Book at Bittersweet Cafe in BerkeleyI am crazy about good fiction and writing, have been an avid reader since a kid. Here are my favorite books so far this Winter, topped by:

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje – LOVED this one, it inspired a song, each page is pure poetry. So did this one:
Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon (tree metaphors and imagery still haunting me).
Then in no particular order:

Someone by Alice McDermott (love her characters).
A Place in Time by Wendell Berry (reminds me of my own roots)
In One Person by John Irving (love the fluid view of gender identity)
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (powerful end-of-world story
Ransom by David Malouf (poetic imagination of the meeting of Priam and Achilles)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (from India to Rhode Island)
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (characters woven through time)
If On A Winters Night by Italo Calvino (whimsy)
The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee (not what it sounds like)

I’ve slogged my way through a few others…it’s hard for me not to finish a book even if I don’t care for it. But mostly I have been on a run of excellent writing and good stories. Let me know if you have some recommendations!

P.S. This photo is taken at my favorite café, The Bittersweet Café in Berkeley/Oakland. Amazing cups of chocolate – my favorite is dark chocolate with peanut butter. Liquid Reeses, mmmm.