essential work of country noir, by the man who coined the term.  It deserves its reputation, even if I still prefer his short story collection The Outlaw Album.  Now I just need to write a review.  And watch the movie with Jennifer Lawrence (now available to stream for free with Amazon Prime)

Review to come.

Buy it here.

 

What were the best books you read this year?

 

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10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read This Year – Hillbilly Highways Edition

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read This Year (Speculative Fiction Edition) | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

    1. I’ve wanted to build a little free library for a long time. Your post is going to make me want to make my wife stop at every little free library we pass so she can take my picture with it…

      Like

  2. Pingback: 2019 State of the Blog: Hillbilly Highways Edition – Hillbilly Highways

  3. Pingback: Celebrating One Year of Hillbilly Highways – Hillbilly Highways

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