The Emerald City Book Review Gem is awarded to my favorite books of the year in various genres and categories. Links are no longer working, so do a search for each title to find my original review.

2020 Releases
Fiction: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Nonfiction: Inferno by Catherine Cho

More favorites I read in 2020:

Historical Fiction: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Memoir Series: Maya Angelou’s memoirs
Book Everyone Should Read: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
Science: I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
Suspsense: The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
Romance: Jill the Reckless by P.G. Wodehouse
Spirituality: The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu
Sensory Differences: An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks; The World I Live In by Helen Keller; Eavesdropping by Stephen Kuusisto
Reread (and read-along): The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Series Finish: Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Around the World: The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
Classics: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

2019 Gems

2019 releases:
Fiction – Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Nonfiction – Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Other books read in 2019:

Historical Fiction – Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
Quasi-Historical Fantasy – Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Fantasy – Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Series starter- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Romance – Vittoria Cottage by D.E. Stevenson
Horror – Kindred by Octavia Butler
Children’s – Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Biography – Helen Keller by Dorothy Herrmann
Memoir – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Graphic narrative – Ce n’est pas toi que j’attendais by Fabien Toulmé
Spirituality – My Religion by Helen Keller
Rereads – Watership Down by Richard Adams
New to me author – Oliver Sacks
Revisited author – Robertson Davies
Book everyone should read – Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
Preview of a 2020 release – Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor


2018 Gems

2018 Releases –
Fiction: Circe
Nonfiction:  A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry

Other books read in 2018 –

Historical Fiction: The Blood of the Martyrs
Multiple Time Periods: The Maze at Windermere
Books everyone should read: I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Science and Nature: Animals in Translation
Reread: The Earthsea books
Fantasy (among other genres): Jane, Unlimited
Fiction in Translation: Les Miserables
Children’s: It’s Like This, Cat, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe
Activism: The Art of Waging Peace
Spirituality: The Kingdom Within
Book Design: Uncle Silas
Classics: Invisible Man


2017 Gems

2017 Releases:
Fiction: The Bear and the Nightingale
Children’s: Bronze and Sunflower
Nonfiction: May Cause Love

Other books read in 2017 –

Historical: Troy Chimneys, Scaramouche, Golden Hill
Fantasy: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
Spirituality: Old and New Mysteries, The Book of Joy
Mystery: The Julian Kestrel mysteries
Romantic comedy: The Lark
Book everyone should read: Dark Money
Suspense: My Cousin Rachel
Fiction in Translation: Season of Migration to the North
Poetry (also in translation): Seasons of the Soul
Literary: The Gilded Chalet
Contemporary Fiction: Americanah
Classics: Excellent Women, East of Eden
Biography and Memoir: My Life in France; Manderley Forever; Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life


2016 Gems

2016 releases:
Adult fictionThe Summer Guest
Children’s fictionThe Evil Wizard Smallbone
NonfictionThe House by the Lake

Other books read in 2016 –

Books everyone should read: Just Mercy; Being Mortal
Children’s/YA: Johnny Tremain; The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
Fantasy: Wyrd Sisters
Memoir: My Family and Other Animals; Unearthed; Carry On
Historical: A Man of Genius
Classics: The Makioka Sisters
Graphics: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage
New-to-me author: Frances Hardinge
Rediscovered author: Betty MacDonald
Small Press: Hidden View (Green Writers Press)


2015 Gems

2015 Releases: FictionGirl Waits with Gun / NonfictionThe Fellowship

Other books read in 2015 –

Historical fiction: New – The Wild Girl / Classic: Shadows on the Rock
Translated fiction: The True Deceiver
Fantasy: The Golem and the Jinni
New-to-me Author: Margery Sharp
Memoir/Nature: H Is for Hawk; The Shepherd’s Life
Nonfiction: Is that a Fish in Your Ear?
Children’s/YA: El Deafo; Krabat and the Sorcerer’s Mill; Seacrow Island; The Hired Girl
Rereads: Tam Lin
Series: The Wolves Chronicles


2014 Gems

2014 Releases: Fiction:Hild   Nonfiction: In the Kingdom of Ice
Other books read in 2014 –
Fiction: My Brother Michael
Classic Fiction: Barchester Towers and The Brandons
Historical Fiction: The White Witch
Fantasy: The Islands of Chaldea
Children’s: All-of-a-Kind Family
YA: A Solitary Blue
Memoir/Biography: Strings Attached and My Life in Middlemarch
Nonfiction: The Age of Wonder
Rereads: Witch Week

2 thoughts on “ECBR Gems

  1. I started reading The Age of Wonder in December and plan to finish it this month. I see why you made it one of your gems of 2014. It will surely be on my ten best list for 2015.


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