Pretty slow on the legal front, so I’m going to do something new and list my favorite books that I read this year.

A caveat is that I view books as like ice cream–everyone’s taste is a little different. My favorites probably will not be your favorites. But most of us can agree on what are good books.

Here are my favorite books that I read this year:

  • Hillbilly Elegy– and there is a legal hook since it’s a memoir and the author went to law school;
  • When Breath Becomes Air– not a happy ending but a great book;
  • Rebel Yell (biography of Stonewall Jackson)–  what a strange man; imagine a war breaking out and the weirdest dude in your law firm suddenly becomes the best general we’ve got;
  • The Perfect Pass- same author as Rebel Yell (S.C. Gwynne), which is why I read it, has a Mississippi connection–focuses on Bellhaven head coach Hal Mumme; my favorite football book in years–Gwynne can flat out write;
  • Shoe Dog– memoir by Nike founder Phil Knight; I reluctantly read this only because the average Amazon review was 5 stars with hundreds of reviews (that’s unusual); it was unbelievable; I’m not going to say it, but you know…fantastic read focusing on starting Nike;
  • Being Nixon– someone gave me The Last of the President’s Men last Christmas and it set me off on a Nixon and Watergate readgasm; I rate Nixon the most interesting president (but I haven’t read books on some interesting ones like Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson); and
  • Dreamland- The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic– dovetails the story of Oxycontin with the rise of heroin, which is very cheap and delivered like pizza in many American cities. An important topic given the growing heroin epidemic that is killing a lot of people in the country, especially young people.
  • Sammy Edmondson

    Where’s the fiction? You should read Moon Glow by Michael Chabon. Funny. Good characters. Great narrative. Since you gave me Wonder Boys to read years ago, I have become a big Chabon fan.

    • Philip Thomas

      Easy Sparky, Moon Glow was a December release. It doesn’t get to skip to the front of the line. I re-checked and I didn’t read much fiction this year. Of the novels I did read, Dodgers (2) and The Fireman (1) were my favorites. The Fireman was really original.

      My last ‘favorite’ novel was A Man Called Ove. But I read it before 2016.

  • Pieter T.

    Interesting list, and I will certainly read some of those. Since you read about Stonewall, I suggest Embattled Rebel by James McPherson. It’s a nice, quick read on Jefferson Davis and his generals. Another good read from that period is The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower regarding Allen Pinkerton and his efforts to get President-Elect Lincoln safely into Washington for inauguration.

    Alao read this year: Great Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast. Shipwrecks were airplane crashes of the era, and the reasons behind them along with the decisions people made under dire circumstances are fascinating.

    Thanks for sharing your list. We’d all be a little wiser if we read a few new books every year!